At Bundanon

Published : Wednesday, August 18, 2010

From Monday 23 August to Thursday 9 September, I’m staying down on the Shoalhaven River in the Writer’s Cottage at Bundanon. The Bundanon Residencies are hard to come by, and I feel blessed to have one. I hope the muse finds me there, for I’d love to get some poems written and some prose finished.

I’ll be working on an essay on the weather and another on the wild. The first is for a book made up mostly of a selection of photographs from the National Library of Australia; the NLA is publishing it next year, and if I get my part of it done by the end of my residency, it won’t be a moment too soon. The essay on the meanings of wildness is for an anthology on the subject edited by Patricia Hasbach and signed to MIT. It, too, will be out, I think in 2011. In my essay, I want to draw on my experiences travelling in the Pilbara: the dissonance of extractive industries of gargantuan scale and profound violence, yet wild in their own way, being carried out in landscape of spare and vivid, startling, beauty—land still traditionally held, land manifestly holy and undefeated, yet land simultaneously held in long term leases under western law and subject, thereby, to massive industrial exploitation that shows no sign of the kind of balance that attends wild landscapes.

I’m also going to be working on my second book of poems and whatever else suggests itself to me.

And I’ll be walking along the river.

I’m online at Bundanon, but my iPhone, apparently, will be out of its depth, except when I drive into Nowra to buy food I forgot to bring.) So, keep in touch, but not too often: I need to keep my head down.

At the end of my Bundanon stay, I’m running a poetry workshop and then giving a reading in Nowra on 10 September for the South Coast Writers’ Centre (see my separate note about that).