Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
my mother manipulated us
blackmailing us with
in all its flavours
'o, I know what you're up to'
she'd say, seeing conspiracy everywhere
and call me by my brother's name
and accuse me of his faults
'you can't hide from me'
she'd say, and we'd resent it
but now years down the track,
sober drunks praise her in
the public bar of their recovery,
and I glow in her reflected serenity
and phone to tell my brother
what a good woman she was,
our mother of the manipulative ways -
he laughs and asks
for a contribution to her last pharmacy bill
and mimics her voice -
'you can't hide from me'
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
The project will also commission 1 poet to write a mini-essay about an aspect of poetry in the public space, to be published online at www.redroomorganisation.org and presented publicity, at the project's launch.
The poems will be displayed for the duration of APRIL 2006, in these spaces, thanks to the support from ‘The Letter Corporation, The City of Sydney and The John Butler Foundation's 'social activisim through the arts' fund.
Our design partners, DesignWorks Enterprise IG, will co-ordinate the selection of artists and art design, introducing a strong collaborative element between the poet and the artist.
Selected poets will be recorded reading their poems for a red room radio, broadcast via the national community radio satellite.
The poems will replace advertising with poetry and art by emerging Australian poets and artists in spaces that are both very public, and uniquely private.
Each illustrated poem will explore and interpret a theme of social, political, cultural and creative relevance to each poet and designer, offering a balance between creative excellence and a social aware art for the public, humorous and serious at once.
SUBMISSIONS open on DECEMBER 1 2005 and close JANUARY 23 2006
Conditions of entry for poets
Poems can’t have been previously published.
Poets selected for the project will be emerging poets, that means no more than one book (chap books excluded) of poetry previously published.
Poems remain the exclusive copyright of red room company until project completion and future publication must acknowledge previous publication in this project.
Poems submitted must include poet contact details
Poets must be Australian residents
Poems can be sent via email or hard copy to The Red Room Company PO box 1389 Darlinghurst, NSW 1300
Poems must reach us by the 23rd January 2006
Conditions of entry for artists
Artists selected for the project will be emerging artists, that means not as famous as John Olsen.
Art works remain the exclusive copyright of red room company until project completion and future publication must acknowledge previous publication in this project.
Works submitted must include poet contact details
Artists must be Australian residents
An example of previous art work must fit into an A4 envelope (CDs, photographs, photocopies accepted) to
The Red Room Company PO box 1389 Darlinghurst, NSW 1300
Artworks must reach us by the 13th January 2006
Artists will be contacted separately, details here soon.
Poem and art selection committee will include an emerging and established poet. Also involved in the selection process will be a representative from the John Butler Foundation and The City of Sydney
Please don't submit poems built on toilet humour unless they are outstanding
The selected poems will aim to explore issues of social, political, cultural and creative relevance to broad audience.
Further detailsPlease contact email@example.com
Submissions are now open for the 2006 Toilet Door poetry project.
Six emerging poets and artists are wanted to create illustrated
poem posters for exhibition on the back of toilet doors in Qantas
domestic terminals, greater union and village cinemas, nationally
in April 2006.
Please see attached PDF for details [try the link below].
Happy summer swims,
The Red Room Company
Monday, December 26, 2005
i begin the festivities
by watering the lawn
and the two single trees
that stand two metres tall
and five metres apart
their leafy round heads
dripping like mops
a wattlebird flies in
and shakes her body
among the leaves
bathes with gusto
when in flies her would-be lover
so she flies to
the other green mop
both trees now alive
a bird each
and not a partridge
or a pear tree
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Snow School by Fran Sbrocchi. I suppose it helps to know that Fran grew up in Canada :-) With this painting she sent a note which read, in part, Kids in our time built a nice house and put a stove in it for winter school lunches. Beautiful. Thanks, Fran ... And happy jolly, merry holly to all!
Pieter Brueghel, Hunters in the Snow (1565)
Here's a website you might enjoy - http://www.english.emory.edu/classes/paintings&poems/titlepage.html
Friday, December 16, 2005
See you there! Would I tell you all this if I wasn't one of the writers? Not bloody likely! :-)
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Saturday, December 03, 2005
A subscription would make a good Christmas gift to someone interested in contemporary Australian literature.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Percy Bysshe Shelley
The keen stars were twinkling,
And the fair moon was rising above them,
The guitar was tinkling,
But the notes were not sweet till you sung them
As the moon's soft splendor
O'er the faint cold starlight of heaven
So your voice most tender
To the strings without soul has then given
The stars will awaken,
Though the moon sleep a full hour later,
No leaf will be shaken
Whilst the dews of your melody scatter
Though the sound overpowers,
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing
Of some world far from ours,
Where music and moonlight and feeling
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
"I lead a very reclusive life ... and suddenly this happens." Fay Zwicky
By Jane Sullivan
November 12, 2005
WHEN poet Fay Zwicky had a telephone call to tell her she'd won one of Australia's top literary prizes, she thought it was a hoax. "I was completely bowled over," she said. "I lead a very reclusive life and I never expect anything. I always think I'm drifting along and nobody knows I'm here, and it's great. And suddenly this happens."
The 72-year-old Perth writer, who was born and brought up in Melbourne and has been writing poetry and prose for half a century, has won the $25,000 Patrick White Award.
The annual prize is given to an Australian writer whose work, in the opinion of the award committee, has not received adequate recognition. The committee says Zwicky is "one of Australia's most original and accomplished poets".
Patrick White founded the award after he won the Nobel prize for literature in 1973. Zwicky remembers meeting him at an anti-nuclear symposium in Canberra in the 1980s, where she read one of her stories. "He was very elderly and infirm and I was totally in awe of the man. Shrunken and ill as he was, he took the trouble to come over and say something very nice about my story. I was so moved I burst into tears," she said.
"I know he had a reputation as a bit of a curmudgeon, but then so have I. He was a remarkable humanitarian. I have enormous respect for him and I'm terribly moved I should be part of the legacy."
Zwicky began writing poetry as an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne in the 1950s and has worked as a concert pianist and an academic. As a young musician, she always had a book behind the music stand so her mother could not see what she was reading.
Her poetry collections have won several awards. One of her most-admired poems, Kaddish, is an elegy for her father that also draws on her experience of growing up in Melbourne's Jewish community.
Today she lives with "the usual old-age things: your mind might be leaping about, but the body ain't following", but she is still writing poetry. Next year, Giramondo Press will publish a new collection, Picnic. "It will probably be my last book but I'm very pleased, I've been working quite hard. My poems are getting a bit engrossed by the political state of things at the moment … leaning towards a study of despotism, the waste of life and the need for survival."
Last year, Western Australia declared her a Living Treasure — "a most repulsive term".
She finds poetry today "a mixed bag" and is not keen on some performance poetry with "people practically masturbating on stage. I'm afraid I'm old-fashioned Melbourne: don't show everything, keep it in. I was brought up in a puritanical style and I'm not sorry about that."
I am now calling for submissions for 'Thirst', a biannually published
literary magazine of 52 pages comprising poetry, short stories, reviews,
essays, articles (especially on writing or writers). This is privatly
published by Benmax Box, distribution approx 200, in support of
established and emerging writers. Submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Edited by Les Murray
Following on from the enormous success of the 2004 Best Poems anthology, editor Les Murray promises an even better collection for 2005. Taking only the best of our established poets, as well as discovering a few hidden gems by previously unpublished writers, The Best Australian Poems 2005 is the ultimate showcase of Australian poetry.
$24.95 - ISBN 186 395 1024 - Black Inc. - October 2005
Trade orders through Macmillan.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
In 2000 a headline on the front page of The West Australian declared that Perth was “dull and deserted…boring and functional.” Understandably, some locals took offence. For others, it confirmed something they’d long suspected about the most isolated city in the country. But is Perth really the third most liveable city in the world, or is it simply the backside of the planet? This is the question posed in Welcome to Dullsville!, the final show in Perth Theatre Company’s 2005 Season.
PTC Artistic Director, Alan Becher has invited 15 of the city’s finest playwrights to spill the beans on their hometown. Among those Becher invited are Reg Cribb (Last Cab to Darwin, The Return, Ruby’s Last Dollar), Jenny Davis (Dear Heart), Robert Jeffreys (Cox Four, The Messenger), Ingle Knight (The Getaway Bus, Shadow Of The Eagle), Elizabeth Spencer (Tango), Hellie Turner (Bench) and Ian Wilding (Torrez, Below).
Each playwright takes a different view of the city, dealing with the lifestyle, issues of isolation, celebration, lack of sophistication and parochialism.
