In this fascinating podcast, poet and academic Bron Bateman interviews fellow poets Caitlin Maling and Reneé Pettitt-Schipp about the unexpected parallels between their recent collections, which are both tied to their fathers and to the ocean.
Reneé’s debut collection, The Sky Runs Right Through Us, won the WA Premier's Book Award for an Emerging Writer, and recalls her turbulent time spent on the Cocos Islands during her work with asylum seekers. She talks about how being surrounded by the constant flow of the tide created an environment where she felt stuck in a state of flux – and resented the violent space that the ocean became.
In contrast, Caitlin talks about how the ocean is a place of comfort for her, as her childhood was spent either surfing with her dad, or fishing with her stepdad. In her writing, and in particular in her collection Fish Song, the ocean underscores the stories she tells as a stable constant in her life.
The poets discuss how, although each has a different way of articulating their experience, their stories of humanity, of love and loss, are the crucial secret to having their poetry universally understood.
This episode is produced by Fremantle Press for Love to Read Local. To listen to more episodes, subscribe to the Fremantle Press Podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
About Love to Read Local by Writing WA
Love to Read Local is a statewide, online celebration of Western Australian stories, books and writers. While we remain at a social distance in the physical world, let’s get socially closer in the digital world. Visit the Love to Read Local website to connect with other readers, tell us which local books you love to read and perhaps inspire others to read those books too!
About this week’s guests, Caitlin Maling, Bron Bateman and Reneé Pettitt-Schipp
Caitlin Maling is a WA poet with three books out through Fremantle Press, the latest of which is Fish Song (2019). She has also published individual poems and creative non-fiction widely in Australia and overseas.
Fish Song (Fremantle Press)
Border Crossing (Fremantle Press)
Conversations I’ve Never Had (Fremantle Press)
Caitlin online: caitlinmaling.com
Bron Bateman is a poet, academic and mother of nine. She is a lecturer, unit coordinator and tutor in the enabling program ‘OnTrack’ at Murdoch University. Her research interests include cultural studies, creative writing, feminism, the body, and Gothic and gender theory. Her first poetry collection, People from Bones (with Kelly Pilgrim) was published in 2002. She has had her work published in collections and journals in Australia, the UK and the US.
Of Memory and Furniture (Fremantle Press)
Reneé Pettitt-Schipp is an award-winning writer and educator who lived in the Indian Ocean Territories from 2011 until 2014. Renee’s work with asylum seekers in detention on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) islands inspired her first collection of poetry, The Sky Runs Right Through Us. This manuscript was shortlisted for the inaugural Dorothy Hewett Award and released by UWA Publishing in February 2018. Reneé’s work has been recognised through many literary awards, including the ACU Prize for Poetry, the Ros Spencer Poetry Prize, the Grieve Poetry Prize and the Trudy Graham / Julie Lewis Literary Award.
The Sky Runs Right Through Us (UWA Publishing)
Renee online: reneepettittschipp.com.au
Love to Read Local poems and books discussed
Border Crossing by Caitlin Maling (Fremantle Press)
Conversations I’ve Never Had by Caitlin Maling (Fremantle Press)
Deadly Beautiful by Liana Joy Christensen
Dona Juanita and the Love of Boys by Gabrielle Everall (Buon-Cattivi Press)
Every Mother's Son Is Guilty: Policing the Kimberley Frontier of Western Australia 1882–1905 by Chris Owen (UWA Publishing)
Fish Song by Caitlin Maling (Fremantle Press)
‘Language’ on page 27 in Of Memory and Furnitutre by Bron Bateman
Like Nothing on this Earth: A Literary History of the Wheatbelt by Tony Hughes-d'Aeth (UWA Publishing)
Of Memory and Furniture by Bron Bateman (Fremantle Press)
The Historian’s Daughter by Rashida Murphy (UWA Publishing)
The Sky Runs Right Through Us by Reneé Pettitt-Schipp (UWA Publishing)
‘Love is the bridge between you and everyone else’ from Bridge to the Soul: Journeys into the Music and Silence of the Heart by Rumi
‘Is it such a horrible thing / to live while others die?’ from the poem ‘My Head Full of Yesterday's Dive, I Try to Finish the Poem About the Crayfish’, pp. 110–11 in Fish Song by Caitlin Maling
‘writing the ways to mourn / into my steps, avoiding / snakes and the coiled rope’ from the poem ‘At the Beginning and the End’, pp. 122–3 in Fish Song by Caitlin Maling
‘the slightest rustle / stalls me with an image of fangs / that none of these lizards possess’ from the poem ‘Seashells Café', pp. 69–70 in Fish Song by Caitlin Maling
‘Paying attention is our endless and proper work.’ from the poem ‘Yes! No!’ in White Pine: Poems and Prose Poems by Mary Oliver
‘I know I haven’t written anything / of the beauty’ from the poem ‘July 31st’, p. 106 in Fish Song by Caitlin Maling
Voicebox has launched an online event, Letters to Our Home, hosted by Vivienne Glance
Stay in the loop with poetry events via Perth Poetry Club
Music: ‘Letter to a Daughter of St George’, from the Meat Lunch EP: Songs from Floaters. Written by Alan Fyfe. Performed by Trevor Bentley (guitar and vocals – @trevormb) and Chris Parkinson (harmonica). Produced by Blake Carnaby of Nuglife studios with impresario work by Benjamin P. Newton.
Producer: Claire Miller
Mastered and edited by: Aidan d’Adhemar
Sponsor: This show was made possible with a grant from the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund