Bronwyn Lovell

For love of little things

Welcome to my little website

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Hello! Thanks for visiting. I’m Bronwyn. I write poems, articles, and sometimes even draw pictures.
I love words, stories, films, books and cups of tea. I hope you enjoy your time here. Please say hello before you go!

A little artist statement

Why I write and why I think writing is important

Bronwyn LovellI write because I love to read books and watch films and listen to lyrics, and because when I read or watch or hear something beautiful and profound, it touches me in such a way that it changes my life.

Often, when I read a paragraph or watch a scene or hear the lyrics to a song, I relate to the thoughts and feelings expressed and I feel a sense of kinship; I am reminded that the human experience is a universal one, and that not one of us is alone. I want to share that feeling with others; that is why I am working so hard to make writing my life.

I love to feel moved and inspired by the art of others, and I am always deeply honoured when people approach me after a performance to say that my words touched them or comforted them in some way. Writing reconnects me with humanity.

I like to write about day-to-day life, love, death, sadness, joy, wonder, grace, and hope. I believe that all art should act as a mirror, to reflect life back to us so that we can see the ordinary wonders to which we too often become blind.

I feel that a poem has turned out well if it reveals something about nature or the human condition, and is expressed in a unique, enlightening way. I aspire for my work to be perceptive, respectful, sensitive, honest and heartfelt.

When people read one of my poems, I’d like them to receive it as a gift. Wherever possible, I hope to use my words to somehow better the world, because I believe that is how I can best contribute to it.

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A poet is a voice outside the hysteria of the media; one who is sensitive to and concerned with universal truths and connections.

The voices of those who write authentically, not because they are paid to do it, not because they are trying to sell something, but voices who are writing because they want to share what they know about what it is to be human—those are the voices that I believe need to be heard.

A little bit about me

Biography

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Bronwyn has a passion for linguistics and storytelling, and began penning poetry when she was a little girl. She studied cinema and creative writing at the University of Sydney as well as the University of Melbourne, where she was the recipient of the H.B. Higgins Scholarship for Advanced Studies in Poetry and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award for Performing Arts.

Her work has been published in numerous national and international publications, including Best Australian Poems, Australian Poetry JournalAward Winning Australian Writing, Antipodes, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Love Poems and The Global Poetry Anthology. Bronwyn has won the Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize (2013) and been shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize (2013), the Bridport Poetry Prize (2013) and the Montreal International Poetry Prize (2011).

Bronwyn writes a poetry column for Lip magazine and she is the poet-in-residence at Kinfolk in the Melbourne CBD through the Australian Poetry Cafe Poet Program.

She was a speaker at the Australian Youth Humanities Forum and has read her poetry at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Bendigo Writers Festival, the Overload Poetry Festival, the Williamstown Literary Festival, La Mama Poetica and on ABC Radio National. With assistance from the Copyright Agency Creative Careers Fund, she was also the first Australian to compete at the Women of the World poetry tournament in the US.

Bronwyn’s love of words has taken her to opposite ends of the country and the globe: from writing and editing children’s books for Penguin in the UK, to living in remote communities in Cape York as a remedial literacy instructor for Aboriginal children, interning at Poets House in New York City, and writing on Flinders Island in the Bass Strait as an artist-in-residence. She is on the Editorial Committee for The Victorian Writer magazine, and works for Australian Poetry in Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.

Media mentions
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Awards, Grants & Residencies

