Frank Moorhouse (on Mandy’s short story, Drowning in Thick Air)
“Drowning in Thick Air is shocking. It is also a powerful presentation of a totally maginalised girl and male cruelty (general cruelty of our species). It is not like anything I have read in recent years and takes me a place I have never been in my life or imagination or in fiction.”
Mike McCormack (on Mandy winning 1st Prize in the Moth Short Story Award)
‘For its brutal power, its physical presence and overall execution … This is the work of a genuine short story writer, someone who understands the internal balances and geometry of the form.’
Moth Short Story Winning Entry
“This energy then continues with the first short story of the magazine- Emily by Mandy Beaumont, my favourite piece in the entire issue. It uses similar run-on lines and long sentences to the opening poem. Emily is a story of wishing and dreams – of all that might have happened “if only…”. Yet it is also a vital story of young sexual arousal and considering the possibility of love. This sense of eroticism, combined with intellectual technique and ultimate beauty is spread throughout the rest of the magazine.”
Review of the winning MOTH short story 2014. See the full article here.
“Mandy Beaumont’s new chapbook is stellar, splendid, magnificent and complex. Good. I have that out of way. The poems are lyrical in style: highly personal and potently abstract. On the other hand, they also fit within a narrative structure. Each poem centres around the story of a nameless she that changes from poem to poem; the narrator carefully watches these people, tries to help them, connect, but is inevitably distanced by that metaphorical window, the text. She can but look in/on as these women live.
The stories mostly concern harmful or finishing relationships, but the blame is never lumped onto the woman, either for failing themselves or for failing to kick the abuser/user out the door. But, most importantly, the poems never fail to acknowledge and express the pleasure that these women experience, in amongst even the bad relationships and oblivious partners. In The Heat Of Heaven’s Wild, the protagonist luxuriates in the physical and mental ache after good sex – even when the partner is transient. She’s “very far away in thinking / that he can give her anything real.” Real here just refers to his physical presence; but the poem then goes on to question the importance of this lack. The narrator reminds the protagonist that “he’s given her thousands of Coleridge love heart lines / the image of him perfect in climax;” the protagonist realises that, even if he is gone for now, the “heart burning heat ardour for him” still riots through her days. It gives the status of reality to this transient relationship. Even when he’s gone, her pleasure remains real and tangible. The poem validates the pleasure this woman feels; it doesn’t turn her sexuality into a pathology because she doesn’t intend to marry the man.
Hope runs through these poems, even at their bleakest. The narrator, while unable to affect these women directly, still provides solidarity as a silent witness, if only by her understanding, care and sensitivity of portrayal. Indeed, the opening poem directly addresses the she’s of the text, saying that yes you “must bear” the “great weight of the moon,” the simple fact of their sex – in a world where that’s enough to endanger you; but there is also always the possibility of new “beginnings,” of power reclaimed, and pleasure grasped.”
Courier Mail article on Poetry After Dark
“She (Beaumont) is not afraid to use space, both in the words and in the presentation, nor is concerned with structured rhyming and stanza, allowing the reader to at once take at face value or interpret as they wish. ‘The Regular correspondence of a Love Affair With Words’ is a solid debut”.
“Evocative, urban poetess” .
Queensland Writers Centre
“Beaumont’s writing is gritty and beautiful. It seeps from the page and gets into the veins. Quite simply, it’s contagious!”
“I’m not much of a reader…usually my attention is projected towards imagery and visual aesthetics – but with Mandy Beaumont’s words, I couldn’t take my eyes off the pages… Simply stunning.”
Brisbane’s “girl of the moment”, Mandy Beaumont was next. Mandy gave us a taste of “The Regular Correspondence of a Love Affair With Words”. In front of a mic Mandy oozes appeal. She works the crowd over, teasing them with images of sexual innocence and then hitting them hard with her seedy stories from the underbelly of the street. Her words seem contagious…. They get under your skin and seep into your veins. As a performer she is irresistible and as a poet she she is really going places”.