Back Issues

Vol 3, No. 3
Vol 3, No. 2

Vol 3, No. 1

Vol 2, No. 4
Vol 2, No. 3
Vol 2, No. 2
Vol 2, No. 1

Vol 1, No. 4
Vol 1, No. 3
Vol 1, No. 2
Vol 1, No. 1

Contents

From the Director’s Desk

Editorial: Three Cheers for Our Poetry Heroes?

IP Picks!

STOP PRESS!

New Titles

Festive Season

A Scent of Takeaway...

G’day Cane Toads!

Out & About

Bestlinks

Focus on Beatriz Copello

Your Say

Vol 3, No. 4— ISSN 1442-0023

 

From the Director's Desk

DR in ParkThis comes hot on the heels of our two local festivals, the Brisbane Writers' Festival and the Subverse: 2001 Queensland Poetry Festival.

Several of our authors read at the poetry festival, which lived up to its reputation of being the best of its kind in Australia. Certainly, the organisers are to be commended once again for their efforts at finding talent outside the tried-and-true authors who seem to appear everywhere on the “circuit”.

I was especially pleased to see the poetry festival located in the new Judith Wright Centre for the Arts. Although the finishing touches have yet to be applied, the new Centre offers excellent reading spaces, as well as performance venues, rehearsal space and offices for other artforms. Together with developments at QUT's Cultural Precinct and South Bank, the Judith Wright Centre is further evidence that Brisbane has come into its own culturally and artistically.

As a part of the Brisbane Writers' Festival, Brisbane City Council Library Services hosted a session on e-publishing. I was joined by Dean Mason, Business Development Manager of Common Ground, a Melbourne research organisation interested in digital publication issues; as well as Greg Bain, Deputy General Manager of UQP. We hadn’t consulted in advance on what we would say, but our presentations were quite complementary. Dean’s group is taking a theoretical approach to what future holds for the publishing industry, while I spoke on what digital publication means for IPD in practical terms. After beating his chest — quite justifiably! — about Peter Carey’s second win at the Booker Prize, Greg enlightened us about how UQP is taking the first steps beyond their web site to making digital publication part of their production strategy. Yes, they’ve even published their first e-book!

We are already gearing up for what promises to be our busiest year yet. Three new titles are already scheduled for publication in our Autumn 2002 Season. Recently we announced our new IP Picks competition that will see the publication of several new works in the second half of 2002. See the full article below. The competition, which is for unpublished, complete works of poetry and fiction under 80,000 words closes 31 December. You can get the details and entry form via email or through the post.

Finally, I want to welcome Lisa Foley, who joins Sara Moss as Assistant Editor. Lisa will be working out of Treetop Studio and has a particular interest in our multimedia work and in raising the level of awareness about IP among younger audiences.

Dr David Reiter

 

[A recent article in Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper has stirred up a few hornets in the local writing community. But are these issues limited to Brisbane? Director David Reiter looks at the implications for writing communities in general.]

Poets are an easy mark for ridicule and perhaps this is because they seldom duck for cover. And in the rare instances when poets get coverage in the national media, all too often the journalist involved relies on simplistic views of what poets are.

In her recent article, ‘War of words over rhyme and reason’ Arts Editor Sandra McLean showed how little it takes to put a burr under the saddle of local authors. She aired the view of some that the writing community here is factionalised and that favours are handed out only to a chosen few. Not surprisingly, several people took exception to this line.

It didn’t help that some of the younger writers were characterised as “feral” by some “stalwarts” and that others see themselves as alienated from an inner circle who “run the show”.

Of course writing communities everywhere are subject to factional squabbling and petty jealousy — a point I made to McLean when she interviewed me. If it’s less obvious in major cultural centres such as New York and London and Paris, perhaps this is because the factions are so firmly institutionalised and make such an art of exclusivity. So being “out” until you’re “in” is just the way it goes, mate — not worth losing any sleep over.

