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Monday, December 31, 2007

Gibb River Station



Multilingual birds sing
over dry leaf maracas
on a sunburnt land. See them
bad-bugger Brahmin bulls at it –
dry creek, no tucker.
Red cloud rises
but no stockmen see. They’re
in Derby on the piss. Home alone,
law lady Maudie lies in bed, Gnarnygin
stories in her head: After the mob left
Wandjina came and turned that snake
into stone.
I leave my desk
to walk and think.

The Kimberley text
is in shadow play, today:
outcrop and gorge, red dirt polyglossia
of crow claw, roo paw and grader wheels.
Signs and the dignified signified
clear in my head to sing
the thisness of all things

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Poet of the Year: John Ashbery


At this time of year, the media seems to delight in appointing the Best of the Year in almost everything. Not to be outdone, poet Edward Byrne has declared John Ashbery 'Poet of the Year', a choice that is not surprising. As a poet, Ashbery perplexes many but at the same time mesmerises more.

Take a look at the full article at http://edwardbyrne.blogspot.com/2007/12/poet-of-year-john-ashbery.html

That article, or posting, mentions a Marjorie Perloff review of Ashbery's latest Selected which makes great reading at http://www.bookforum.com/inprint/014_04/1378

Submission call

Poetry Sz:demystifying mental illness
http://poetrysz.blogspot.com is
calling for submissions for its 25th issue.

Send 4-6 poems and a short bio in the body of your
email to poetrysz@yahoo.com


Please read the submission guidelines first before
submitting.

Thanks.

J Chan
editor

John Lennon says ...

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oscar Peterson RIP



Oscar Emmanuel Peterson
August 25 1925 - December 23 2007


Oscar's wife and daughter have posted a message at http://oscarpeterson.com

'In 2004 The Late Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen suggested that Oscar write lyrics to "When Summer Comes". In 2005 when Niels passed away, Oscar persued this and asked Elvis Costello to write lyrics. On Oscar's 80th Birthday event, Diana Krall sang the lyrics that Elvis wrote. Oscar loved the lyrics, and we thought it would be fitting to have them here for others to enjoy.'


When Summer Comes
Music by Oscar Peterson
Lyrics by Elvis Costello
Originally Performed by Diana Krall


The land was white
While the winter moon as absent from the night
And the blackness only pierced by far off stars
But as every day still succeeds the darkest moments we have known
When season turn
Springtime colours will return
And as the first pale flowers of the lengthening hours
Seem to brighten the twilight and that melancholy cloak
Then a fresh perfume just seems to burst from each bloom
Until the green shoots through each day
As it arrives in every shade of hope
When Summer Comes
There will be a dream of peace
And a breath that I've held so long that I can barely release
Then perhaps I may even find a room somewhere
Just a place I can still speak to you

Monday, December 24, 2007

Ho-ho-hum ...



Merry Christmas to you all ...

This is a very hot Christmas period down here - 38 Celsius for Christmas Day and a threatened 40 degrees for Boxing Day. As my wife, today's Mrs Malaprop, said recently, trying to be jolly, Ho-hum ... Christmas.

I found the imaginative Christmas tree photographed above at the Guildford Markets a week ago, just after we arrived back in Perth. It is constructed out of corrugated iron, a reminder of our many hours on 'corrugation road', the Gibb River Road of The Kimberley.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Creeley Lives!



In this fast growing but ultimately isolated city, Perth, poetry CDs are a rare item in mainstream shops. In this city's suburb of Mt Lawley there is a very popular video store Planet Video which has expanded vigorously in past years and now sports CD sales, DVD sales, and Planet Books, which has perhaps the best poetry selection of any bookstore in Perth.

Long story short, I was in there yesterday, doing some last minute Christmas shopping, when I stumbled across the above CD - Robert Creeley with Steve Swallow. Of course, there isn't enough Creeley for my taste, but he was a minimalist poet, so I suppose a minimal amount of poetry spoken in Creeley's unique style would represent his work well.

I once had the honour of spending time with Creeley here in Perth, and heard him read. He was a generous man with his time and with his information, so this CD brings back great memories for me, besides being a great enforcer of the tone of his poems in The Collected Poems of RC which I have from the University of California Press, 1982.

Here is a short quote from the end of a review in All About Jazz http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=23904 which expresses my basic reaction to this CD:

Poets look askance (as did Shelley all that time ago in “Ozymandias”) at claims regarding the permanence of human creation. Perhaps; but on this record, Robert Creeley is still speaking, and thanks to Swallow’s musical contribution, we can hear him a little better than we otherwise might.



Tracks: Oh No; Names; Here Again; Ambition; Indians; From Histoire De Florida; Sufi Sam Christian; Later; From Wellington, New Zealand / From Eight Plus; Miles; Just In Time; Return; Echo; Sad Advice; Riddle; Blue Moon; I Know A Man; A Valentine For Pen.


Personnel: Steve Swallow: bass; Robert Creeley: voice; Steve Kuhn: piano; The Cikada String Quartet: Henrik Hannisdal: violin; Odd Hannisdal: violin; Marek Konstantynowicz: viola; Morten Hannisdal: cello.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

from CompleteClassics.com, a poem by Vasko Popa

In The Village Of My Ancestors


Someone embraces me
Someone looks at me with the eyes of a wolf
Someone takes off his hat
So I can see him better

Everyone asks me
Do you know how I'm related to you

Unknown old men and women
Appropriate the names
Of young men and women from my memory

I ask one of them
Tell me for God's sake
Is George the Wolf still living

That's me he answers
With a voice from the next world

I touch his cheek with my hand
And beg him with my eyes
To tell me if I'm living too

Vasko Popa

Monday, December 17, 2007

Alhambra Poetry Calendar 2008

"The works in the Poetry Calendar – as diverse and distinctive a gathering of voices as can be imagined – offer a way to begin each day newly awakened, newly convinced that words are not the end of thought, they are where it begins."Jane Hirshfield

A surprise-desk calendar and a poetry anthology in one, the beautifully designed and presented Alhambra Poetry Calendar 2008 contains 366 poems by 340 poets. Meant for your desktop or bedside table, the calendar showcases work by some of the best American, British, Canadian, Australian, and Irish poets from the 14th to the 21st century. Poetry calendars are also available in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Did I say I loved this idea before? Ah, the list of poets contributing includes lots of Australians. Great idea. Perhaps an Aussie publisher should do an Australian desktop calendar for 2009. I'll be the editor ...

