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  • of each other s writing and writing journey Along with my fellow cowshedders I offer generous and specific critical responses to participants work But the larger part of my job is to create an atmosphere in which cowshedders feel safe about taking artistic risks about deepening into themselves their voices and stories and learning and applying new skills Work made or redeemed in the cowshed has been published in literary journals and two or three books worked and reworked in the shed have found their way into print Poets have found themselves and their forms here Short story writers have found their self belief Memoirists have remembered their mojo I run two cowshed classes each year one in autumn the other in srping Watch my website for dates As well as the longhaul cowshed classes I run weekend intensives in the shed a couple of times a year one for creative writing of all kinds another for poetry now and then one in nature writing or essay Check out Cowshed Shortcourses for details and watch my site for dates And you might come for the shed and the writing tuition but you will probably end up staying for the food The cowshed classes are already famous for Maree s catering which embodies on the table what we try to practise on the paper the disciplines of beauty So come to the shed for the gentle exacting discipline come to get to the end of a manuscript and make it the best thing it can be come for the charm of the shed and the paddocks down the back and the hens in the garden outside come for the food You won t be the same when you leave Some comments from cowshedders I found the Cowshed Course a truly rewarding

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/teaching/more/the_cowshed_classes1/ (2016-05-02)
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  • friend Robert Gray at Blue Metal Vineyard Berrima this Friday evening 29 October 2010 6 8 pm The event in part celebrates the release of my book of poems Fire Diary There are still places left Book on 02 4877

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/more/blue_gray_red/ (2016-05-02)
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  • middle a notch at one end This is how one feels half a self bereft We are here perhaps to look for the rest of who we are and that could be anything a lake a range a woman a pink robin one s children one day in particular Perhaps one is everywhere one looks Read More Quartet For The End Of Time Published Monday October 29 2007 Label Poems I Too much summer too close to home Warm days in mid September Each year summer comes early and each year we forget and say what happened to the spring as though we ever had spring on the sandstone coast of this dry eyed island inching its way north to the equator And then whatever we re call ing the season goes and it comes again in October and then it s gone till sometime in late December Read More Rules for Walking Published Tuesday August 28 2007 Label Poems I Theory I have a general theory keep going I have a rider watch for transitions And another beware false summits II Practice Prepare for the walk by taking the walk Go a little faster than you should and a little slower than you d like Notice the pink mountain berry brilliant as a hooker s lipstick the pink robin on the fallen log above the amber stream the waratah her crimson fingers curled beseeching or Read More Lake St Clair Cycle Published Tuesday August 28 2007 Label Poems Casting Walking the other sunny afternoon along the Frankland Sands I heard a fish jump in shallows The sound drew me and then it drew the fish small and sleek and insouciant translucent as the water which was so shallow and so tannin clear I could make out easing along the

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/C5/ (2016-05-02)
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  • know your self and find your part You have the gift of calming troubled kings By telling them the truth in what they see Sad men will rain bad dreams upon all things So sing and wake the world and let it be You have the gift of making exile home You have the gift of being where you stand Home won t always be this bay you re from

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/more/gift/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Monday October 29 2007 Label Essays You have to be careful with paintings and painters You have to be careful in bookshops You might find a book that unmakes you completely for 29 95 You might leave with a book that leaves you cold for fifty dollars flat You might buy a book that breaks your heart for less than it costs you to travel to work You might find the answer you weren t looking for or you might leave with more questions than you came in with You might disappear forever in a coven of avid fancy dressed children caught in the final chapter of Read More Original Country Published Monday October 29 2007 Label Essays I I lived for seven years where you could lie down with the moon When she was full she d slouch across the northern sky and loiter around midnight in my bedroom window I d turn off the light and let her fall on me For three or four nights at a stretch each month in that house at the edge of a cliff that is how sleep would come out of a crow black sky I dreamed well there I made some books I made some poems We made my girl and I a marriage and Read More Days of Christmas Published Monday October 29 2007 Label Essays PROLOGUE Earth has its own old rituals They visit us sometimes in the midst of ours They come suddenly violently Often where I live in the Blue Plateau it s fire that comes at Christmas Not this year These days are sung by coal black birds December in the plateau is the season the black cockatoos fledge their young In the days before Christmas a pair that has nested by our bungalow at

