Within the second seminar of ENGL390, a unit that is for many Macquarie University Creative Writing Students a final semester unit, we student-writers voted in favour of our Quarry Journal theme Seed. In the weeks that followed, the poets amongst the cohort explored which meanings the word ‘seed’might fertilise in our poems.
We think it was our writing workshops that helped us sow the poems that follow. Gleaming from my experience of our group, I feel the workshopping process was almost exclusively fertile. Workshopping is a collaboration where writers share their work with each other and together respond with thoughtful criticism in response to another’s writing. You might imagine that with toxic group-chemistry a workshop could turn into a boxing-gloved bunfight—sometimes, in other situations, this has been true. With this group of poets, however, inside our workshops we went out in the garden and planted the seeds of our theme together.
I believe that one of a poet’s jobs is to hear below the everyday racket and ask questions of the profound. We have done this. Anna Tewson’s Smothered listens through the undergrowth for the human psyche, Kelly Rae Olander with Lilting walks there too. Jacob A. Tarasenko throws a fist of seeds down the years to a biblical time with The Parable Of The Sower. Grace Liley ponders (amongst other thoughts) the lives that produce bacon in Feed, and I press my ear to shadows on the wall in Shoots of Jim and the Night Sky.
Listen to our poems with us, hear their music, feel their seeds growing with your fingers and their rhythms with your feet.