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Thursday, February 28, 2008

New Writing Courses

Creative Writing Course @ FAWWA

New Creative Writing course starting in Swanbourne at Tom
Collins House 5 March
- continuous every Wednesday from 10am to Noon.

10 weeks for $150 or $20 per session.

Tutor: Dr Andrew Burke, author, poet, lecturer.

Venue: Historic TOM COLLINS HOUSE, Wood Street, Swanbourne - in the
bush beside Allen Park, at the base of Melon Hill.

Information and bookings via admin@fawwa.org.au

I'll be starting from scratch.

I will teach techniques which cover -
accessing your own creativity,
prose writing for stories and novels,
and various poetry styles.

And fun and laughter are guaranteed >g<

*

Write Your Life Story
New Writing Workshop
starting Tuesday, March 11, 2008
at Bassendean Library
46 Old Perth Road,
Bassendean 6054

WRITE YOUR LIFE STORY

with your highly experienced
group leader and mentor
ANDREW BURKE

For ten weeks, each Tuesday from
10am to Noon
in the library meeting room,
you can learn techniques how best
to research and write the story
of your life. Sharing with
others in the group makes this
a joyful and life-enriching activity.

Cost? $5 for the complete course.

For enquiries, phone 9279 2966 or
email baslib@bassendean.wa.gov.au



Please pass this on to friends and any groups you think may be interested.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Save the Whales

Save the Whales at www.whalesrevenge.com Sign the petition and play the game (there really is one).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

You can't think and play at the same time ...


"JW: When you put your horn in your mouth to play, what's going through your mind?

"SR: When I was a boy practicing the alto sax in my bedroom or in the closet or someplace else in my house, I would sort of do what I do now, which is go into a stream-of-consciousness state. This is what I do today when I’m soloing in a concert setting. I go into this neutral mental state. To create, my mind has to be blank. I may think of a few things at the beginning to get started. But when I really get into a solo, my mind is completely blank. You can’t think and play at the same time. It comes too fast."

Sonny Rollins interviewed on jazzwax, a dedicated blog, but here broadcast at http://fatherbrownatleisure.blogspot.com/2008/02/sonny-rollins-legendary-jazz-soloist.html

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bill Manhire in The Age

Here's a direct quote from Bill Manhire about how a poem starts, a question asked at Lucy Dougan's book launch today of herself and Fay Zwicky:

'The great pleasure, for Manhire, comes from how poetry mines the imagination. "One of the truisms of writing is that you have to show a little respect for your own ignorance rather than start off as a know-all . . . writing what you don't know is at least as important as writing what you know. The whole business of surprise as you write is the great joy."
Often he will just sit down and scribble words for several pages, "until suddenly you just bump into this very strange phrase that you couldn't have anticipated and that is charged with all sorts of resonance, so you chase on after what that phrase suggests and suddenly you are in the territory of what you don't know; that unmapped space".

Or he will start with some sort of trigger, "often just the music of a phrase and I will let that generate what it can - cadence, image, mood, tone or voice - before I find my way to meaning. I want to bump into meaning rather than assert it from the very beginning". '


This and more at http://www.theage.com.au/news/books/the-accidental-poet/2008/02/22/1203467295623.html

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dialogue Sonnet

First, do you mind if I record this as we speak? No,
of course not. Okay then, let’s salivate together.
Reaganite goo has spread itself all over this primary
season, don’t you agree? Well, one might say so,

but it’s early in the century, and the campaign will drag
on for months and months if not years and years. We
will all come to regret our first thoughts, our early
prognostications. Progressive enervation, eh?

Yep, right here in Enervation Nation. Don’t you find
all of this . . . well, shall we say a little Mozartean?
To be sure. But left hands barely hear what the right
hands are doing. Robbing St. Peter to pay St. Paul, eh?

Just so. Thanks for coming in today. One last thought
for our listeners? Just one: Beware the blowflies of fame.




Halvard Johnson

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The trouble with words is that you never know whose mouths they've been in."
--Dennis Potter




Thank you, Halvard Johnson, for this delicious quote.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WOW Reading 7.30pm Monday 3 March

Jane Cornes is the coordinator and motivator behind Perth's vibrant city literature readings, Walking On Water - aka WOW. Here is her publicity for next month's event:

Yes, it IS a long weekend and yes, we WILL be having WOW as usual!

Our invited reader is MURRAY JENNINGS, who will read from his just-published book of poetry, "Flash Company".

Given WOW's new format of occasional invited readers and a focus on our own work, please do bring along something/s to share, to a strict maximum of five minutes.

Where: The Laneway, between Murray & Wellington Streets (almost across the road from Miss Maud's)
When: Monday 3 March 2008
Time: 7.30pm
Bring: Your own mug.
Tea and coffee supplied. Biscuits appreciated.
$5 waged/$ unwaged

WOW is a not for profit organisation. We are not funded and all door monies go towards the rent.

Robbe-Grillet RIP


At 85 ...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Creative Writing Course @ FAWWA

New Creative Writing course starting in Swanbourne at Tom
Collins House 5 March - continuous every Wednesday from 10am to Noon.

10 weeks for $150 or $20 per session.

Tutor: Dr Andrew Burke, author, poet, lecturer.

Venue: Historic TOM COLLINS HOUSE, Wood Street, Swanbourne - in the
bush beside Allen Park, at the base of Melon Hill.

Information and bookings via admin@fawwa.org.au

I'll be starting from scratch unless all participants at the first
session are somewhat experienced writers :-)

I will teach techniques which cover -
accessing your own creativity,
prose writing for stories and novels,
and various poetry styles and 'fashionable hijinks'.

And fun and laughter are guaranteed >g<

Lucy Dougan's launch at the Dolphin


The Giramondo Publishing Company
warmly invites you
to the launch of the new
poetry collection by

LUCY DOUGAN

WHITE CLAY

to be launched by
Fay Zwicky

on Saturday 23 February
12.30pm
Perth Writers'Festival
Dolphim Theatre,
University of Western Australia

More information on (08) 6488 5555

Friday, February 15, 2008

Why did the chicken cross the road?

A friend just sent me a very funny 'joke' - replies to the age-old question Why did the chicken cross the road? answered by Dr Phil, George Bush, Oprah, Einstein, etc. My favourite was this:

ERNEST HEMINGWAY : To die in the rain. Alone.


You have to be into Hemingway to appreciate it, but I loved it. The others were mainly obvious - this one was subtle. Well, a little ...

Wednesday & Thursday snap(s)

Every Wednesday
they string-up
lines

all across
suburban skies
four black lines

before the blue
of a startling
clear sky

then birds come -
lorikeets to crows -
to perch and

meditate


*


Thursday evening on dry earth
by the wetlands
bright orange-striped wasp
and greyhaired spider
fight on the run
wasp dragging reverse
spider's legs leaping
dry brown
blades

They move
jerkily over dry grass
like a toddler’s crazy writing
on scrap paper

I stare and can’t tell
who drags who pushes
the thought comes to me
I am standing like
my childhood self
staring at the ground
as the world went by

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

18 weeks 3D scan -


Meet my next grandkid. Doesn't he look like his father! He or she will be the third child of my eldest son Miles and my daughter-in-law Meredith. Congratulations!

Write Your Life Story

New Writing Workshop
starting Tuesday, March 11, 2008
at Bassendean Library
46 Old Perth Road,
Bassendean 6054

WRITE YOUR LIFE STORY

with your highly experienced
group leader and mentor
ANDREW BURKE

For ten weeks, each Tuesday from
10am to Noon

in the library meeting room,
you can learn techniques how best
to research and write the story
of your life. Sharing with
others in the group makes this
a joyful and life-enriching activity.

Cost? $5 for the complete course.

For enquiries, phone 9279 2966 or
email baslib@bassendean.wa.gov.au



Please pass this on to friends and any groups you think may be interested.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tuesday Snap

This is definitely a first draft, so feel free to comment. And if the commenting panel bugs you, email me at burkeandre(at)gmail(dot)com


Tuesday morning wind
has blown the birds away
and plants sweep
the garden back
and forth.

He is inside his head
as usual
wind whistling in one ear
the other leeward
and nostalgic for

childhood holiday camps
by the Indian Ocean
dogs’ ears pinned back
all eyes
on the horizon.

He leans
and turns the hose off
hand over hand
he wends it around
the half wheel rim
screwed to the porch.

POETS CORNER THIS SATURDAY @ PAGES CAFE

February 16th 2008
http://www.poetscornerwa.com/PoetsCornerFeb08.html

Vivienne Glance ~ guest-hosting the event with poetic humour, word play and some verbal seduction.

With her invited guests:
Anti-poet allan boyd ~ well known for his dynamic, cutting and cutting-edge spoken word artistry

Nandi Chinna ~ her subtle imagery and sharp observations blend with the gentle sounds of musician Danna Stevenson

Dosh Luckwell ~ State Final runner-up and teller of tales dark and mysterious.

The usual OPEN MIC @ 4pm

Come along and support West Australian poets!

Entry is free but purchase a coffee if you can to support out generous sponsors,
PAGES CAFE and the State Library of WA.

POETS CORNER @ PAGES CAFE
2pm Saturday, 16th February 2008

State Library of WA, Alexander Building ,
Perth Cultural Centre,
(across the bridge from the Wellington Street Train Station)

For more information contact Frances Macaulay Forde: poetscornerwa@yahoo.com.au

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mawson's Hut at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay



My cousin Mary Lyden went down south recently, wayyyyy down south, and took some great snaps. Here are a couple of Mawson's hut at Cape Denison - I will try to right that second photo so all his stocks don't fall out into the snow.

A Monday Snap

Monday means nothing
in China where
you work seven days a week.

Monday means nothing
much when
you're unemployed
in Australia.

This Monday I bring
the washing in from
Sunday and wake my wife
late.

Monday's mudlarks play
flying leapfrog over bins
out for collection
on brown summer verges

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hemingway's Honolulu Honeymoon


Ernest Hemingway with Martha Gellhorn on their honeymoon in Honolulu in 1940.