That doesn’t make it any easier for those authors who prefer to get on with the job of writing, rather than playing politics. Even our most political poet — or should I say our most poetic politician? — Minister for the Arts Matt Foley was hard-pressed to put a positive spin on the situation: ‘I would describe [the writing community] as creatively energetic — sometimes it is more energetic than you would care for but I wouldn't want to put a lasso around people’s creativity.’

The article certainly overstates its case, but so did various Letters to the Editor and other missives sent to more sympathetic ears. Well, newspapers are in the business of selling papers, and papers thrive on controversy — real and imagined. So perhaps the choice is either put on the monkey suit and make the most out of being noticed (they say any coverage is good coverage), or be content to remain unnoticed.

On the other hand, it shouldn’t be too much to ask that the media put more effort in finding the substance behind an issue and go so far as to illuminate their readers rather than simply entertain them at the cost of an expendable group. How many times do we read about how artists are a burden on the public purse and how well off they are than the average Aussie battler who actually has to “work” for a living. Artists who have the audacity to live off grants are regarded by some as little better than dole-bludgers. At least those who “work for the dole” have to get their hands dirty!

These stereotypes are tolerated and even believed by the community. Never mind that only a small percentage of artists who apply for Government grants actually get them. And even when they are successful, more often than not the grants are only a fraction of what most “battlers” see as their due in their salaries.

Perhaps it has something to do with the suspicion that artists work at things they enjoy, in contrast to the drudgery faced by many workers, and that they should not be rewarded for this with taxpayer-funded bonuses. It’s a shame that the arts aren’t regarded with the same reverence as sport, which consumes far more tax dollars for the construction and maintenance of facilities and the support of many athletes who compete internationally than any opera or theatre company could ever hope to attract. It’s considered newsworthy when the entire Australia Council is offered a boost of $10 million dollars as a part of an election campaign, when this is just a fraction of the overrun costs of renovating a sports facility like Brisbane’s Lang Park. And if the latter project puts one of Brisbane’s professional theatre companies out of business in the process, well, that’s just collateral damage, right?

We don’t think twice about deifying someone who kicks a winning goal or swims fast as a dolphin, and few people begrudge them for enjoying their work. Indeed our newspapers and chat shows are filled with profiles of sporting heroes, with a subtext that suggests that heroism has done nothing to wilt their basic humanity. But when was the last time you saw a big colour photo of a poet hugging her baby on Mother’s Day? Scantily dressed or otherwise?

It’s not that the media has a vested interest in keeping artists marginalised; it’s just that researching an issue that’s more than skin-deep is too hard in the fast lane. It takes more time to appreciate a book than to review a few minutes of video footage of a sporting event. And it would seem making the effort to dislodge community prejudices is too big an ask for most journalists.

The cultural fabric of our nation is poorer for it. But there I am — playing at being an artist again!

—DR

<title>IP eNews </title>

October was literary festival season in Brisbane from 18-21 October, and we were well represented at the Subverse: 2001 Queensland Poetry Festival (Subverse) and the Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF). The festivals ran concurrently, with the BWF taking place in the South Brisbane Cultural Precinct, while Subverse opted for the new Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Fortitude Valley, also holding a series of readings at Jameson’s Restaurant in the city centre.

It was appropriate that Subverse was the first arts event to take place in the centre named for one of Australia’s greatest poets. Its launch also featured on the program of the BWF, testifying to the years of effort by the Fringe Arts Collective Inc (Fringe Arts), organisers of Subverse, who succeeded not only in their aims of “bringing poetry back to the people” but also in contributing to a rennaisance of poetry in this state.

Our previous issue covered Fringe Arts’ decision to disband, making this their final festival. David Reiter raised some important issues relating to arts funding and it remains to be seen what the future holds for the Queensland Poetry Festival. I won’t repeat those here but rather take the opportunity, on behalf of IP, to thank Brett Dionysius the Director of Subverse and Melissa Ashley the Assistant Director for their hard work and wish them the very best for a bright future. (My apologies to Melissa for our error in the previous issue attributing her role to Adam Pettet.)

For further information on the Fringe Arts Collective Inc and the Subverse Festivals please check out their web site.

