We were excited to have the opportunity to interview Australian poet and journalist, Broede Carmody for the Milligram blog!

Broede Carmody is a writer from north-east Victoria. His first book, Flat Exit, was published by Cordite Books in 2017. Broede is also a journalist for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald newspapers and his poetry has appeared in journals such as Meanjin, Voiceworks and Stilts.

Broede_by Alan Weedon

Credit: Alan Weedo

This year he’s part of the Melbourne Writers Festival kicking off the new #MicroPoem project – 280 character poems, sponsored by Moleskine. Find out below how you can win a set of the 2018 MWF Moleskine customised notebooks each day!

Melbourne Writers Festival - Moleskine - Milligram Q — You’ve studied journalism, been published in literary journals and last year your book Flat Exit came out. Where did your love of writing and poetry originate?

I started writing poems when I was around 17. Oh boy, were they terrible. I was mostly writing short stories before that, because you’re taught to write what you know, right? And when you’re at school, most of what you know about creative writing comes from novels. Fiction is king, and all that. But I made the switch after realising poetry could be so much more than mind-muddling sonnets from four centuries ago.

It was a lil’ lightbulb moment. I have my literature teacher at the time to thank for that.

Q – Your book, Flat Exit is about greetings and departures, learning to let go and circling back to pick up what remains. Why did you choose to use poetry to convey the stories and moments between regional Victoria and Melbourne?

I was chatting to a close friend recently, who had been thinking a lot about how poetry is a great medium for exploring non-linear time.

I think that’s why I wrote a book of poems about being between regional Victoria and Melbourne — it was much easier to blend the past and the present. I also love the concision that poetry brings to the table, and the way it can say what can’t normally be said.

Flat Exit cover

Cordite Books

Q — Do you have a particular writing process you follow? Any advice for aspiring writers in the Milligram community?

My biggest piece of advice for budding writers is threefold: to read a lot, write a little bit every week and to share your work with the world (with friends or literary journals, it doesn’t matter).

Because writing can be so personal, we sometimes keep our words hidden until we’re 100 per cent happy with them. But you’re unlikely to ever be completely satisfied with a piece. It’s important to let go.

Q — Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival?

I wanna say Ronan Farrow, but to be honest, I’m looking forward to hearing and meeting new voices. Fresh-faced friends, come at me.

Q — What’s at the top of your to-read pile?

Jill Stark’s Happy Never After, Laura Woollett’s Beautiful Revolutionary and the most recent issue of Voiceworks magazine.

Q — Do you make writing-related notes on paper or only your computer?

It’s a three-stage process: jotting down phrases on my phone, fleshing out those phrases into lines and stanzas in a physical notebook and then polishing the finished product on my laptop.

Q — Now, we have to ask — do you have a favourite notebook?

I have far too many notebooks lying around my lil’ apartment. But if I had to choose, right now it’d be a thin journal a friend recently bought me with the words “Get shit done” on the front cover.

MiGoals Get Shit Done Milligram

Q – We know the ones — they’re from our friends at MiGoals! And maybe a favourite pen or pencil?

I love using 2B pencils for drafting stuff because it feels like you’re not 100 per cent committing something to the page. Plus, they’re great for shorthand (journalism brain talking).

Q — Finally, what can we expect from this year’s MWF #MicroPoem project?

I reckon the poems will have ‘aha’ moments but at the same time won’t take themselves too seriously. I think that’s one of the real strengths of internet poetry: being punchy but accessible.

Be sure to catch Broede at this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.

#MicroPoem Project

Moleskine is sponsoring the #MicroPoem project at the Melbourne Writers Festival, which runs throughout the festival: Friday 24 August to Sunday 2 September. If you get involved and flaunt your poetic prowess by posting a poem, you could win a set of the 2018 MWF Moleskine customised notebooks — a winner is announced daily on the most creative and unique poem!

Remember to include the #MicroPoem and #MWF18 hashtags!

Find out more about Moleskine and their involvement in this year’s Melbourne Writers’ Festival here.

Read an interview with Dr Quinn Eades who is also headlining the 2018 #MicroPoem Project.