Post QPF and Brisbane Writers Festival 2014

Over the weekend I attended the Queensland Poetry Festival held at The Judith Wright Centre in Fortitude Valley. As always, the festival was a wonderful, diverse occassion. This year, QPF mixed things up a bit and included some panel talks and in-conversations with visiting poets. This worked well to complement the wide array of readings by local and international poets. I read an excerpt from my verse novel Gap yesterday in the Shopfront Space which is an intimate alternative to the Theatre Space. I find the more readings I do from Gap, the quicker I’m able to settle in to the rhythm of the poems and really enjoy myself. The dark, quiet space was a perfect fit for the reading.

On Saturday I attended Fire in The Belly which was a series of poetry readings and performances by students from Kelvin Grove State School. All of the students were fantastic, and incredibly courageous, stepping up to the stage in the theatre and earnestly bringing their poetry to the people. My 15 year old self would never have been so brave. It was so great to see young people actively engaging with the world of poetry. David Stavanger’s launch of his poetry collection The Special was another highlight. It was a theatrical and dramatic launch filled with poetry, music and even a dating profile. During the festival I also got the chance to meet with my lovely editor, Felicity Plunkett and thank her in person for her wonderful, intuitive treatment of my manuscript Gap.

The Queensland Poetry Festival is always a delight to the senses, and the majority of the program is free. It’s a credit to Sarah Gory and crew who continue to put on such a wonderful show every year.

In other festival news, I will be at the Brisbane Writers Festival this weekend and I can’t wait. It will be my first BWF as a participant, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying. I will be doing an in-conversation with the awesome young writer Freya Wright-Brough. Freya is currently doing a 365 day story challenge on her blog here which I would encourage you to check out. She also works at the small Brisbane-based publisher the Tiny Owl Workshop who do awesome, interesting projects. Freya and I will talk about the process of writing Gap, the inspiration behind it, some of the themes, and what it’s like to be an emerging writer. There will be a short reading and time for questions.

My session is at 1pm on Saturday 6 September in Kuril Dhagun. The event is free but you need to book online or in person at the box office. I hope you can make it along, I’d love to see you there!

Also, I’ve just updated my Events page, and will be announcing more events very soon so be sure to check back.

Published by becjessen

Rebecca Jessen lives in Brisbane. She is the award-winning author of verse-novel Gap (UQP 2014). Rebecca is the winner of the 2015 QLD Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Her book Gap was shortlisted for the 2015 Sisters In Crime Davitt Award for Best Debut Book. In 2013 Rebecca won the Queensland Literary Award for Best Emerging Author. In 2012 she won the State Library of Queensland Young Writers Award. Rebecca’s writing has been published in Overland, Meanjin, Going Down Swinging, The Lifted Brow, Cordite Poetry Review, Mascara Literary Review, Tincture Journal, Verity La, Voiceworks and more. Rebecca is currently studying her Honours in Creative Writing at QUT.

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