Q&A with Associate Editor Zoe Kingsley


When was the last time you cried (happy tears or sad tears) reading something?
Hmmm…. This is embarrassing. A lot of my friends know that the poet who most deeply affects me as a writer and thinker is Frank O’Hara. I reference his work often. His epic ‘In Memory of My Feelings’ has some beautiful passages about the self, or more accurately, the many selves within the self as well as outside the self, the Other being a Self too. The poem advocates intersubjectivity; it is an affirmation of relationships. The most famous lines of this poem are ‘Grace/ to be born and live as variously as possible’. The poem is dedicated to friend and painter Grace Hartigan. Through the pun the poet transforms friendship into a virtue. Reading that poem closely one afternoon two months ago, I was rendered a useless blubbering person-thing. I was rendered cliché.
What is your creative process? Do you keep a journal, or take inspiration from dreams, maybe listen in on conversations on the tram? Tell us!
Found text is great fodder! I’m interested in the social site of poetry, and the inclusion of my friends as influences in both my life and the text. Nothing beats the rush of stumbling upon something created within the space of conversation, the exact phrasing of a thought, the unsayable said, private references and in-jokes. I feel poetry should be inclusive: of people, influences, the quotidian, detritus. Almost nothing is sacred or off-topic, given that the writer acknowledges his or her positionality/relationality to the subject and is aware of his or her implication in the act of writing. My current focus of pressing life up to text, or conversely, text up to life, means that a lot of my creative writing emerges from the pages of my journal as well as marginalia from creative and critical texts that I’m reading. You can’t switch off interpretation whether it’s on or off the page, nor can you stop writing on or off the page. It’s constant. Unproductive time is still productive. Uncreative is still creative. That’s what I’ve understood from my ‘creative process’ anyway.
What are you looking forward to the most in Vol.6 of The Suburban Review?
I’m looking forward to what will fill the 75 pages of this volume, obviously. 75 pages! I’m hoping that in this latest volume we will provide a space for interesting, bold and passionate writing and art from the emerging generation of Australian writers and artists. It’s been almost a year since Volume 5 and a lot has happened in the writing community: different journals have come out of the woodwork; a lot of talented people have come through. There is so much going on, especially in Melbourne where The Suburban Review is based. I hope this volume will provide a platform for those who put themselves, their ideas and their work out there. That is, writing which is stimulating and which unapologetically pushes (and pushes!) conventions and explores difference—that’s what I’m excited for and what I hope for in this volume.
You can find the pozible for Vol. 6 here!