bianca shipton

Bianca Shipton interview

Bianca Shipton lives in Sydney.  She has one collection of poems called ‘I AM TRYING TO DESTROY SOMETHING’ and another called \\\ ٩(`(エ)´ )و //// which roughly translates to 'Bear Punching A Hole Through The Sun’  Here are some poems by her that were published in Pop Serial 4.  You can talk to her on facebook.

How did you get started writing/reading poetry?

I think i was writing poems before i had read any voluntarily/outside of school. i remember being in primary school and mum proud that a teacher was excited about an owl poem i wrote. i was confused because it was a poem with 5 lines and v little feeling.

i read a lot of fantasy novels so when i did writing in class i wanted to create something escapist like that. i’d write too many pages and miss the due date while other kids could sort their shit out in a few paragraphs (just like this impending 5 page response to yr question haha). anyway, yeah, the poems i read were the ones you find in the middle of books like Lord Of The Rings or Enid Blyton. i rewrote a Lord of the Rings poem- the 'all that is gold does not glitter’ one - and thinking about it i still feel like the embarrassed dorky kid that wrote it but heavier.

so all through high school and ever since

there have been bits of paper with messy writing scrawled over them & scattered around my room

it looks mental& scary like something u would expect from a serial killer and i dont let ppl in my room haha.

my writing comes from a selfish place. i do it to empty myself out and find some clarity

so it can be hard to decide whether it is worthwhile for others to read.

ultimately poetry/writing can make a connection that is difficult to achieve in everyday interactions and i appreciate the ability to feel other ppl thru their writing. so i try to get brave and share sometimes

Keep reading


                Bianca Shipton shows life on Tumblr. The chapbook works more as a persona and less as a chapbook. Images add to the sense of personality. Placed in between poems of various lengths the images add to the general mood. Neither item could exist on its own. Geography comes up through these images. Everything comes together to create a specific sense of place. More than anything the images give a location for where the poems happen and why they happen. At times it becomes so completely relatable with the body imagery that it is difficult to believe that this is just Bianca’s life. Bianca Shipton’s ‘I AM TRYING TO DESTROY SOMETHING’ might as well be a chapbook about everyone’s experience. Little personal touches only increase this feeling. 

                Sickness keeps Bianca warm. What also keeps Bianca warm is her location in Australia. The land down under is usually fairly warm. Images of the sea indicate this as well. Living in Australia is having a perpetual summer. Bianca states as much with ‘everything contained by my skin is summer’. Sunscreen seeps into Bianca’s very pores, poring over every inch of her. Protected from the sun Bianca is free to go outside. Her destruction is limited to herself. That’s why she destroys an unripe watermelon, just for kicks. Poor watermelon had a family to support. Now the watermelon resides in Bianca’s stomach ready to be digested. 

                Weather is huge. Clouds linger over the chapbook. Bianca introduces the weather. Including pictures to go alongside the words makes the impact more forceful. Her fence is destroyed. Now all sorts of crazed critters can come on into her life. Critters come rushing in ready to destroy things like planted rows of tomatoes, lettuce, and various veggies. While Bianca mourns the death of a beloved stalk of celery her mother speaks. Apparently her mother rues the fact she never taught her daughter affection. Obviously Bianca’s mother hasn’t read her daughter’s work. 

                Thunder and lightning very very frightening enter through the images. Bianca lets the pictures speak for themselves. Re-blogged excerpts state she wants to hide somewhere. Shaking hands make that difficult. Video games offer the same miserable weather. An MP3 plays. Someone needs to hold her hand. Nobody does. Holding dead words close she considers the words a form of a friends, a memory of a person gone. 

                Quiet moments are cherished. Bianca hears the tap next door. That’s a quiet house or quiet apartment. Little sounds mean big things. Hearing the sounds of people next door reminds one that there is a life outside of them. In a strange way the sounds of a house or apartment building remind that life goes on even as loneliness lingers. Conquering loneliness may be hard. Other times loneliness can be a good thing helping one feel completely calm. Pictures of jellyfish confirm that Bianca will be alone. Sometimes it is hard to be alone with one’s problems since no one can quite understand it. Jellyfish lack problems. In fact jellyfish have the ability to live forever, at least turritopsis nutricula which reforms again and again. If reincarnation exists turritopsis nutricula have mastered it. 