For more details, http://www.alhambrapublishing.com/

PETER ABBS MARY ADAMS DAN ALBERGOTTI PAMELA ALEXANDER DICK ALLEN L. N. ALLEN MONIZA ALVI DONALD ANDERSON NIN ANDREWSANONYMOUS TALVIKKI ANSEL ALAN ANSEN DAVID BAKER CHRISTIANNE BALK MARY JO BANG ELLEN BASS DEREK BEAULIEU JEANNE MARIE BEAUMONT JACK B. BEDELL MARVIN BELL CHARLES BERNSTEIN JILL BIALOSKY LINDA BIERDS DAVID BIESPIEL WILLIAM BLAKE ROBERT BLY MICHELLE BOISSEAU CHRISTIAN BÖK EAVAN BOLAND STEPHANIE BOLSTER BRUCE BOND MARIANNE BORUCH GEORGE BOWERING CATHY SMITH BOWERS GEORGE BRADLEY DIONNE BRAND SUSAN BRIANTE GEOFFREY BROCK PATRICIA BRODY CATHARINE SAVAGE BROSMAN JOEL BROUWER DEBORAH BROWN ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING ROBERT BROWNING ANDREA HOLLANDER BUDY KATHRYN STRIPLING BYER GEORGE GORDON, LORD BYRON PETER CAMPION NICK CARBO LEWIS CARROLL CATHERINE CARTER JOHN CLARE GEORGE ELLIOTT CLARKE SUZANNE CLEARY ARTHUR HUGH CLOUGH BILLY COLLINS MARTHA COLLINS DAVID CONSTANTINE PETER COOLEY ROBERT CORDING PETER COVINO ABRAHAM COWLEY CHRIS WALLACE CRABBE KEVIN CRAFT STEVEN CRAMER HART CRANE ROBERT CRAWFORD ALISON CROGGON LORNA CROZIER DEBORAH CUMMINS JAMES CUMMINSAVERILL CURDY CHARLES D’ORLÉANS MARY DALTON CORTNEY DAVIS GREG DELANTY EMILY DICKINSON MAGGIE DIETZ FRED DINGS GREGORY DJANIKIAN BERNARD DONOGHUE JANE DRAYCOTT MICHAEL DRAYTON JOSEPH DUEMER SASHA DUGDALE DENISE DUHAMEL ANTONY DUNN STUART DYBEK CORNELIUS EADY THOMAS SAYERS ELLIS CLAUDIA EMERSONLANDIS EVERSON HELEN FARISH JULIE FAYBETH ANN FENNELLY EDWARD FIELD LEONTIA FLYNN CARLOYN FORCHÉ CHRIS FORHAN ALICE FRIMAN CAROL FROST JOHN FULLER ALICE FULTON ERICA FUNKHOUSER BRENDAN GALVIN CHRISTINE GARREN DOREEN GILDROY MARIA MAZZIOTTI GILLAN DANA GIOIA RAY GONZALEZ CHARMAINE GREEN JIM GREENHALF LINDA GREGERSON EAMON GRENNAN WILLIAM HABINGTON MARILYN HACKER RACHEL HADAS MARIAN HADDAD DANIEL HALL BARBARA HAMBY SAM HAMILL SOPHIE HANNAH THOMAS HARDY JAMES HARMS MICHAEL S. HARPER JEFFREY HARRISON LOLA HASKINS DOLORES HAYDEN JENNIFER MICHAEL HECHT MICHAEL HEFFERNAN JOHN HENNESSY DAVID HERNANDEZ ROBERT HERRICK BOB HICOK TOBIAS HILL BRENDA HILLMANEDWARD HIRSCH JANE HIRSHFIELD H. L. HIX TONY HOAGLAND JOHN HOLLANDER STEPHEN HOLT THOMAS HOOD GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS JOHN HOPPENTHALER A. E. HOUSMANCHRISTOPHER HOWELL ANDREW HUDGINS MAJOR JACKSON MARK JARMAN PETER JOHNSON LIBBY FALK JONES BEN JONSON ALLISON JOSEPHMARILYN KALLET PAUL KANE MARTHA KAPOS KATIA KAPOVICH JOHN KEATS BRIGIT PAGEEN KELLY ROBERT KELLY X. J. KENNEDY JESSE LEE KERCHEVAL MIMI KHALVATIWAQAS KHWAJA JOHN KINSELLA SUSAN KINSOLVING RUDYARD KIPLING DAVID KIRBYKARL KIRCHWEY AUGUST KLEINZAHLER JOHN KOETHE SONNET L’ABBÉ DEBORAH LANDAU PATRICK LANE DORIANNE LAUX D. H. LAWRENCEBRONWYN LEA DAVID LEHMAN PHILLIS LEVIN PHILIP LEVINE TIM LIARDET WILLIAM LOGAN HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW SUSAN LUDVIGSON THOMAS LUX KATHLEEN LYNCH JOANIE MACKOWSKI SARAH MANGUSO RANDALL MANN KATHRYN MARIS DAVID MASON HAROLD MASSINGHAM BEN MAZER GAIL MAZUR J. D. McCLATCHY GARDNER McFALL DEBORAH McGILL JAMIE McKENDRICK BOB McKENTY ANDREW McNEILLIE JOSHUA MEHIGAN HERMAN MELVILLEROBERT MINHINNICK LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU ESTHER MORGAN ANDREW MOTION ERIN MOURÉ SIMONE MUENCH PAUL MULDOON GEORGE MURRAY LES MURRAY CAROL MUSKE-DUKES DALJIT NAGRA RICHARD NEWMAN AIMEE NEZHUKUMATATHIL PHILIP NIKOLAYEV EDWARD NOBLES JEAN NORDHAUS KATE NORTHROP D. NURKSE NAOMI SHIHAB NYE GEOFFREY O’BRIEN KEVIN O’CONNOR STEVE ORLEN GREGORY S. ORR JACQUELINE OSHEROW ALICIA OSTRIKER GEOFF PAGE ERIC PANKEY JAY PARINI ALAN MICHAEL PARKER ELISE PARTRIDGE EMANUEL DI PASQUALE LINDA PASTAN COVENTRY PATMORE OLIVER DE LA PAZ MOLLY PEACOCK PASCALE PETIT CARL PHILLIPS ROBERT PINSKY DONALD PLATT STANLEY PLUMLY JACOB POLLEY JACQUELYN POPE CHRISTINA PUGH SARA QUEYRAS LAWRENCE RAAB SIR WALTER RALEGH JOHN REDMOND DERYN REES-JONES FRANKLIN REEVE PAISLEY REKDAL BETSY RETALLACK JAMES RICHARDSON ATSURO RILEY MAURICE RIORDAN DAVID RIVARD ROBIN ROBERTSON DAVID RODERICK PATRICK ROSAL LAURIE ROSENBLATT J. ALLYN ROSSER CHRISTINA ROSSETTI GIG RYAN KAY RYAN MICHAEL RYAN C. J. SAGE MICHAEL SALCMAN MARY JO SALTER EVA SALZMAN FIONA SAMPSON MARK SCHORR PENELOPE SCHOTT GRACE SCHULMAN LLOYD SCHWARTZ WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE RAVI SHANKAR DON SHARE PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY REGINALD SHEPHERD ANDREW SHIELDS VIVIAN SHIPLEY SIR PHILIP SIDNEY JEFFREY SKINNER FLOYD SKLOOT ALEX SKOVRON JOHN SKOYLES TOM SLEIGH BRUCE SMITH R. T. SMITH THOMAS R. SMITH W. D. SNODGRASS DAVID SOLWAY ELIZABETH SPIRES JEAN SPRACKLAND A. E. STALLINGS SUSAN STEWART DABNEY STUART VIRGIL SUAREZ GLADYS SWAN MATTHEW SWEENEY JONATHAN SWIFT GEORGE SZIRTES JAMES TATE ANDREW TAYLOR MARILYN TAYLOR ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON EDWARD THOMAS ADAM THORPE DANIEL TOBIN JOHN TRANTER NATASHA TRETHEWEY BRIAN TURNER CHASE TWICHELL SIDNEY WADE DAVID WAGONER SUE WALKER ROSANNA WARREN MICHAEL WATERS ELLEN DORÉ WATSON INGRID WENDT CARLOYN BEARD WHITLOW WALT WHITMAN SUSAN WICKS DARA WIER RICHARD WILBUR C. K. WILLIAMS JOHN WILMOT, EARL OF ROCHESTER ELEANOR WILNER CHRISTIAN WIMAN TERENCE WINCH ANNE WINTERS TERRI WITEK WILLIAM WORDSWORTH CECILIA WOLOCH BARON WORMSER C. D. WRIGHT CHARLES WRIGHT FRANZ WRIGHT ROBERT WRIGLEY LADY MARY WROTH STEPHEN YENSER CHRYSS YOST C. DALE YOUNG DEAN YOUNG GARY YOUNG OUYANG YU

Brilliant Gallery


http://www.nytimes.com/library/photos/leibovitz/graham.html

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Save the Whales

www.whalesrevenge.com is trying to get a million people to sign a petition to stop whaling.

Tell as many people as you can about the website, that
would be a great help.

Remember to sign the petition.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

'Beowulf' the Movie


If you know the story of the book, if you like the sound of the original, if you value the tradition and history of this ancient of all English epic poems, then skip the latest film version. Maybe it is okay as a flick for action fans, but it is not okay as a true representation of the Beowulf tale.

Here's a bit of what the New York Times revieiwer had to say about it:

You don’t need to wait for Angelina Jolie to rise from the vaporous depths naked and dripping liquid gold to know that this “Beowulf” isn’t your high school teacher’s Old English epic poem. Ms. Jolie plays the bad girl in “Beowulf,” a wicked demon, the mother of all monsters — here, Grendel, played by Crispin Glover — who can switch from hag to fab in the wink of a serpentine eye. If you don’t remember this evil babe from the poem, it’s because she’s almost entirely the invention of the screenwriters Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman and the director Robert Zemeckis, who together have plumped her up in words, deeds and curves. These creative interventions aren’t especially surprising given the source material and the nature of big-studio adaptations. There’s plenty of action in “Beowulf,” but even its more vigorous bloodletting pales next to its rich language, exotic setting and mythic grandeur. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Door the poem - Now, the movie


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HL91uGhY3wo

My English friend Patrick McManus had a poem The Door in an anthology which someone in Amsterdam Library read - and made this charming movie out of. Move over Beowulf - here's another great epic to make the silver screen >g<

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Last Gibb River Supper


Mary Jane's


Ah, such a small gathering for our last supper together. It was at Sister Mary Jane's house - community nurse and a wonderful human being with a heart bigger than this planet. Tim Clear, principal of Wanalirri Catholic School up until this night, took over the carving. And little Pip, one of two Jack Russells owned by M J, wasn't going to miss out on the fun. There was thunder and lightning about, so Frank (the male JR) was safely tucked away in the closet. My wife Jeanette(pictured with MJ) and I were the other guests.