According to these writers Perth in the sort of town where a couple might go into therapy over conflicting AFL loyalties. Perth residents, it seems, are also likely to be aroused by the Bell Tower on Barrack Street Jetty and go ‘swinging’ in the Western Suburbs.
A tongue-in-cheek celebration of Perth living, Welcome to Dullsville! appeals to anyone who’s ever felt the pangs of cultural cringe. Moreover, it’s for any one willing to laugh at themselves and their hometown.
Also showing alongside the series of short plays are photographs by local photographer Jon Green who’s managed to capture the city in all its splendour.
- Alex McDonald
Welcome to Dullsville!
19 November – 10 December
Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), James St, Northbridge
Bookings: 08 9484 1133
Friday, November 11, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
In September 2006 all the tracks will be winding back to the historic township of Gundagai as it comes alive to the sound of jigs and reels and the rhythmic beat of step and set dancing when it hosts its inaugural festival of Irish and Australian Music and the Related Arts. Under the banner “The Turning Wave” the festival will celebrate significant connections between Ireland and Australia, and the rich cultural heritage of both traditions.
The title, “The Turning Wave” is taken from a poem by Colleen Z Burke (Clare ancestry) and, an anthology of the same name compiled and edited by Colleen and Vincent Woods (Galway playwright & poet), and is used with the kind permission of the authors. This anthology is a collection of the poetry (and song) of Irish Australia, reflecting the strong Irish influence on Australian life. The Turning Wave Festival in Gundagai will also celebrate Irish Australia through music, song, dance, spoken word, literature and theatre.
The Irish influence is entwined in the fabric of Gundagai from its early settlement days and is linked intrinsically to its place as a lighthouse in an emerging Australian national identity. One significant impact of Irish immigration was the arrival in Gundagai in March 1850 of 41 Irish famine orphan girls. 194 orphans in all had earlier arrived in Sydney on the ‘Thomas Arbuthnot’ having left the famine impoverished south-west of Ireland in 1849 for new lives in NSW. Of these, 102 girls aged between 14 and 21 set off ‘up country’ with the Surgeon-Superintendent, Charles Strutt who had cared for them on the voyage out. They were headed for Yass and Gundagai where they gained employment in the district. Many were soon married and became founding families whose names are still evident in the region today. The majestic Gundagai Court House built in 1859 is also where one of Gundagai’s more infamous characters, the Irish bushranger Andrew George Scott alias Captain Moonlight was committed for trial. He was born in Co. Down. In fact, when he was captured and brought into Gundagai the town enjoyed a half-day holiday. He is also buried in the North Gundagai cemetery after his remains were exhumed from Rookwood and re-buried 115 years after his execution. Woven into the rich tapestry of Gundagai history are also the Australian icons that many of us are familiar with, the Dog on the Tucker Box, a symbol of loyalty and devotion, and the battlers, Dad, Dave, Mum and Mabel, the Snake Gully characters immortalised by Steele Rudd. And then there’s that song, “The Road to Gundagai”.
Festival director Pam Merrigan who has recently been in Ireland with the ‘Sydney Harbour Band’ performing traditional Australian music at a number of festivals including the prestigious Willie Clancy Summer School, and promoting the idea of the festival in Ireland said there was a tremendous interest in it there and also in the Irish contribution to an Australian cultural identity. We are already negotiating to bring musicians from Ireland to the festival. In addition to the music focus there will be a big input of related arts activities and also a World Celtic Fringe.
Expressions of interest from performers and presenters open from Nov 21st 2005. For Application Forms and further information you can email the Festival Director, Pam Merrigan. email@example.com Opportunities exist for concert performance, themed concerts, street performers, workshops and master classes, children’s presenters, dance, literature, poetry, storytelling, and theatre presentations.
Applications close 31st March 2006 and successful applicants will be notified by 31st May 2006.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Justin Lowe (Australian poet living in The Blue Mountains, NSW) wants a few poems to look at for his new poetry blog.
If you know any poets who might be interested in contributing, feel free to pass the address onto them http://www.bluepepper.blogspot.com
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
of years and Robe Street -
go-go dancer free of her cage
who once worked with ...
she'd be lucky to be twenty
and the mini-skirt shows
her gams off well.
Daylight. Workers at work,
schoolkids at school. So
who's this guy in a Merc
who leans out his window
to ask, What time you start,
love? She is caught on
the backfoot of reverie
and blurts out, Nine, nine o'clock.