IP highlights at this year’s Subverse included the festival launch of Phil Brown’s An Accident in the Evening and readings by IP authors Clayton Hansen (The Ventriloquist’s Child) Juliana Burgesen-Bednareck (Bermuda and the Other Islands) and Sara Moss (A Deep Fear of Trains). Andy Kissane launched Michael Sariban’s new poetry collection Luxuries (Indigo Press). We published Michael’s previous collection, Facing the Pacific.

At the BWF Phil Brown chaired a panel on “Life Drawing: If you strip back the characters and plots in your books, can you recall where they came from and how you created them?” David Reiter gave a presentation at Central Library on e-publishing at a seminar sponsored by Brisbane City Library Services.

‘Real Men

Of the other Subverse sessions I attended, “Real Men” was particularly lively, with Festival Director Brett Dionysius dubbing Minister for the Arts, Matt Foley, the “Minister for Poetry”. In launching Ross Clark’s new book Remix (Post Pressed) the Minister’s performance of Ross’s poems more than earned him the title! Ross has been writing and performing poetry for more than 25 years. Remix contains many of the poems written during this time and some new work.

Ross is not only a talented writer (not many writers of poetry in English win awards for Haiku!) but also a generous organiser of poetry readings in Brisbane. His latest series is From the Red Chambered Heart taking place at Parliament House.

In his launch speech, David Reiter took up the challenge of the session’s theme: “not having the advantage of being special in gender, sexual orientation, psychological predisposition or ethnicity, Phil shows that the sublime can still be found in masculine moments such as when his speaker discovers he shares a takeaway brotherhood with Chuck Norris:

the combined effect of his virtuous violence
and the carbohydrate mess
called pepperoni in front of me
will induce a sweet and dreamless sleep
from which I will awaken refreshed enough
to maybe kick some butt myself
if I’m inclined.”

David went on to tell the audience that Phil “is especially poignant in capturing the predicament faced by the contemporary, politically-endangered poet. In the collection’s title poem, the narrator tells us that the accident victim

did look quite serene, in a way.
The blow had knocked the tension right out of him and left a man doing yoga on the bitumen
surrounded by a small, curious and concerned crowd.

They didn’t buy his book, but you will…right?”

You can order your copy of An Accident in the Evening now and judge for yourself if Phil earned the title of a Real Man. He certainly is a Real Poet.

And ‘Real Women’…

Another highlight was the University of Queensland Press (UQP) launches of Bronwyn Lea’s collection of poetry Flight Animals and Michelle A. Taylor’s verse novel The Angel of Barbican High. Bronwyn won the 2000 Arts Queensland Award for Unpublished Poetry for her poem 'Driving into Distance’, which is included in Flight Animals and Michelle was the runner-up with ‘Bloom’. The Angel of Barbican High was shortlisted in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards 2000. Though aimed at a teenage and young adult readership it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. Bronwyn Lea is one of those rare finds, a poet of such vision when you read or listen to her work, you feel privileged.

There were many other highlights at the Festival including a spirited performance by Juliana, which belied her admission to a bout of lethargy due to her reading at the usual time of her afternoon Siesta! Juliana has a dry wit and never fails to raise a chuckle during her readings.

My own performance at Jameson’s marked the fourth year I have appeared at the Queensland Poetry Festival. I will carry warm memories from the Subverse years as I’m sure will so many of the authors featured.

— SM

<title>IP eNews </title>

In July, Director David Reiter was a featured speaker at the NSW Country Library Association’s annual conference at Orange. Not noted for its balmy weather in the middle of winter, Orange put on a sunny disposition, assisted by Jan Richards’s trusty Orange Library staff, who made the task of organising a major conference look like a cake-walk.

On the social side, the conference dinner will be long-remembered for resurrecting every female popular singer in living memory, as well as laying to rest forever the image of the wall-flower librarian.

The Gallery David’s talk on e-publishing was very well attended, and several attendees expressed an interest in hearing more about our digital publishing activities, especially on the multimedia side, after seeing the demo of David’s work The Gallery.

