The Adelaide based poetry group Friendly Street Poets has long been a strong influence on writers here in South Australia. They hold regular monthly readings in Adelaide. In more recent years they have ventured out into suburban venues and continue to grow in both influence and importance. The meetings are usually open mike reading opportunities for poets and often feature a guest poet who is invited to a longer reading of poems. The open mike readings usually have a time limit of about 3 minutes.
Over the last few years the group is also venturing out into country areas. Two years ago I attended the inaugural meeting here in my home town of Murray Bridge. I particularly appreciated having only a 5 minute drive to the venue on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Normally I can’t attend the meetings in Adelaide due to other commitments on the regular nights on which they are held.
On that occasion I wasn’t brave enough to take along any of my poems for reading, and last year I had another commitment. Two weeks ago, however, I managed to attend – and read two of my poems. It felt good – and I enjoyed the rest of the poetry read during the afternoon. The poems ranged from the hilarious to the deeply serious through to the cheekily risqué. Reading one’s poems during the open mike sessions usually allows one to contribute the poems read for consideration in the annual anthology.
- Friendly Street Poets – click to view their website which has details of meeting times and venues as well as membership, publications and plenty of other information.
I recently had some publication success. Yay!
Every year the Creative Writing department of the university where I recently completed my MA (Tabor Adelaide) publishes an anthology of poetry, short plays and short stories. The contributors are all present or former students, and a few staff members also add to the eclectic mix of writing. This anthology was the 6th edition and the quality is extremely high. The competition to be included is making it harder to be included every year, so I was pleased to have a short story and a poem in the latest issue.
I’ve read all six editions and have enjoyed all of the stories. Many of the poems could easily have found a home in any of our most prestigious literary journals. In fact, two of our regular contributors, both former students, have had stories published in a leading journal in recent months. It speaks volumes for the standard of teaching at Tabor Adelaide, and says much for the talents being nurtured.
The anthology is called Tales from the Upper Room, reflecting the theological roots of Tabor Adelaide and a direct link to the upper room where Jesus and his disciples met to celebrate the last supper. The ‘upper room’ also refers to the fact that our writers’ groups meet in The Loft, the highest room in the university.
Last night we had the first meeting for 2010 of our writers’ groups at Tabor Adelaide, the university where I am doing my Master of Arts in Creative Writing.
This was a combined meeting of the various writers’ groups. With about 30 in attendance interest is high which is very encouraging. The shared pizza was nice too.
As part of the proceedings one of the lecturers had a long list of recent writing successes from various students, past and present. This must be encouraging to the staff as people are having success with their writing.
The main purpose for this meeting was to launch the annual anthology of writing from students and staff. Tales from the Upper Room has now seen its fifth edition and is going from strength to strength. The standard of writing is very high and competition to be included is intensifying as each new raft of students progresses through the various courses available.
Personal publishing success
I was pleased to see that four of my poems and two of my stories were chosen for the anthology this year. I also contributed parts of a baton poem, an exercise where we all took it in turns to contribute to a major poem.
Lectures in the creative writing courses start in a few weeks time, but I’m sure you can still enroll. Most courses are available externally. Click here to go to the website – just follow the links to the Humanities department. I can thoroughly recommend the courses as being very useful. Staff support is also great.