Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Wednesday 11th September 2019 – M.J. Mallon with Frank Prem, Bette A. Stevens, Amy Reade with Andi Cumbo-Floyd


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is from author Marjorie Mallon who invited poet Frank Prem over for a chat.

About Frank Prem

Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet for forty years. When not writing or reading his poetry to an audience, he fills his time by working as a psychiatric nurse.

He has been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as ‘spoken word’.

Frank has published two collections of free verse poetry – Small Town Kid (2018) and Devil In The Wind (2019).

He and his wife live in the beautiful township of Beechworth in northeast Victoria (Australia).

Good morning Marje, (at least it’s morning over here in Beechworth, the little town where I live in Australia).

Good morning Frank. So lovely to welcome you to my blog…

Your tagline ‘There are stories all around me’ really appeals to me. I agree with this one hundred percent! With so much inspiration everywhere how do you decide what to write about?

I suspect I may end up being a little indirect in my answer to this, Marje.

I decided a long time ago in my writing development that I should adopt a philosophy along the lines of – no single thing, however great or small, should be discarded from acting as the source of a poem. A story.

As a result, I’ve found myself writing about a snail crawling across the inner forest of a head of broccoli from my garden, about the king of the lizards running around in pursuit of life and death matters on my back veranda. The clouds and the sky.

Literally everything I encounter feels as though it has the potential to captivate, and there are days when I can’t switch that sense off. I see these stories everywhere.

One of the reasons I developed such an affinity for the small, I think, comes from my childhood and adolescence, where I was very conscious of coming from a small town, being a small fish, and yet feeling (of course) as though I was in the very centre of the functioning universe.

I decided that small needed to be celebrated, and I started by purposefully incorporating local place names in my poetry. Little locales of only a handful of people, but a name made real by being included in a poem.

Sometimes that seems enough.

The link below will take you to a poem I wrote about a possible World Tour I might undertake if ever I had a poetry ‘hit’. The idea of appearing and performing to sell-out crowds in these little places that sometimes consisted of nothing more than a hall and some scattered farms amused me enormously at the time. I’m a little gobsmacked, now, by the cheekiness of my then self, given that I’ve begun actively seeking out exactly such places as these to host readings and performances. . .

Please head over to check out the poem on the possible world tour and read the entire interview: https://mjmallon.com/2019/09/07/author-interview-frank-prem-storytelling-poet

Read the other reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CDJPY9   Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon 

Books by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4 Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/

Maine’s Mooshead Lake, Hiking, Haiku, here, there and everywhere –

As a nature lover, teacher, reader and writer I often took my class on nature walks with clipboards, pencils and plenty of paper in hand. A great, creative writing project to do with the grandkids! Goal: each person finds something interesting and inspiring. It might be a flower, a tree, an insect. Subjects in the great outdoors are unlimited. Take notes, usually a list, word web or other diagram about one or two of the most interesting things you’ve observed.
The next post is from children’s author Bette A. Stevens who shares a magical field trip that brought children and nature together in a wonderful way.

Head over and read the rest of the post: https://4writersandreaders.com/2012/07/30/maines-moosehead-lake-hiking-haiku-here-there-and-everywhere

Books by Bette A. Stevens.

Pure Trash Bette Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M  Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

The next post is from author Amy Reade and her guest is fellow writer Andi Cumbo-Floyd

Today I welcome author Andi Cumbo-Floyd to Reade and Write. Andi’s books are not like the ones I typically have on my blog, but I have a feeling you’re going to find her work really compelling. She is the author of the new release, The Boy Who Could See Stars, and I’ll let her tell you a little more about it and her other books.

Congratulations on your latest release! Tell us a little about the book, The Boy Who Could See Secrets.

The book tells the story of 12-year-old Jedidiah Wilson and his imaginary friend Mavis, who is 63. Jed has always been able to see things people wanted to keep hidden, and one day, he sees a figure in the woods and follows her. He then takes his first journey through time. When he returns, he fills Mavis in, and they begin a great adventure to save their new friends.

