Arts Fields: Poetry and Art

2013 Art Fields Flyer Front 2013 Art Fields Flyer Back

Castlemaine Word Mine Poets: Ann de Hugard, Katherine Seppings, Nola Firth, Rob Wallis, Ross Donlon, Susan Flanagan and Tru Dowling have joined with artist Lorraine le Plastrier, to exhibit their poems alongside her drawings, paintings and sculptures which inspired them, at Arts Fields, 2013.

When: Poetry reading and Artist talk – 11am, Sat 17 August.
Exhibition open 2-31 August.
Where: Castlemaine Market Building, Mostyn St.


Sunday Salon: Castlemaine Published Writers

Our first Sunday Salon (10 March) was a great success with local writers re-launching their book/s in the Castlemaine Word Mine Room. It was a delight to hear eight writers read and promote their book/s, share details of their publishing experience, followed by literary conversations over drinks and nibbles.

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Jim Williams began the afternoon with one of his stories in Letters from Byron.

Sue Turner announced the publication of her book The Munro Court Story about the low-maintenance, energy efficient housing project at Munro Court, Castlemaine.

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Rob Wallis read his humorous poems from Man In A Glass Suit.

Ramon Angeloni, who lived on Hollywood Boulevard for many years, read from his Bus Shorts of Hollywood (available on

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Nick Hudson, editor and former General Manager of Heinemann, read the opening of his extremely funny The Vedgymight History of Australia.

Tru Dowling performed poems from her Mark Time chapbook Memoirs of a Consenting Victim.

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Katherine Seppings talked about her non-fiction books: Fireplaces for a Beautiful Home and The Travellers Guide to the Goldfields, and read a short story which received a ‘Kenny’ award in The Bookroom Dozen.

Ann de Hugard finished with poems from both her books A Question of Translation and Breath.

We will be holding a number of Salons in 2013 to cater for networking, information sharing and longer readings by member writers.



Castlemaine Festival Exhibition – Pictures & Poems

‘Pictures and Poems’ is an ekphrastic exhibition – poems about works of art – to be held by Castlemaine Word Mine poets during the Castlemaine State Festival.

Ann de Hugard, Katherine Seppings, Nola Firth, Rob Wallis, Ross Donlon, Susan Flanagan and Tru Dowling will read their featured poems.

John Flaus will open the exhibition.

When: The Reading and Opening is 12.30pm Sun 17 March.
The exhibition will be open 10-4pm 16-23 March.

Where: Word Mine Room, Anglican Church Hall (cnr Forest & Kennedy Sts).

Click on the picture to download a poster to print.

Click on the picture to download a poster to print.

Angels and Demons: Read.


Last Wednesday saw our regular reading go off without a hitch. Castlemaine luminaries Ann de Hugard and Rob Wallis co-presented a suite of poems on the theme of Angels and Demons that were angelically delightful and demonically wry.


A small audience braved the cold winter night to attend, and those who took up the open mic were presented with a copy of the 100th anniversary issue of Poetry, generously donated by its editors.

Next month’s reading, on June 27, will feature the theatrical talents of Kathrin Ward and the scifi romance stylings of Jessica Anastasi. There’ll also be the usual open mic, book swap and raffle, with more copies of Poetry to give away. Check our gig guide for full details.

May Reading – Human Zoo: Demons and Angels

Our May reading is fast approaching, and we’re excited to be featuring Ann de Hugard and Rob Wallis as our two guest poets, who will be favouring us with a performance piece called “Human Zoo: Demons and Angels”.

As Les Murray once said, “Poetry is a zoo in which you keep demons and angels.” Ann and Rob’s poetry explores this human zoo.

Demons and angels abound in their family reminiscences. Parents and friends confront their own demons, a boy learns to swear in his uncle’s paddock, a girl is seduced by the charms of her mother’s friend and a grandmother battles a doctor in a nursing home.

War provides both poets with a range of the good and the fearful. Some family members are haunted by a Nazi past, a Japanese soldier long after World War Two has ended searches for the bones of his fallen comrades and the Vietnam War continues to haunt a contemporary relationship. More recent wars leave many survivors battling with their inner demons and refugees struggle to make sense of their new world.

Other characters in this zoo include historic figures such as Sylvia Plath, Sofia Tolstoy and that Shakespearian horror Macbeth, along with those people in our society who bring out the devil in all of us, a stalker in a supermarket, a group of bikies and those who mangle the language with modern jargon.

In this zoo both poets use a variety of forms and voices, from the serious and provocative to the humorous and satirical.

Ann de Hugard is a Castlemaine poet and founding member of Castlemaine Word Mine. Her first collection, A Question of Translation, was published by the APC in 2010. She was runner-up in the Ubud Writers Festival Slam in 2010. In 2011 she was Castlemaine’s first official Cafe Poet. Ann’s second collection, Breath, has just been published by Mark Time.

Rob is a mainstay and long-time supporter of CWM. He  has had 3 poetry collections published, the most recent being Man In A Glass Suit (Mark Time Books) in 2011. His poems have been published in various magazines, including Woorilla, The Mozzie, Poetry Monash, Wet Ink, Westerly and Blue Dog.

The night will include an open mic reading (one piece only, maximum 2 minutes) and Q&A with the guest performers, as well as our usual raffle and book swap table (bring a book, take home a different book). Any CWM members who have stuff to sell – art or books and stuff – are welcome to bring it along for sale on the night.

It’s all happening on Wednesday May 30 at 7.30pm, at the Anglican Church Hall on the corner of Kennedy and Forest Sts. Entry is by gold coin donation and membership forms will be available at the door. The night is BYO – we can provide glasses.

See you there!

Review: Man in a Glass Suit by Rob Wallis

Though it’s taken us a while to get it on the blog, we were pleased to note the following review of Rob Wallis’s Man in a Glass Suit, penned by poet Anne Gleeson, published in the Midland Express on 16 December 2011.

The title poem from Rob’s Collection has previously appeared on this blog.

Rob Wallis: Man in a Glass Suit

A man walked down Collins
Street wearing a glass suit.
It was the morning rush hour.
When he arrived at Spencer Street
he stopped and stood still.
People gathered around him
fascinated by the see-through
beauty of his flesh. By his
courage. His clarity. By
a man with nothing to hide.
Some turned away embarrassed
and moved on. But most
of them stayed. What were they
hoping for? A dance, a song,
a mime, a hat on the ground
for donations? A police arrest?
A revelation? What more can
you expect from a naked man.
A woman edged up behind him
and tapped his back with a knuckle.
Glass all right. He didn’t flinch.
Instead, as if some mechanism,
some mystery had been released,
he raised his right hand and
pointed to the sun. Light flashed
along his arm. They all looked up,
anxious, expectant. When nothing
happened they became bored, even
disgusted, and left. The man in
the glass suit stayed still, pointing,
as clouds curtained a glass sky.

(This is the title poem from Rob Wallis’s Man in a Glass Suit, which was launched in early December 2012 by Carmel Bird. Copies are available at Stoneman’s Books in Castlemaine, in person at Castlemaine Word Mine readings, or by contacting Rob at