so thus far the move to postgraduate study is positive. it is all freedom / no pressure / friendly introductions & pats on the back. i’m sure things will change. like first couple of weeks in & david has roped me into taking over his creative writing teaching this year. me a teacher? it’s flattering, & once you get one of those offers that makes you nervous & butterflyish, you know you have to do it, but still. am i going to stroll in & tell the students it’s all about attitude? self-belief? that will probably come up, but what else will come up? loads of goddam question marks?
really i am kinda charmed at this point. i’m making a good living & as a poet. sort of – i get scholarship moneys for producing a phd level creative work (will it be published? the bidding war is in its early days; publishers note that i would like to drive a jag despite only possessing a learners license) i get some moneys for teaching university students (of which i am still one) & i get small amounts of money for tutoring high-school english. it’s not bad. most of what i do, to earn a living, relates to my craft. dransfield has a poem called ‘the poets’ ( i think) which quite savagely draws a picture of the typical poet: working as a public servant or a teacher, in his mid-thirties, on his first or second marriage, writing things down on the train…& it is quite hard to make an existence as a writer work. or else you can kill yourself making it happen (yes you can expect to hear much about dransfield over the next 3 years). the one thing i won’t do is sell out & make the move to teaching high-school english full-time. this is not the way to go. geoff page was a high-school teacher all his life, & a moderately good / quite successful poet, but as i have said, still. (he is a great teacher though…the world needs them perhaps). basically at the moment i’m into finding whatever money i can for doing what i want…&
thats going okay – went & saw sarah blasko the other day in albury. wrote poetry dealing with it. will continue doing so. (she’s great; brackets are too).
finally other news relates to editing (am i taking too much on this year? shall we see?) i shall be editor again of fourW this year, & we have made changes. as of 2007 we have wiped the $5 charge for submitting. i think this is the most important thing i could have done, & now feel much more confident in talking up our publication. (michael farrell & jill jones both pointedly would not submit to a book that charged writers for the privilege, & perhaps many others felt this way). so now i would love to receive submissions from writers in the blogosphere – although there is likely to be more works submitted from my little rural region of australia, we accept from writers anywhere. & i want fourW 18 to be the best one yet.
submission guidelines are here, BUT, disregard anything about paying to submit. our website is in sore need of updating. (why don’t i do that?)
by the way you can buy fourW 17 here. it’s not to bad, there’s one of my poems in it.