Sad to make such good friends and then have to leave them. MJ will be there at Gibb River Station all through The Wet, with a little break to see her family in Melbourne over Christmas. Tim will be with friends and family in Broome and Perth over the festive break, and Jen and I are back at home in Perth with our family and friends.

Panels from the Wanalirri Catholic School story hanging





I don't know that the story is mine to tell, but these are just some panels of the wonderful narrative in cloth on the wall at Wanalirri Catholic School where my wife Jeanette and I have just stopped teaching. It definitely qualifies as a remote community, stuck out there on the Gibb River Road a seven hour drive from Broome. & that's on a good day with the red dirt road flattened by a grader and no rain. Today Mt Elizabeth, a next door property, had the most rain in the last 24 hours in the state of Western Australia. The season known as The Wet is about to befall them all in The Kimberley which will make the Gibb River Road impassable and all airstrips closed once they are swamped. I wish my friends in that community well during this testing time where contact with the outside world is cut off and the community has to draw together to rely on its own scant resources.

New chapter for Meanjin literary magazine


from The Age, Melbourne's newspaper ...
Jason Steger
December 12, 2007

IF YOU ring the Carlton office of Meanjin a message says Ian Britain, the editor of the Melbourne literary magazine, is now available on a different number.

The message will disappear pretty soon, as will Britain, after a Melbourne University review of the 67-year-old magazine decided that it would be produced under the auspices — and in the offices of — Melbourne University Publishing.

The review was commissioned by university vice-chancellor Glyn Davis after a public wrangle between those who backed a plan for the administration and distribution of the magazine to be taken over by MUP and those who opposed it.

In May the Meanjin board accepted the proposal in a 4-3 vote, with MUP boss Louise Adler, a longtime board member, voting in favour and Britain voting against.

Britain, who is editing Meanjin's summer edition, a double issue to be published in February, said yesterday that he had not been informed of the outcome of the review and could not comment.

Among the review's recommendations are the creation of a charter of editorial independence; the winding up of the Meanjin Company; the establishment of an editorial advisory committee; and the appointment of a new editor.

Ms Adler said Meanjin would become an imprint of MUP. "It's a terrific partnership with a lot of opportunities for Meanjin for a safe berth as it moves into the 21st century."

She reiterated that there were no plans to make Meanjin an online publication. "I do think the first priority is to put the wonderful archives online. Meanjin needs an online presence but that doesn't undermine the print edition.

"While MUP still produces books there will be a print edition of Meanjin."

The review panel consisted of State Library chief executive Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, professor of Australian literature at Sydney University Robert Dixon, and RMIT publishing lecturer Michael Webster.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Within the System by Frederick Pollack

I remind myself not to be awed.
I can do something he can’t –
write – and was invited,
and am not the archetype that still,
beneath the prevailing academic blandness,
lurks and inspires: the drunken, mumbling,
wife-stealing poet. I’m an equal

except in assets. His assets
include the soaring ceiling, the hanging
halogen lamps that frame the arriving
guests like a production number
in a Sondheim, eight hundred feet
of books, and the bilious
gold and nervous umber

of a Braque of my favorite period:
recuperating from the head-wound … Plus
the spectacular wife, of whom the less said
the easier ... They show us round,
not boasting (except in their wine-cellar), not
self-deprecating, merely sharing.
Then the staff brings in food.

From the ceviche through the Caesar he speaks
of the possibilities of wind-farms (his
wind-farms), a kind of supersonic
traffic-cop to reroute migrations,
his interest in desalination. Seeks
always to treat the opposition
lawyers and CEOs, he says, as

people
. One of the exotic
adopted children, defying bedtime,
enters, is hugged and tearlessly nannied
off. From the rosemary lamb and eggplant
parmigian until dessert the guests
hold forth: about some clinic, a program
for convicts; another, equally worthy kind

of program. I hold back but he draws
me out. I speak in a bland, academic
way (it sounds like someone else)
about my work. Downplay
my anarchomarxism. Make
my colleagues sound like public defenders,
case-workers. The surgeon knows

two names; the producer misquotes
Stevens. Our host seems disappointed,
says something about subjectivity
(or “possession”) I can’t quarrel with.
Over coffee the wife presides,
hair glowing in that light as if anointed;
and what she does is so

good, worthwhile, self-sacrificing
(not to mention the kids) that I can’t remember
what it is. The topic of pasts comes up.
“My mother was an addict,”
that husky, perfect or perfected voice
announces. “Of disaster, more
than anything. We moved

from shelter to shelter to SRO ...
I had a terrible early life.”
No silence supervenes – her tone
is neither doleful nor aggrieved –
till I ask, “Do you ever miss those days?”
and she says, “Yes. In a way. Yes,”
and suddenly equality is achieved.



Frederick Pollack
is the author of two book-length narrative poems, The Adventure and Happiness, both published by Story Line Press. Other of his poems and essays have appeared in Hudson Review, Southern Review, Fulcrum, Salmagundi, Poetry Salzburg Review, Die Gazette (Munich), Representations and elsewhere. Poems have most recently appeared in the print journals Iota (UK), Orbis (UK), Naked Punch (UK), Magma (UK), and The Hat. Online, poems have appeared in Big Bridge, Snorkel, Hamilton Stone Review, Diagram, BlazeVox, The New Hampshire Review, Denver Syntax, Barnwood, elimae, Wheelhouse and elsewhere, and are forthcoming in Mudlark. Pollack is an adjunct professor of creative writing at George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gibb River Frog


Gibb River frogs are very loud. Their sound is often like rasping thick rope over wood, perhaps on the edge of a pearl lugger. Other times (it may be a different species of frog), they balloon out sound in big green belches which rise in volume, stop, and start again. After rain they belch for hour after hour.

Two nights ago, after rain, we were watching Betty Blue, the Director’s Cut, on DVD, when a frog started up on the front verandah, just a thin glass window away from where we sat. The sex scenes were laughable with this green belching soundtrack, so I went outside to shoo him away. He sat solidly on the cement floor. I tried picking him up to move him into the bush but he jumped out of my hand before I had any sort of gentle grip – and landed on my bare foot, where he settled, quite comfortable. I laughed so much my wife came to see what was so funny but stayed back in horror. ‘O, what does he feel like?’ she asked. I replied, ‘Warm and wet, a bit like a freshly caught fish.’ He belched as punctuation, and I felt his fat Buddha body rise and fall on my foot. It felt like some kind of natural blessing, a benediction from the frog world. I would’ve chanted with him if I’d known his tongue.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Part this, part that ...




Okay, our roving friend Dolly managed to have pups some time ago, and we schemed to take one home with us to Perth when we depart from here in a week's time. But rules from vets and airlines, etc, make it impossible, so at least I can now introduce you to the three pups: Zimmy is the light coloured one, and the strongest of the bunch. She looks just like her mother. The middle one is Little Big-Ears because his dad is Big Ears and, you can't see them too well there, but the pup has two big ears that are outsize for his body >g< The littlest one is simply called The Runt, and I feel so sorry for her. She is pushed aside at any meal time and knocked flying inadvertently often by her mother's legs as she tries to suck.

One of the most engaging thing for us to see is that Big Ears, obvious dad to at least one pup, stays with Dolly and the pups all the time. They are a family unit. He definitely has dingo in him, as does Dolly, so maybe it is a dingo thing. I haven't known such patriarchal concern in other canine families I have known.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Come in! The River’s Mighty Fine!

The first of December will see the dam gates open for The River Road Poetry Series. This innovative venture into sound publishing creates an audio collection of Australian poets reading their work, available in digital format, delivered by CDs and MP3 downloads. E-savvy punters can listen into a free podcast hosted at RiverRoadPress.com to get a sample of the River Roadies state of flow. Off to a great start with dedicated collections by Judith Beveridge, Stephen Edgar, joanne burns, Michael Sharkey, Brook Emery, David Musgrave, Susan Hampton and many other vibrant new and established poets presented in three anthology CDs - New Felons, the Philosophy of Clothes and Fire, Scissors, Paper, Water, the 2007 series will be launched in Sydney on 1st December at Gleebooks. The National Library of Australia will host a national launch in February 2008.

While the River Road Series will be available on CD from bookshops including Gleebooks, Collected Works, Pages and Pages and the National Library of Australia Bookshop, you will also be able to download individual tracks or albums from MartianMusic, iTunes, Amazon or buy online through CDBaby.

The Series is designed to be delivered as an e-resource, with the CD sleeve notes, commentary, biographical notes, album artwork and track information included in the MP3 data set. One of the goals of the series is to provide an audio resource for secondary schools with particular coverage of poets on the state English text list such as the HSC and VCE lists.

For more information on The River Road Series or advance orders email RiverRoadPress@gmail.com.

*

The above blurb is all from their website, but sources tell me that the originator of the River Road Series is Sydney poet Carol Jenkins - so, congratulations, Carol. You've accomplished a mighty feat!

