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Monday, August 03, 2009

Hearing Helen Hagemann read from 'Evangelyne & other poems'

Today I took myself off to Lunchlines at Edith Cowan University (this semester in its new time slot of Monday 12.30 to 1.20pm) to hear my long time friend, poet and novelist, Helen Hagemann, read.

It was a pleasure walking into the stale old classroom in Building 17 to see some friendly faces I knew from when I taught there. I bought a copy of Evangelyne off Helen - a handsome hand-sized red book with stitched binding and fold-over cover (a style I really like myself).

Helen read from a new poetry collection in manuscript before reading from her second novel, a work in progress. The narrative sense and the imaginative similes kept the audience engrossed, both in the poetry and the prose. In fact, she shared with us her love of the prose poem, and illustrated this love with a haibun from her book, Ball Doyen(ne), pg 17. I notice there are a number of prose poems and haibun in Evangelyne, so I am looking forward to investigating that text.

Helen laughed at herself as she gave the audience (mainly present day students) 'motherly advice' about getting up at Lunchlines and reading to your first audience. Her confidence and style weren't there when she first stood up at ECU some years ago!

Evangelyne and Other Poems is published by the Australian Poetry Centre as part of the APC New Poets Program (supported by the Sidney Myer Fund), PO Box 284, BALACLAVA 3183. Visit their website at

1 comment:

Evangelyne said...

Well, I (and your other reader from America), think that this is your best post so far, Andrew. I go to bed every night with a box of these little red books wrapped around me, snug and warm. I can hear them giggling, much like me.