One of the main points he stressed was the opportunity that libraries have in becoming a “hub” for readers seeking access to digital titles. As a key part of the distribution loop, libraries may even stand to make money on referrals when readers decide to buy titles they initially “borrow”. Several librarians expressed amazement at how far the technology has come so quickly, and how urgent it is that they and their colleagues get educated about what the future holds.

If you’re interested in keeping your finger on the pulse, watch this space. Or better yet, contact us directly and let us know. We may just be coming to a conference or a festival near you.

<title>IP eNews </title>

On the subject of libraries, David will be in Melbourne meeting with a host of them during the week of 12-16 November. If you work at a library in Melbourne and want to meet with him during that week, please contact us URGENTLY.

<title>IP eNews </title>

IP authors will be participating in the inaugural Central Coast Writers’ Festival at Mt Penang (near Gosford, New South Wales). Included will be Tricia Dearborn, Beatriz Copello, Chris Mansell and David Reiter. The Festival is on Saturday, 24 November, and includes an Awards Dinner that night

Mt Penang

Mt Penang has been a ‘juvenile justice centre’ for many decades but its redevelopment has become a pet project of the NSW Festival Development Corporation. The plan is now to host a variety of festivals and sporting events. We’re delighted to be a part of the first in what we hope will be many such events for writers.

IP will have a table at the Festival with an exhaustive display of our titles — all for sale, of course. We hope to see many of our Sydney friends there, not to mention a throng from the Central Coast.

For further information on the Festival contact Margot Cooper or Faith Wiggin.

—DR

<title>IP eNews </title>

[This issue we focus on Sydney author and psychologist Beatriz Copello, whose second book was recently published by Glass House Books.]

In Meditations at the Edge of a Dream I want to share with readers my observations about the world around me, about life, about nature and about my feelings. I want them to sense with me the beauty of the sea, of the bush, of the moonlight, of love … to sense the loneliness that sometimes touches the human heart. I want them to see in their mind's eye the beauty of colours, of fantasy, of imagination. Like a painter I draw images with my words, images of gardens, people, places. My words are seeds that bring a message to awaken responsibility for our environment and support for the poor.

Beatriz CopelloAt nights, when my body rests my mind wonders, asking questions about the meaning of life, death, and the marvelous space that surrounds this glorious planet. Many of those questions are asked in my poems. I have no answers. I have no truths. I have no key to open the door that keeps secrets in a golden cage. I only have hypotheses, conundrums, suppositions, intuitions…

My poems are born from my love of words. Words are tools. Words are swords. Words heal. Words touch hearts. Words teach. Words have power. Words allow me to reflect on my inner struggles. Words let me have a say about the disenfranchised and the battlers. Words let me reach out to humanity. Words give me hope. Words encourage me to weave tapestries adorned with the fabric of life and tinted with my imagination.

I want readers to travel with me into the depths of my dreams, to accompany me to foreign lands, to the past, to worlds where the line between fantasy and reality blurs. I want readers to enter the edge of dreams.

<title>IP eNews </title>

[IP eNews seeks to serve as a forum on issues of common interest in digital publishing and other related issues, but for that to work the communication has to be more than one way. This is your chance to be heard on issues that concern anyone connected to or reliant on the publishing industry. So let’s hear your reactions to this column — or for that matter anything else that appears in IP eNews. Space allowing, we’ll print what you have to say.]

Some people may say that we’re jumping the gun, but after all the dust has settled from the hype surrounding e-books, where are all the sales?

Futurists have been saying for some time that people would embrace the new technology. There are predictions that, in North America at least, digital sales will comprise 30% of the market by 2010. Major publishers and bookchains, not to mention online sites like Amazon.com, have invested heavily in this change of gear in reading style, and their shareholders don’t have the patience to wait until the offspring of Generation Xers have their own credit cards.

Many of the smaller players — particularly those focused primarily on sales of digital titles — are feeling the dot.com quicksand tickling at their thighs, and the signs of recession don’t reassure them that things are about to change, at least for the better.

