The ‘Exquisite Spell’- An Invitation to Radical Presence with Mark Tredinnick

An evening with award-winning poet and essayist, Mark Tredinnick

Thank you to our event Partners

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Melbourne | monday 7 october 5.30 - 8:30 pm


Tickets $135

includes some delightful tastes and wine to enjoy over our poetry sharing.

“Life is a spell so exquisite,” Emily Dickinson wrote, “that everything conspires to break it.”

Join us for a deep experience of listening, sensing, presencing, and being, - an intimate evening that will take you on a lyric and poetic odyssey. Mark will speak to the profound loneliness we experience in our digitally connected lives, our disconnection from place and land, how that manifests, including its pinnacle manifestation of climate change. Mark will read poetry, share with you the gifts of poetry and invite you to also share.

We will serve light refreshments, some fine wine and commune in a way that we are not often free enough to. Come and let life's spell re-cast itself upon you, Thursday 21 November in Sydney CBD area, 5.30pm - 8.30pm. Our friends from Bookoccino will also be there with a fine selection of Mark Tredinnick's books.

We had an incredible evening in Melbourne with our friends at Dumbo Feather at The Whitehouse…

“Poetry recasts life’s spell. Without poetry, something essentially human goes unsaid and unlived; something inside us goes unloved. Without poetry, our lives and the world we live them in fall out of step with the lyric creation runs on. Poetry—reading it, sharing it, making it—answers the ontological crisis of our times, a profound loneliness (from our selves and our places and our times) caused by the silencing of the lyric in our daily lives and discourses, caused by the digital orthodoxies that rule our days; and caused also by our dislocation from country - from any place we might call truly home. Poetry, in other words, lets us live again the lives we are too busy leading to enjoy. The soul arrives at the pace of a camel; poetry is the soul’s gait, the rhythm of arrival, a hearth”.

Mark Tredinnick’s work is acclaimed for its intricate study of human relationships to place, and the natural world.

As we seek to reconnect deeply with ‘other’ and each other, Mark’s ideas, poetry, prose and thinking are a radical invitation to reset yourself, and allow a recasting of life’s spell on you.



monday 7 October 2019

The Whitehouse, Ballroom, 11 Princes St, St Kilda

5.30 - 8:30pm





5.30 - 8:30pm



Mark Tredinnick—whose many books include Almost Everything I Know, Bluewren Cantos, Fire Diary, The Blue Plateau, and The Little Red Writing Book—is a celebrated poet, essayist, and writing teacher. His honours include the Montreal and Cardiff Poetry Prizes, The Blake and Newcastle Poetry Prizes, two Premiers’ Literature Awards, and the Calibre Essay Prize. 

Mark, the father of five, lives and writes along the Wingecarribee in the Highlands west of Sydney. In 2019, he was the writer in residence at the University of Sydney last year. Mark is at work on a memoir, Reading Slowly at the End of Time. His next Australian collection of poems, Walking Underwater, will be published by Pitt Street Poetry in 2020; a fourth collection, A Begnniner's Guide, appears in the US (Hip Pocket Press) the same year. A Hundred Miles from Home: One Hundred Haiku, composed with poet Peter Annand will appear in 2021. 

Photograph by: Oliver Damian

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At our Melbourne event, Mark spoke to so much of our deeper yearnings as human beings, all the more poignant as we grapple with the challenges that face us on such a grand scale. In Mark's interview with Julie Perrin at Dumbo Feather he recalls that he was commissioned to write a poem for Red Room Poetry for a series they were curating called Extinction Elegies. Mark said of his poem, "and the way I got going with this one was to think of how many languages, human languages, but also how many animal voices and therefore wisdom systems, are being lost in an age of galloping extinctions. And so the poem begins with reflections on language and then begins a kind of litany—hence the title—of species being lost.". 

Mark dedicated the poem to the children. His own children, for very intimate reasons, and all children, and the child in all of us. This speaks to us all as as we attempt to adapt to, and usher in, a brave new world for the children to come. 


… Our words are made of plastic

Now and end up in the sea. Where stocks of wisdom—

Overfished and toxic with cliche—dwindle and cease.

So what will there be left for us to say—by way

Of remorse; what elegy, excuse, or prayer—when the sands

Along sub-tropic shores have grown so warm that no

More male turtles hatch and make it to the sea?

And who will we be, our language atrophied a little

More, when Norfolk parakeets run out of trees

To roost and fledge?

And what will we grasp any more

Of sin when all the devils that we know have slipped

The earth?

And who will teach desire grace or passion

Poise when nothing burns the forests of the night?

And when the last Savana elephant has scattered

All the bones, what will we recall of grief

When our turn comes to let our dear ones go?

And how

Will all the plastic that will never go extinct

School the seas in sanctity, what sense will awe

Begin to make, when no blue whales swim the world

Around? And will our minds remember how to slow,

Our speeding chill, when all the whale sharks have passed?

Sea otter, snow leopard, curlew, bee: divinity

Will be burlesque, and joy will be a sham, when all

These Bodhisattvas of the floating, hungry, thrumming

World have left.

Oh, Person of the Forest, orang-

Utan—who might be any one of us who came

Down once from boughs—teach us, while there are still woods

To be, how to be the woods, not just the trees.

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Through our ticketing platform, Humanitix, a percentage of all booking fees contribute to literacy programs for girls in developing countries.