Tuesday, 30 April 2019

New website!

The title says it all! After several enjoyable years on Blogger, I am retiring Ganymede's Mirror and moving my work to another platform.

You can now find my work at rosalindmoran.com. I'll no longer be updating this blog - not even the Publications page - so head over to my new website if you're looking for a more up-to-date record of my work or are seeking to get in touch.

Thank you!

Saturday, 30 March 2019

A Palindrome Poem

palindrome (n.) - a word, phrase, or sequence that reads the same backwards as forwards.

In late 2017, I decided to write what could be termed a 'palindrome poem'. There aren't that many around. This is probably because, as I rapidly discovered, they are fiendishly difficult to write.

Nevertheless, other than a few small liberties with punctuation, my poem 'Crossing Over' reads the same backwards as it does forwards. What a relief! Conveniently - considered the poem's watery setting - this effect can be interpreted as physical reflection in text form. It also gives a new meaning to the idea of putting a twist in the middle of a story.

Whenever I see this poem, the top half looks to me as though it's shaped like a ship, with the bottom half its upside down reflection. The line of the ocean's surface can be drawn horizontally at 'Found?'. Squint a little - perhaps you see it as well...

I was very happy to have this poem published in Farrago. That said, however, I also think it's worth mentioning it was rejected a couple of times before eventually being published. Rejection can feel very discouraging and isolating, which is why it's important writers continue to discuss it openly.

I sent out the poem here and there over the course of approximately a year, and persistence ultimately paid off. If you're in a similar boat (n.b. hopefully not the one in the poem though): hang in there!

Crossing Over

Over swirling waters
Low prows, high tides…
People without possessions
Lovers and daughters
Small individuals making history. 
Forgetting Italy. 
Tracks, effervescent, covering oceans
Ebbing strokes and flowing circles.
Promises glittering for all…
Figureheads splitting breaking waves
Waters swelling underneath.
Nonno bearing boxes
Lia preserving photographs
Watermarks seeping with memories
Hope in embracing farewell…
Lungs full of anticipation
Laughter of children
Gurgling babies
Saltwater on lips –
Were never they
They never were
Lips on saltwater –
Babies gurgling
Children of laughter
Anticipation of full lungs
Farewell embracing in hope…
Memories with seeping watermarks
Photographs preserving Lia
Boxes bearing Nonno
Underneath swelling waters.
Waves breaking splitting figureheads
All for glittering promises… 
Circles flowing and strokes ebbing.
Oceans covering effervescent tracks
Italy forgetting.
History making individuals small.
Daughters and lovers
Possessions without people
Tides high, prows low…
Waters swirling over

Thursday, 28 February 2019

On Wednesdays We Wear...

What does pink mean to you? 


Love it, hate it, debate it.

These photos were taken by talented young local photographer Hannah Pengilly (you can see more of her photography here and her artwork here). She is friendly and professional and fun to work with! It was nice to get outdoors and take some photos in the sunshine together. 

I'd like to stick to my one-post-per-month habit, but my small recent writing successes are either currently on their way to me by post, or hanging around backstage until a new issue of a particular journal is published online. Hence sharing a few photos and the good work of another creative instead (though this is something I try to do anyway!).

As for pink, it is an inspirational, evocative colour. Right now it brings to mind pussy hats, the pink array at this year's Oscars, this fabulous song, and the dragon fruit at the fresh food store near my work. It also evokes my grandmother's breast cancer, my other grandmother's breast cancer, and my mother's breast cancer. One colour, many shades.

There are so many things I'd like to write about, and sometimes I worry about being too tired from work to be able to explore all the issues which matter to me, or to be creative in my free time. Then I grow frustrated with myself for wasting energy fretting - particularly over a worry which is, in the grand scheme of things, so small. A vicious, unnecessary circle!

Never mind though. One can only try one's best - and if there's a story at the end of it, all the better. Or maybe even another pussy hat.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Writing for Meanjin

New year, new writing - a quick update

Towards the end of last year, I received an unexpected email from a friendly staff member at the Australian literary journal Meanjin. They'd read the article I'd written for Overland in September and really enjoyed it, and had decided to invite me to contribute an article to Meanjin's 'What I'm Reading' series.

Naturally, I was very happy at the prospect of writing about what I'd been reading and pushing onto all my friends, and to have the opportunity to push these books onto a wider audience as well. It was also a lovely surprise to be contacted out of the blue on behalf of a journal whose work I respect greatly.

Anyway, I wrote the article while travelling, which means it owes its existence largely to a string of Irish cafes with strong wifi connectivity and high tolerance for serial laptop loiterers. If you would like to read the resulting article, you can find it here.