Monday, November 26, 2007

More Broome School Camp Images






Due to venomous stingers in the ocean waters, the swimming pool was a daily necessity just to keep cool - and the kids loved it. Safer than the ocean but thrilling none the less was the crocodile farm. The crocs were frisky because it was the start of their mating season and they were hungry, so we saw lots of snarling leaping-out-of-the-water crocs, and the kids got to hold a really young one from the nursery. Little Ben-ben was the bravest of them all! The kids loved it.

Writing on a Brown Bag in Freo

i.m. John Forbes


I write on a brown paper bag,
The Collected Poems of John Forbes inside.

See, over there,
a young man in everything black
waves his guitar, present tense,
at the traffic in Freo's High Street.
He crosses to New Edition. Perhaps
I bought the book he wanted
to spend his busking money on.

How our days are The Collected,
our faces in the street, poems
pinned to each page
reverently. I want to put
coffee rings on each one, a little
weed here and there, sprinkle
a proprietary pharmaceutical line
over all …

Our busker doesn't have
a guitar case, his strings open
to the weather, face grimacing
at the exhaust of buses before
a night playing in human exhaust.

In our exhausts of life we had
furniture removal in common -
mattresses, beds, wardrobes,
jarrah drawers, even old Frigidaires
with their round shoulders and weird handle,
too heavy for the wages.
Already the myths need regassing.

So now I write on a brown paper bag,
John Forbes inside. I shake him
like a rattle: echoes spill, click-clack rhythms
of the heart. I take The Collected out, put
the bag to my lips, fill it with air
and burst it on my knee.

~ ~ ~

This poem, in an earlier draft, appeared in 'foam:e', http://www.foame.org an ezine which arose from the works on poetry esresso a couple of years back.

From the site: We invite submissions for the next edition of foam:e to be published in March 2008. Please use the word foam:e in the subject line and send your poems as text in the body of an email to the editor.

Submissions will be accepted between March and November 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wanalirri Catholic School Camp in Broome




We took twelve children, Principal Tim Clear, teacher (my wife)Jeanette Burke, myself as tutor and two teaching aides, Rachel and Francella, to Broome School Camp for 5 days and 4 nights. Activities ranged from learning work on the low ropes, swimming in the pool, a visit to Malcom Douglas's Crocodile Park, a camel ride, fishing in Roebuck Bay, painting pottery for firing ... and shopping. Shops don't exist out here at Gibb River Station where we all live in community. These photos are just a start. I'll post a few more in the near future.

Review of Candice Ward's new book The Moon Sees The One


http://jacketmagazine.com/34/dickinson-ward.shtml

Goodonya, Jacket & John Tranter for this great platform for international poetry news.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Urban Elegies by David Brooks, scribble from my notebook, and 2007 Tom Collins Poetry Prize


Maybe a poetry chat today ... because I've been away at school camp and came back to my books and my mail, all highlighting poetry.
In the mail - wehich comes in a big dirty dusty canvas bag with security belt and special green 'unbreakable' string tied to avoid any entrance by unofficial hands, flown in each Thursday and swapped for our school mail going out - David Brooks has generously sent me Urban Elegies, his new book from Island Press, that long-surviving independent poetry press with Phillip Hammial behind the scenes supplying energy and persistance. I'm only half way through but I have gained the impression that this poet and novelist who used to write sparse tight-fisted (in language terms) poems is still writing sparsely but in a more relaxed syntax - generous sentences that casually evolve down the page. A quote to show you what I mean:

Continuance

When I look back
over the past few years
and think that almost every day
has had its own new worry
or some unexpected version of the old
I'd like to think
that the years ahead will be different
and that we will not sit at the end of the next
or of some year after that
thinking how every day still has
its worry, little or great,
but I know that this is hardly likely
while you are who you are, and I am myself
and the world around us continues
the way the past has shown us that it will,
and I know too
that knowing this
will do nothing to still the stubborn voice
that will always come within me to the world's defense:


The poem sustains this gentle yet enquiring cadence for another page.

In another thoughtful poem, a memory poem, Horses, Brooks looks back at a childhood moment an hour before the adults awake, and ends with this effective image, applicable to his skill as poet:

The world
is as big
as my eyes.


Check out more at urbanelegies@fastmail.com.au


I've been scribbling myself, a little, and in 'permanent pen' on a cheap marbig notebook (not my moleskin notebooks bought as luxury pleasures for 'special words' - ha!)...

white birds cover rock-islands
in Roebuck Bay
like unironed tablecloths

three big-belly pelicans
the rest scrounged up seagulls
sunning in the late light of day

why should I know how to
fish and hunt?
I'm a suburban supermarket gourmet
riding the tides and currents
of international commerce
adrift out here
where they use fish to catch fish
frozen mullet today
to catch white-tailed llareggub


Ah, pages of scribble more, but perhaps I should work on it, shape it a little, remembering to sing with the gentle cadence of everyday speech.

Maybe a poem will evolve worth entering into the 2007 Tom Collins Poetry Prize, run by the Fellowship of Australian Writers, WA with prizes kindly donated by J.Furphy & Sons Pty Ltd.

Prizes: First $1000, Second $400, 4 x Highly Commended $150, 4 x Commended a Certificate.

For more information go to http://www.fawwa.org.au or email admin@fawwa.org.au

... but be quick! Competition closes December 31st 2007 (entries postmarked by this date accepted).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

silk shorts tall sports by Sheila E Murphy

Lorraine, you know Lorraine,
she dives onto the woodsmooth platter of a floor
and makes it hers. She is the one
whom the announcers shore up
into monologic plaintext
when the simmer of the shortlist dims
and skeins of nothing happen.
Shadowy, endowed, imported,
and a minced invasion all her own
of everything she has and is and will be
in our eyes. Our eyes are fastened on Lorraine,
even rain will not be dulled beneath
the glimmer of Lorraine.
She makes the sport worth watching, hatching mid-syllabic.
If I were to have invented music
I would have done it with the blessing of
Lorraine. I would have turned tunetables
up to snuff. I would have watched her paint invisibly
that hoped-for floor.
I would have divaned out of mood I'm in right now
to watch and listen to her squeak percussion,
do its magic on the skittery longwide floor.
The crowd would be a squealing spree for her,
and I would document the score. The score,
the warbling mint noise of the core
of what plays into this,
the shoreline of the sport,
the whole palatial spree of inner court




Sheila's latest book is The Case of the Lost Objective (Case) from Otoliths Press (2007).

http://www.chrismcmillenbooks.com/

Unusual selection in the Poetry section ... but worth checking out, even if it is for the Vintage Sleaze category >g<

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Call for Writing & Art. Theme: Auto/Biography.

Deadline 31 March 2008

You are invited to send writing or art appropriate to this theme for possible inclusion in the 2008 Auto/Biography edition for the Asia and Pacific Writers Network. Visit the 2007 edition to sample a selection of writing and artwork on this theme: http://www.apwn.net/index.php?/writing/auto_biography/

apwn accepts previously published work and will acknowledge first publication. We will consider poetry, fiction, non-fiction, diary excerpts, comics, photo-texts, photos and visual art. Please send between 3 to 6 pieces of writing or art, either in the body of the email [preferred] or in any of the following formats: .doc, .txt, .rtf and .pdf. If you would like to include images, please send JPEGS, 300 x 400 pixels, at 72 dpi. Email: info@apwn.net

apwn encourages multilingual editions. The site is multi-scripted. Works can be translated or not. Translations can be into any language, although apwn has suggested a focus on Japanese, Chinese, Indo-Malay and English. Writers retain copyright.

Please provide a bio which, with your permission, will be uploaded to the website. The bio can include your name, brief bio, list of publications, country and website (if applicable).

We are unfunded and unable to pay people for their contribution. Working on a voluntary basis, we rely on people’s goodwill and desire for the regions’ literatures to have a wider audience.

Friday, November 16, 2007

AT HARVEY MATUSOW'S CHRISTMAS PARTY, 1965 by Kenneth Wolman

My friend is screwing Matusow's babysitter,
so we all get invited to his Christmas party.

Lily Tomlin, a few years from fame,
does living-room standup.

Everyone gets totally wasted on
some of the best pot you've ever smoked.

The catered food is probably stupendous
but we're all so stoned that owl shit would taste
like bring-in from The Four Seasons.

Late at night, I go into the bedroom to
retrieve my coat, and there on the bed sits
Matusow sharing a joint with Norman Mailer.

Mailer glances up at me and glares:
looks but doesn't have to say
"Knock before you walk in, schmuck."
Excuse me, gentlemen, I say,
grab my coat, I think I almost bow like
some Austrian majo-domo, and leave.
Mailer's pot-fueled stare has burned a hole
in my back.
Now, which way is the IRT Express
back to the Bronx and the usual oblivion?

