This event has ended. View the official site or create your own event → Check it out
This event has ended. Create your own
Please note: the conference is in BUILDING 2 on the UC Bruce campus. 
Watch this space for information updates. 

DAILY FORECAST (care of Describing Things in Canberra):  

Wednesday Canberra weather: regardless of any thing Neil Finn may have said, you don’t really have your own personal weather bubble. You can easily test this by travelling from the Woden Valley to the northside on foggy morning. Or getting on a plane in December and flying to Helsinki.

So those of you who are in Canberra today will probably experience much the same weather as each other. Warm to hot and slighty sticky. The weather equivalent of spilling cocoa on your new trousers.

Chemical interventions such as deodorant, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and anti-histamines are strongly indicated. Consider long before you commit to opaque tights, however hairy your legs are. Once the sun is over the yard arm, applications of gin and tonic may be beneficial.



View analytic
Tuesday, November 29 • 10:00am - 11:00am
Writing Under the Influence :: 2A13

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule and see who's attending!

Jen Webb & Monica Carroll: The Teacher-Effect: Poets who took, borrowed and stole from teachers of influence

In Charlotte Wood’s The Writing Room, Wayne Macauley says, he began ‘writing under the influence of a teacher’ (2016). His teacher, he says, ‘energised whatever was in my head’. Through an ARC Discovery Project (DP130100402) investigating creativity, we asked 75 practicing poets across nine English-speaking nations about their first encounter with poetry. Our quantitative data shows a high percentage of poets were ‘switched on’ to poetry by a teacher. In this paper we explore the metaphor of genetic coding and the relationship between poet and teacher as an impetus for ‘switching on’ the poet. Mere ‘exposure’ in the classroom is not enough. The origin story of poets is a story of relationship where that which is taken, borrowed or, in some cases, stolen has a life-shaping effect.
Wood, Charlotte 2016. The Writing Room. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Rosey Chang: Observing the ‘black cloud’: Applying mindfulness approaches to anxieties in creative writing practice

Creative writers may experience anxieties in relation to their creative practice, often describing these experiences as stressful and inhibiting. At the same time, a growing body of literature shows that mindfulness approaches can be beneficial when applied to experiences of anxieties.
      This paper draws from multiple disciplines to investigate the question: “How does the relevant literature support the ways in which a mindfulness-based approach might assist creative writers to approach anxieties in relation to their creative practice?”
      In terms of method, I have examined literature across relevant knowledge fields including medical science, health science and psychology. The findings shed light on how a mindfulness approach might influence the physiological response to anxiety. A key concept is that the body does not, in fact, possess an ‘anxiety response’, when facing a threat that causes anxiety. Instead, the body often responds with a fear related fight-or-flight response. In this paper I argue that mindfulness approaches can assist creative writers who experience anxieties in creative practice by powerfully enabling an alternative response to the fight-or-flight response.
      This paper provides a new lens to the perennial issue of anxieties in creative writing practice by drawing on inter-disciplinarity, while remaining strongly grounded in the home discipline of creative writing studies. The findings are significant because – with the exception of composition students in the context of contemplative pedagogy, or first-person accounts by professional writers who meditate – there has been very little attention focused on adult creative writers and mindfulness approaches in relation to anxieties.

Kay Are: ‘Collaboration and entanglement, renga and crochet’

This paper, connected to yesterday's workshop, is grounded in the premise that collaborators begin from a point of mutual entanglement, in the quantum physical sense of matter (read: the writer) attaining ontological definition at and not before the moment of union with other matter (Barad 2007). The quantum understanding of time and space in fact renders theft impossible – or, rather, it designates theft an existential condition. My boundaries as an entity come into being through my subsuming of other substances into my own definition: taking anything is taking shape.
     The installation's structure and process borrows (steals) two figures – one from literature, the other from science – as devices for thinking and making with. Renga, the traditional Japanese mode of collaborative poetry, provides a formal structure: participants will be asked to write poetry with each other, responding to each other’s poems, three lines followed by two lines, on and on, spontaneously and anonymously. Yet renga’s linear nature will be foregone in favour of an experiment in hyperbolic space, most easily recognised in the curvaceous, crenelated, coral-like surface that crochet brings into being (see Wertheim 2003; Crochet Coral Reef 2016). Participants will write their two- or three-line segments of poetry on either a pentagonal or a hexagonal card, which will allow ensuing three- or two-line responses to be connected to any one of that card’s 5 or 6 edges. As it goes on, the multi-authored poem elaborates itself into an inter-connective fabric with no fixed beginning or ending – an object suggestive of the light-fingered workings of entanglement.

