Coalcliff House

Coalcliff House
Ken Bolton & Sal Brereton standing beside house. Photo by Kurt Brereton (1980)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

journal entries

I'm going to feed some journal entries into this conversation. I wish I had some visuals to add but the years 1979-1982 saw me without a camera. Here's a note from the Wollongong Poetry Festival of 1979:

2nd October 1979 Train down early Sunday morning to Coalcliff & a walk by myself down to the beach while Ken & Sal put together posters & magazines for the evening. I have a calm & generally gregarious weekend. By 2 p.m. a lot of people have arrived at Coalcliff - the Hammials, Denis Gallagher, ΠO, Nigel, Phil Roberts & others. We head in to the Gong but the Al Monte reception room isn't open. Check out the station & streets then back to Al Monte's to shift tables & chairs & wait over a beer or two.

Phil Roberts delivers a paper called ‘Death of the poet’ (rather melodramatically) then there's a break & the W'Gong writers read. Ken & Sal first, then some unbelievable local writers [probably including Leigh Stokes], then another break & the Sydney contingent read. Phil R. is interrupted by the response of some Pyrmont anarchist whose kid is playing with a soccer ball during the proceedings. There's a shouting match with quite a few having a say till Claire gets the reading going again. Others read - Denis, ΠO (Mayakovsky & Nelson Algren & the fuck poems shouted from a tabletop), Tranter finally (performing the ‘Foucault at the Forest Lodge’ series of pieces in a totally unsuitable dramatic manner). Then another break & a band play lounge lizard music (Girl from Ipanema) while everyone drinks on & eats lukewarm lasagne &c. Three carloads of us go to a coffee house & ruminate over the proceedings.

I sleep in the pantry & wake early, the sun up over the ocean. A morning long breakfast turns into a picnic lunch in the back yard, then in the afternoon with Kurt & Anna we go back into Wollongong to look at the Art Gallery (2 coloured photos of Micky's on display) & walk down to the beach - barbed wire & factories - tankers out on the Pacific - ought to be mines buried there. It's grey & there are only a handful of people down that end of town.

More snapshots from the Al Monte reading:
- best readings from Nigel, ΠO, Ken & Denis.
- Lyn Tranter (to the Pyrmont anarchists): ‘What are you doing with that child!?’
- Nick turning up & catching a late train home
- Les Wicks reading in the open section - very drunk (& very broke)
- a local W'Gong hippy woman reading with the ‘jazz’ band

- Donna Maegraith prefacing each poem with ‘O'-kay then . . .’

Friday, February 26, 2010

            Some photos by Micky Allan

                    Barbara Brooks & Sal Brereton, Coalcliff, 1980

                        Laurie Duggan, Coalcliff, 1980

                        Sal Brereton & Ken Bolton, Coalcliff, 1980

                        Pam Brown & Sal Brereton, Coalcliff, 1980

        Handy Hint to The Coalcliff Days visitors - if you click on the images they will
         enlarge (this especially helps with reading scans of pages of text)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

xmas corpses

The mere thought of a hot Christmas is enough for me now here in Kent, but that Xmas in the National Park . . . It should be noted that Kurt has the remains of the goose on his head in the photograph while I'm the closest I've ever been to a garden gnome. I wasn't, alas, around at the house a bit later when the corpses were made, but I did supply the title Xmas Corpses.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

                        Kurt, Ken, Pam, Erica, Laurie, Sal, Micky