This is my first middle grade book, and I find that very exciting. I have a son who is a toddler, so I enjoyed imagining him as a 12-year-old – who is much like his dad – and thinking about reading this book with him when’s he’s older. Plus, Mavis is modeled after my mother, Ruth, who died when she was 63. I love to have the opportunity to imagine how she might be with her grandson.

Who is the audience for the book? – find out more and about Andi: https://amreade.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/author-spotlight-andi-cumbo-floyd/

A selection of books by Amy Reade

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2 – Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy these posts as much as I did.. thanks Sally.

 

 

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Potluck #Poetry – stripping by Frank Prem


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Frank Prem is an Australian author with two collections of poetry that describe his childhood growing in a small town… and the second, the dreadful wildfire that rapidly engulfed communities and took many lives. Both of which I have read and can recommend. I am delighted to be allowed to sample his archives to share with you.

In June 2017, Frank posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…

stripping by Frank Prem June 25th 2017

beneath the paint
the timber
resides

mountain ash
that once grew
oh
so tall
so straight
in the heart
of the rain forest

length by length
painted
canary bright
used to seat the children
swimming
in municipal pools

Yellow Board

beneath the paint
still pure
heartwood

in dabs and blobs
a coating applied
of a jelli-um

a something derived
from a something

wait and watch
paint cracks
and bubbles rise
soaking deep
while lifting

Yellow Scrapings1

I feel the burning
of the stuff
seep into
across my fingers

this is not sport
it is a fire
of redemption

and as the scraper
ploughs
and digs
yellow ribbons curl
above the sludge
and fly
off to the side
away to ground

but  where the paint
is pushed away
pale
like new skin
cloistered beneath a parasol
the wood
the straight grained wood
is revealed again

Clean Board

I would not have thought
to be so moved
by this
rescue
and revelation

but when the garish
yellow-ness
is gone
what is left
is the passing purity
of mountains

©Frank Prem 2017

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Books by Frank Prem

One of the recent reviews for Devil in the Wind on Goodreads

I’m not a poetry person, at least not normally, but I cried when I read ‘Devil in the Wind’ by Frank Prem. It’s about the Black Saturday fires that claimed 173 lives here in Victoria.
I was at home in Warrandyte that day. I’d sent the Offspring away, but I was at home with Dad and the animals because Dad had mild dementia and…I don’t think any of us really believed. I listened to 774 radio all day and some horrific reports were being phoned in, but we had the best roof sprinklers money could buy, and fire-resistant shutters. I was sure we’d be fine. And we didn’t really believe.

The next day, the reports started coming in and finally, we believed.

It was ‘all in together’ for a while after Black Saturday. We grieved, and donated food, and money, and hay because the animals were starving, and because we were alive and so many were not.

The togetherness has disappeared now, but we had it for a while, and I thank Frank Prem for helping me remember.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank

Website: www.frankprem.com
Website Audio: https://frankprem.com/audio-recordings-spoken-word/
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: https://seventeensyllablepoetry.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Prem.Poet.Author

My thanks to Frank for allowing me access to his archives and I suggest that you head over and enjoy for yourselves..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #Poetry – long night, moon by Frank Prem


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Frank Prem is an Australian author with two collections of poetry that describe his childhood growing in a small town… and the second, the dreadful wildfire that rapidly engulfed communities and took many lives. Both of which I have read and can recommend. I am delighted to be allowed to sample his archives to share with you.

In June 2017, Frank posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…

Moon 1

long night, moon by Frank Prem June 18th 2017

long night
moon
you don’t know
when to be gone

I see you there
so small in the sky

is this your home
now
with the nights
so cold

long
night moon
why do you delay
your going

the daytime
is no time
for you
small moon

the dark night
is alone
and longs to feel
the bright
of your glow

it is a long night
moon
will you burn yourself
in the day time

or
long night moon
maybe
you should
go

©Frank Prem 2017

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Books by Frank Prem

One of the recent reviews for Devil in the Wind

Devil in the Wind is not an ordinary collection of poems as this book tell the story of the awful fires that ravaged parts of Australia in February 2009, destroying homes, livestock, forests and people. Each poems gives a different and unique insight into the effect of the fires on different people in different roles in society, including the firefighters, as well as description of how they reacted to the fires, with fighting spirit, brazenness, prayer or despair.

