So it’s Youth Week 2014, and we’ve got an array of interviews with wonderful writerly people just for you! To kick things off, we’ve got an interview with Andrew Galan, poet and local yeller at Poetry Slam BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!, co-founder of poetry night Word Co-op, member of writing collective The Tragic Troubadours and this year co-producer of You Are Here festival.
What is a typical work day like for you?
I ensure each day I have the time to write. Other than that every day is different but often involves planning and discussing BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT! with the team who run it, the same goes for Word Co-op (we are moving that night from bi-monthly to monthly), and I like developing new ideas and concepts and try to do that frequently; at the moment I am working with Joel Barcham on a secret project.
What advice do you have for people just starting out in your field?
Make your own way. Understand where people have been. Read things you enjoy reading. Listen to music that makes your imagination work, play games that do the same. Visit the institutions that you find locally, nationally and overseas – my favourite surprises have been the Modern Art Museum and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas. Make sure if you visit London that you go to a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre. Surround yourself with people who push you. Drive other people to do better. And consider advice but know it’s a trap, so fire everything at the Super Star Destroyer.
Do you have any exciting things coming up?
In May I launch my book That Place of Infested Roads (life during wartime) in the Brisbane State Library, thanks to David Stavanger who is the Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Read-in-residence and is organising the launch. Throughout April I am judging poetry in the Verse & Short Story competition of the Henry Lawson Festival, I have been told that a record number of entries have been received so I am looking forward to reading lots of poetry. I am featuring at the Australian National Folk Festival in April, too, and in June I have a residency in Spain for a month to work on my next poetry book. Then in July I plan to spend time in France, Sicily and Morocco.
We love recommendations – anything caught your eye lately? Maybe it’s a book you couldn’t put down, or a film that you wanted to immediately rewatch, or a website that made it to your bookmarks.
I recommend delving through the archives of scientist Carl Sagan posted online by the United States Library of Congress. You can find drafts of his work and understand his process of writing. Check out Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond to find the archives. I’ve also been watching the new Cosmos series after finding the original and watching that again. I’m a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan. I really enjoyed reading Tyson’s book Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier grab a copy of that and read it.