Friday, 28 December 2018

Cicerone Journal + recapping

Better late than never!

Image from Cicerone Journal's Issue 1 editorial - "It's (a)live!"

I'm writing this retrospectively, typing content into in a blank placeholder post I created in December 2018.

I made a lot of blank placeholder posts last year. This was primarily because I was simultaneously in my first year of full-time employment and coping with some serious family illness at home. I also established a literary journal in partnership with one of my closest friends. Life became busy and my writing fell somewhat by the wayside.

This felt depressing. Earning money in order to live is a fundamental, evidently worthwhile goal; however, my personal ideal is also to be able to buy time in which to be creative. I continued to jot down my ideas and submit poetry here and there, but seldom developed my scribbles as extensively as I might have liked.

An email out of the blue changed this. The team at Meanjin got in touch with me via this blog - which had been growing increasingly dormant - and asked if I'd be interested in writing for them, having read some of my previous work in other publications. I jumped at the chance, and the resulting article can be found on their website here

Their email also spurred me on to update this blog more frequently and to fill in the blank placeholders, even if just as a personal commitment to creative endeavour. Updating this blog feels like an act of 'self-care', to use wellness jargon; sort of akin to dusting a digital home. Committing to writing posts regularly makes it easier to commit to writing other things more regularly, too.

So many thanks again to Meanjin for that small piece of encouragement which came at exactly the right time. It was greatly appreciated.


In other news, Cicerone Journal began publishing its first issue over the course of December 2018. As I write this post content from the future (April 2019), we are now in the process of finalising pieces for publication in Issue 2!

It's so exciting to work hard on a project and to see that work pay off. Cicerone Journal is now well and truly (a)live, with a website, a Facebook page, and even a Twitter account. It has received submissions from around the world and is slowly but steadily building a network of readers and regular contributors.

In 2019, we hope to contribute more to our local literary community by hosting events and establishing more of a physical presence. We've got plenty of ideas and a few grant applications on the boil - so fingers crossed...

In the meantime, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you've any enquiries, or if you'd like to send us your work. We're always keen to hear from readers and writers and we encourage you to reach out.

All the best to everyone for 2019.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

NVQ Issue 3 + What Now

I was recently invited along to read at the launch of the third issue of Not Very Quiet, a Canberra-based women's poetry journal.

Not Very Quiet is a very welcoming, social group within the Canberra literary scene. Their events are good fun and have a friendly atmosphere. The Issue 3 launch event was no exception.

Looking perplexed at the Issue 3 launch. 

This is the third time one of my poems has been published by Not Very Quiet (thank you, NVQ!). The poem I submitted this time was called 'What Now'.

Funnily enough, the poem was written after I had scraped the bottom of the inspiration barrel and come up with nothing but a few splinters and an unappetising smell of fish clinging to my hair. I had seen an online post about NVQ seeking poems for their third issue and I had thought it would be nice to enter. Then I realised that I had nothing to submit. What's more, I was feeling entirely out of ideas.

So I began trying to create an idea out of nothing. Yet trying very deliberately to write poetry - to deliberately write something meaningful - comes with a certain irony. Actively trying to craft a poem with a deeper meaning feels disingenuous when not even a grain of good-quality, non-processed #organic inspiration is presenting itself. I felt like a fraud with nothing to say.

It crossed my mind, however, that plenty of people must deliberately try to write deep and meaningful things and feel fraudulent all the time - an idea I found rather amusing. So many industrious barrel-scrapers holed up at our desks, deadlines approaching! Anyway, I was tickled enough by the irony of the situation that I decided to write a poem about trying to write a poem instead.Whether a poem about the irony of writing a poem when one has nothing to say actually says something, however, remains inconclusive.

Does this poem have any worth? You decide.

What Now (first published by Not Very Quiet here)

More icing than cake
More frame than picture
All lamp-rubbing and no genie

Standing at the sink, curtains drawn
Rain drowning the rutabaga
Waiting for inspiration – never strikes twice

Now’s the time to weave tongues together
Words of a feather, to pin into a cap;
Describe for me unseen scenes; I see

I am part of this problem
This problem is a part of me
Poetry should be more ‘O!’; less trying

Everyone dying to impress everyone else
And impress that we are not doing so
It’s a party one attends but is too insecure to enjoy

More lace than grace, more rhyme than … reason
Trotting out ideas like daughters in finishing school; we forget
To teach them how to speak past their ivory collars.

Issue 3 of Not Very Quiet is now online. You can read more of it here