(c) kite   2015 Varuna Writers House: Residential Fellowship
  2014 Arts Victoria: VicArts Grant
  2014 Australian Poetry: Online writer-in-residence for June
  2014 Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre: Emerging writer-in-residence
  2013 Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize: Highly Commended
  2013 Glen Phillips Poetry Prize: Commended
  2013 Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize: Winner
  2013 Bridport Poetry Prize: Shortlisted
  2013 Newcastle Poetry Prize: Shortlisted
  2013 Flinders Island Mountain Seas Arts Program: Artist-in-residence
  2013 Cancer Council Victoria Arts Awards: Shortlisted
  2013 Bendigo Writers Festival Poetry Slam: Third prize
  2013 Fish International Poetry Contest: Longlisted
  2013 Varuna Publisher Fellowship: Shortlisted
  2013 and 2012 Doire Press International Poetry Contest: Shortlisted
  Australia Council for the Arts: ArtStart Grant
  2012 Bendigo Writers Festival Poetry Slam: Silver Medal
  2012 Eyre Writers Awards Free Verse Poetry Section: Commended
  2012 Brunswick Poets & Writers Workshop 38th Annual Literary Competition: Shortlisted
  2011 Poetica Christi Press Annual Poetry Competition: Second prize
  2011 ZineWest Competition: Commended
  2011 Montreal International Poetry Prize: Shortlisted
  2011 Rossgill Media Travel Writing Contest: Shortlisted
  2011 Bard of the Stables Poetry Competition: Commended
  2011 Hannah Barry Memorial Award for Performing Arts: Winner
  2011 H.B. Higgins Scholarship for Advanced Studies in Poetry: Winner
  2011 University of Melbourne Above Water Creative Writing Competition: Shortlisted
  2011 Sydney Road Writers Competition Short Piece Written Section: Winner
   2011 South Eastern Centre for Sustainability Environmental Poetry Competition Open Written Section: Winner
  2011 and 2010 Melbourne Writers Festival Poetry Idol: Finalist
  2010 Doris Leadbetter Poetry Cup: Encouragement Award


This poem appeals because it best demonstrates the importance—to both writing good poetry and to leading a more contented life perhaps—of paying close attention; of seeing as opposed to looking; of really listening as opposed to having perfect hearing; of actively joining the dots as opposed to waiting for life to get up and hit you over the head.

~ Judge’s comments on my Commended poem in the 2012 Eyre Writers Annual Literary Awards


This is a whimsical and… delightful celebration of the self—of the sheer joy (at least sometimes!) of being alone, free from duties and social obligations.

~ Judge Shane McCauley’s comments on my Commended poem in the 2013 Glen Phillips Poetry Prize


Doppler Shift by Bronwyn Lovell has the authority of considered experience, and commands attention.

~ Judge Jennifer Compton’s comments on my Highly Commended poem in the 2013 MPU International Poetry Prize


Highly skilful verse novel. Not a word out of place. Narrative seamless, intriguing and beautifully rendered.

~ Varuna the National Writers’ House 2014 peer assessors’ comments about my manuscript Migration

A little writing

Poems
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Poems published online:

 Swamp: The Sum of Us
 ZineWest: Western Sydney Grass
 Adrien Abbott Prize: Astrophysics,
and Astrophysics (animated video)
 Talking in the Library: Caterpillar
 Eureka Street: Flight of the Falling
 Australian Love Poems: Sunday Evening
 Australian Poetry: My Cat Hates Poetry
 Cordite Poetry Review: How to Love Bronwyn
 Melbourne Poetry Map: The Ferry Stop (audio)
 Mountain Seas Arts Residency: Chrysalis (video)
 Montreal International Poetry Prize: Tsunami (audio)
 Leaves Literary Journal: Instars, Wanderer and Pairing
 SECS Environmental Poetry Competition: New Zealand

Poems published in online anthologies:
  AP Poems 2013: No Last Goodbyes
   MIPP Longlist Anthology: Tsunami
  INfusion: Phylogeny, Mending and Recipe
  We Will Not Go Quietly: 20 Contributing Factors

Articles


Secret Life of Poets: The Sylvia Plath Effectsylvia plath

An association between mental illness and creativity in general—and poetry in particular—has been proposed plenty of times, although it has never been properly proven or understood.  Read more.

blocking earsSecret Life of Poets: The Poems People Don’t Always Want to Hear

A writing teacher once said to me, “you must write what you dare not”, and this is what I strive to do through my poetry. Often I write what I would never be brave enough to bring up in normal conversation.  Read more.

