Poet | Writer
My words have found life on old trees, wet concrete and thin air. My work has also found places in Best Australian Poems, Meanjin, Cordite, Second Prize Fellowship of Australian Writers Qld Literary competition and Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology.
My first collection of poetry, FALLING UPWARDS, published through 5 Island Press (University of Melbourne), 2019. My second collection, 100 POINTS OF ID TO PROVE I DON'T EXIST, independently published, 2021.
“As we battle through the clutter and confusion of our lives, there are poets like Darby Hudson, gently and carefully crafting words that deeply resonate, amuse and so often help us heal from the chaos of this modern world. ‘Falling Upwards’ is a sublime array of personal and melancholic observations of everyday life. In so many of these glorious little gems, he effortlessly manages to draw beauty and profundity from the minutia of daily existence. This collection is an enriching and balanced compendium that will make you glow, smile and at times, wallow in the soothing pleasures that melancholy can bring”
- Adam Elliot, writer, director, Academy Award winner for Harvie Krumpet, writer and director of Mary and Max
“These are the poems of a tightrope walker who dares to look all the way down while we look up and marvel at his somersaults of perception — dizzying, tragicomic and moving.”
- Paul Lynch, author of Grace, winner of The Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year
“Night waking, public transport, birds, cats, shoes, watches, skin: this is Darby Hudson, poet of otherwise lost moments, with a first collection that’s existential, sly, quick, surprising, and smart as paint.”
- Lisa Gorton, author of Hotel Hyperion
“Like sitting with a best friend in a bar on a winter night. These pages are the snow outside the window and these words are fire words. This is a book to keep you alive."
- Oliver Mol, author of Lion Attack
LAUNCH SPEECH FOR ‘FALLING UPWARDS’
It’s such a lovely thing to have met one of my heroes of decades – they say don’t meet your heroes, however the first thing I noticed about Adam Elliot was he is less human and more creature. And I love creatures more than humans. And if you look closely he has an invisible waggy tail. It’s a dog tail.
This book accidentally began when I was sent by the dole to a resume writing course in 2008. I was indignant so wrote a resume that just listed my interests (most have bush walking) but I included interests such as pushing buttons with really smooth push button action; comparing data with completely irrelevant other data; getting a little bit wet in the rain then quickly running inside … then I applied indiscriminately for every single job in The Age with it over a weekend – 2500 jobs. From engineer, to lawyer to bridge-builder.
And people called me to see if i was serious or crazy and the truth is I am a little bit crazy – but in the way that I’ve always treated life as an opportunity to play a long continuous prank on myself so i end up in interesting places, not expected places – like this situation right now where I’m talking to a small crowd about this book I wrote.
So, I ended up in advertising because of this resume. They decided I was a copywriter. I said I wasn’t and they said I was and I said I wasn’t and they said I was and so I became a copywriter. My boss asked me what I read, I said I don’t read. He said you can’t write if you don’t read. And I’m here in Readings bookstore saying this.
So, I read poetry and fucking loved it. It saved me. And for some reason I thought I’d start writing it too. And I did that for 10 years sitting by the train tracks at night in the bushes, under the moon the local creepy guy – watching trains go past writing poetry as my monitor blinded me, helping stealthy foxes try to steal my backpack sitting beside me. I ended up bringing food for them. And this book happened because of it!
And because of this book, this gathering has happened.And what’s weird about having this book is it took a lot of being alone and writing alone – writing is a deeply alone activity yet it has led to this! I’m an introvert so this is my version of hell.
But it’s probably the loveliest problem I’ve ever had.
So, thanks for coming.
- Darby Hudson - Readings Books, St Kilda, 23 August, 2019