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The Invisible Thread series: Adrian Caesar

3 November 2012

Adrian Caesar is a poet and prose writer as well as a fellow hand waver (here we are in action).

During our interview Adrian said a great many things that struck me. For instance: ‘The great thing to me about poems is that you can, in a sense, write them in the margins of your life.’ I love that: writing in the margins.

I also found his writing process fascinating, the way he incubates a poem in his head before it emerges. ‘I do quite a lot of writing in my head,’ he said. ‘And I can carry poems for a long time…before they actually arrive on the page.’ If I don’t write phrases down they evaporate, so I find this way of working so interesting.

Adrian was on the Advisory Committee that read through the work of over 150 writers and made recommendations about those to be included in The Invisible Thread. In this interview he reflects on the selection process, the gems of writing he discovered, and his overall impression of the region’s literature. He revealed that through the reading process he became much more aware of how rich the region is in historians. This was one of my great realisations, too. I found the works of historians like Bill Gammage, Peter Stanley, CEW Bean, Tom Griffiths and Ken Inglis (I could go on) so compelling.

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Do watch the interview right through to the end or you’ll miss seeing Adrian read ‘A Valediction’, his poem included in The Invisible Thread.

The Invisible Thread series: Omar Musa

12 October 2012

Chatting with poet, rapper and Invisible Thread author Omar Musa was ridiculously enjoyable. Omar is passionate, sometimes controversial, and always candid. During the interview he had his say on everything from artists leaving Canberra and then disowning their hometown to why (and how) he wants to dispel the myth that poetry is boring and irrelevant.

At the time of filming, Omar was about to head off to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival to sit on a panel that included four women — most notably Germaine Greer — reading from their favourite poets. Surprisingly, Omar was the only panellist to choose a female writer. Chatting after the cameras were switched off, he worried that it would appear deliberate, when in fact the poet he had chosen, Anne Sexton, is one of his all-time favourites.

You can hear him talk about Sexton’s influence on his writing in our interview, and a lot more besides. Keep watching until the end or you’ll miss Omar performing his poem (evidence of why he won the 2008 Australian Poetry Slam and how he could turn even the most reluctant reader on to poetry). Enjoy.

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