Secret Life of Poets: The Poems We’d Rather Forget
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I have only ever been sent to the principal’s office on two occasions. Both times were at primary school—once for swinging off the top of the jungle gym like Tarzan from a vine hanging from a nearby tree (and then, perhaps most damningly, coordinating the queue of children who lined up for turns after me); and again for a poem I wrote. Read more.

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Perth Culture interview

Poetry for the Head from the Heart: Contemporary poetry is relevant because it addresses situations that are familiar to us. Older poetry is a little more foreign in its context, style and traditions, but at its core are the same human emotions and desires that will remain relevant as long as we are human. Read more.


Lip magazineiheartfeminism

Feminist of the week: Sexism is not an old-school attitude displayed by a minority of men – our brothers, fathers and sons are sexist. Most mothers and daughters are inadvertently sexist too. We live in a patriarchal society and, as such, we are inherently influenced by its traditional rules and value system. Read more.


Screen shot 2014-03-09 at 11.24.49 PMGood Reading magazine

Performance Poetry: It’s not that small collection of lonely and neglected books that most readers walk past at the back of your local bookstore. It’s not the baffling lines your teacher made you memorise to pass your high school English exams. And it’s not old-fashioned or difficult to understand. So what is performance poetry?  Read more.


The Victorian Writer magazine

The Victorian Writer magazine

Why the Jester is no Fool:  Jesters were able to get away with saying things no one else could. They existed outside the otherwise stifling restraints of manners and class. They may have been the lowliest member of the court but they enjoyed a lot of freedom and had plenty of influence. So, too, do many modern-day comedians. Read more. 


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 Sotto magazine

Behind the Curtain: Ryan Van Winkle at the Melbourne Fringe FestivalEveryone is always insatiably curious about the other envelopes, he says. He doesn’t know why—there’s nothing to see in them, he says, just other poems. (As if poems weren’t exciting. As if, given the chance, one wouldn’t peruse the poem not taken.) Read more.


slam poet Bronwyn

Writers Victoria website

Transitioning: My Journey from Stage to Page and Back Again:
I had never thought about self-care in terms of artistic practice before. I hadn’t been looking after myself, or my art. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell Cleo magazine

Cleo magazine

Dear Future Me: I’m constantly thinking of ways to make life better for you, to make you “successful”, whatever that entails. When I’m having a bad day, a bad week, even a bad year, just believing that my actions today might make you happy somewhere, sometime, is what gets me up in the morning. The past is set but the future is free, and you live in that undiscovered country. Read more.


Lip magazine poetry reviews


GapGap by Rebecca Jessen:
This verse novel makes a strong political statement. It shows how a murderer might actually be a victim, and how the inequality of society fails people—how young people can so easily fall through the gaps and might never find their way back. Read more.

Heartbeats by Candy Royalle:
One wholly new aspect of Royalle’s work that reveals itself on the page is her creative and innovative use of punctuation. She is not afraid of running words together or turning familiar symbols inside-out.
Read more.


Award-Winning-Australian-Writing-2013-image-209x300Award Winning Australian Writing 2013:
These stories and poems all won competitions between July 2012 and June 2013, while the country was consumed by a political witch-hunt that ultimately saw our first female prime minister burnt at the stake. The contributions to this anthology witness wrongness against women and expose the sickness of a society that, for all our progress, remains sexist at its core. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell on Australian Love Poems


Australian Love Poems 2013 (ed. Mark Tredinnick)
:
The fact that one poem touches you deeply, while another leaves you cold, has more to do with chemistry than literary techniques. Sometimes you can’t say why a certain poem delights you; it just does. Different things turn us on—in poetry and in love.
Read more.

