Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Invitation to the 2019 Flying Islands’ Poets’ Picnic

Invitation to the 2019 Flying Islands’ Poets’ Picnic
on Sunday 22nd December

(Kit & Carol’s place)
878 Markwell Rd,

The Picnick-ing of the Picnic begins at midday

Launches and Readings begin promptly at 1.30pm

once at Bulahdelah (you can find it!)
drive down the main street (Stroud St)
keep going as Stroud St becomes Markwell Rd (though there isn’t a sign) which is the road you want …
drive OVER the roundabout at Lee St, to show your justified contempt for it, and keep going
… over the Fry’s Creek Bridge and the ford (considering nostalgically how from time to time you’d be washed away right here)
pass the country’s first fully solar powered robotic dairy (sneer anyway if yr vegan)
pass sheds of chook shame (sneer if yr human)
dodge wallabies
pass the Cabbage Tree off (pass it! Horseman, cast a cold eye no matter what the GPS says)
acknowledge the Worimi people
pass Old Inn Road on your left (no need to seek the old inn though)
do you recognize the old church at Rosenthal? (well disguised)
and in moments (as a real estate agent would say) yll simply find yrself there
– our place is number 878 because it's 8.78 kms from the PO at Bulahdelah
(so you could set yr tripmeter and rely on that)

our place is the first driveway on the right, right after the Markwell sign
please park up the top of the place (plenty of parking on the side of the road) unless yr camping the night (and know where you’re going) or have special needs (and know where you’re going)

Hint – remember to stay on the tar and don’t be seduced by Markwell Back Road
(a dusty and dangerous place on the wrong side of the river [note fierce rivalry and ghost stories with spooked horses])


Midday - the Picnick-ing of the Picnic begins

1.30 - Launches and Readings begin

There are eight new books coming out this year in the Flying Islands’ Pocket Poets’ Series and five of them will be launched at the picnic, as per the rundown below.

1.30 – 2.30
M/C – Sarah St Vincent Welch
Kerri Shying’s Knitting Mangrove Roots to be launched by Gail Hennessy

2.30 – 3.30
M/C – Anna Couani
George Watt’s Sandpaper Swimming – Going After Burke & Wills  
to be launched by Richard Allen

3.30 – 4.30
M/C – Dael Allison
Geoff Page’s Codicil to be launched by Judy Johnson

4.30 – 5.30
M/C – Brian Purcell
Clark Gormley’s Not What You Think   to be launched by Ed Wright

5.30 – 6.30
M/C –
Gillian Swain’s My skin its own sky to be launched by Magdelana Ball

If you want to read and/or play (and we want you to read and/or play!), please let me know and you shall be slotted somewhere into this sched-yule. Note – it must be your own stuff. No favourite poems by Blake or Dickinson. Reversionings (of all stripe) always welcome of course.

We anticipate decent gaps between the sessions and although there are no ‘parallel sessions’, we don’t expect everybody will see and listen to everyone… it might just be too much… and there are spots to quietly wander off for a sotto voce chinwag or kip or what-you-will devil may care so on…

Depending on the weather and so on, we may move the event around a bit in order to encourage the circulation of vital fluids. Note that water (& other liquid refreshment) in all forms is welcome!

7pm - we evacuate the picnic to …

Please let us know numbers by December 13th as the pub needs to plan!

When we have the list of all who wish to perform we’ll update the rundown

togs and towel and hat for a swim
your stuff to read and instruments of torture
It's a BYO picnic. So please bring things like –
picnic blanket
chairs (if you like sitting. We'll have some but not enough)
picnic tucker in picnic basket (water cress sandwiches?)
drinks of choice (ginger pop?)

The on-site accommodation is reserved for launchers and launchees (and they know who they are). Apart from that, there is plenty of space to camp and there is a kitchen and bathroom and dunny belonging to our camping  ZONE (also known as ‘the other side of the creek’ [were the creek to flow there would be a general hooting and a hollerin’ in celebration … and though there was a recent raindance on the driveway with colourful feathers, this nevertheless remains unlikely]).

Beyond our borders, in the vassal town of Bulahdelah, are many accommodation options.  There are four motels (one already booked out), there is the pub, there are two camping/cabin places and there are other van camping spots as well. There are some airbnbs dotted about here and there. Please write if you want more details of the options.
There are plenty of reasons to hang around the district, if you want to make a weekend of it; to whit Myall Lakes National Park, beaches like Hawks Nest and Seals Rocks, Pacific Palms, etc; Cabbage Tree Mountain behind us. If you want to make your tour more of a poetry event, you can always travel the whole of the Bulahdelah-Taree Holiday Song Cycle (in which Markwell does receive an honourable mention). Keep driving along our lovely road and you'll get to Gloucester the nicest way, then that track turns into Thunderbolt's Way (now fully sealed) and you're on the way to Armidale. Highly recommended.

The main thing to note about water is how little of it there is… then again, each of us is comprised 70% of the stuff, so we must be able to make use of this somehow. For instance, within the bounds of decency, urination on trees is particularly encouraged. (This may be more of a boy thing, but we’re just sayin’.) The main toilets to use are at the top and the bottom of our house. The dunny in the Zone is only meant for overnight use and only for solid waste (and you would not wish to set off the urination detection alarm, not for quids). Likewise, the flushing of the house loos will be reserved for number twos – along the lines of the time honoured dictum: ‘if it’s yellow let it mellow’. This may have already been too much information.

There are a few snakes and spiders about,  so look where you are walking, and use a torch if you’re here after dark. As well as insect life, there are plenty of microbats as well as marsupial rats in the vicinity, and we prefer not to share territory with these. (The microbats have amazing navigational abilities and won’t fly into you but never pick one up because, if bitten, you’ll end up on a course of painful rabies injections.) So please be vigilant about closing doors after yourself. So much easier than evicting our animal and insect friends before bed.

So before Dec 13th please RSVP to
to tell us
if you’re coming
if you want to read/sing/play us a song (note: all contributions MUST be original…  no covers!)
if you’re coming to the pub for dinner
if you want to camp (the night before or the night after)

We do need help with setting up and so on, so please do let us know if you have a spare shoulder to put to the wheel prior to the commencement of festivities. You’re welcome to stay the night before.

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