How did your blog start?
SU: I can’t remember so well. But Stacey and I were writing letters to each other after having met on Livejournal in something like 2005 and we used to send a notebook back and forth to each other. We also wrote emails basically weekly and I think at some point we probably decided that it’d be fun to write a blog together. ST: Our blog started in 2009 – 10 I think. Susie already had a blogspot and we decided to write on it together, though I can't remember what that conversation was like. We stopped using the blogspot for a couple of years and now blog together again on tumblr. It's been a useful outlet for creativity over the years!
Do you see yourselves as belonging to a particular community of poets? And if so – what is that community?
SU: Yeah sort of. For a time I gravitated towards poets and writers who largely published their work in online journals and through small presses in the US, but following some time on the editorial committee of Voiceworks magazine I also feel deeply connected and indebted to the Melbourne writing community. For me there is a dual sense of belonging to online and real world writing communities, both nourishing me in different ways. For example when I travelled through US and UK 2011–12 I performed at readings and stayed with people whose blogs I read or who I followed on Twitter, and if I go to a literary event in Melbourne I am also amongst friends. ST: I've always felt that having a support network of writers around the world is really important. A lot of things have happened from when we first got involved in the online writing community in 2010, but we still have amazing friendships with so many writers. We want there to be a strong community in Sydney/Australia and we are trying to focus on that more, with the reading series, Subbed In and our recent event at National Young Writer's Festival in Newcastle.
How does working on a shared project influence your friendship?
SU: Keeping the blog with Stacey has always helped me to remember to read and to write. She is also very organised and no-nonsense, which helps me get my shit together. These characteristics have been very influential over the years, especially when looking for new places to submit my writing. Something that has inspired me about female creative friendships is a quote I read in Amy Poehler’s Yes Please about her friendship with Tina Fey, something like ‘we don’t compete against each other, we compete against ourselves’. ST: Working on creative projects together gives our friendship another layer, and I think it allows us to see our friendship as a project, just another thing that we always have to be working on.
What poets are exciting you right now?
SU: Always Lydia Davis, Wendy Xu, Dalton Day and I got a lot of love for all those who performed for us at Subbed In: XXL. ST: I'm obsessed with Chelsey Minnis right now, but also Chelsea Hodson, Giulia McCool, Zoe Dzunko, Hera Lindsay Bird, Rebecca Perry. I'm excited by all my friends’ writing.
Susie’s poem 'There is a cathedral shaped hole in my memory of you' as chosen by Stacey:
it starts in the summer –
in hiding, in trees, long nights. glow in the dark eyes
searching for limbs, the darkness
smelling of cider and heavy warmth
plans to disappear in autumn
not telling anyone for months.
drafts of a text message that says
'good morning, ily. i am alone in the world',
waving at what actually happened from the shore.
writing directions, writing phone numbers.
making somebody's mind up,
eavesdropping and ordering.
stealing and giving back glances,
developing upwards inflections in the cold.
then spring, doors and limbs creaking together,
rooms filling with wayward pigeons
collecting hourly under ancient beams.
we extradite them by hand –
your nice hands, your nice lips.
another summer, 1675,
we lay the first stone at st paul's together.
long nights and glowing human beings,
eyes searching for other eyes
open under stars, cidery and smelling the warm
Originally published as part of the For Every Year project.
Stacey’s poem 'rārangi' as chosen by Susie:
saying goodbye to the harbour
lipstick on my wine glass
feeling warm and cold
speaking in riddles
not speaking at all
the rain is air i breathe into my body
wanting to fall asleep in small places that don't exist
tea with rice milk
the wind underneath my shirt
a tree transforms
a body folding into itself
wanting to fall off the earth into the atmosphere
wanting to fall off the earth into anything at all
writing things on park benches
filling my pockets