Multilingual Poetry Event in Iceland

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I had one of the most humbling experiences of my life. March 21st is the day of many things–World Poetry Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the final day of Nordic Multilingual Month. To celebrate this special day, Booktowns and Gullkistan got together to create Margmálaljóðakvöldi,  a multilingual poetry event in Hveragerði.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to represent Australia at the event, and read two of my own poems. I was extremely nervous, and my voice was a little shaky, but I had such a great time sharing my work. The energy in the space was incredible. There were people from Iran, Syria, Finland, France, Sweden, Iceland (obviously), and more, all there to read poetry in their native languages, and to celebrate art and cultural diversity.

You could really feel the love and warmth emanating from the readers and the listeners the whole night, and as we shared our work, we were all reminded of how beautiful human beings can be. The art museum, Listasafn Árnesinga, was the perfect setting, with thought-provoking modern art as a backdrop to the event.

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The Gullkistan family

It was such a heart-warming, nerve-wracking, and beautiful experience, and I am so grateful to Gullkistan and Booktowns for putting it together. It’s definitely an experience that I will always remember. Each reader was gifted a different book of Icelandic poetry, and I received a beautiful hardcover that is completely handwritten. It has quickly become one of my favourite things.

As always, thank you so much for reading.

All the best,

Tamara

(The pictures were sent to me by Kristveig Halldórsdóttir)

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From the Vault – Childhood Poetry

Hi everyone,

A little while ago I was looking to see if I could find some of my old poetry, and I remembered a website that I used when I was 11 and 12 years old. It’s called Allpoetry, and it’s a place where people write and post their work, enter competitions, win points, etc. It’s kind of like Facebook but for poets. I was a bit of an odd kid, I know. I miraculously remembered my username (it’s too embarrassing to share), and reset my password. Now I have access to 22 poems that I wrote in the 7th grade. I spent way too long reading over them, getting nostalgic, and messaging the people who always commented to thank them for encouraging me, and to tell them what I’m up to now. Most of all though, I got a good laugh; my old poems are absolutely, awfully hilarious. It’s interesting to see how I grew in the year between age 11 and 12, and how my writing style matured. I thought I’d share a few of them with you so we can laugh about them together.

11 years old:

Happiness

The sun beams down and lifts my soul,
covering up the big black hole.
It brings warmth and laughter to you and me
and makes us feel so light and free.

Love is sometimes good and bad,
when you love someone other than your Mum and Dad.
Love is something that occupies your heart,
And when it ends, it’s just the start.

Sometimes love takes away your sight,
and all you can see is a beautiful light.
Coming straight from the sky,
Making you feel like you can fly.

Flying free like a bee that goes buzz,
but you have limited time like everyone does.
So insure your life with happiness and laughter,
and live very happily ever after.

Oh wow, how insightful (face palm)! It gets worse…

Here It Goes Again!

“Meow” Crash! Bang! “Oops!”
“Oh not again Puss In Boots!”
Squirming on the floor were my beloved pet eels,
The fish tank however was head over heels!

My cat has tried to eat them up,
considering the fish tank his personal cup.
He drinks from it looking nice and sweet,
but really he’s slurping a forbidden treat.

Even though he’s so naughty and bad,
when I’m angry with him, he looks sad.
I pick him up and cuddle him,
I see the knots, he needs a trim.

“Meow!” Scratch! “Oh the pain!”
It’s happening all over again.

Pet eels… really?

Here’s one I wrote the following year, when I was 12:

Mosaic

My life is like a flower mosaic.
Every day, representing every new
brightly colored tile.

Every day tells a different story.
Every tile shows a different picture.

My life story, told by art.
My secrets hidden underneath the tiles.

Surrounded by my family,
gazing at me with very proud eyes.

Every emotion, a different petal.
of the flower mosaic.

But the flower mosaic,
the work of art, is not finished yet,
as a tile is added every day of my life.
Causing it to grow and
grow.

 

I hope you had a good laugh reading my 11 and 12 year old poetry. I’m so glad that I have these to look back on, and to remind me where I came from. I wonder where the next 8 years will take me.

Thanks for reading,

Yours truly,

Tamara Drazic

 

 

My First Reading at a Literary Salon

Hello Everybody!

I apologise for being so absent lately; it’s week 10 of the university semester and I am well and truly in over my head. Something exciting did happen last Thursday though… I did my first ever reading at a literary salon. I was chosen to read three of my poems to a small but enthusiastic crowd at the Menagerie in Kelvin Grove. I felt the nerves all day, and no matter what I did, my poems wouldn’t stop playing on repeat in my head. I tried to read, but my brain-voice reciting my poetry drowned out Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Not even music could shut the poems up.

When it finally came to the evening, I had been at uni all day, and my nerves had kind of exhausted themselves. My house mates came to watch, and the other readers were my colleagues from my uni class, so the atmosphere was so comforting and familiar. It was a great experience, and although I flinched at the sound of my voice through the microphone at first, by the third line I felt just fine. I will be sure to share the link to the YouTube video as soon as it comes out.

As you may know, I’m going on a little trip to Melbourne on Wednesday, so I’ll definitely be posting about my time there.

Until then,

Yours truly,

Tamara Drazic

P.S. Submissions for Issue#2 of Spinebind magazine close in 6 days.