Bronwyn Lovell reviews the book of ethel


the Book of Ethel by Jordie Albiston
:
Through chronicling one woman’s life, the Book of Ethel voices the experiences of a whole generation of women. And, in so doing, it tells a story that is foreign yet familiar, romantic yet realistic, banal at times but ultimately brave and beautiful. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell reviews Magic Logic

Magic Logic by David Mortimer:
When reading a poetry collection, if I’m lucky, there might be one or two moments that catch my breath—when a poet’s particular insight or phrasing is so profound that it invokes a special kind of magic—delivering a rush of emotion that makes me gasp. I might describe this sensation as a literary orgasm. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell reviews Too Afraid to Cry


Too Afraid to Cry by Ali Cobby Eckermann:
Her story not only exposes Australia’s shocking history of cruelty and neglect towards its Indigenous people, but also depicts a patriarchal society that too often shames women and fails to support or protect them when they are most vulnerable. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell reviews 101 Happy Poems


Heaven on Earth: 101 Happy Poems (ed. Wendy Cope):
The editor of this anthology says that she compiled this anthology as an argument of sorts against widely held ideas that joy ‘won’t be put down on paper’ and that ‘Happiness is the one emotion a poem can’t capture’. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell on Gwen Harwood


Mappings of the Plane: New Selected Poems by Gwen Harwood:
Harwood’s poetry criticized idealised concepts of motherhood and exposed the frustration and isolation faced by women, especially young women with children. Read more.

 

Bronwyn Lovell reviews Chemistry


Chemistry by Jamie King-Holden:
These poems are brave and honest; they acknowledge the despair of everyday life and challenge the reader to consider the cruelty and eccentricity of society—to discern its contradictions and common horrors. Read more.

 

Bronwyn Lovell reviews the argument by tracy ryan


The Argument by Tracy Ryan:
More than anything, it’s the domesticity that appeals to me about this book. The poems often point to ordinary details that wouldn’t normally be considered poetic—from mouldy fruit to falling over in the car park. Read more.

Bronwyn Lovell reviews AWAW2012


Award Winning Australian Writing (ed. Adolfo Aranjuez)
:
It was wonderful to read works that were surprising and imaginative, and written in genres that I wouldn’t normally pick off the shelf. Read more.


Bronwyn Lovell on Tracy K Smith


Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith:

Smith uses space as a metaphor to raise serious questions about human nature and our transient presence here on Earth. This book reminds us that we are part of something much larger than ourselves, and with that realization, comes responsibility. Read more.

Bronwyn Lovell on Best Australian Poems 2012


Best Australian Poems 2012 (ed. John Tranter):

How disappointing, that in a decade of publication, there has only been one female editor, and for nine out of ten years, the person deciding the “best” poems written in this country has been male. Read more.

Bronwyn Lovell on Paul Kelly Lyrics


Don’t Start Me Talkin’ by Paul Kelly:
The way the lyrics appear on the page gives them the look of poetry, yes. And some of the expression and use of figurative language certainly reads like poetry. I can understand the comparison, and it’s undoubtedly worthy of it. However, is it poetry? Read more.

Bronwyn Lovell reviews the Sunlit Zone

The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson:
This verse novel is aptly named. It is lilting and tidal. Its lyric language is lively, playful, and yet dares to dip into the darkness that dwells under the surface of ordinary lives.
Read more.

 
Children’s writing


                                                                                    Titles I’ve written for The Book Studio, UK:

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A little look at my poetry publications

Places I've been published

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A little bit spacey

A sneak peak at my verse novel in progress 'Migration'


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Many of my poems have been influenced by my ongoing fascination with outer space. My poem Astrophysics won the 2013 Adrien Abbott Poetry Prize and my poem ‘Doppler Shift’ was highly commended in the 2013 Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize.

My science fiction verse novel ‘Migration’ is a story about a one-way trip to Mars to establish a human colony, inspired by the real-life Mars One project. Despite being a work of fiction, the story is grounded in real-life science and current plans to colonise Mars in 2025.

I began writing ‘Migration’ during time spent as the emerging writer-in-residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre (KSP) in Western Australia. Since then, I have performed poems from the manuscript at La Mama Poetica in Victoria, Voicebox in Western Australia and SpaceUp Australia in Adelaide.

I was recently awarded a VicArts Grant and a Varuna residential fellowship to further develop the manuscript.