KTW/11-10-07

For Norman Mailer, d. 11/07



PS: I am endeavouring to post some poems by poets I like in the coming months as part of an attempt to expand this blog's focus. Kenneth and I are on a poetry list together and he graciously allowed me to post this poem. Thanks. Ken.

Masochists without Borders - a Charity? Yes!

This is a genuine good cause, without any scam or deviousness. Check out their website if you don't have time to read the whole letter: http://masochistswithoutborders.com/

Andre is an ex-ECU student, so he is a real living person and not a cyber construct >g<


Greetings to all!



I have been very busy over the past few months and am now writing to you with a purpose. I and couple of old mates have been in training for the Western Australian Ironman competition in Bussleton on December 2nd.

The reason for entering this race is we have set up a small charity organisation called Masochists Without Borders. What? Masochists you say? Pain and humiliation? That's right. The aim of Masochists Without Borders is simple. Each year we plan to complete some form of physical challenge to which we are entirely unsuited, and in the process raise funds for children and education based projects. You can visit our website at:

http://masochistswithoutborders.com/

This year we are raising money for two schools that offer free education to street kids in Jakarta. And we are doing this by competing in an Ironman competition in Bussleton on December 2nd. An Ironman is an ultra triathlon of insane proportions - 3.5km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.5km run.We are competing in it as a team with three of us taking a leg each. I will be completing the cycling leg which is a real pain in the bum. Six hours of it actually!

We are supporting these two schools that offer free education to slum kids in Jakarta, kids who have absolutely nothing. I know you have seen street kids in your own city but let me assure you that the poverty here is on another level altogether. These kids sleep on the street or under bridges, they survive earning a couple of dollars a day begging or collecting plastic bottles which they sell. The schools aim to give these kids a basic education and also to equip them with some sort of trade that they can practice. So instead of spending their whole lives begging at traffic lights they have the opportunity to be a hairdresser, a tailor, a musician, a typist... very simple things but it puts them on the first step of the economic ladder and gives them the chance to climb. These schools run on next to nothing and get no assistance from the government. Most teachers earn $12.50 per month.

We aim to raise $10,000 to buy the schools educational supplies like books, chairs, sewing machines and hair clippers. My friends and I are not athletes. We are not professional charity workers. We have simply decided we wanted to give people a chance. A big point for us is that we wanted all money raised to go through to the kids, and that means that we are covering all our own expenses (this includes all our time, training costs and the $690entry fee for the Ironman). All our accounts will be transparent and every single dollar will go through to the schools and the children. No other charity or organisation does this. Importantly the schools are also completely trustworthy – one of our competitors has visited them a number of times and spoken to people who have monitored their accounts for the last couple of years.

We are asking people for donations and sponsorship. Our big drive at the moment is for everyone to donate what they earn for their first hours work on Monday November 19. (that's next Monday). This makes donations relative to everyone's income but the total will certainly add up to a significant amount. Everyone can afford to give one hour.

Or! some people are giving up drinking or smoking or coffee for a week and donating the money they would normally have wasted. How about it?

Yes, I know people ask you for money all the time, no one has cash to burn and there are a lot of worthy causes out there. I also know that everyone realises that it's important to give to those who are less fortunate. Now here is an opportunity to give to something that you know is worthy and you personally know that every cent of the money will have a real impact.

To donate follow the link on the website. Easy peasy.

Just wait till I email you in December with a video of the kids receiving the supplies that you donated money for. Then you will feel what it's all about.

Super Duper

Andre

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Clean-up day at Wanalirri Catholic School






It's a beautiful day in Gibb River Station, so the whole school community got to cleaning up the yard and the windows, etc. (You don't want to know about the etcetera.) I avoided too much hard labour by taking photos ...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hamilton Stone Review, Issue 13, Fall 2007, Now Online!

Featuring poetry by Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Suzanne
Ryan, Stephen Baraban, Hugh Fox, Holly Iglesias, Skip Fox,
Sheila Murphy, Mark Weiss, Roger Mitchell, Gary Beck,
Gianina Opris and James Grabill; and fiction by Helen Duberstein,
Anne Earney, Joan Newburger, and Niama Leslie Williams.


http://www.hamiltonstone.org/hsr13.html



Submissions to the Hamilton Stone Review

Hamilton Stone Review invites submissions of poetry for Issue #14,
which will be out in Feb. 2008. Poetry submissions should go, only
by email, directly to Halvard Johnson at halvard@earthlink.net.

Please include "HSR14 submission" and your name in your subject line,
and also include a brief bio note with your submission. All poems in
a single attachment, please, and/or in body of email message.

Fiction submissions closed until further notice.



Hamilton Stone Review is produced by Hamilton Stone Editions.

http://www.hamiltonstone.org/

Friday, November 09, 2007

A judge's definition of poetry ...

In a six years long case about the uncollected works of Dorothy Porter, the judge gave a ruling on what was and wasn't poetry. Read all about it at: http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/apwire/4a30b27d0cb6a619f022a61fd51d368a.htm

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Poetry Fundraiser for FAWWA

If you haven't heard, the Fellowship of Australian Writers in Western Australia was dealt a cruel and low blow recently by the arts department of WA. Their funding for 2008 was rejected entirely - they were awarded absolutely zero to run on. This rich and prosperous State of a blossoming country can't afford to pay for the upkeep of its longest established writers' organisation and historic writer's centre - Tom Collins House. Shame! Shame! Shame!

So, some of the illustrious and industrious people down at TCH have got together to stage a bit of a fundraiser. Will it raise the $20,000 necessary? No, perhaps not. But it will be a start. And if you care to attend, maybe you could see your way clear to pay more than the entrance fee, AND bring along a couple of friends.

Here are the details. Please support this worthy cause and these up-and-coming poets.


F AWWA Fundraiser

Master Class Poetry Readings

Sunday 25 th November

3:00 pm- 6:00 pm

at Tom Collins House
Wood Street, Swanbourne



Readers from the 2007 Master Class Series :
Anna Weldon, Flora Smith,
Carol Milner, Shevaun Cooley,
Christopher Conrad, Desmonda Kearney,
Sally Clarke, Jaya Penelope
and Vivienne Glance.


Refreshments will be served.


Cost: $10 Please bring your friends!

FAWWA

Phone: (08) 9384 4771

Fax: (08)9384 4854

Email: admin@fawwa.org.au

Website: www.fawwa.org.au

Snap: This Land In Time

'How quietly time collapses in a poem.'
Yannis Ritsos


the land lies silent
under foot under hoof
under wheel

this land scarred
by English terms
of management

barbed-wire fences
roads
open-cut mines

its people lost
in a culture so
foreign

to brighten up a dull day

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

For your edification and enjoyment ...

Claustrophobic alphabet http://cgi7.com/peterimages/claustrophobic%20alphabet3.mov


Images - Peter Ciccariello
Music - Alan Sondheim



Thank you, Peter, for a calming alphabetical ...

Coal's Other Victim: China's History



By MICHAEL CASEY – 1 day ago

LESHAN, China (AP) — A few years back, the Leshan Giant Buddha started to weep.

Or so some locals imagined when black streaks appeared on the rose-colored cheeks of the towering 7th-century figure, hewn from sandstone cliffs in the forests of southern China. They worried they had angered the religious icon.

The culprit, it turned out, was the region's growing number of coal-fired power plants. Their smokestacks spew toxic gases into the air, which return to earth as acid rain. Over time, the Buddha's nose turned black and curls of hair began to fall from its head.

"If this continues, the Buddha will lose its nose and even its ears," said Li Xiao Dong, a researcher who has studied the impact of air pollution in Sichuan Province, the statue's home. "It will become just a piece of rock."

China's ancient buildings, tombs and stone carvings have weathered storms, invading armies and thieves. Now, they face a new threat, a by-product of the rapid economic development that has lifted so many Chinese out of poverty.

More than 80 percent of China's 33 U.N.-designated World Heritage sites, including the Leshan Buddha, have been damaged by air pollution and acid rain, mostly from the burning of coal, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

"The level of pollution that China is creating will be devastating to these monuments," said Melinda Herrold-Menzies, a professor of environmental studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif.

Chinese officials are starting to acknowledge the downside of unbridled development. Qiu Baoxing, the vice minister of construction, blamed the devastation of historic sites on "senseless actions" by local officials in pursuit of modernization, the government-run China Daily newspaper reported in June.

"They are totally unaware of the value of cultural heritage," he said, likening the destruction to that of cultural relics during the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s and the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976.

The 19-story-high Leshan Buddha, with a head that appears lost in the trees, stares down on the confluence of three rivers. Authorities gave it a multimillion-dollar facelift in 2001. Six years later, the seated figure is stained black again, mostly because of acid rain, Li said.