Okay love, he says, I'll be back.
She stops and stares at his car as it
drives off, image suddenly
interruped by Luna Park eyes
and snarling mouth, a woman yelling,
Get off my corner, bitch! Ya hear?
This is my patch, not yours!
Fuck off, bitch, n' dun come back.
Go-Go squeaks out, What?
The ugly face leans in until the wind
blows her hair against the young wife's face,
Fuck off, ya mole. This is MY corner.
And takes off, walking like
her pants are on fire. Go-Go
stands and breathes deeply,
milk and bread anchors to
normality. She coughs a small cough
and walks on, head down,
to number 47, a flat in the back
where her husband will be stirring
on the mattress on the floor,
waking from nightshift at
the Police Academy where he cleans
black boot polish stains off
shiny wax linoleum floors.
It is like the wrong pieces fell
into her jigsaw - their own place
at last, and now this.
(First draft, written as a snap poem for Poetryetc this day, partially built on memory.)
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Melbourne Poets Union
INTERNATIONAL POETRY COMPETITION 2005
1st Prize $AUD1000
2nd Prize $AUD 300
3rd Prize $AUD 200
Martin Downey Urban Realist Award $AUD 50
Judge: Diane Fahey
° shall be unpublished (including e-zines)
° shall not have won another competition as at 28th October 2005
° may be on any theme, maximum 50 lines, must be typed
° shall not bear the poet’s name
° must be received by 28th October 2005
° must be accompanied by cheque/money order made out to Melbourne Poets Union Inc. $6 per poem or $15 for 3 poems (no cash please)
It says ‘Please send entries to …’ so I presume you can get Entry Forms from:
MPU Inc International Poetry Competition
PO Box 266
Flinders Lane 8009
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Friday, October 07, 2005
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
This is one of the poems they are voting on at the British Poetry Society to send into space ... Read about it at http://www.poetrysociety.org.uk/npd/npdpoll.htm
This is dawn
This is your season, little daughter.
The moment daisies open,
the hour mercurial rainwater
Makes a mirror for sparrows.
It's time we drowned our sorrows.
I tiptoe in.
I lift you up
In your rosy, zipped sleeper.
Yes, this is the hour
For the early bird and me
When finder is keeper.
I crook the bottle.
How you suckle!
This is the best I can be,
To this nursery
Where you hold on,
A silt of milk.
The last suck
And now your eyes are open,
Birth-coloured and offended.
You go back to sleep.
The feed is ended.
Stars go in.
Even the moon is losing face.
Poplars stilt for dawn
And we begin
The long fall from grace.
I tuck you in.
Fact of the day: There are a reported 60 million bloggers, writing everything from personal diaries to influential political rhetoric. The research firm The Duffusion Group recently predicted there will also be 60 million podcasters in the US by 2010.
Crikey, I feel so common!
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Monday, October 03, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Please see below for details of how to submit to Cordite.
SUBMISSIONS ARE STILL OPEN FOR CORDITE #23: CHILDREN OF MALLEY!
2005 marks the 62nd anniversary of the death of The Great Dromedary of Australian poetry, Ern Malley. To commemorate this momentous occasion Cordite would like to invite Malley's progeny to submit poems for The Children of Ern Malley edition. Dedicated to celebrating "No-Man's Language", the Malley edition will feature poems published under noms de Malley (for instance Vivian Malley, Aloysius Malley or plain old Bert Malley). It is worth remembering that Cordite has a preference for poetry that tries to split the infinite. Beyond is anything.
Please click on the link above to be rushed to their site where further submission details await you.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
and Other Exotic Locations
by Dawn Tefft
Dawn Tefft holds an M.A. in English, recently taught composition and literature courses at Columbia College and Roosevelt University in Chicago, and has just begun working on a Ph.D.in Creative Writing at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the fall of 2005. She was a finalist in Winnow Press's Open Book Award in Poetry in 2004 and previously won the Academy of American Poets Prize at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has poems published in The Cream City Review, Melic Review, Lullwater Review, Rhino, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Karamu, kaleidowhirl, Redivider, LitRag, Niederngasse, and Mudlark.
Spread the word. Far and wide,
An Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics
Never in and never out of print...
