FourW Pearl 2019 Book Launch for Booranga Writers’ Centre

The transcript of the 30th Nov 2019 book launch for FourW– Pearl

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Halliwell, Wagga Wagga Library





Numbers are mnemonics, hold a sure influence when

our world is often divided, purposefully limiting our collective spirit [pause].


Our minds are one.


Cast aside your individual thoughts and join in a collective mind beyond the temporal boundaries of now.

Open to the new, the challenging and unexpected… together.

The prose and poems from 4w Pearl hit you, they are directed at you, drawn from the labour, joy, sweat and tears of the wordsmiths.

The smell of a word.

The taste of a vowel

The lingering wound of a consonant.

The bravery of the scribes who put all else aside and skip with those words, to surpass those words to use those words to rediscover again the heartbeat

your heartbeat and mine drawn together and apart as we feel the intent and

dwell in our own conceptions of the rhythms and sounds that bring joy and pain simultaneously.


Now our minds are one.


Here in Wagga Wagga on the 30th of November with this global collection we applaud you writers and offer the triumph it deserves,

not as Romans but like Eliot’s “still point of the turning world “ here in the Riverlands we look and listen with you beyond, to understand:

Was it a dream or did she exist

Was she a name on the white man’s list?

Was I a number that went in the truck?

Marie Clear asks in Stolen Life.

A heavy and relentless clang that we can’t ignore. [pause]


And as the sun sets:


pressing against the bladder of a wave

the last surfer rides in

Jules Leigh Koch’s Bay of Islands – Evening

These moments touch and transport you backward and forwards across time. They break the rules of intimacy.

I really was annoyed with Louise D’Arcy’s The Lovemeister as she drew me in, into a hopeless lovestruck romp and I wanted something other than what it is.


Brain Haemorrhage. In his sleep.

Van Badham draws us into her love, sharing close her ex-lover Christian delivering the slam dunk.


Jenny Pollak’s Eye Music

Above the dumb blanket

Of cicadas - Demanding their love

I sit patient and alone [pause]

And the shy choreography of the score - Of crustaceans opens before me

Wes Lee’s Bar Bright,  ignominious piss at the bar

is in contrast to the winning streak Jo Mularczyk

drives through Max’s Adrenaline as he closes the gap on the race.


Rashida Murphy’s Rose Petals and Molasses fate is

We are dusted off.

This is what happens our mother tells us.

Despite the assurances and the education and the laughably liberal upbringing,

 in the end, this is what happens.

David Gilbey’s Gleaner is an ode to beauty in destruction.

I thought to glean something was to gain an impression of it.

So I looked it up to find that gleaners collect leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they had been harvested or from fields where not economically profitable to harvest.

Some ancient cultures promoted gleaning as an early form of welfare system.

David illuminates through absence, the destruction and ongoing nuclear devastation

typhoon 26 blows me back to Tohoku.

In Forty Winks a stained mattress is the central object Robyne Young turns out in the descriptions of intimate disconnection.

Damen O’Brien’s The Relocation of Adamsville bemoans…

What can grow a town? Blood

And bone? They drowned the old cemetery in the flood.


A bone reminder that words are not to waste from Greg Pritchard

I wasted thirty dollars on a book of contemporary Australian Poetry

Where are the great themes of poetry? Love and death…

The arrogance of humanity

From the bleak to the resilient and future beckoners Nathanael O’Reilly’s Departure

Rise with the sun. Shower and dress…

Acknowledge the Wiradjuri. Remember

you are always a guest in this country.

We need your voices here to help guide us together.

In these times we especially need our poets, more than ever.

I look forward to the writer’s readings and celebrate their FourW Pearl here and now…

where our minds are one.


For information on how to purchase a copy of FourW Pearl visit the Booranga Writers’ Centre website

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