Things are so tight that publishers strain to put on a brave face. At the recent Brisbane Writers’ Festival, Greg Bain, Deputy General Manager at the University of Queensland Press did just that as he announced with a thin-lipped smile that UQP’s first original online title had only achieved sales of 20 copies, while a subsequent print version quickly sold out. Not surprisingly, UQP is in no rush to advance the experiment.

IP’s experience with digital titles is mixed. In the case of digital versions of our existing print titles, sales have been limited mostly to libraries. The one bright light has been our multimedia title, The Gallery, which has achieved sales rivaling our other print titles, and has actually outsold its source book, Letters We Never Sent.

Our view is that this is more than good luck. It’s only commonsense that if people used to reading a physical book are offered a choice between one and its digital equivalent, they will choose the physical book. If the book is out-of-print, or too expensive to access through bookshops or online, they may go for an e-book, but the jury is still out on that one.

Digital publishers must find a way to add value to text before they package their digital products. Because The Gallery offers video, audio and images as well as words, it appeals to buyers looking for something different. More importantly, the only way they can experience the work is in a digital environment, so they decide to give it a go.

IP Digital’s commitment to adding value to literary work is demonstrated by the fact that we have three such projects under development scheduled for release in 2002. This is the real digital frontier, and we’re confident that it will attract buyers in increasing numbers.

Another problem is the war-games currently raging between hardware and software companies competing to grab the e-book market. There are several e-book readers available for purchase, and most use proprietary software. There are few signs of an emerging common standard. Quite the opposite.

This means there’s no guarantee if you fork out $800 for that spiffy e-book reader that you’ll be able to read your choice of digital titles. In the current environment, digital publishers may have to prepare several versions of a work to accommodate the various platforms. Each version has to be edited, proofread and then tested in its particular environment. So much for the cost-savings to be realised from going digital!

Smaller publishers do not have the resources to prepare multiple versions of every work they produce. And since most “literary” projects are published by smaller houses, that means greater risk that the work will be unavailable to the digital marketplace unless the publisher makes the right choice of platform. Suddenly, the sense of liberation that comes with making the work available globally is deflated.

At least with a physical book, the only demand a publisher places on the reader is that s/he can read.

Back in the trenches, proactive libraries are finding it hard-going. If they purchase e-book readers on behalf of their borrowers, their IT people have to be trained on how to set them up and maintain them. Someone needs to prepare instructions for the borrowers on how to use the devices and to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

IP Digital has taken a punt on pdf format. It’s a multi-purpose format that works well online, as well as on portable media. Any device compatuble with Acrobat e-book Reader will accept a pdf file. We think that Adobe Corporation has too much at stake to let it slide in the face of competing reader formats. So we’re putting our efforts into publishing online versions, which can be downloaded to a computer, which can in turn download the file onto a pdf reader. Or the viewer can simply read the file on the computer.

It’s a brave publisher indeed who declares the book dead and then follows up that belief by abandoning the print arena. Which is why IP is determined to keep a balance between our award-winning print program and our expanding digital program.

Does that mean you’re considering “print-on-demand”? we hear someone ask. Have a look at the next issue of IP eNews!

— DR

<title>IP eNews </title>

It’s official: entries are now open for the first IP Picks Competition. We’re offering guaranteed royalty publication with one of our imprints. Two awards are reserved for Queensland residents, while the other two are open to Australian citizens and residents.

Does Australia need yet another literary competition? Probably not, but we've done our best to stake out new ground. We’re focusing on poetry and shorter fiction, and the entries must be complete manuscripts, unpublished and not on offer to any other publisher.

There are plenty of competitions out there for single poems or stories, and also for published works. But what do unpublished authors do with finished manuscripts besides send them on the circuit of publishers, hoping for the best? Even established authors are finding it harder these days to get literary manuscripts accepted by the “mainstream” publishers. So we think that IP has found a niche in the market that will not only offer these authors recognition but also publication.

We're concentrating on the two genres most neglected by the bigger publishers, poetry and short fiction (the latter could be a novella(s) up to 80,000 words.