                Memories return to Bianca. She remembers friends. Perhaps if sex ended up being a friendly thing more people would be into it. Already it has a great appeal. Maybe the reason people have sex is to feel wanted. There is a lot of sadness running throughout countless minds. Misery with company is better than lonely misery. It can be hard to conquer depression alone. A friend can make it tolerable or even better. 

                Death comes up by the end. Bianca mentions living a long productive life by dancing on other people’s graves. Sure dancing is a fine way to pass the time but by doing it in a graveyard this shows death who is boss. Her stomach shivers for it is worried about things. Once more Bianca returns to the watermelon and its intense juice. Finally Bianca ends with telling the reader to keep on going. And thus it ends with the hope that the reader follows her sound advice.

selected tweets from Bianca Shipton's twitter

Jan 10, 2013
i am a gross human :) haha 

Jan 23
im watching these people rushing through the city, im attributing yr tweets to these ppl, so many grey faces but blood inside

Jan 28
me with computer: *aglow in artificial light, halo of bright dust dancing* me w/out computer: *slug rolls over* 

Feb 05
3 ants having a drink of water \:./ 

Feb 05
……………………………:| a line of ants hitting the wall

Feb 05
. |_|> this is an ant chilling v gentleman-like with a cup of tea, um, yeah this is an ‘ant sir’. Um

Feb 06
the laundromat closing has rly boosted my fashion game. outfits so far incl. jumper cut into a singlet and naked except for a cape

Feb 05
saw a small girl sneeze out ~10 cm of mucous and thought 'miracles of life’  

Feb 10
~ . ~ ….. ~…~……….~ ~ ~~ … this is an invertebrate parade. everyone was invited but only worms and ants turned up 

Feb 15
congrats on constructing a v complex system of tunnels through my tissue/ you are a termite colony that i love/ and my skull packed with mud 

Mar 06
you (singular) are literally multiple organisms living and dying against eachother, killing eachother, writhing up against eachother 

Mar 06
you are an almost perfectly functioning city 

Mar 07
yep pretty sure my society of cells are having some exciting adventures together, sucks to be out of the loop as the Great Consciousness 

Mar 09
swimming in the ocean feels like all the mistakes since evolving to terrestrial vertebrates are washed away 

Mar 13
i was reading a book but then i noticed the arteries in my foot spell 'A’, one thing led to another, im reading everything except the book 

Mar 14
i feel a bit idiotic and a bit smart for realising i am idiotic (oh no im back at the ignorance i started from) 

Mar 16
post-selfie anxiety disorder 

Mar 20
thinking 'don’t forget reality is a very large ghost/ wearing you like a cloak/ or are you wearing it?’

Apr 09
peel back the skin of yr torso and declare 'come on in, the temperature of my intracellular fluid is regulated by homeostasis!’

Apr 11
i love the bruise on my knee, i love the way things pour from us, our sap is brighter than any plant 

Apr 14
“just show me whats really inside” *coughs up a pound of phlegm and tears and shit onto the table* 

Apr 26
damn i’ve developed a part of my brain that tells off the part of my brain that tells off the part of my brain that is procrastinating

Apr 30
they were talking about food and I said “I could literally live in the sea forever” and everyone was awkwardly quiet

May 12
french guy at work was impressed i can speak some french. i wanted to impress the italian guy too so i said 'bonjour’ with an italian accent 

May 21
thought 'whens my bloody menstruation going to start?’ then 'heh what other kind of menstruation is there?’ then 'i hope i dont tweet this’

May 23
i want the air to be slightly more viscous. then i will hold onto objects and wave about aimlessly like seaweed 

Jun 06
cute how when a link is blue we touch it with a little hand cursor and it goes red 

June 09
a nice tip for a badass editor: say to a writer “i’m putting a colon at the end of this paragraph because it’s full of shit” 

Jun 11
black cat crossing the road is a bad omen that you won’t get to make friends with the cat 

Jun 11
if someone calls u soft then respond “yea, soft like soft drink!”, then go on to explain that soft drink hurts if u stick yr nose in it  

Jun 27
flesh coloured sky and a streak of red, by summer it will be wholly bloodied and we’ll fall thru the gaps into space 

Jun 29
i need a friend who wants to die/ to drink grape kool aid vodka w(me (&live) ( for a while

Jul 16
choose your own adventure novel where on every page you decide which body part to shift to a new position in yr bed 

Jul 16
perceived the rumbling of a distant train as the sound of impending sunrise 

Jul 25
i want to lay silently covered in snow so my lil rhinovirus gets strong enough to eat my cells& inside we’d feel warm until disintegration