I live in a country that is also plagued by raging fires from time to time and I have felt the fear of being undecided as to whether to fight or flee. If you make the wrong decision you can needlessly loose everything or you can end up dead, along with your family. Frank Prem has captured the turbulent emotions, confusion and conflict that people experience during times of crisis. He also captures the spirit of survival and the ability of people to rally and recover.

A few of the stanza’s that captured my imagination in this book are as follows:

“a young fella went up
to the hamper
crawled right inside it

buried himself in the clothes
and wouldn’t come out

took two and a half hours
to get him to speak”
From ever again

“the sound I heard
was like ten or twelve jumbo jets
down at the airport
all screaming their guts out
at the same time”
From evidence to the commission of enquiry: overview

I would recommend this book to both lovers of poetry and people who are interested in historical events. Frank Prem’s poetry is powerful, but easy to read and understand. A most enjoyable book.

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank

Website: www.frankprem.com
Website Audio: https://frankprem.com/audio-recordings-spoken-word/
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: https://seventeensyllablepoetry.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Prem.Poet.Author

My thanks to Frank for allowing me access to his archives and I suggest that you head over and enjoy for yourselves..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations -the futility of triple words by Frank Prem


Welcome to the series  Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Frank Prem is an Australian author with two collections of poetry that describe his childhood growing in a small town… and the second, the dreadful wildfire that rapidly engulfed communities and took many lives. Both of which I have read and can recommend. I am delighted to be allowed to sample his archives to share with you.

In June 2017, Frank posted a poem a day.. and so I have chosen the poems he posted on this day and then the subsequent poems that correspond to his posts here…

Psychiatry 4: Acute Observations -the futility of triple words by Frank Prem June 11th 2017

sitting in the dining room
the back corner where he won’t get disturbed
he’s got a book of rules out
dictionary thesaurus and words
a world of words

he does so many pages a day
a genius at the triple-word plays
because he practices moves and combos
knows a little-used term to describe
a master scrabble player
that includes a q tile or maybe a j

he’s scored five hundred
he’s scored five-fifty
he’s scored on every play
in this game of ours
while I’m stuck
looking for a way to turn my tiles in
try to find better letters
maybe find a triple word he hasn’t claimed yet

but then
he really ought to be good for the big scores
he’s got the dictionary open
at eight in the morning and anyway
it’s time for me to make my way to the meds room
to line up anti-psychotics in plastic cups
a thesaurus won’t keep his eyes open
he’ll be sleeping
dreaming about big scores
about jousting in tournaments

about victory

in his room
non-compus
before a result is declared

©Frank Prem 2017

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Books by Frank Prem

One of the recent reviews for Devil in the Wind on Goodreads

Apr 29, 2019 Joy RS rated it Five Stars

Very moving, beautiful, and terrible. This book is more than I can adequately describe, so bear with me here. It’s a poignant account of a terrible event, which, living on another continent, I had heard of, but didn’t properly take in.

It’s not a gruesome book, just incredibly moving: a salute, in a way. The author has taken the words of those who witnessed and survived the tragedy and woven them into poetry. I do hope that in some manner it brings these people catharsis and at least a few nights of undisturbed sleep.

When people die so terribly they deserve to be honoured and remembered around the world. I was left with a profound sense of respect, as well as a reminder that we should never take for granted every precious every moment of life. What can we do to live the life we were born to, given that some have never had the chance?

