Channel 31, Victoria’s non-profit, open-access community television station, has just launched their first episode of The Eco Show, which features interviews with David Holmgren and Su Dennett at their home, Melliodora, in Central Victoria. It’s well worth a watch!
In partnership with Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the 2021 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize.
Major prize: AUD$1000
All entries must be received by 11.59 pm EST, Monday July 26 2021. The winner will be announced at the Words in Winter festival in Daylesford on Sunday August 22 2021. The judges for the 2021 competition are Carissa Lee and John Charles Ryan.
Entry terms and conditions
1. Entrants must be citizens of Australia or have permanent resident status in Australia.
2. Poems must be unpublished (including online) and not under consideration by other publishers.
3. Poems that have won or are under consideration in other competitions are not eligible.
4. Poems must have an environmental theme.
5. All poems must be written in English. No images, videos or audio files.
6. The winning poems will be published on www.holmgren.com.au and in Rabbit.
7. An entry fee of $10 will be charged and is payable via bank transfer, credit card, cash or cheque. An email will be sent as confirmation once the money has been received.
8. The name of the poet must not appear on the manuscript (including the header, footer or file name) since all poems will be considered anonymously.
9. Poems must be no more than 80 lines of text.
10. Multiple entries are permitted, though a $10 fee applies to each poem.
11. Please ensure you are satisfied with your poem before submitting. Poems that are resubmitted will incur a second fee.
12. The competition closes 11.59 pm EST, Monday July 26, 2021.
13. Selection will be made by the judges. The judges’ decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
About the judges
Carissa Lee is a Noongar woman born on Wemba-Wemba country. She works as an actor and writer based in Melbourne. Carissa is currently undertaking her PhD in Indigenous theatre through the University of Melbourne. She has just begun her new role as Indigenous and Public Policy Commissioning Editor for The Conversation. Carissa’s writing has featured in The Guardian, IndigenousX, Book Riot, Melbourne Writers Festival, Witness Performance, Junkee, and Red Room Poetry.
John Charles Ryan is an environmental writer and plant enthusiast. His interests include poetry, conservation and the environmental humanities. He recently edited an issue of the online journal Plumwood Mountain on plant poetics, co-authored the book Introduction to the Environmental Humanities with Routledge, and co-edited the anthology The Mind of Plants with Synergetic Press. His collaborative botanical poetry collection Seeing Trees: A Poetic Arboretum was released in 2020. He is affiliated with Southern Cross University as Adjunct Associate Professor and Nulungu Research Institute, Notre Dame University, Australia as Adjunct Senior Research Fellow.
In her late 50’s Venie Holmgren began to write poetry and her first published anthology, The Sun Collection for the Planet in 1989, became a poetry ‘best seller’. At the same time, she applied her environmental activist skills and commitment to the campaign to save native forests near her home on the far south coast of NSW, where she was arrested twice for obstructing log trucks. After 16 years of solo self-reliant living she moved to the local town of Pambula where she penned her travel memoir, several more books of poetry and travelled widely as a performance poet. In 2010 Venie moved to Hepburn where she wrote her last poetry collection, The Tea-house Poems. In January 2016, Venie ‘caught the bus’ at the age of 93 .
You can read more of Venie’s life here: www.theguardian.com/books/australia-books-blog/2015/mar/25/in-praise-of-venie-holmgren-at-92-still-an-activist-adventurer-and-a-poet
DAVID HOLMGREN ON A QUIET BOYCOTT
At the end of 2020, David recorded this interview with Ayana, which has just gone live.
As so-called powerful “industrial civilizations” continue to decline into dysfunction, unable to care for the vast majority, the call to localize, reinvest in household economies, and strengthen our capacity for self-reliance is becoming emphatic. Amongst failing institutions and the remnants of exploitative wealth, this week’s guest, David Holmgren, encourages us to lean into crisis as a temporary portal that allows us to focus on the potential of all that lies around us. In conversation David explores creative reuse, salvage economies, ethical relationships, permaculture, and the intricacies of mass movements that are trying to override a system that is deeply committed to a machination of consumerism and debt.
Lauded as one of the co-originators of permaculture, we begin our conversation looking at how permaculture differentiates itself from organic gardening and agroforestry, while discussing the more salient critiques of permaculture in terms of appropriation, class, and privilege. David offers honest reflections on the origins of permaculture and its accessibility, while also defining the importance of a quiet boycott and how class privilege factors into our efforts to reduce degrees of dependency.