Aug 10

i,m raining,,,, , , ,’ “,, ’,

Aug 14
there is a warm growth of sunlight on the carpet
Bianca Shipton


“mmm but you’ve never been with [someone?]”

i wrote ‘if i express the less you’ll understand
/let me just take your hand’
but this one explained everything and th
here is where it begins:
soft, im laughin
all the way up the hill there are
crushed leaves, flowers wilting
warmish dark of my november
and then gravity’s curve,
i’m a rush for the neon sign and moths
can be a firefly here.
remember seagulls like moths over the bridge.
when i’ve become kind of joy paralysis snail thing
curled up on myself
, when i am runing!
i am proving that i still know happiness.
ok, here at the bottom where the sand begins
it doesn’t matter what love is, only kindness.
Bianca Shipton

10 things I think are awesome - from The Neato Mosquito Show

‘damn, what a well-structured society of cells, you’re more than cultured ;D’ by Bianca Shipton

and when the thunder pulls in
seagulls will scatter// shake sand from their fur
onto pigeons pacing in the parking lot &
a person there, thinking  “these moments might be the majority of life
so i’ll try to enjoy cool air on bare skin
and how the grey sky reflects concrete,

Stephen Tully Dierks reading ‘how much’ & ‘otherwise’ by James Ganas

I like it when people read poems out loud, this is a quiet way to read poems

Shaun Gannon reading poems to an audience of screaming admirers

This a loud way to read poems

‘Fired’ by Stephen Sturgeon

I feel tempted to reblog every poem in Sturgeon’s book b/c I like them so much – there are a few other poems by him on the tumblr – you can order the book here

‘Taking the Bus from Anyang’ by Noah Cicero

This is a short story about Korea and mountains and irritable bowel syndrome

‘small’ by Allesandra Roca

“i found a new sack of intestines to fuck on my white sheets when my brother isn’t home. i’m also tired of your young throat. sorry.”

the Megan Boyle cooking show: ‘bleaksedillas’ (excerpt from liveblog)

how to cook (wipes off dust from book cover) HUMANS

‘shop at Costco and follow my path into darkness’ by Gene Morgan

“I shop judiciously at Costco.
I worship satan and the serpent.
The Great White Owl burrows into a man.
I feast on the meat of others.
I do drugs at the John Mayer concert.”

‘Today I Am a Slave’ by xTx

a short story about being a sex slave, doing the laundry, almost getting drowned by Pepito, getting hit by hair brushes, making sandwiches, etc.

‘The Meaning of Life’ a short animated film by Don Hertzfeldt

Not a literary thing, I just liked this 10 minute film a lot. Shouts out 2 Megan Boyle for originally posting this


Bianca Shipton Day

poems, pictures, and tweets from the best Australian poet in all the lands


5:33 pm

tried to switch off my stove and the switch crumbled away. i then whacked my head on the cupboard door i left open.

7:12 pm

this beach is in half shadow and empty after the rain! but the waves are green! a rainbow in the dark clouds!

the ocean smells more alive than the living maybe. i wanted to become that.

7:16 pm

a lifesaver appeared and gave me a ‘wtf’ look as i was chewing the wind.

8:06 pm

if i get brave enough i will shout 'welcome to the bus!’ as each new passenger gets on.


damn, what a well-structured society of cells. you're more than cultured ;D

let me tell you what sydney is like inside myself:

primarily it is oxygen

 in this room there are plastic bags, a bloody tisue, an empty box of water crackers. 

people often tell me it is far away but here i am

my fleshy cage fills a certain amount of space and the air is pushed out from it

you are pushing out the same air from your flesh cage too.

aanyyway, ther’s this wall in redfern that says “40,000 years is a long long

time……… 40,000 years still on my mind”

it’s a heavy on the ribs type, 

evrry second.

     they say where

buildings now glare

was a forest that fed sunlight to the earth

   ((trillions of seconds wrapped up in trillions of seconds. getting buried in your mind

like dust layering rapidly)

still, air sweeps sweat from a train, 

asleep a man is greying and swallowing bush smoke , gentle against the beige


and when the thunder pulls in

seagulls will scatter// shake sand from their fur

onto pigeons pacing in the parking lot &

a person there, thinking  “these moments might be the majority of life

so i’ll try to enjoy cool air on bare skin

and how the grey sky reflects concrete,
Bianca Shipton

The Next Big Thing Series

What is the working title of the book?