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/C6/ (2016-05-02)
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  • work He wanted not just to write about nature but in it With it even Among the rest of who he felt he was And so do I We are not finished at the skin The best of me is the rest of me where I am and where I was before that and with whom One of the elders American poet Charles Wright a man whose work has been influential on my own though you mustn t blame him for it he had no choice in the matter writes near the end of the long poem Disjecta Membra that closes his 1997 collection Black Zodiac I think of landscape incessantly mountains and rivers lost lakes Where sunsets festoon and override The scald of summer wheat fields light licked and poppy smeared And so do I Different landscapes most of them to his and not all the time I think of children and women and men too Women especially The bodies and the minds of things Music words phrases morals stories justice love loss Global warming Violence and tenderness Kingfishers Poetry and pottery and botany and pleasure and pain And so does he Wright once defined his subjects as Landscape language and the question of god I m with him there too As long as by god you understand me not to mean merely my grandfather s Methodist god nor the Catholic god they pray to at my children s school nor for that matter any of the pretty Hindu deities that lounge about my cowshed as if they owned the place I don t believe in the gods but they seem to believe in me I wrote in a recent poem And that s how it feels Something more like the Beloved is what I would mean by the metaphor god the rest of who we feel we are the other wiser truer half that which is godly unprecedented implacable wild one off in each of us and in the world the divine organizing principle in everything the music that turns all this on and by which sometimes we remember to run the love the world seems to bear for us if only we could convince ourselves to be worthy of it often enough But most of all I believe in landscape I believe in the world and I want my work to serve it and be worthy of it if it can Somewhere I wrote We are given the world we give it back in poetry And I believe that still I know so few other ways to live worthily and within my means on this earth and to give thanks In another poem in Black Zodiac Wright asks Is this the life we long for to be at ease in the natural world Well yes I think so he answers and so would I To be at home on the earth and comfortable in our skins the way the trees are and the ridges and the kangaroos

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/more/nature_me/ (2016-05-02)
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  • offices If there is a god she is the weather and the complex and damnable divinity in each of us god is the kind of holy but impious trick a poem or a piece of music or a line of hills or the shape of a breast plays on ordinary reality now and then But as it happens I live next door to a Catholic novitiate and sometimes the poets who workshop with me in my cowshed stay there Last time there was some trouble at breakfast with the Trappists the poets wanted to talk One of the sisters was overheard whispering in exasperation about the Mark group Turns out there was another group staying that weekend studying the Gospel of Mark I wasn t the Mark they had in mind But I might as well have been my fine students told me such is my passion for the poem In that spirit here are some notes toward a personal gospel of poetry what I believe and how I work You d have found them on my whiteboard that weekend short sutras dropped leaves And I ve already begun of course a poem is a leaf that tells a tree poetry writes the big story small poetry overhears the music in the intelligence of things poetry comes from a place beyond mere self and language and society and agendas and time Here s another Metaphor writes Jan Zwicky is the shape of wisdom meaning I think that what you have to do to fathom a metaphor is what you have to do to grow wise Poetry trades in metaphor of course it makes it in speech music And here are some metaphors in prose phrasings falling well short of doctrine I hope but speaking for what I love and try to practise 3 The words in a poem are only there to keep the silence apart A poem begins in language awake to its connections That is how Jane Hirshfield quietly puts it Adding poetry practises in language what meditation practises in silence Poetry is a yoga of language A Trappism of mindful utterance Poetry made with language transfigured by the disciplines of care poets learn to practise stops merely meaning what if anything it means or looking like it looks and starts singing sometimes like a singing bowl ringing like the original OM It becomes a place replete alive with itself and a whole lot else Rich and charged the way a forest is or the ocean and about much more than itself About among other things you All of us not merely the poet herself 4 A poem is a sculpture of voice A poem is an architecture of utterance an act of speech become a nest or a pot What a poem is is not just what it says or how it sounds but also how it looks its form Syntax Robert Pinsky writes keeps speeding a poem up form keeps slowing it down Poetry happens in

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/more/the_gospel_of_mark_what_i_believe_and_how_i_work/ (2016-05-02)
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  • it lives in its present and it imagines its future it is postcolonial multiple inclusive of first Australians and all the immigrant voices and wisdoms that make us who we are The republic I want is worthy of the landscape governed taken care of loved and held sacred for thousands of years before Europe discovered it I want a plain spoken but elegant republic that catches in its instruments of its governance the lyrics of this place on earth a republic rich with the sclerophyll music that inheres in these landscapes and their people And I want a republic that is neither fearful nor narrow but smart and courageous I want a republic that enshrines and practises and encourages the great virtues of our nature not merely the little ones Time for an imaginative leap I think Time for the peaceable revolution Here s Black Inc s summary of the book Project Republic Plans and Arguments for a New Australia Edited by BENJAMIN THOMAS JONES MARK MCKENNA It s time for some straight talk about Australia s future We need a head of state who shares a genuine affinity with our country True independence does not require us to relinquish

    Original URL path: http://www.marktredinnick.com.au/index.php/writing/more/a_peaceable_revolution/ (2016-05-02)
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