Monday, September 12, 2005
A reader writes in on a link from last Friday:
"I have a prized little volume called Very Bad Poetry, edited by Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras (Vintage Books, 1997) that contains some hilarious and varied examples of doggerel, including several works by J. Gordon Coogler, king of 'while-you-wait' poetry, ('How Strange Are Dreams!'; 'God Correctly Understood') and Canadian cheese-ophile (in more than one sense) James McIntyre. Here is his 'Ode on the Mammoth Cheese', based
on an actual four ton chunk of cheese displayed in Toronto circa 1855, according to the editors:"
Ode on the Mammoth Cheese
Weighing over 7,000 pounds
We have seen thee, queen of cheese,
Lying quietly at your ease,
Gently framed by evening breeze,
Thy fair form no flies dare seize.
All gaily dressed soon you'll go
To the great Provincial show,
To be admired by many a beau
In the city of Toronto.
Cows numerous as a swarm of bees,
Or as the leaves upon the trees,
It did require to make thee please,
And stand unrivaled, queen of cheese.
May you not receive a scar as
We have heard that Mr. Harris
Intends to send you off as far as
The great world's show at Paris.
Of the youth beware of these,
For some of them might rudely squeeze
And bite your cheek, then songs or glees
We could not sing, oh! queen of cheese.
We'rt thou suspended from balloon,
You'd cast a shade even at noon,
Folks would think it was the moon
About to fall and crush them soon.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
The following poem was written for an exhibition of Australian surrealist paintings that showed at the S.H Ervin Gallery in Sydney. I can’t say I’m a huge Nolan fan but I wrote in response to three of his paintings, this one being my favourite poem. I tried to emulate, impossibly, a kind of ‘exquisite corpse’ procedure. Impossible to do alone obviously because you know what is before and behind you but, let’s say, I tried to push the Q&A format a bit.
Where are your eyes?
Nothing has prepared us for this.
What is earth?
There’s a pain that remembers bone and horn.
Is the sky above?
Only figures in a landscape.
How fast is the wind?
Even the broken floats in dreamland’s waters.
Do you remember when?
You will know when you see us.
Will you take us with you?
Born into the boundless plain.
How long have you been here?
Our names were once Surefoot and Swift.
Do you think we will be happy?
Dream horses do not need your eyes.
– after Clay Horses by Sidney Nolan
(This poem first published in Agenda, Vol 41, 2005)
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
- Annie Dillard
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I could have been a big wheel, but I never spoke up.
I could have been a cardiologist, but my heart just wasn't in it.
I could have been a brewer, but I didn't have the head for it.
I could have been a Buddy, but I couldn't Hacket.
I could have been a candle maker, but I didn't know wick end was up.
I could have been a geometry teacher, but I hung around in the wrong circles.
I could have been a bridge builder, but I had fallen arches.
I could have been an elevator operator, but I kept getting the shaft.
I could have been a fairy tale author, but I was too Grimm.
I could have been a Director of the Hallelujah Chorus, but I couldn't Handel it.
I could have been a psychiatrist, but I was a freud.
I could have been a thief, but I couldn't take it.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Next reading there on Saturday 10th September 2005. The first one was so enjoyable, I would urge you to attend the next.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
as I do my washing
porridge on the stove
while she waits
she edits my furniture
for her tidy house
when we get together
we will have more
this time is so different
from the first marriage
the second the third
it is our 'last true love'
we say, gazing at each other
like herons at a river
I bring my porridge
to the table
and think in its steam
too much cinnamon
and not enough
Monday, August 15, 2005
I am working on the Complete Collected Poems of Philip Whalen and nearly done with the job. I would appreciate it if any of you, or your friends have poems by Philip Whalen from small magazines, mimeos, letters, that you think have never been published, please let me know by e-mail, and send me a photo copy at: Michael Rothenberg, 1914 Pierce St., Hollywood, FL 33020. I would appreciate any help you can give.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Monday, August 01, 2005
eight weeks - $120 a term. It starts on 17 August 2005.
I'll create a Unit Outline for it tomorrow and post it here then. It will cover contemporary prose techniques and will address some aspects of poetry. Please be aware it is not a business writing course or a journalism course.
It will be held in Mount Lawley, either at my home address if numbers are small, or a local hall otherwise. Details will be confirmed when numbers are known.
Close off date is 11 August 2005.
Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, July 31, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Let the beauty we love be what we do. - Rumi
Monday, July 18, 2005
Thanks to Randolph Healey for the info. You will put faces to many names, among them Fanny Howe, Charles Bernstein, Lee Harwood, Randolph and Alison Croggon.