                What I’m most proud of is the ongoing ‘Beach Sloth’ Blog. I like how versatile the Blog can be. In a book the words are there without change, addition, or elaboration. That can be extremely scary to make a definitive statement. By blogging I’ve noticed that I can clarify some things, elaborate on them, and better figure out what works best for me.

                The working title of the finished book (at 53,000 words) was ‘Tripping’. I like the title. I’ll keep it. Anybody who is interested in ‘Tripping’ should encourage me. I doubt I’ll be sharing the rough draft yet. The draft is just too rough. The Blog is simple. The Blog gets feedback. I can always add to the Blog. I can’t add to a book. I edit too much for me to ever be happy with a book. Who knows though maybe people will like it? 

Where did the idea come from for the book?

                The Blog stemmed from me hanging out on the beach. I was completely directionless in life. I have more of a purpose now both with the Blog and with life in general. Alt Lit is a huge part of the Blog. I want to support those who don’t receive much attention. I want to make life easier for people. I like helping people.

                For the full book the idea came from traveling and realizing a part of my life was over. It took me a long time to realize that. I wanted to constantly go back in time, to relive my life and maybe handle it better. I know that’s impossible now. I wish I had figured it out earlier. 

What genre does your book fall under?

                My Blog falls under the ‘support’ genre. Maybe it could be self-help? Reading my Blog should help others feel better about their lives. There’s all this wonderful material being created, free of charge, and I want to bring attention to it. Alt Lit is a wonderful thing. More people keep on joining the community for a reason. With more writers there’s a greater diversity of interests, styles, and life experiences. To me that is really fantastic.

                The book would fall under ‘young adult’.  I heard there’s a whole section of the library called ‘young adult’. I want part of the ‘young adult’ pie. Or I could go for elderly due to the demographic shifts worldwide towards rapid aging. 

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

                My Blog might be hard to turn into a movie. I’m uncertain. I have no idea who would play me. I might do that. Why not? I guess if I was going to drop the anonymous thing it would be for a big old pile of money and Hollywood fame.

                The book lends itself fairly well to a movie. The movie would be really digressive I think. I wish I knew more about movies. I know what soundtrack I’d use. It would be a better soundtrack than ‘Garden State’. The soundtrack would be killer. I feel like actually releasing the soundtrack of the movie first. When I watch movies I watch them with subtitles and turn the volume off. ‘Broken Flowers’ is a good movie for that approach. If anybody watches ‘Broken Flowers’ watch it to June of 44’s album ‘Engine Takes to the Water’. It syncs up perfectly with the movie. 

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

                Beach Sloth is a Blog supporting others.

                The book is someone dealing with the inevitability of adulthood by going on a trip that makes little sense and has little purpose. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

                The Blog has taken me almost three years. I’m pretty happy with the manuscript.

                Summarizing or giving the book a specific period is a bit tricky. I wrote some of the scenes years ago (before the blog), trashed it, and kept on coming back to them. The book is a series of earlier drafts. Collecting them and polishing them enough so they’d make sense took a month to fully re-write and put together.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

            The Blog was inspired by supporting others. People need support. Life is too hard.  

I wanted to have a bigger statement than the Blog. Few take blogging seriously. Books though seem to be taken ultra-seriously for reasons I can’t fathom. Yet I still wanted to have a book that I wrote and could perhaps take some pride in, hence ‘Tripping’. 

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

                If anybody needs an introduction to Alt Lit I do a good job summarizing it. I try to keep things simple. My goal is to convey as clearly as possible what the work is trying to do. The purpose of my reviews is to be as simple as possible.

                For the book I feel if people are reaching their late twenties and feel completely doomed about what do with their life then my book might be able to help them. 

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

                The Blog is self-published. That will never change. I like having control over it. 

                I self-published ‘I want to YouTube down the Rivers of America’. I think if I have another book it will not be a chapbook but a full book. I want to have a publisher. 


My tagged writers for next Wednesday are:

Neon Glittery, Bianca Shipton, Peterbd, Lucy K Shaw, Stephen Michael McDowell

5:33 pm
tried to switch off my stove and the switch crumbled away. i then whacked my head on the cupboard door i left open.
7:12 pm
this beach is in half shadow and empty after the rain! but the waves are green! a rainbow in the dark clouds!
the ocean smells more alive than the living maybe, i wanted to become that.
7:16 pm
a lifesaver appeared and gave me a ‘wtf’ look as i was chewing the wind.
8:06 pm
if i get brave enough i will shout ‘welcome to the bus!’ as each new passenger gets on.
Bianca Shipton