HEY HEY! Sydney-siders and Newcastle folk & everyone in between - don't miss this rare virtuoso performance by two of Australia's most dramatic and compelling performance poets. Billy Marshall Stoneking and Christina Conrad have performed together throughout Australia and North America to wild and disconcerting acclaim. They will be together again for this one-off memorable night. Bring your friends, bring your granny, make a group-night of it. Special tandem reading will be preceded by an open section featuring some of the best new and local poets. Come as you are, leave changed.
BILLY MARSHALL STONEKING
Stoneking's poetry has been strongly influenced by the history and mythology of the Pintupi and Luritja people of Central Australia, and has been widely published in Australian literary journals such as Overland and Westerly. A major collection, Singing the Snake: Poems from the Western Desert 1979–1988, was published by Angus and Robertson in 1990. With Eric Beach and others, he was instrumental in the founding of the Poets Union of Australia. He was also deeply involved in the performance poetry scene, and featured in the performance poetry anthology Off the Record, edited by Pi O (Penguin, 1985). He has since built a successful career as a playwright/scriptwriter, script editor, stage, film and radio producer, and teacher & mentor. He's also written novels, Stringer (1988) and The Speed of Darkness (1989), and an autobiography, Taking America Out of the Boy (1993).
Conrad has been called New Zealand's greatest living artist. She is certainly its greatest eccentric. An obsessive "outsider" painter/sculptor, filmmaker, poet/writer, Conrad lived as a recluse for twenty years without electricity or running water, where she "kept her paintings in cupboards instead of food." Her work is written work and films are disarmingly original and not easily pigeon-holed, and the term "outsider" does not sit easily with her, suggesting someone who is untrained. Her recent feature documentary, Indecent Xposure, was the recipient of an Accolade Award in Los Angeles for Best Documentary. Her books have appeared in several notable collections of Australian and New Zealand poetry, including the Penguin Anthology of Contemporary New Zealand Verse.
"One must leave the ego at the door of the tomb, and create like a blind beggar who hears nothing and knows nothing," she explains. "In this way the painting has a chance to be born whole, without the insidious tampering that adulterates false creative acts." - Conrad