We’d like to offer cash awards as well, but at this point we’re unable to confirm that those will be part of the award. IP has put a proposal to Arts Queensland for funding support and we won’t know the outcome until the end of December, which also happens to be the deadline for entries.

But if you’ve got a manuscript you believe in, and you’re keen to see it published, this may just be the competition for you.

To get the complete conditions and entry form, post us an SASE or email us with IP Picks as your subject. You could just be an IP author by the end of 2002, and that’s putting yourself in good company!

— DR

<title>IP eNews </title>

We’re delighted to announce that IP author Tricia Dearborn recently won the University of Canberra National Short Story Award. Nothing pleases a publisher more than discovering new talent — except perhaps having that author be recognised after the fact by the judges of a major competition. The title of her winning story was ‘The Knitter and Miss Newtown’.

This particular competition is one of the few major awards for excellence in the short story, a form which is probably more neglected than even poetry these days. We’d like to see more competitions with special categories for the short story.

RedoubtWe were unhappy to learn that Redoubt magazine, which has been supported by the University of Canberra since 1988, has been wound up. One of the oldest of its kind in Australia, Redoubt discovered much new talent over the years, and its demise will make it all the harder for new authors to gain recognition.

It’s ironic that that was announced at the short story award ceremony. But perhaps we’re just being biased in Redoubt’s favour — our Director was its Founding Editor! He set it up originally to give his Creative Writing students work experience in publishing as well as a vehicle for publishing work of merit. The definition of a “redoubt” — in permanent works, a work within an outwork — was obviously not enough to save it.

—DR

<title>IP eNews </title>

Phil Browns new book, An Accident in the Evening, heads the list of our new releases. We were especially pleased to have held the launch at the Phillip Bacon Galleries (see the launch feature), which was attended by a spirited Brisbane crowd.

Accident in EveningPhil had already read at Wordpool and has since read at the Subverse: 2001 Queensland Poetry Festival, with another engagement to come at the Irish Club on 1 November, where he’ll share the bill with novelist Venero Armanno.

 

 

 


<title>IP eNews </title>

Tricia Dearborn’s win in the University of Canberra Short Story Award couldn’t have come at a better time. IP Digital has just released CD-ROM and e-book versions of her very popular first book, Frankenstein’s bathtub.

This is good news indeed for overseas readersFrankenstein CD and people living in regional areas who can’t get to literary bookshops, not to mention libraries seeking to expand their digital holdings. For a mere $11 (GST-inclusive) or $10 for export, you can have a pdf of her book on your desktop within a day or so. Or if you like something to hold as well as have, you can order the CD for only $15.40 in Australia or $14 outside, plus a modest postage & handling charge.

If you haven’t tried our orders page yet, this is the perfect excuse. And while you’re at it, why not browse through our other digital titles? They all work flawlessly on most recent Windows and Mac computers, and they have the added advantage of bookmarks that move you around the book quickly, plus you can search for that title or phrase at the touch of a button.

Become a New Economy reader: order an e-book!

And with Christmas coming up, why not order a second copy for a friend? We can post or email it at the appropriate time with a card in your name for no extra charge!

<title>IP eNews </title>

The latest title from Glass House Books is Beatriz Copello’s Meditations at the Edge of a Dream.

Beatriz is a Sydney-based author and psychologist who is completing a Doctor of Creative Arts in Writing at the University of Wollongong. This is her second book.

In this rich collection, there are poems that speakMeditationsCov to the heart of everyday experience: the quiet mourning of a girl for a ‘handsome man/who drove to his death’ or a speaker desperately trying to reach out from ‘a deep tunnel’ of depression.

Whether observing life next door, ‘casting shades of love’ in the context of exotic places like the Adriatic Sea, or reconstructing the pain of an Aztec warrior who falls victim to ‘white gods stronger than his’, Meditations at the Edge of a Dream offers much on which to reflect.

The collection had its debut at the recent World Congress of Poetry held in Sydney in early October. It will be formally launched at the NSW Writers’s Centre on 25 November from 3 p.m. For further information, please contact the author.

