The Invisible Thread series: Steve Kelen

6 February 2013

This week I’ve disappeared into the world of my much-neglected  novel. I’ve been tightening, ruthlessly cutting, and thoroughly enjoying myself. But I’m emerging briefly to draw your attention to the next (and second to last) video interview with Invisible Thread poet SK Kelen. As you can probably tell, I had a good time chatting with Steve. He amused me by recounting how at a very young age he won a poetry competition and a substantial prize, setting up the false expectation of a lucrative career. (Poets everywhere are no doubt smiling sympathetically and shaking their heads.)

Steve has now been at it for over 40 years, with The Australian recently describing him as ‘an integral part of Australian lyricism for his negotiation of the intensity of local, suburban experience’. Readers can be grateful for the illusion that set Steve on this notoriously impoverished path. A quote from French writer Jules Renard springs to mind: ‘Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.’

And on that note I’ll get back to the business of working on my own penniless project.