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Poetryspective #108 Timothy Train & Catherine Claessens

March 21 @ 7:30 pm 10:30 pm


Timothy Train!

Tim will be launching his new Zine

Love songs of the socially distanced

with a slide show of images on the big screen.


Catherine Claessens – Anne Sexton retrospective experience!

Plus open section, Lucky Dip and all that good stuff.

Poetryspective MC Lish

Readers in the open section are encouraged to read other poetry as well as their own workings.

Tim Train

“Tim Train is an odder writer of an odd assortment of very odd poetry and prose. He has performed his poetry in bars, cafes, clubs, music venues, at least one tram, on street corners, on ovals, and in countries all over the world. His book of bar-room lyrics, Hangover Music, was published in 2018 by Ginninderra Press, and he continues to be one of a team of MCs for Cherry Poets (formerly Dan Poets). He has had pieces published on German poetry websites, performed as part of comedy Zoom gigs, regularly has pieces appear on the Poetryspective Youtube channel, has been part of shows on 3CR community radio, and has seen his writing published on websites such as Melbourne Spoken Word (http://melbournespokenword.com ). He also self-publishes a great variety of experimental/independent literature in the form of zines and artbooks, starting with his work on a youth zine in Newcastle (InZine, 2001-2005). Since then, his zines have found their way as far as Munich in Germany, he has taught zine making workshops, and has connected with people young and old as a regular at zine fairs in Newcastle and Melbourne. He updates his pages at http://instagram.com/timothytrain and http://facebook.com/thatweirdopoet frequently, and can be met at the Cherry Tree Hotel (in South Richmond, Melbourne) every week.”

Catherine Klaessens

Catherine is a passionate teacher of English and fine arts who is neurodivergent and a bit weird and proud of it. Before you ask, she hated Wuthering Heights, the central characters and their insufferable personas moreso, so, please refrain from addressing her as Miss Catherine. 

However, Catho, as she’s preferably referred to, does identify much with the protagonist of iconic television series Upper Middle Bogan, and continues to grapple with an identity and experience straddling multiple opposing worlds and beliefs.  She is still in recovery from an upbringing shaped inside a cult-like community dictated by Catholic patriarchs who have martyr complexes, and still navigates the many strange things that have occurred to her since. She ends up in odd places and witnessing odd things often. In fact, she’s sought it out, as a World Explorer, and most of all teacher. As a child she was frequently told this was unladylike, as is her manspreading and talent for public speaking. She chose to ignore this stupid line-toing demand. 

She remains, nonetheless, an owl-like creature of the night,  watchful.. wide- eyed.. softly, and angrily,  lamenting the fate she fought futilely to escape. Freedom has a price. 

She is inspired by the likes of Sexton, Plath, Ginsberg, Keats, and even the Song of Songs. In poetry, she seeks to exorcise the menagerie of torments she still suppresses for social nicety. She practices fearlessness and righteous rage and reclaims a voice despite the many imposed silences. Poetry is her megaphone for discomforting silences. 

In reading Anne Sexton, she feels connected to another woman who, in deep psychic agony, had her pain exacerbated by the faith and futility of  resistance to her upbringing. Like Catho, Sexton knew the haunting loneliness as a “different” woman in her church and time.

She sensed her rebellion as condemned by those she trusted. Catho honours Sexton’s bravery to write such vulnerability, and speak to women across time, a vital voice in the poetic and feminist canon. 


Elizabeth Lish Skec, Poetryspective

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