Some Kind of Year

I guess I had some kind of a good year, writing-wise, in 2010. Although I didn’t actually write more than half a dozen poems, I still managed to get a number that I’d ‘prepared earlier’ published in various journals.

In January I learnt that two of my poems with a vaguely ‘surf’ theme – namely ‘Storm Girl’ (draft) and ’Merry Weather’ – were to be published in Kurungabaa, (v2.2) a surfing and literature magazine based in Wollongong, Australia. On the job front, I started working part-time as an editor for the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) in the old Dutch capital, The Hague.

In February, ‘Dawn­ward’, ‘Oz’ & ‘The Camp­fires of the Lost’* were published in Jacket (#39). I also travelled to Rome for the first time, and was greeted by snow, apparently for the first time in twenty years.

I also reported on the collapse of the Dutch governing coalition. Meanwhile, Dave Dreamnation produced a final EP’s worth of songs to round out the criminally-underrated catalogue of one hundred and one DNRC Records releases.

In March, Southerly published ‘Gang Lan­guid’ & ‘Algae’ (69/3, 2010), two more poems from my Leaves of Glass series. A poem (‘Tur­tles for Myron Lysenko’) and an article (Year of the White Tiger) also appeared in the Vic­to­rian Writer (3/2010). Continuing on a travelling theme, I set out at the end of the month on a short tour of Spain’s Andalucia region.

In April, Cordite 32.0: ZOMBIE 2.0 burst online in all its gory glory. On the home-front, ‘(On The Tomb Of) Agnes Smed­ley’ & ’I couldn’t agree with you, more’ appeared in the inaugural Mis­cel­la­neous Voices: Aus­tralian Blog Writ­ing.

In May my passport was stolen shotly before I travelled to Kampala, Uganda, where I reported on a major international democracy conference being supported by NIMD. I also worked extensively on the NIMD Magazine 2010, a magazine-style annual report which was made available in print and electronic formats. I wrote articles on democracy support in Ecuador and Malawi.

In June something must have happened. Oh yes, I wrote another solitary poem: days roaring, which would later find a home in my Final Friday chapbook. That month, I also received the news that my PhD thesis had been approved. I’ve now posted some of the contents of the thesis under the ‘Books’ tab in the navigation at the top of this page.

In July I started working on a basic but nifty PDF generator for the NIMD website which later in the year went online. We ended up producing fully-customisable factsheets for twelve NIMD programme countries.

In August, Cordite 33.0: Creative Commons appeared online under a creative commons license. My poem ‘(On the Tomb of) Yun Hye-yong’* appeared in online magazine Eklek­so­graphia (Wave 2).

In September, I wrote One hundred and five candles on the occasion of the passing away of my grandmother. Perhaps as a reaction to the sadness I felt upon writing this poem, I penned (On the tomb of) José Saramago. At the time I thought its punchline was hilarious. But you know, crickets. To round out September, I took part in a collaborative poem project engineered by derek motion which led to the publication of ‘Before Elaps­ing’* in the special Over­land #200 issue.

In October I travelled to Australia for the first time in almost three years, and gave my first ever feature reading in Sydney as part of the Newtown-based ‘Final Friday’ series. A limited run chapbook of poems was also distributed at this event. Cordite 33.1: CC the Remixes also went online during the month. Finally, my sound poem ‘That’s Bud­dha’ found a home, of sorts, in Going Down Swing­ing #30. I also wrote a guest editorial and selected four spoken word tracks for inclusion in the issue.

In November I gave my second Australian reading for the year as part of the Readings at Readings series, with Bonny Cassidy and Nick Powell. ‘dress young’ was published in Page 17 (#8). I edited another NIMD publication, on peer learning between African political parties. This was to prove my last month working for NIMD.

In December, Cordite 34: Children of Malley II barged its way online. My internet stalker poem ‘Lurker’* appeared in The Sun Her­ald (Syd­ney) on 4 Decem­ber. To round out the year, I wrote An Cat Dubh, a poem about a black cat, and U2.

So, not bad at all, if I may indulge in a little back-slapping. But, of course, there is still so much more to do. In 2011, I look forward to moving to Sweden, where I’ll be taking up a post-doctoral position as part of the ELMCIP project; editing the special Cordite Oz-Ko edition; finally finishing writing The Zero Institute, and who knows what else!

Bring it / onwards.

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