<title>IP eNews </title>

The smell of spring, thai take-away and pizza was certainly in the air on the evening of September 18 for the official launch of Phil Brown’s collection An Accident in the Evening.

This book is the latest in IP’s Emerging Authors Series so it was no accident more than 80 people attended the event in the inspiring surrounds of the Philip Bacon Galleries in New Farm, Brisbane. In a happy coincidence the Galleries were also hosting a Jeffrey Smart exhibition, and the evocative cover image of the book, from a painting by Queensland artist Christopher McVinish, resonated with the surrounding works.

In launching the book, Queensland Minister for the Arts Matt Foley said the works of Phil Brown, like those of some of the nation’s most highly regarded poets such as David Malouf, Judith Wright and Oodgeroo of the Tribe Noonuccal, reflected the spirit of place. Mr Foley also praised the publishers of poetry (that’s what we like to hear!), saying that “publishing houses like Interactive deserved credit for nurturing the work of writers like Phil Brown.”

But this evening belonged to Phil and to his insightful and witty poetry. An experienced journalist, more accustomed to reporting the news than taking centre stage, he ably entertained his audience with a reading demonstrating a considerable range. From the hilarious ‘Video Night’ dedicated to Chuck Norris in which he satirises the action-adventure film genre, to the beautiful imagery of ‘In a Kowloon Garden’ where he evokes memories of his childhood in Hong Kong:

At dusk, in the monsoon months
when the air was humid
and thick as opium den smoke
we chased tiny oriental bats
across the garden’s sky.

IP’s publishing program is supported by Arts Queensland, so our thanks must go to them, as well as the Galleries, for the success of this launch. Special thanks to Minister Foley, who continues in an exemplary manner to support IP’s vision.

— SM

<title>IP eNews </title>

[In this issue, we welcome Assistant Editor Lisa Foley to the fold. Yet another migrant from colder climes, Lisa has a special interest in IP’s digital work.]

I am an avid writer with particularly cold feet — having suffered 32 years in the Arctic Circle (Melbourne). Upon hearing of my husband’s Brisbane job-offer in July this year, I welcomed the opportunity to ditch the thermal undies and languish among the palm fronds and cane toads of South East Queensland. I was warned against the fashion up here but upon arrival I discovered my kindred spirits — Tshirts and thongs. Imagine the luck of being able to wear my pyjamas all day long. So I got here and figured I had skills that should be taken out of the suitcase, so I called Interactive Publications. IP sounded great, no porn or trash just decent literary works. Unlike the rest of my life — no, honestly.

Lisa FoleyMy work as a freelance assessor and editor for Triad Publishers in Cairns and a varied working background in film/TV, audio production, youth work and IT, convinced the boss that he could put me to some use. IP Digital — the growing multimedia/digital division of Interactive Publications is of particular interest to me. The exciting places words can be taken should not be limited to pieces of papyrus — I’m sure the Ancient Egyptians would have produced CD books if they’d realised the futility of channelling their energy into pyramid technology and wall carvings.

I digress. With audio, Flash movies, brilliant graphic design programs and a whole bunch of other technology available, we would be failing our duty to humanity not to charter these vast horizons. Maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic, but I’m sure you can see the possibilities out there.

My own interest in writing started at seven years of age and so far I have written much poetry, four complete novels, children’s audio plays, screen plays and stage plays — one of which was performed in 1998 by MYSTiC Youth Theatre in Melbourne. I have had articles published in Melbourne and Sydney street press and on several websites. My poetry has been published in the online journal Divan and in Inkshed — the Box Hill TAFE yearly literary publication. I am in the process of completing a Professional Writing and Editing Diploma (off campus) through Box Hill TAFE in Melbourne.

Boring obligatory listing of credentials out of the way, I would love to hear from you — particularly if you’ve got an interest in e-books or new publishing modes — or anything. Feel free to email me at info@interpr.com.au or call IP on 07 3395 0269.