About 750 miles to the north, clouds of black dust coming off coal trucks have damaged the Yungang Grottoes, a World Heritage site in the heart of China's coal belt.

Herrold-Menzies expressed surprise that caves with such historical and archaeological importance would lie so close to "coal mines and an industrial nightmare of a city."

The 250 caves hold more than 50,000 statues of Buddha dating to the 5th century, their heights ranging from less than an inch to 56 feet.

Authorities relocated nearby factories and rerouted truck traffic in 1998. But much of the coal dust has been left on the statues, for fear that the sandstone might not survive a cleaning.

As visitors weave in and out of the caves, the damaged statues are easy to pick out. Their red, blue and yellow paint is faded, and they look as if they are wearing a black trench coat or skirt.

"As you can see, the statues are dirty and it's from coal of course," said Ren Yun Xia, a 21-year-old student from nearby Linfen. "It upsets me. But the whole world is developing and you can't avoid this kind of pollution."

UNESCO's World Heritage site: http://whc.unesco.org

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Drought town people make a crackerjack job of restoring cinema


Ouyen residents admire the restored Roxy Theatre, circa 1936, which is due to reopen on Friday.
Photo: Justin Mcmanus

Carolyn Webb
November 3, 2007

IN OUYEN in high summer, the mercury can pass 45 degrees. Working in the Roxy Theatre projectionist box in the 1950s and '60s, brothers Jim and Don Dundee used to almost combust.

Down in the auditorium, Barry Bell would smooch in the back row with his sweetheart, Elaine Richardson, and 12-year-old Colleen Weuffen would sneak out during films such as Elvis' Kissin' Cousins to smoke a ciggie behind the toilets.

The Roxy Theatre in Oke Street, Ouyen, will reopen this Friday after being closed for 36 years. Jim's wife, Betty Dundee, once an usherette, reckons rowdy youths caused its closure in 1971. "There was too much noise and the kids would come up and down the aisle, in and out of the place when the film was running," Mrs Dundee says.

Others blame television. Elaine Bell (nee Richardson) says: "We got married, then you did things at home and had friends around. It changed, we'd moved on."

The Roxy was used as a plumbing warehouse for 30 years, hidden behind an abandoned shop.

Its saviour is Jenny Heaslip, the Mallee campus co-ordinator of the Sunraysia Institute of TAFE.

The cinema has become her antidote to the drought. "The last decent rain was in March," she says. "And there's not a lot of employment opportunities for anybody because there's no extra money from farmers spending money in town and employing people.

"There's the drain of people going to the city. At the end of last year only two young people from Ouyen Secondary College's year 12 were left in town."

More than 250 Ouyenites have worked voluntarily to restore the Roxy. The college's woodwork students replaced hundreds of wooden slats that form the cinema's upper walls.

Barry Bell, 58, now an Ouyen hardware salesman, varnished the floorboards and erected the new Roxy sign. Electrician Rohan Gregg rewired the place.

Karen van Wyngaarden and her children Gretel, 18, Heidi, 16, and Jack, 10, lovingly sanded and oiled an antique wooden counter that stands in the cinema foyer.

A local businessman, Hugo Ingwersen, opened the movie house as the Victory Theatre on September 9, 1936, next to the Fairy Dell cafe that he owned.

It was renamed the Roxy after a 1953 renovation. It is thought to be the only tropical-style cinema in southern Australia. Mr Ingwersen had visited north Queensland and built the cinema with high canite ceilings, fans and wall slats to let in cool breezes. The seats were deckchairs.

The great perk for film projectionists Jim and Don Dundee was getting paid 25 bob apiece to see movies, but there were downsides.

Don says: "It was shockingly hot in the summer time. We used to have to wear these grey dustcoats. The smoke and the ash from the carbon arcs (lights) was not very nice.

"Kids could be a little bit unruly at times. We couldn't get out of the theatre one night, the louts were going to get us. Wouldn't let us out of the theatre, because we'd thrown a few of them out for misbehaving. We had to get the policeman to come down the street to get us out."

"The film used to come by rail in a trunk. There were four spools per box; the boxes were made of galvanised iron, heavy as hell," Jim Dundee says.

The invitation-only gala opening on Friday night will feature a red carpet screening of the Australian film Crackerjack (it's about a community banding together to save a bowls club), and appearances by actors Bill Hunter and Geoff Paine.

Friday, November 02, 2007

south/north (snap)

last week, the city –
barrista beauty in a black beret
berry-red lips long black eyelashes
highlighting
deep dark clear eyes

at Planet Books
faux-Left Bank bohemians
man black beret goatee
girl brim turned-up all around black hat
brilliant red lips long black eyelashes

this week, up North
steamy air before The Wet
a single white cockatoo squaw-
king on a leafless gum
high as a cloud

black crow surfing
a dark bark bough
limegreen leaves waving as wind
blows moist and heavy

blackfella children
hatless shoeless shirtless
eating meat raw

lightning backlights the trees
thunder rumbles on the horizon
pressure-cooker sky

we sit on camp chairs
discussing war and mental health

Saturday, October 27, 2007

'Chariots of Fire' Run record broken

Rare triumph for British student in 'Chariots Of Fire' run (from ABC News online)


A student at Cambridge University in England has become only the second man ever to beat the clock in a historic running race immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire, newspapers have reported.

The Oscar-winning 1981 movie, based on the lives of two rival sprinters, shows one, Harold Abrahams, successfully running the 367 metres around the great court at Trinity College within the 43 seconds it takes the clock to strike noon.

In reality, the only person to have completed the feat was Lord David Burghley in 1927 - until 19-year-old economics undergraduate Sam Dobin beat the clock this week.

"It was an amazing feeling. I can't believe I've actually set the record for it," he told the Daily Mail newspaper.

He added that he now hoped to be part of Britain's squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Sebastian Coe, a British middle distance runner who won two Olympic gold medals and is now a member of the House of Lords, attempted the feat in 1988 and came very close, although his effort is not recognised by Trinity.

The college clock had been wound the day before and chimed more quickly than usual, therefore depriving Coe of the accolade, Trinity's website says.

"This is a truly tremendous achievement and a rare moment in Trinity's history," the college's dean, Professor Kevin Gray, said.

The 17th century court is the most famous part of the prestigious college, which was founded by King Henry VIII in 1546.

It is an annual tradition for athletic students who are just starting at the college to try the run at midday on the day of the welcome dinner which the college throws for them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Letters to The Age




My cousin Mary in Melbourne wrote that. And I couldn't agree more. For the cost of a pizza each, we could be increasing the value and efficiency of the nation's essential services. I'm proud of her. (Although, on a personal note, I will be trying for that extra thirty years.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

2007 WA SPRING POETRY FESTIVAL - POET'S CORNER












Fay Zwicky, John Anon (beard), Samuel Wagan-Watson,
Janet Jackson
(with guitar) (and in black coat later) Helen Hagemann, Sarah French (red hair), Jenny de Garis (with sculpture in hand)- reading, performing at Poet's Corner, in Pages Cafe, Alexander Library, Perth Cultural Centre ...

Find out more from Frances Macaulay Forde at http://www.geocities.com/index.html

Friday, October 19, 2007

How To Give a good reading of your poems

From Gary Mex Glazner at http://poetry.about.com/od/livepoetry/ht/howgivereading.htm?nl=1

This outline is adapted (with permission) from the chapter in Gary Mex Glazner’s book How To Make a Living as a Poet (Soft Skull, 2005) entitled “The Barbaric Yawp: Giving a Good Reading.” There is no better way to build an audience for poetry than to give a polished professional reading. Reading poetry aloud reconnects people to the original power of poetry and reconnects them to the pleasure of poetry: its sound. Walt Whitman called this the barbaric yawp. But how does one yawp barbarically?

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: However long it takes you to psyche yourself up before you begin + the time of the reading itself

Here's How:

Plan what you are going to do. Choose a set of poems from which you intend to read. If you’re reading from a manuscript, put the pages in your reading order. If you’re reading from a book, mark the pages (post-its are good for this purpose). You can always add a poem that comes to mind spontaneously during the reading, or eliminate one or more poems if you need to cut the time -- but have a planned set before you go to the reading so you can avoid hemming & hawing & shuffling papers on stage.


Warm up. Feeling some nervousness before giving a reading is natural. It shows you care about doing well. But too much nervousness can be detrimental. Warming up will help you control your nerves and give an effective, memorable reading. Doing a few simple stretching exercises will get the blood flowing -- you want to be loose and supple during your reading. Some poets do push-ups, some rapidly repeat their poems, some talk to the walls backstage, some pray -- whatever boosts your energy.


