Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview with David Delaney!

I want to introduce you to today’s guest blogger, David Delaney. Instead of me telling you who David is, I’ll just let him do it.
I am a former Brisbane boy but now currently live and work in Cairns with my very patient, and darling wife. I sometimes wonder where I get the time to write but always seem to manage to pen something. Also I am a member Tropical writers group Cairns, Arts nexus Cairns & Australian Bush Poets Association

Having had no formal education in writing and now into my 50's, I wanted to show that someone like myself without higher schooling could write and enjoy it. For me school, Rocklea State School (when I was there) was a place to 'hang out' with my mates and I actually only completed 3 months of high school (Salisbury) before leaving at the age of 15.

After numerous jobs throughout my youth, I eventually moved into Furniture Removals where I stayed for approximately 25 years. For 17 of these, my wife and I operated our own removal business, and was able to travel extensively throughout N.S.W and Queensland.

Since leaving the removal industry several years ago and having some 'thinking' time, my experiences, memories of driving the highways and tracks, the vast and beautiful outback, my wife, daughters, grand children and family, stories from mates, work colleagues and close war veterans have given me the inspiration for my writings.

Hello David,

Thank you for taking the time to do this guest interview. I first would like to congratulate you on your poetry book, Out of Australia, and your poetry award.

Thank you Bea and it's my pleasure to do this interview with you.

Could you please tell us about your latest book, Out of Australia?

My new release "Out of Australia" is a compilation of 100 of my poems consisting of, Australian bush poetry, free verse, traditional rhyme and sonnets, my book is also a journey the reader takes with me as I progress with my writing through the years of 2007 up to and including 2009.

You recently won the 2011 Open Poetry Award organized by the Reef Writers & Port Douglas Gazette. It’s a wonderful experience to win an award by prominent writers. Has this changed anyone’s perception and interest in your writing?

It is a wonderful but humbling experience to win any competition especially when competing against some very talented writers and if this win has changed anyone's perception of my writing I can only hope it is a positive one, but, we as writers never know this until told by someone.

This wasn’t the first award you’ve won—you have many to your name. We all know that awards are special, but is there one in particular that made things right? One that validated your hard work?

Agreed, this was not and any other award I have been recognised with is a wonderful experience be it a commended place or a 1st or 2nd place but if I had to pick one I would have to go with my Commended place in the Eastwood/Hills region of the Fellowship of Australian Writers 2011 literary competition, traditional section for my sonnet ‘Why’ as the calibre of writers including academics was a great challenge for me.

You started writing poetry later in life with no prior formal education. Have you ever come across bias in your works because of your education?

I suppose I have with a couple of academic types, who think writing rhyming poetry is 'futile' and 'old hat' and believe free verse/prose is the only poetry that should be written or published, I honestly believe "A true poet is one who writes and understands the disciplines involved in any genre of poetry" not just one style, but in saying that my 1st love is Australian bush poetry.

How do you hope to differentiate yourself from other poets?

I'm not that interested in differentiating myself from other poets, I would rather be accepted by other poets, as a poet, and be known for what and how I write. I also know I'm not the best or greatest poet in the world, but I, (and so many others) enjoy what I write and as I continue reading and learning new styles, I can only improve as time goes on.

Is there anyone else in your family who shares your love of writing?

Not that I immediately know of, but you never know, one of my grandchildren might take up the cause.

Some of your poetry is called Australian bush poetry. Could you please explain what Australian bush poetry is?

I am a member of the Australian Bush Poets Association, http://www.abpa.org.au and by definition, Australian Bush Poetry is good metred and rhymed poetry about Australia, Australians and/or the Australian way of life. Bush poetry is very much on par with the American Cowboy poetry.

I love that you sprinkled some pictures throughout your poetry book. Did you add the pictures to help the reader visualize the poem or did you add them for pure enjoyment purposes?

Yes! There are quite a number of "Aussie" photos which have been donated by friends and family including some taken by my wife and myself, it was enjoyable adding the photo's but mostly to help the reader visualise the Australian landscape because I know there would be many American friends who do not know how vast and unpredictable our country can be, for example America's state of Texas fits approximately 7.9 times into my state of Queensland.  

I love “In the Shadow of Ghosts” and “Cracker Night”. Both of these titles capture the entire poem and made me want to read your poetry story. As writers, we are proud of our writings, but are there any poems you hold closest to your heart?

I love all my poems but I must say you have picked one of my favourites "In the Shadow of ghosts" this is my small tribute to our great Australian poets, there are a number of poems I just can't or have great difficulty performing as a huge number of my poems could be classed as memoirs and are so close to my heart, for example a number of my tributes to our veterans like "Villers-Bretonneux" "Heroes of Gallipoli" or "An Old Vets Christmas" and of course some about my family.

Aside from poetry, have you written any other genre, such as short stories, novels, etc?

Yes, in 2010 I ventured into short story/memoir writing and almost immediately had wonderful success with these including my memoir "Tony the Wogs Mango Tree" accepted by a panel of academics at James Cook University for publication in their journal LiNQ  also my humorous/fiction/memoir "Duffel Bag of Poetry" received 2nd place in Scribbligums short story competition 2010 and "Encounter of a Different Kind" received a Commended place in the same competition, which was fantastic considering the international submissions I was competing against. 
Could you share one of you poems with us?

Since you mentioned one of my favourites earlier here is "In the Shadow of Ghosts"
To all and sundry I hereby attest
when writing stories, I will pen my best
to literary heights I will aspire
and write like poets, those that I admire.

To stroll with Lawson under silver moon 
and sit with Dennis in the early noon
ride with Morant along the Condamine
inspired by Parkes, my rhyme I will refine.

Then walk with Kendall , hear the bell birds song
stand with Ogilvie, view the rushing throng 
watch Evans write his women of the west 
read Boake, great poet and one of our best.

There’s Esson’s tribute to the shearer’s wife.
the convicts who sang their rum song of life
then Song of Australia was Carleton’s view
I hear Paterson, and that Geebung crew.

Verse caught the time, the man rode Snowys side
viewed Sydney town when ships moved with the tide
rode Cobb and Co. along a dusty track
travelled the bush, where some never came back.

All master poets, experts in this craft
read so many, I smiled, I cried, I laughed
published in many a books well read pages
their words are still resounding through the ages.

I’ll keep on writing well into the night
knowing one day, I’ll pen the metre right
the flow of my rhythm will be like a song
the beat will sound its perfect soft and strong.

With help from writers, present or the past
my writings' true perfection, I will grasp
when all’s left are my poems and my rhyme
I would love them remembered for all time.

Thank you for this interview. Congratulations and much success on your writing.

It has been my pleasure Bea, all the best to you and your readers.

You can purchase David Delaney’s book by visiting the below links.

Metre and emotion,

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