Angela Savage: (Un)authorised theft: Using real life to inform fiction

Writers commonly steal from the lives of those around us as fodder for our fiction, though we are not subject to external oversight regarding the ethics of such practice. It is left up to individual writers to set our own ethical standards. Does poetic licence exempt us from the ordinary moral rules of human engagement? In this paper, I provide examples of different ways in which I have stolen from the lives of others to lend authenticity and resonance to my current work in progress PhD novel, Mother of Pearl. I discuss the ethical issues raised by my practice, and concur with guidelines proposed by Claudia Mills to protect privacy and confidentiality, and minimise the harm caused by using people I know as a resource for my fiction. However, when it comes to theft from the lives of distant others—in my case, writing in the narrative voice of a Thai woman—I argue that a different approach is needed, suggesting that Kwame Anthony Appiah’s concept of the respectful cross-cultural conversation at the heart of cosmopolitanism provides a way forward. Significantly, I argue that metaphorical conversation between the writer and their research, as well as literal conversation between the author/text and representatives of the communities we write about, are essential elements in an ethical practice for fiction writing across boundaries in a globalised world.


Antonia Pont

Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Antonia Pont writes poetry, short fiction and nonfiction, and novel-length prose works. Her writing has appeared in Meanjin, Cordite, Antic Magazine, Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology, Rabbit, TEXT, Gargouille, Axon, as well as international anthologies. She researches ontologies of creativity, practising theory and change, is Senior Lecturer in Writing & Literature at Deakin University... Read More →

avatar for Kay Are

Kay Are

Researcher, Curriculum designer, University of Melbourne
Dr Kay Are (formerly Kay Rozynski): I am a researcher in the broad field of the Environmental Humanities, interested in re-visioning the spaces of creative writing practice and pedagogy through quantum physical and new materialist precepts. Part of this project entails investigating models of experiential teaching like ‘object-based learning’, which capitalises on the sensory and embodied nature of scholarship to enhance learning. This... Read More →

Monica Carroll

University of Canberra
Monica Carroll is a researcher at the University of Canberra. Her academic publications include papers on space and writing. Her research interests include phenomenology, poetry and empathy. Her widely published prose and poetry has won numerous national and international awards.

Rosey Chang

HDR Student, Monash University
Rosey Chang is a writer, educator and academic developer. She is a PhD candidate in creative writing at Monash University. Her research investigates anxieties in creative writing practice through the lens of mindfulness with a special interest in Zen arts practice. She is also developing a middle-grade children’s novel set in medieval Japan that explores mindfulness themes. Rosey’s work has been published in TEXT, The Victorian... Read More →
avatar for Angela Savage

Angela Savage

HDR Student, Monash University
Angela Savage is an award winning Melbourne writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar (Text, 2006), won the 2004 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. All three of her Jayne Keeney PI novels were shortlisted for Ned Kelly Awards, The Dying Beach also shortlisted for the 2014 Davitt Award. She won the 2011 Scarlett Stiletto Award for her short story, ‘The... Read More →
avatar for Jen Webb

Jen Webb

Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice, University of Canberra
Jen Webb is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra, and Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. Her work includes scholarly volumes Researching Creative Writing (Frontinus, 2015) and Art and Human Rights: Contemporary Asian Contexts (with Caroline Turner; Manchester UP, 2016), and poetry volumes Watching the World (with Paul Hetherington; Blemish Books, 2015) and Stolen Stories, Borrowed... Read More →

Tuesday November 29, 2016 10:00am - 11:00am
2A13 Building 2, UC

Attendees (10)