Own the room. Arrive at your reading venue early. Burn incense or, even better, burn a sacrificial issue of Poetry. Call down the gods and goddesses of your choice. Get used to the room. Of course it will sound different when it is full of people -- still, you can listen to the room as you walk through it. How alive or dead is the echo?


Explore the performance space. Stand where you’ll be during the reading & look around. How are the sight lines to the stage? Is there a balcony to be aware of? Is there seating at the sides of the stage, where the audience will be left out if you only address those in front of you? Do you want to use the whole room by leaving the stage & microphone and walking out into the audience? If so, how do you access the stage & the audience area? Are there stairs?


Check sound & lighting. Especially if you will be reading your work, check out the lighting situation. Sometimes the lights will wash out the printed page and you may have to be ready to turn at an angle to be able to read from the page -- it helps to know this beforehand. Do a sound check to get used to the microphone if you’ll be using one. Try speaking into it from difference distances. There will be a “sweet spot” where your voice sounds best. Work with the sound person if possible.


Chat up the audience. Saying hello to the audience is a good start. Be accessible; let them get to know you. Ask them questions. Find out what is going on locally -- this may help you to decide what poems to read. You can use this pre-reading time to put yourself and the audience at ease. Getting acquainted like this may, however, not be possible in some larger venues. In that case it may be best to stay backstage, creating an aura of poetic mystery.


Know your poems. It is a good idea to memorize at least a few of your poems, if not all the work you will be reading on a given night. There is a world of difference between reciting a poem by heart and having to actually read it. Memorizing the poem will allow you to concentrate on performance, have greater eye contact & a more powerful connection with the audience. Being able to watch the audience during your performance will give you a good idea of whether they are engaged.


Time your set. Find out from the organizer beforehand how long your reading should be. Practice your set & make sure you have the intended poems timed out so that you can complete your presentation in the allotted time. Poets are famous time hogs. It is always better to finish when the audience still wants to hear more from you, rather than to leave them wondering when you are going to stop.


Visualize yourself reading well. Imagine yourself performing your poems with your voice loud, clear & assured. When you visualize yourself performing well & reading your poems powerfully, you will increase your chance of reaching full barbaric yawp speed. Lie down. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. You are feeling very relaxed. See yourself on stage. See yourself as one with the words. You are the poem, you shining star! (Careful now with your ohming, or you might just levitate.)


Realize that the audience wants you to succeed.
People want you to be a famous immortal poet. They want to have a good time & they want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative & entertaining. Perhaps they even want you to be sexy in an intellectual-tweed-jacket kind of way. One technique for conquering the common fear of public speaking is to envision the audience naked. The audience knows this and they, in fact, are often envisioning you naked. Let this be a source of comfort to you.


Don’t apologize. Being a performer is never having to say you’re sorry. Don’t call attention to the fact that you are a nervous wreck. Don’t apologize for being a virgin reader. Let them guess that it is your first time, if it is. If they do guess that you have never done this before (at least not here, in this bar, like this...), ask them to be gentle with you. Don’t promise that you will come back and read again unless you mean it.


Release the inner beast. Think of your nervous energy as Longfellow’s arrow, or as Shakespeare’s summer day. Build a nest in your heart and let your poems hatch their little eggs. Think of your nervousness as foreplay. Now tell me, how excited are you?


Tips:
Don’t eat a big meal or drink too much just before you give a reading. Eat something light & save your appetite for after the reading, when you can go out & celebrate your great performance.
Have some water handy to sip when you’re on stage. Nerves can make your mouth dry & cottony when you start, and if the reading is long your throat may get parched.

What You Need:
Your poems
Your voice

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Alexander Library, venue of The Poet's Corner




The venue for Saturday's POET'S CORNER is in the cafe inside
the Alexander Library building
across the courtyard from the WA Art Gallery.

See you there Saturday from 2pm.

SPRING POETRY FESTIVAL This Weekend

LAUNCH of
THE WORD IS OUT #3
Friday 19 October 7.30pm till late

Magazine jampacked with
69 Australian Poets!

To be launched by
ANDREW TAYLOR
Poet and Scholar
at
The Glasshouse, Brass Monkey Hotel,
Northbridge

Poets reading include Shane McCauley, Zan Ross, Sue Clennell, Deanne Leber, Flora Smith and me.

Compered by
KLYTH TAN & LUCAS NORTH

*******

POETS CORNER ~
2pm Saturday 20th October 2007

Another POETS CORNER event during the
SPRING POETRY FESTIVAL
20th October 2007
2PM at Cafe on the Ground Floor,
Alexander Library, Perth Cultural Precinct

will be hosted by
FRANCES MACAULAY FORDE ~
invited guests are:
LIANA CHRISTENSEN,
ANDREW BURKE,
ASHLEY J HICKS,
JANET JACKSON
DEANNE LEBER

Please come along and support the poets of Western Australia!!!

If you would like to read or participate in the Open Mic sections of any Poets Corner event, please contact Frances Macaulay Forde here: poetscornerwa@yahoo.com.au or via her own website

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Norton Anthology contents, excluding the US

Supplied by Max Richards, literary snoop in Melbourne -

Contents of the final volume in the new
Norton Anthology of English Literature
(pages numbered from 1827 to 2876)

The Twentieth Century and After 1827
Introduction 1827
Timeline 1848

THOMAS HARDY (1840­1928) 1851
On the Western Circuit 1852
Hap 1868
Neutral Tones 1869
I Look into My Glass 1869
A Broken Appointment 1870
Drummer Hodge 1870
The Darkling Thrush 1871
The Ruined Maid 1872
A Trampwoman¹s Tragedy 1872
One We Knew 1875
She Hears the Storm 1876
Channel Firing 1877
The Convergence of the Twain 1878
Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave? 1879
Under the Waterfall 1880
The Walk 1881
The Voice 1882
The Workbox 1882
During Wind and Rain 1883
In Time of ŒThe Breaking of Nations¹ 1884
He Never Expected Much 1884

JOSEPH CONRAD (1857­1924) 1885
Preface to The Nigger of the ³Narcissus² 1887
[The Task of the Artist] 1887
Heart of Darkness 1890

A. E. HOUSMAN (1859­1936) 1948
Loveliest of Trees 1948
When I Was One-and-Twenty 1949
To an Athlete Dying Young 1949
Terence, This Is Stupid Stuff 1950
The Chestnut Casts His Flambeaux 1952
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries 1953

voices from world war i 1954

RUPERT BROOKE (1887­1915) 1955
The Soldier 1955

EDWARD THOMAS (1878­1917) 1956
Adlestrop 1956
Tears 1957
The Owl 1957
Rain 1958
The Cherry Trees 1958
As the Team¹s Head Brass 1959

SIEGFRIED SASSOON (1886­1967) 1960
ŒThey¹ 1960The Rear-Guard 1961
The General 1961
Glory of Women 1962
Everyone Sang 1962
On Passing the New Menin Gate 1963
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer 1963
[The Opening of the Battle of the Somme] 1963

IVOR GURNEY (1890­1937) 1965
To His Love 1965
The Silent One 1966

ISAAC ROSENBERG (1890­1918) 1966
Break of Day in the Trenches 1967
Louse Hunting 1967
Returning, We Hear the Larks 1968
Dead Man¹s Dump 1969

WILFRED OWEN (1893­1918) 1971
Anthem for Doomed Youth 1971
Apologia Pro Poemate Meo 1972
Miners 1973
Dulce Et Decorum Est 1974
Strange Meeting 1975
Futility 1976
S.I.W. 1976
Disabled 1977
From Owen¹s Letters to His Mother 1979
Preface 1980

MAY WEDDERBURN CANNAN (1893­1973) 1981
Rouen 1981
From Grey Ghosts and Voices 1983

ROBERT GRAVES (1895­1985) 1984
Goodbye to All That 1985
[The Attack on High Wood] 1985
The Dead Fox Hunter 1987
Recalling War 1988

DAVID JONES (1895­1974) 1989
in parenthesis 1990
From Preface 1990
From Part 7: The Five Unmistakeable Marks 1992

modernist manifestos 1996

T. E. HULME: From Romanticism and Classicism (w. 1911­12) 1998
F. S. FLINT AND EZRA POUND: Imagisme; A Few Don¹ts by an Imagiste(1913) 2003
AN IMAGIST CLUSTER 2007
T. E. Hulme: Autumn 2008
Ezra Pound: In a Station of the Metro 2008
H. D. 2009
Oread 2009
Sea Rose 2009
Blast (1914) 2009
Long Live the Vortex! 2010
Blast 6 2012