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

Connect to Frank

Website: www.frankprem.com
Website Audio: https://frankprem.com/audio-recordings-spoken-word/
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: https://seventeensyllablepoetry.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Prem.Poet.Author

My thanks to Frank for allowing me access to his archives and I suggest that you head over and enjoy for yourselves..thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires by Frank Prem


Delighted to review the latest release of Frank Prem, Devil in the Wind: Voices from the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, which is available on pre-order for delivery on May 31st. I reviewed his first book Small Town Kid and eagerly anticipated this new collection.

About Devil in the Wind

Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.

In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.

And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.

In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, taking 173 lives and injuring hundreds, while destroying thousands of houses and other buildings. Up to 400 fires destroyed 450,000 hectares of forest, native fauna and habitat, livestock and farmland.

In the aftermath of the fires, the voices of people who had lived through the experience — victims, rescuers, and observers — were spoken and were heard.

Devil In The Wind is Frank Prem’s poetic anthology of the personal, and very human, accounts of those who themselves experienced and survived Black Saturday. Poetry writing that interacts directly with readers emotions.

Buy the book for delivery on May 31st: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/097514426X

and on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-Wind-Saturday-bushfires-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07Q9YLD8V

My review for Devil in the Wind.

Having enjoyed Small Town Kid and Frank Prem’s unique way of using verse to convey a story, I was eagerly anticipating this new collection.

The title is apt, as it is not just the frightening power of fire that strikes terror into the hearts of those in its path, but the knowledge that the direction of the flames and your fate is dependent on the fickle winds.

Frank Prem captures the growing concern of the communities in the area as they listen to the radio for the latest reports. So many factors to consider, including should they go or should they stay. Some leave it too late, caught in flight on the roads, families packed into a car trying to outrun the flames leaving everything they own to the mercy of the fire. Whole towns are engulfed in what seems to be minutes, and you can sense the growing terror as the author shares stories of families and individuals waiting desperately for information.

This is a true story, a devastating time of human loss and also of people’s way of life and their work, with livestock and wildlife consumed along with property. There are survival stories and moments of hope, particularly when an old Kangaroo, a frequent visitor to town, turns up in the aftermath by a water tank and people rally around to find some food for him.

This is not an easy read as far as the subject matter is concerned, but the author writes so well, that you are carried along in the flow, engaging with the men, women and children attempting to survive and also those brave men and women on the front line desperately trying to save them.

In the aftermath everyone wants answers… and justice for those who have perished… because nature was only the accomplice.

Also by Frank Prem

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Frank-Prem/e/B07L61HNZ4

Read more reviews for both books and follow Frank on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18679262.Frank_Prem

About Frank Prem

I’ve been a storytelling poet for about forty years. Longer in fact, as I remember the first poem I wrote while at secondary school was about 150 – 200 words long and was accepted in lieu of a 500 word essay. I think that may have been the start.

I love to read my work to a live audience, and have audio recorded some recent recordings and popped them on my author page. I have also done some studio- recorded work under the direction and accompaniment of my wife Leanne Murphy that can be listened to there. These poems are on mythological themes and the accompaniment by Leanne makes them a little bit extraordinary.

By profession, I am a psychiatric nurse and have worked across most facets of public psychiatry and the mental health/mental illness spectrum. My experiences and reflections on what I have seen and done are the subject of a forthcoming memoir – scheduled for late 2019, or perhaps more likely, 2020.

I’ve been published in magazines, zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, but for a long time I haven’t sought much publication. The whims of editors are a little too capricious and unknowable, so I have preferred to hone my craft and self-publish on my poetry blogs

Leanne and I reside in the beautiful township of Beechworth in the North-East of Victoria (Australia).

Connect to Frank

Website: www.frankprem.com
Website Audio: https://frankprem.com/audio-recordings-spoken-word/
Seventeen Syllable Poetry: https://seventeensyllablepoetry.wordpress.com/
Blog: https://frankprem.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Frank.Prem.Poet.Author

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could spread the news of Frank’s new poetry collection.. thanks Sally.