Puncher & Wattmann
The Ghost Poetry Project
by Nathan Curnow
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Ten nights. Ten haunted locations. One terrifying adventure across Australia.
From a gaol cell to a lunatic asylum to a night in a haunted hearse, The Ghost Poetry Project is one poet’s attempt to find a language of guts and daring. A unique exploration of fear, courage, and the power of mystery and myth.
The Ghost Poetry Project is a unique approach to the paranormal, melding historical accounts with personal experience. A narrative of one extraordinary year it consists of around seven responses to each ‘haunted’ site, drawn together by ‘Bunyips only Eat Avocadoes’.
A father of four young children, poet Nathan Curnow became increasingly interested in how language works to both terrify and embolden us. This was most apparent when his daughter became afraid of bunyips, a fear that could not be relieved by any amount of her parents’ loving persuasion. After months of sleepless nights it was suddenly undone by the words of another child who told her that bunyips only eat avocadoes.
As a child Nathan Curnow experienced that same debilitating fear. He could barely breathe due to an overwhelming sense of terror. The Ghost Poetry Project is about returning to that place. It is an account of the ghosts he met, their stories and of what a poet can and cannot put to rest.
The ten haunted sites include:
The Chifley Suite (ACT), Old Adelaide Gaol (SA), Picton (NSW), Monte Cristo Homestead (NSW), Fremantle Arts Centre (WA), Richmond Bridge (TAS), Elvira The Haunted Hearse (NSW), Norfolk Island, The Quarantine Station (NSW), Port Arthur (TAS).
Nathan Curnow is a poet, playwright and performer who has toured Australia and New Zealand and been heard widely on ABC radio. With further assistance from the Australia Council he is currently writing a new play based upon convict stories and escape myths.
Reviews and information on other websites
Nathan Curnow’s Ghost Poetry Project review - from the ‘Reeling and Writhing’ Blog, September 2009
Nathan Curnow …that go bump in the night: review on James FW Robert’s blog