My poetry collection, Regulator, was launched yesterday by Carol Jenkins at the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills. Aside from a tiny hitch involving a few guests having to wait outside due to the venue reaching capacity, I have to say it was the happiest day I’ve had in recent memory.
To have Carol, one of my favourite poets, stand before family, friends, colleagues and poetry fans to say wonderful things about my writing bordered on surreal. Being enveloped by Whiteley’s massive Alchemy certainly heightened the day’s thrilling strangeness (for me, at least).
I was pretty nervous (maybe sick with terror would be a more apt description), but after Carol’s brilliant speech, I bit the bullet and read some of my poetry and thanked everyone for supporting me and my first book. Then I signed what felt like a lot of books, both at the gallery and at drinks with friends and family afterwards.
The book will be available online very soon, I’m hoping. The Puncher & Wattmann site lists my book, but doesn’t yet show the cover or have an active link to purchase Regulator. I’ll post an update when everything’s up and running.
A very special highlight of the day was definitely Carol’s speech. I’ll finish this post with a couple of excerpts.
“One thing I particularly like in this collection is the way it celebrates men from a male perspective. Here we have coming of age poems without slushy romance, and see that there is really nothing casual about casual sex. They give a vivid and honest sense, an evocation, of the tension of finding one’s sexuality without losing one’s sense of humour. This is so well done in Water Tower.”
“The unsparing perception of country life brings to mind Philip Hodgins. Though their motivation is different, they both have a blistering acuity. Dodds continually reminds us that life is often bizarre. Though we most often blinker it out, Regulator brings it all back into focus.”
Carol Jenkins, 23rd Feb, 2014