MINA LOY: Feminist Manifesto (w. 1914) 2015

WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS (1865­1939) 2019
The Stolen Child 2022
Down by the Salley Gardens 2024
The Rose of the World 2024
The Lake Isle of Innisfree 2025
The Sorrow of Love 2025
When You Are Old 2026
Who Goes with Fergus? 2026
The Man Who Dreamed of Faeryland 2026
Adam¹s Curse 2028
No Second Troy 2029
The Fascination of What¹s Difficult 2029
A Coat 2029
September 1913 2030
Easter, 1916 2031
The Wild Swans at Coole 2033
In Memory of Major Robert Gregory 2034
The Second Coming 2036
A Prayer for My Daughter 2037
Leda and the Swan 2039
Sailing to Byzantium 2046
Among School Children 2041
A Dialogue of Self and Soul 2042
Byzantium 2044
Crazy Jane Talks with the Bishop 2045
Lapis Lazuli 2046
Under Ben Bulben 2047
Man and the Echo 2050
The Circus Animals¹ Desertion 2051
From Introduction [A General Introduction for My Work] 2053

E. M. FORSTER (1879­1970) 2058
The Other Boat 2059

VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882­1941) 2080
The Mark on the Wall 2082
Modern Fiction 2087
A Room of One¹s Own 2092
Professions for Women 2152
A Sketch of the Past 2155
[Moments of Being and Non-Being] 2155

JAMES JOYCE (1882­1941) 2163
Araby 2168
The Dead 2172
Ulysses 2200
[Proteus] 2200
[Lestrygonians] 2213
Finnegans Wake 2239
From Anna Livia Plurabelle 2239

D. H. LAWRENCE (1885­1930) 2243
Odour of Chrysanthemums 2245
The Horse Dealer¹s Daughter 2258
Why the Novel Matters 2269
Love on the Farm 2273
Piano 2275
Tortoise Shout 2275
Bavarian Gentians 2278
Snake 2278
Cypresses 2280
How Beastly the Bourgeois Is 2282
The Ship of Death 2283

T. S. ELIOT (1888­1965) 2286
The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock 2289
Sweeney among the Nightingales 2293
The Waste Land 2295
The Hollow Men 2309
Journey of the Magi 2312
four quartets 2312
Little Gidding 2313
Tradition and the Individual Talent 2319
The Metaphysical Poets 2325

KATHERINE MANSFIELD (1888­1923) 2332
The Daughters of the Late Colonel 2333
The Garden Party 2346

JEAN RHYS (1890­1979) 2356
The Day They Burned the Books 2357
Let Them Call It Jazz 2361

STEVIE SMITH (1902­1971) 2372
Sunt Leones 2373
Our Bog Is Dood 2374
Not Waving but Drowning 2374
Thoughts About the Person from Porlock 2375
Pretty 2377

GEORGE ORWELL (1903­1950) 2378
Shooting an Elephant 2379
Politics and the English Language 2384

SAMUEL BECKETT (1906­1989) 2393
Endgame 2394

W. H. AUDEN (1907­1973) 2421
Petition 2422
On This Island 2422
Lullaby 2423
Spain 2424
As I Walked Out One Evening 2427
Musée des Beaux Arts 2428
In Memory of W. B. Yeats 2429
The Unknown Citizen 2431
September 1, 1939 2432
In Praise of Limestone 2435
The Shield of Achilles 2437
[Poetry as Memorable Speech] 2438

LOUIS MacNEICE (1907­1963) 2441
Sunday Morning 2442
The Sunlight on the Garden 2442
Bagpipe Music 2443
Star-Gazer 2444

DYLAN THOMAS (1914­1953) 2444
The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower 2445
The Hunchback in the Park 2446
Poem in October 2447
Fern Hill 2448
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night 2450

voices from world war ii 2451
EDITH SITWELL (1887­1964) 2452
Still Falls the Rain 2453
HENRY REED (1914­1986) 2454
Lessons of the War 24551
Naming of Parts 2455
KEITH DOUGLAS (1920­1944) 2456
Gallantry 2456
Vergissmeinnicht 2457
Aristocrats 2458
CHARLES CAUSLEY (1917­2003) 2459
At the British War Cemetery, Bayeux 2459
Armistice Day 2460

nation and language 2461
CLAUDE McKAY (1890­1948) 2463
Old England 2463
If We Must Die 2464
HUGH MacDIARMID (1892­1978) 2464
[The Splendid Variety of Languages and Dialects] 2465
A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle 24661
Farewell to Dostoevski 24662
Yet Ha¹e I Silence Left 2467
In Memoriam James Joyce 2467
We Must Look at the Harebell 2467
Another Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries 2468
LOUISE BENNETT (b. 1919) 2469
Jamaica Language 2469
Dry-Foot Bwoy 2470
Colonization in Reverse 2472
Jamaica Oman 2473
BRIAN FRIEL (b. 1929) 2475

Translations 2477

KAMAU BRATHWAITE (b. 1930) 2523
[Nation Language] 2523
Calypso 2527
WOLE SOYINKA (b. 1934) 2529
Telephone Conversation 2529
TONY HARRISON (b. 1937) 2530
Heredity 2531
National Trust 2531
Book Ends 2532
Long Distance 2533
Turns 2534
Marked with D. 2534
NGUGI WA THIONG¹O (b. 1938) 2535
Decolonising the Mind 2535
From The Language of African Literature 2535
SALMAN RUSHDIE (b. 1947) 2539
[English Is an Indian Literary Language] 2540
JOHN AGARD (b. 1949) 2542
Listen Mr Oxford Don 2542
DORIS LESSING (b. 1919) 2543
To Room Nineteen 2544

PHILIP LARKIN (1922­1985) 2565
Church Going 2566
MCMXIV 2568
Talking in Bed 2569
Ambulances 2569
High Windows 2570
Sad Steps 2571
Homage to a Government 2571
The Explosion 2572
This Be The Verse 2572
Aubade 2573

NADINE GORDIMER (b. 1923) 2574
The Moment before the Gun Went Off 2575

A. K. RAMANUJAN (1929­1993) 2578
Self-Portrait 2579
Elements of Composition 2579
Foundlings in the Yukon 2581

THOM GUNN (1929­2004) 2582
Black Jackets 2583
My Sad Captains 2583
From the Wave 2584
Still Life 2585
The Missing 2585

DEREK WALCOTT (b. 1930) 2586
A Far Cry from Africa 2587
The Schooner Flight 25881
Adios, Carenage 2588
The Season of Phastasmal Peace 2590
omeros 2591
13.3 [³ ŒMais qui c¸ a qui rivait-¹ous, Philoctete? ¹ ²] 25916
.49.1­2 [³She bathed him in the brew of the root. Thebasin²] 2592

TED HUGHES (1930­1998) 2594
Wind 2594
Relic 2595
Pike 2595
Out 2597
Theology 2598
Crow¹s Last Stand 2599
Daffodils 2599

HAROLD PINTER (b. 1930) 2601
The Dumb Waiter 2601

CHINUA ACHEBE (b. 1930) 2622
Things Fall Apart 2624
From An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad¹s Heart of Darkness 2709

ALICE MUNRO (b. 1931) 2714
Walker Brothers Cowboy 2715

GEOFFREY HILL (b. 1932) 2725
In Memory of Jane Fraser 2725
Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings 2726
September Song 2726
Mercian Hymns 27276
(³The princes of Mercia were badger and raven. Thrall²) 27277
(³Gasholders, russet among fields. Milldams, marlpools²) 272728
(³Processes of generation; deeds of settlement. The²) 272830
(³And it seemed, while we waited, he began to walk to-²) 2728
An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England 27289.
The Laurel Axe 2728

V. S. NAIPAUL (b. 1932) 2729
One Out of Many 2730

TOM STOPPARD (b. 1937) 2752
Arcadia 2753

LES MURRAY (b. 1938) 2820
Morse 2821
On Removing Spiderweb 2821
Corniche 2822

SEAMUS HEANEY (b. 1939) 2822
Digging 2824
The Forge 2825
The Grauballe Man 2825
Punishment 2826
Casualty 2828
The Skunk 2830
Station Island 2831
12 (³Like a convalescent, I took the hand²) 2831
Clearances 2833
The Sharping Stone 2836

J. M. COETZEE (b. 1940) 2838
From Waiting for the Barbarians 2839

EAVAN BOLAND (b. 1944) 2848
Fond Memory 2848
That the Science of Cartography Is Limited 2849
The Dolls Museum in Dublin 2850
The Lost Land 2851

SALMAN RUSHDIE (b. 1947) 2852
The Prophet¹s Hair 2854

ANNE CARSON (b. 1950) 2863
The Glass Essay 2864
Hero 2864
Epitaph: Zion 2868

PAUL MULDOON (b. 1951) 2868
Meeting the British 2869
Gathering Mushrooms 2870
Milkweed and Monarch 2871
The Grand Conversation 2872

CAROL ANN DUFFY (b. 1955) 2873
Warming Her Pearls 2874
Medusa 2875
Mrs Lazarus 2876