Poet on the rise

22 OCTOBER 2009

The literary talents of poet and CSU postgraduate student Mr Derek Motion have received national recognition by the Australia Council.

The literary talents of poet and Charles Sturt University (CSU) postgraduate student Mr Derek Motion have received national recognition by the Australia Council.
An Australia Council emerging writers’ grant valued at $15 000 has been awarded to Mr Motion from Wagga Wagga.
To secure the award Mr Motion submitted 10 pages of his poetry for assessment by an eminent seven member panel.
“The grant is a very welcome development in my postgraduate studies in that it removes a little bit of the financial pressure for the first half of 2010,” said Mr Motion.
“The grant means that I can set aside time to devote purely to my creative writing without the immediate pressures of having to find employment to support my young family.”
“With poetry unlikely to make me a lot of money, it’s important that I have this support, just so I can put in the work to prepare my first full-length manuscript for publication.
“But it is also a mark of recognition; an indication that my work has been deemed promising and worth pursuing by some experienced judges.
“I first began taking writing poetry seriously as an undergraduate student at Charles Sturt University. The creative writing classes by David Gilbey and other lecturers inspired me to write, but also to see there were many opportunities for creative writers in the Australian scene.”
Mr Motion is doing his PhD through the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU at Wagga Wagga focussing on his own poetry in the context of that of Australian poets Christopher Brennan (1870-1932) and Michael Dransfield (1948-1973).
He is also Director of the Booranga Writers’ Centre based at CSU at Wagga Wagga.
“The grant is a national vote of confidence in Derek Motion’s writing ability,” said Mr David Gilbey, Senior Lecturer in English at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
“There were more than 200 applications from across Australia for the grants. To be selected as one of the 14 successful recipients of the grant, by such an eminent panel of authors, testifies to both the quality of Derek’s poetry and to the promise he shows as a writer.”
The Australia Council’s 2010 Emerging Writers’ and Illustrators’ Initiative Grants, ranging in value between $5 000 and $15 000, were awarded to 14 Australian writers in several genres.
The Australia Council’s Writers/Illustrators’ Initiative is managed by the Australian Society of Authors with the aim to assist in the creation of new work by emerging Australian writers and picture book illustrators. The grants can be used for living allowances and to assist with travel and research costs associated with the preparation and writing of nominated projects.



by Derek Motion


the horde of kids circled the cul-de-sac endlessly


on bikes, roller skates, anything with wheels, but


on the afternoon of sudden departure (when all things


were sudden in our minds) they attempted a shower of


bric-a-brac. tiny plastic figurines & comic books


were the first expressions of a devotion based on locale,


moulding so shadowed as to now appear a generic


yellow & orange blob – nothing as concrete as a smurf,


or a superman in flight.



but then the gifting became the game


& obscene objects were held up zealously.


a guiness world book of records, circa 1983,


one signal things had got out of hand; the bmx


ludicrous for its dimensions (a removal truck


so obviously cramming itself within metres).



the final moment of farce was the nameless boy


holding a pair of underpants up from his window. but


living in a circle like that, wheeling perpetual tight curves,


it gave credence to this ‘not saying things as they are meant’.


feeling is always implied and laughed off.



like paling fences built to disregard your best adulthood advance.


like a giant peppercorn that stubbornly ignores your posting,


your departure. everything is offered but nothing taken.


except the desperate expression circling


the eyes of the boy, of the underpants.



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