Love is …
a moment by the seaside at St Kilda Beach, luminescent sand between our toes, the poetics of a dawn tide pivotal to our playground, the hush of you and me in the whirligigs of the sea, our anxious thrill at the cusp of a new literature. A sombre impulse to walk away. It is the yesterdays, todays and tomorrows that make up the everyday vignettes in this chapbook.
Her Bitch Dress is about desire and distress. Literary vignettes on the everyday. Preface by award-winning author and distinguished scholar Dominique Hecq.
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
Random things about me: I can do planks. Dead people visit. I love rain, sun and snow. ‘Must finish’ syndrome—my Achilles heel.
Why did you choose these themes in your book and were you aware of them from the outset?
I’m part of a prose poetry project run by the University of Canberra, led by Prof Paul Hetherington. Its members are distinguished scholars and I nearly fell when they accepted me. We email each other the enchantment of words on the everyday in a safe but addictive environment. Some of my microlit is a response to another’s, and the playfulness is exhilarating.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
It’s a tiny chapbook of 24 microscopic pieces, all cathartic, no obstacles. The first piece ‘for Beachwalk’ is inspired by someone I felt passionately about at the time of writing. Prose poetry was a breaking out of the box, but it has enriched my other writing across forms and genre in a most unfathomable way.
What are your writing habits or idiosyncrasies?
I am so focused, it’s not funny. I finished my PhD in two-and-a-half years—that’s the kind of focus I’m talking about. A project keeps me awake—I have no choice but to finish the goddamn thing. I grab a good night’s sleep only after the work’s gone to the editor, before the next project haunts and, even then, the editor or publisher might wake up to a STOP! PRESS! THIS VERSION!
If you worked with a professional editor, what was the experience like?
I’ve known this editor fifteen years, sadly she’s now retired and lives in a most magnificent bungalow (yes, I visited) in Tasmania. She understood my writing so intimately. Her feedback was that I theme the collection, which I did. Her words stay with me (sure, I copied and pasted): ‘As usual, I love the way you use words and imagery, very intense and apt.’
I think that sums me: inwardly intense.
What’s next for your writing?
I have so many projects on the go at any one time. Writing across forms means I have flexibility to write short stories, creative articles, novels, nonfiction books. A publisher I adore has accepted my nonfiction proposal for a book in 2021/22. I also have black speculative fiction featuring in tremendous anthologies alongside amazing authors. I’d love to talk about them but can’t just yet. A novel in the works …
Eugen Bacon is African Australian, a computer scientist mentally re-engineered into creative writing. Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Award and Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans. Publications: Claiming T-Mo, Meerkat Press. Writing Speculative Fiction, Macmillan. In 2020: Her Bitch Dress, Ginninderra Press; The Road to Woop Woop & Other Stories, Meerkat Press; Hadithi, Luna Press Publishing; Inside the Dreaming, NewCon Press.