Book Launch

Flying Islands Press

Saturday 10.30am - 12.45pm - Rama Bar


Clark Gormley

Not What You Think

Kerri Shying

Knitting Mangrove Roots

Melinda Smith

Perfectly Bound

Gillian Swain

My Skin its Own Sky

In this special two hour event, Kit Kelen and Flying Islands Press present fourt pocket sized books from eight larger than life poets
Clark Gormley is a poet and singersongwriter based in Newcastle, Australia.
He has been organising and promoting local poetry readings for over 20 years. He released the book and CD Turn of Phrase, a collection of poems, songs, stories and stuff, in 2002. He has been published in several anthologies including Visions From the Valley,
A Slow Combusting Hymn and Brew 30 Years of Poetry at the Pub Newcastle. He has written and performed three nerd-themed oneman shows and a bunch of wordy songs.
Gormley pursues these creative endeavours to counterbalance the stodginess of a career in chemical engineering.

Kerri Shying is a poet of Chinese and Wiradjuri family who received the NSW Writers’ Centre Emerging Writer Grant in 2017. Kerri’s poems have appeared in Snap Journal, Cordite, Verity La, Ear to Earth, and Women of Words, 2016. She is the author of a bilingual pocketbook of poems sing out when you want me, published in
2017 by Flying Islands/ASM/Cerberus Press. Kerri was shortlisted in the Helen Anne Bell and the Noel Rowe Prizes in 2017 and is the recipient of the Varuna Dr Eric Dark Flagship Fellowship for 2019 for her collection Know Your Country.
Kerri’s chapbook Elevensies (in the Slow Loris series) was published by Puncher & Wattmann in 2018.
The elevensies form was invented spontaneously in conversation between Kerri and Kit Kelen,
who noticed that this was how things were tending for her, and that an eleven liner could become a respectable form in its own right: a form any poet might attempt. Five lines either side and the middle line's the title, that's all there is to it.

Melinda Smith's work shifts between multiple voices, perspectives, and poetic forms. By turns she is quirky, witty, tender and forceful. The judges of the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award described her as 'a major new poet' and her work as 'full of unexpected and richly varied pleasures', praising 'its range of technique and tone' and 'its depth of ideas, imagery and emotion'. In this selection from her work the reader is often surprised, and sometimes disoriented – but never bored.
Melinda Smith is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Goodbye, Cruel (Pitt St Poetry, 2017) and Listen, bitch (Recent Work Press, 2019). She won the 2014 Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award for Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call and her work has been widely anthologised and translated. She is based in the Australian Capital Territory and is a former poetry editor of the Canberra Times.

Gillian Swain spent her childhood exploring the waterfront of Warners Bay and Speers Point, Lake Macquarie and has lived in Newcastle, Northern NSW and Ghana. She studied at the University of Newcastle and has been writing poetry for many years. Gillian has appeared as the feature poet at several events in the Hunter Region, Sydney and the NSW north coast. Gillian’s poetry is published in A Slow Combusting Hymn (ASM and Cerberus Press, 2014), The Grieve Anthology (Vol 2, Hunter Writers Centre, 2014) and Brew, 30 years of Poetry at the Pub (2018). Gillian’s poems also appear in annual Poetry at the Pub anthologies and the Australian Poetry Collaboration (#28, 2019). She is currently the poet in residence at Organic Feast café and (by invitation) holds poetry workshops for primary and high school students at Linuwel Steiner School.
My Skin its own Sky is her second published work following Sang Up (Picaro Press, 2001). Gillian lives in East Maitland with her husband and their four children, where they run their successful coffee roasting business, River Roast.
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