Home' InDaily : January 22nd 2010 Contents www.independentweekly.com.au
The Independent Weekly
January 22 - 28, 2010 arts
When my photograph was taken,
head at a slight angle, eyes in shadow,
a quizzical look playing around my lips,
I did not know that your face would burst
over me, clear and war m as a spring sun,
and follow me across the world.
This photograph of a small town
has shown up here in front of me
through the snowflakes of 1905.
The only person to be seen is
somewhere in the middle distance:
a woman in a long dress who
could be walking along the road
but, as she moves towards me
has to be riding a bicycle.
She moves past me. Out of sight.
There might have been specks of
people in what the white whited
into the far white distance but
they re no longer there. Here.
There are no people in this town.
Chimneys are their headstones.
1) David Ad s is an Adelaide lawyer and a
long-time member of Friendly Street Poets.
2) Graham Rowlands has published some
1000 poems and is also a long standing
member of Friendly Street.
Readers unpublished poems to 30 lines can be
emailed with postal address to poetscorner@
independentweekly.com.au or posted with an
SAE to the Poetry Editor, Independent Weekly,
GPO Box 114 Adelaide 5001. A poetry book
will be awarded to each contributor.
In establishing itself as a
niche publisher of history,
current affairs, biography
and memoir, as well as poetry
and short fiction, Black Inc,
an imprint of Schwartz
Media, was named the
Australian Book Industry s
2009 Small Publisher of the
This book, one of that
year s stable and containing
the work of some 108 poems
by 102 Australian poets,
addresses all the criteria for
such an anthology.
Editor Robert Adamson
is a recognised and long-
standing poet in his own
right and a former president
of the Australian Poetry
As he says in his introduc-
tion to the collection,
thousands of canvassed and
submitted poems were read
to arrive at the final cut.
At least once in that
process, Adamson lobbied
the publisher to extend the
originally planned number
of pages for the book, to
in some way address the
amount of quality work that
would otherwise have been
Even so, many worthy
poems were reluctantly put
aside, and to the unnamed
poets concerned Adamson
records an apology.
Having such an embarrass-
ment of riches is a situation
that would ring too true with
any poetry editor; all poetry
editors have to select from
a range of fine work, all the
while knowing that the space
for it in print these days is
very finite indeed.
Poetry lovers may wonder
what regrettably missed
final selection here, but in
this anthology s 240 pages
they can also be thankful
for a wealth and diversity
of work that appears from
Australian poets young and
old, established and new,
expat and home-based, and at
a good cover price.
-- John Miles
Black Inc, RRP $24.95
POET'S CORNER Compiled by John Miles
BOOK REVIEW The Best Australian Poems 2009 Edited by Robert Adamson
AORTA ARBITER CHAOS
DOMINO AIR ANACONDA
NEEDIEST TED GEMINI
ORIGAMI REPEL TALON
CLEAR OUNCE RADICAL
ENTAIL BUD DEFEATED
TURMERIC OHM AMOEBA
ENDUE TAILORS EMEND
Solutions from 8
Barbara Lowing cannot
describe her character from
Toy Symphony without smil-
ing. I can hear it in her voice even
though she s more than 2000km
away, speaking on the phone from
In the play, which will soon be
travelling to Adelaide, she portrays
Mrs Walkham, a teacher from main
character Roland s youth.
"She s just a lovely, lovely woman.
A very strong woman and she
genuinely loves teaching and loves
her students," she says.
The glow of the character has
rubbed off on the actor, but it s not
just her part making Lowing smile.
The whole play has a cheering
"I always know when I m in a play
I love because I listen to it every
night in my change room; I never
turn it off," she says. "I just love it
and it still gives me joy and it still
makes me cry."
Reviews of the play show she is
not the only one who feels this way.
After a Sydney debut season
in 2007 and a Queensland season
at the end of last year, there are
mutterings in theatre circles that
Toy Symphony could be the next
It deals with playwright Roland
who, despite not being able to write,
insists he doesn t have writer s
Accompanied by his therapist, he
delves into the past, trying to sort
through the life that has led to his
This production is a partnership
between the State Theatre Company
and the Queensland Theatre
Company. The cast and crew have
already performed in Brisbane and
will travel to Adelaide to begin a
two-week season from January 28.
Toy Symphony is rumoured to be
a semi-autobiographical account
of playwright Michael Gow s own
Despite this focus on the creative
process, Lowing says all kinds of
audiences will connect with the
"Artists or writers will latch
on to it immediately but there s a
part of everyone who has lost or
found something, has childhood
fantasies and knows love and
self-destruction," she says.
The man carrying the play is
Adelaide-born lead actor Chris
Pitman. Taking on the complex role
of Roland is intimidating, but it was
particularly tough for Pitman, given
the proximity of Gow.
Gow is the current artistic
director of the Queensland Theatre
Company and was preparing
another work in the room next
door to the rehearsal space for Toy
"We only ever saw Michael in the
rehearsal room once for the first
reading of the play, then he left us
alone and didn t come back until
the first run after the technical
practise," Lowing says.
Gow s choice of director for the
play is a contrast to the first Sydney
season. The Sydney show was
handled by Neil Armfield, a veteran
nearing his 50s. For the current
production, Gow chose Geordie
Brookman, who is still in his 20s.
"Michael wanted to see what a
Generation Y director would do
with the play. This version is very
grounded and present," Lowing
Because of this, the performance
becomes a real and emotional
experience for the audience.
'It s not a happy little show," she
says. "It s about a man who s in a
major, major crisis in his life and
has gone through so much from his
childhood right up to the present.
"There s one particular part that
just rips my heart out every night."
Lowing insists the suffering is
"It is incredibly emotional and
very funny. It s just beautiful. I can t
wait to get back to performing it."
Toy Symphony is at the Dunstan
Playhouse from January 28 to
Barbara Lowing and Chris Pitman in Toy Symphony.
Writer's block leads to
new Australian classic
I always know
love because I listen
to it every night in my
change room; I never
turn it off.
-- Barbara Lowing
Free public sculpture event!
See indoor/outdoor sculptures various media.
Located at beautiful Brighton Beach.
Brighton Surf Life Saving Club Rooms
& adjacent Bindarra Reserve
Opening times from 11am each day
Sun 7th Feb 8am -1pm
Brighton Jetty Classic SCULPTURES
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