Cheers,
Lisa

<title>IP eNews </title>


Missed the Poetry Festival? Never mind — you can still buy the books!

Publishing houses are businesses. This seems a ridiculously obvious statement but for a niche publisher like IP operating in the comparatively difficult (to sell) areas of poetry and short fiction, it’s worth repeating. Events like the Brisbane Writers’ Festival and the Subverse: 2001 Queensland Poetry Festival are valuable opportunities for writers of literary fiction and poetry to gain much needed public exposure. Authors, particularly new ones who are yet to establish a profile, like festivals. Publishers like them too because hope their products will sell like hotcakes.

Too often though the audience walks away with nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling and the memory of seeing and hearing a “real writer”. In the festival dynamic, the relationship between authors and publishers, authors and readers/audiences and publishers and readers/audiences is a complex one. The relationship between publishers, particularly publishers of works in the same genre, is quite simple. Compete, compete, compete!

Now I am no great believer in the market (a subject for my own web site and not to be dwelt on here), but you can’t blame a publisher for hoping a good share of the festival dollars spent will be on their books. In a perfect world, success is shared among participants and everyone goes home richer and happier, especially the readers with their wealth of literature to enjoy!

In our previous issue, I mentioned one of my aims as IP eNews editor was to feature quality links in IP’s niche area of poetry and short fiction. My aim is also to build IP’s online presence by linking to like-minded sites. Paradoxically, many quality online sources are other publishers! They are either true e-zines, publishers of material online or web shopfronts, sites which provide a taste of the printed or CD product, similar in nature to IP.

Applying a market model of competition limits publishers of poetry and literary fiction who already face difficulties in accessing a buying public. The problems facing publishers of poetry especially has been talked to death in recent years. The web provides new hope for publishing in these areas with the potential for access to an international market. But this potential will only be realised if content providers cooperate in these areas. This is due in large part to the way the web works.

In this spirit of cooperation, Bestlinks for this issue focuses on web sites where you can purchase the work of many authors featured at the Subverse: 2001 Queensland Poetry Festival. It is not possible to list all the relevant titles but I have selected some fine examples.

University of Queensland Press

A leading literary publisher in Australia. Visit them to order The Angel of Barbican High by Michelle A. Taylor; Flight Animals by Bronwyn Lea; Scar Country by Rebecca Edwards and Of Muse, Meandering and Midnight by Samuel Wagan Watson.

Post Pressed

A publisher of Academic, Literary, Esoteric and Fine Art Books. Source your copy of Remix by Ross Clark here.

Papertiger Media

Publishers of Australia’s first CD-ROM Poetry International Papertiger: new world poetry. Issue 1 was celebrated at Subverse 2001, and Issue 2 is due for release next year.
Subversions [generations of contemporary poetry] is also published by them. It’s a CD featuring the work of 44 poets appearing at Subverse festivals between 1997 - 2000 including Adam Aitken; Bev Braune; L E Scott; Judy Johnson; Jayne Fenton Keane and Ian McBryde.

Five Islands Press

Five Islands Press is an independent publisher specialising in contemporary Australian poetry. Subverse 2001 hosted the launch of the New Poets Series 8 featuring: Cate Kennedy, David Kirkby, Shen, Sheridan Linnell, Lesley Fowler and Terry Jaensch. Five Islands has published many fine Australian poets over the years including Andy Kissane who also featured at the festival, reading from his recent work Every Night They Dance.

Plateau Press

Another Queensland publisher specialising in literary titles. Visit them to order Jayne Fenton Keane’s Torn and Tim Collin’s The Ruined Room. Jayne’s thrilling performances have featured at Queensland Poetry Festivals and the Brisbane Writers Festival, as well as at international festivals.

Small Packages (New Century Press)

This great little book, launched at the Festival, is now in its fifth issue. Editors Francis Boyle and Rob Morris have always published without fear or favour. It has featured many of the poets appearing at the festivals including IP authors David P. Reiter, Andrew Leggett and Phil Brown. Issue 5 contains a review of Phil Brown’s An Accident in the Evening by Rob Morris.

— SM