You can listen to the podcast in its entirety here:
Recently we were made aware of Mark Johnson’s creation of a permaculture allotment as a natural haven for people in London struggling with homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. Mark’s best selling autobiography Wasted charts the transformation he has made in his own life and provides an inspiration for times of challenge and change.
We are dedicating a grove of oak trees recently planted on public land to commemorate Mark’s 50th birthday this December. That these trees were planted in our antipodean winter is perhaps appropriate. Planting trees on the public land (Spring Ck Community Forest) is part of our 30 year action informed by permaculture ethics and design principles. We find oaks (including English oak) to be remarkably drought hardy in a drying climate with increased bushfire risk. Working on the public land (our green gym) is also part of keeping us fit and healthy as we age.
We wish Mark health and vigour for his work to create a better world, and thank him enormously for dedicating his energies to such worthwhile endeavours.
Calling all kids and adults!
Our Street (based on the Aussie Street story from RetroSuburbia) is a fully illustrated storybook for upper primary school-age children. It explores how suburban life changes between the 1950s and 2020s, and provides a positive vision of the future. It is a useful tool for parents and educators to help inspire children with positive solutions for sustainable and resilient living, whilst reflecting on Australian history. Written by David Holmgren + Beck Lowe and illustrated by Brenna Quinlan.
The Permaculture Action Cards are made up of 65 full-colour cards. The deck features the 3 permaculture ethics, 12 principles and 50 Brenna Quinlan illustrated action cards depicting colourful characters putting them into practice in the garden, community and beyond as well as relevant lyrics & rhymes from Formidable Vegetable on the back of each card. Also included is a booklet with games and explanations of the principles as well as an A3 colour poster that can be used as a teaching aid.
The launch will feature David Holmgren, Su Dennett, Beck Lowe, Brenna Quinlan, Charlie Mgee and special musical guests Formidable Vegetable. What a line-up!
The event will be a free livestream. Register here for your free tickets and we’ll email you the viewing links on the day.
NOTE: The event will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. These links will be emailed to you closer to the date.
Woo hoo! We can’t wait! See you then.
Please join 5 minutes early to ensure it starts on time.
Please RSVP by 5pm Saturday 21 November.
Facing Fire connects fire-ecology regions in the USA and Australia, across the Pacific, and around the world.
In 2019 David was interviewed for the 21 minute film Facing Fire, which you can watch in its entirety here:
For further research/preparation, you might be interested in Joan Webster OAM’s bestselling book, Essential Bushfire Safety Tips – 3rd Edition
David Holmgren is proud to be speaking at PermaQueer’s 3-day online event this Thursday 15th October at 11am as part of global TedX Countdown. He’ll be speaking about the role of permaculture in designing a sustainable future, alongside many other great speakers such as Morag Gamble, Brenna Quinlan, Charlie Mgee, Rosemary Morrow, Artist as Family and many more.
Get your free or donation based tickets here:
For the first time ever, David Holmgren and Su Dennett are opening the doors of Melliodora to an online audience. Situated in the Central Victorian highlands, Melliodora is one of the best examples of working cool-temperate climate permaculture in the country.
The tour will run on Sunday October 2020, from 10am – 4.30pm.
The day begins at 10am (AEST) with a tour of the main homestead house, and in the afternoon the tour will take you around the extensive garden farm.
There will be a Q&A for the house tour at 12pm and a Q&A for the property tour at 4pm. Your questions will be asked directly to David, time permitting.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience how permaculture design can help restore and improve land, and provide for you and your household’s needs within the context of an ethical and regenerative framework.
Thank you to all the poets who took the time to compose and send in poems to the 2020 Venie Holmgren Environmental Poetry Prize – we received 262 entries. The content of the poems was beautifully varied: some were engaging, some funny, some sad, delicate, considerate, angry, political, provocative…
A huge thank you to Jeanine Leane and Michael Farrell for judging the Prize, and for attending Sunday’s online Prize presentation.
Without further ado, we are thrilled to announce this year’s winning poem Anthropocene Poetics Part 2 by Noemie Huttner-Koros from Perth:
We are also thrilled to announce the two commended poems:
In previous years, we have announced the winner of the Venie Prize at the Daylesford Words in Winter festival. As the festival was cancelled this year we held an online presentation, which you can watch here:
A huge thank you to the Venie Prize co-sponsor, Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry, who will print the winning and commended poems in their next issue and to Jessica Wilkinson, Rabbit editor. Thank you again to judges Jeanine Leane and Michael Farrell, and of course all the poets who saw and felt deeply and sent us their words to read and reflect upon.