The Monthly interviews writer and poet – Lizz Murphy – Part 2 – Themes

Part one of interview is here

Place and displacement and women and girls are recurring themes but so also is our rich countryside, people in general, busy cities when I get there and the suburbs which are strangely intriguing now. I’ve taken an interest in skies and stars thanks to an art & text project called Postcards from the Sky in 2018. This was a series of ‘living studios’ in Belconnen Arts Centre, Canberra, where a group of artists and writers came together (a lot of us do both) to explore anything to do with sky, stars, space.

There was an exhibition early 2019 and a number of us continue to meet although a lot of that has been on Zoom for obvious reasons. I still can’t read the skies very well but I hope to spend some time getting a better understanding of aspects of that. This theme threads through my latest collection The Wear of My Face (Spinifex Press 2021).

Where to now  – or what are you working on at the moment?

I’m just trying to sort myself out at this year. I do have a small art & text project focusing on the local which I want to get my teeth into after a delay. It’s a series of micro poems and very small canvases inspired by this area — flora and fauna and anything to do with life in the very lovely village of Binalong. Of course, I’m being pulled away from it by the current unfolding events of the world and yet more multitudes on the move in search of shelter and safety.

I’m very fond of micro poems but I have also been writing a lot more prose poetry again — I like the elbow room and I enjoy the fragmented nature of some of my recent writing.

I also have a good start on another couple of manuscripts. One is a collection of micro poems and the other I hope will be an eventual follow-up to The Wear of my Face. I want to pick up on themes of space and stars which I’ve already mentioned. There are so many possibilities there it’s overwhelming. Maybe I can find something to focus on. I’ve liked reading a little about obsolete constellations, and also Irish mythology and Australian Indigenous culture around the stars. I grapple on.

To see more of Lizz Murphy’s work see link to Spinifex Press:

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