Stay tuned for lift-off.

A little about my shows

Chrysalis

Chrysalis is a journey through poetry and music, weaving the complexity of the relatively short life cycle of the butterfly with larger ideas about what it is to be human. The poems have been researched to be scientifically correct explorations of insect development, while also navigating wider themes of transience and transformation, vulnerability and resilience. Bronwyn’s poetry is accompanied by the sublime sounds of harpist Michael Johnson, the musician-in-residence from Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The words and music intertwine to create a fascinating performance.

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Chrysalis was first performed at the University of Melbourne in 2012 with support from the Hannah Barry Memorial Award for Performing Arts.

Bronwyn’s manuscript of butterfly poetry was subsequently shortlisted for a 2013 Varuna Publisher Fellowship with Picaro Press, as well as the 2013 Doire Press International Poetry Chapbook Competition. Her butterfly poetry suite Life Lepidopteran was shortlisted for the 2013 Newcastle Poetry Prize.

For booking information for Chrysalis, or to order a handmade chapbook of Bronwyn’s suite of butterfly poems, please contact: lovelly.bronwyn@gmail.com

Performances

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Testimonials


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Bronwyn is magnificent—the beating heart of Melbourne poetry!

~ Kirsti Whalen, 2014

The poems fluttered into the air on Bronwyn’s gentle tones. From the very beginning we sat mesmerised as we were softly lifted to another world—a world of beauty and wonder, where the unfolding of a butterfly became a metaphor for the human experience. At the conclusion we sat in quiet contemplation until someone realised we had come to the end of our journey and began the sincere applause.

~ Tamara Lampard, 2014

Your poems and delivery were both amazing. Some poems even brought my friends and I to tears from being so overwhelmed by your words.

~ Amy Ruth Gibbs, 2014

Bronwyn Lovell is a rising star in Australian poetry, shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2013 and a standout at the Bendigo Writers’ Festival last year—a fine poet and great performer.

~ Ross Donlon, 2014

I heard you speak at the Australian Youth Humanities Forum and Wow!!! Your whole speech was so beautifully written and presented and I fell in love with your words within the first few sentences. In fact would have listened to you speak forever. Thank you sincerely for coming and sharing your story with us. You completely inspired me to pursue my love of words and made me realise that even for a minority style of writing like poetry, there is a future!

~ Matilda Bell-Wilcock, 2014

Charming poet Bronwyn Lovell spoke of losing her soul on Swanston Street and used what one audience member called ‘painstaking honesty’. What do we love about Lovell? We love the subtle urgency that flutters off her tongue and the way she stands up there and bares her soul.

~ Mia Wotherspoon, 2013

It felt as if we were sitting in her kitchen and having a cuppa while she retraced her memories and personal experiences and retold them to us in a gorgeous storybook-like style.

~ Christa Jonathan, 2011

She dazzled the crowd, starting with a poem about her gift to the audience through words and emotions, and her gift was well received, with all eyes focused and breaths held.

~ Flo Devereux, 2011

Her imagery is rich and her language delightful. Bronwyn, in her performance, strikes all the right notes between pathos and irony—able to laugh at her impulsive loves, and in the next line evoke the grief of losing a relative.

~ James, Mudfest reviewer, 2011

Especially lovely was the reaction of the public to this piece—one lady shushed her friends and didn’t get off the tram because she wanted to hear the poetry. So that says it all really, this performance captured the tram itself and all of the characters real and imagined that were aboard. A captivating joy.

~ Tilly Lunken, 2011

I wanted to thank you for your words, and the heart behind them…. Your poetry has inspired me to stay passionate and to not grow complacent. Thank you for the inspiration, it was truly moving.

~ Tekitah Falkenberg, 2010

Bronwyn is one of the brightest young things in the poetry scene.

~ Steve Smart, 2010

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A little notice of upcoming events

November, 2014

  • No Events

January, 2015

  • No Events


Little ways to stay in touch


Say hello at: lovelly.bronwyn@gmail.com

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