An anthology is a beautiful object worth celebrating and sharing. Storm Minds Shine Bright Seasons 1 2023 features the work of 27 writers and poets and now as the printed authors copies make their way to mail boxes near and far I can share some of my experiences on the first leg of the Storm Anthology Launch tour.
Behind each of the 28 pieces is a writer or a poet and their story and it is wonderful to meet some of the writers and to hear them read, or to hear others read their words.
From the cold of Melbourne I flew through kilometres of grey clouds and down into the sun, where I was met by Dr Chelinay Gates, the winner of the Minds Shine Bright writing competition Storm for her flash fiction Storm Clouds Approaching. During my stay Chelinay made me feel really at home and showed me the wonders of King’s Park, Cotteloe Beach and the Swan Valley.
The Launch Tour started in historic Guildford, Western Australia at the welcoming, art filled home of Dr Chelinay Gates. Writing group Poet and Artist Speaks gathered in person and Minds Shine Bright writers joined us online from Ireland, Scotland and Australia to share their stories and poems. After an inspiring evening of readings we walked one of the poets to the station, accompanied by Guyli the dog, under the light of a huge blue moon.
The next afternoon, on a 30 degree day we headed into the heart of Perth and gathered at the Blue Room Theatre Bar, just across from the museum and Perth’s Cultural Centre.
As Chelinay read, Aunty Hazel came to life, waking and greeting the morning, as storm clouds approached. Long listed writer Simone Field read The Tempest and Confidence Anthology 2022 published poet Lee A Baglin read his poem Of Machine and Love. This poem has a striking layout and explores different perspectives. Poet and Artist Speak writers joined us to read more of Storm Minds Shine Bright anthology. An open mike session completed the launch with moving and entertaining pieces shared.
The next morning I flew into Adelaide and had a couple of days to explore a city that seemed brimming with arts and culture. There was a casual Dali sculpture on display outside the entry to the airport. From the excellent coffee and plum crumble tart at Grind in Unley to the joy of paddling at Glenelg Beach and the friendliness of the locals I had a wonderful time in Adelaide. One evening at dusk I was wandering back to Unley as the sunset behind the city. The sky had turned the deepest shade of blue and the traffic lights reflected off the polished concrete of the footpath. I felt that I had stepped into the Mike Barr painting ‘Weather at the Museum’ that is on the cover of Storm Minds Shine Bright anthology.
The Adelaide Storm Minds Shine Bright Launch was held at the Austral Bar on a balmy evening, right in the middle of town. Storm poets Steve Evans, Storm and Cockroach, Honey and Jude Aquilina Storm Over Lake Alexandrina were joined by Confidence Minds Shine Bright anthology 2022 writers Lesley Day Poached and Aoife McFadden Distorted Lens. We were joined for the open mike session of the evening by Kerryn Treadrea. Steve Evans is the first person to have two entries published in a Minds Shine Bright anthology. His poem Storm, one of the Top Ten featured pieces, gave a sense of our fragility while Cochroach, Honey which I co-read with Steve is raw with a twist. Jude Aquilina’s Storm Over Lake Alexandrina, set in Milang, captured the force of a storm and a strong sense of place. Lesley Day’s Poached juxtaposed two very different home lives and Aoife McFadden’s character Annie, her photography and her struggles with her mum had the audience wanting to read more of Distorted Lens.
I look forward to visiting Perth and Adelaide again, to meet more writers, to explore more creative places and to recognise and celebrate the value of creative writing. In Perth you can purchase a copy of Storm from Boffins Books and in South Australia Storm is available at Matilda’s Bookshop or you can order Storm or Confidence anthology from the Minds Shine Bright bookshop.
Thanks to all the Minds Shine Bright writers for sharing your wonderful words. On Saturday I dropped into Cherry Poets to start spreading the word about Storm Minds Shine Bright anthology in Melbourne. We picked up some sales at the Poets Table and I look forward to raising our profile at more local events. Next month Minds Shine Bright is heading to Brisbane. You can register to join us to celebrate the launch of Storm anthology in Brisbane here:
Join Storm writers Patricia Fitzgerald and Meredith Downes, and Confidence 2022 writers Poppy Brazier and C Sullivan at the Brisbane Square Library Community Meeting Room on Tuesday 17th October from 11:45am -2:00pm
Confidence 2023 is still being judged. With many talented entries we need to ensure that each piece is given due consideration. All entrants will be advised once the long list and short list have been finalised. This should be in late September or October.
Light and Shadow writing competition now open and calling for entries. Light and Shadow will be open until 31 March 2024. You can enter on the Minds Shine Bright home page.