More about Hemingway's play writing and a letter on the subject, plus a great photo of him in the Spanish Civil War, at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/theater/10mcgr.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hangzhou - West Lake in winter


This winter has been most extreme in China, as no doubt you have seen reported in the media. Here's a photo from Reuters of the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou aboslutely snowed under. We have been told it has frozen over, which would be an amazing sight.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Perth city



After all my talk in recent times of snakes and kangaroos and such, readers outside of Australia may have a rather rural view of what Perth looks like. THis photo was on The West Australian Newspaper's website yesterday, so I've borrowed it to show you this is a thriving metropolis, with its own skyscraper skyline and traffic problems. We are part of the modern Western world, but we are situated on the buttocks of Asia. The NYSX influences our finances on a daily basis, but we trade most fruitfully with China and Japan. The snakes and kangaroos and all our wildlife (koala bears, frill-necked lizards, etc) are mainly way outside the city environs, although we do have wildlife parks for tourists and visitors to see in the outer suburbs.

We have a thriving cultural society, with many writers and artists of renown living and working here, plus musicians from pop to classical. In fact, when it comes to jazz and pop and blues, we excell.

Rain ... at last!

This report from local newspaper, The West Australian:

Record rain brings relief

7th February 2008, 11:45 WST


Perth has recorded its wettest February in 16 years.

The deluge dumped 31.8mm on the city in just six hours causing traffic chaos and bringing relief to gardens and residents across the city.

But the much awaited cooler conditions are not expected to last with a return to stiffling heat expected tomorrow.

The record for February, for 1992, sits at 131mm.

Bureau spokesman John Relf said the difference between the weather out look from yesterday to today was "unbelievable".

“Everything has changed in the past 24 hours,” he said.

“What a difference a day can make, yesterday there was nothing.”

Perth has also exceeded its 35mm summer average to so far record 49.8mm since the beginning of December that included a 48 day run without any rain.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Quote of the Day

Lawrence Clark Powell - "Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow."

'Write to be understood' - someday. So many authors of genius write before their audience catches up with them - Joyce and Beckett in modern (and post-modern) times. Limiting yourself to write for instant understanding can be exactly that: limiting. John Ashbery once said words to the effect that he wrote what he didn't already know - 'Why write what you already know?' was his point of view. Often I write and I didn't know until I read it what I already knew.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Caroline Caddy shortlisted for Adelaide Writers' Festival award


This lifted entire from Fremantle Press blog:

Caroline Caddy's latest collection of poetry, Esperance: new and selected poems, was shortlisted for the prestigious John Bray Poetry Award worth $15,000 this week. The Award will be announced at the Adelaide Writers' Festival on Sunday 2 March.

Caroline Caddy was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1944 and spent her childhood in the United States and Japan. Since then, she has lived much of her life in Western Australia, raised two children, published seven books of poetry, received national and state fellowships for creative writing, and won the WA Week Literary Award for Poetry and the National Book Council’s Banjo Award in 1992. Her work has been broadcast on ABC Radio National and appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies.

Fellow poets up for the John Bray Poetry Prize include Ken Bolton, John Tranter, Claire Gaskin, J. S. Harry and Geoff Page.

Praise for Caroline Caddy
... a master poet with a style and panache all her own - Andrew Burke, West Australian

The poetry is full of words in action and action in words... the sense of an educated sensibility responding to the sensuous universe - Graham Rowlands, Overland

Caddy is at her most stunning when she describes what she's seeing around her - Nikki Gemmell, Quadrant

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Haiku for Today

Ron Sims, freelance radio producer, sculptor and friend, dropped by today to record an interview about haiku and to take some haiku away for recording by illustrious acting talent such as my other old buddy Peter Holland. Six degrees? Nah, less'n that in this town. This is all for a future Poetica ABC radio programme - to go to air sometime in the future. I'll no doubt advertise it before hand here on Hispirits.

Anyway, long story short, I had to dig out my haiku from various corners of my poetry files on about three different computers (travel broadens the confusion) and some I found needed attention. Here's one that was a badly written thought until last night. Now, I'm happy with it:

orientation week:
they read each other's
t-shirts

Monday, February 04, 2008

Cottonmouth

Cottonmouth is a performance-based project by and for emerging wordsmiths. Held monthly, Cottonmouth #1 will feature Vivienne Glance, Jay Pruyn, Gabby Everall, Mathas, Benedict Moleta, Kevin Gillam and others. There is a limited open mic spot. Cottonmouth will also feature a national podcast and monthly publication.
Thursday February 7 2008, 7 – 11pm
Bar 459 @ The Rosemount Hotel
$5

For more information visit www.cottonmouth.org.au or make media enquiries by contacting Sean Wilson on 0402 785 592.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Why Does It Still Take So Long To Publish A Book?

Read all about it at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/books/review/Donadio-t.html

Maybe you have to sign up - I don't know. I've already signed up some time ago to the New York Times so now it is all easier to access.

PressPress Chapbook Award 2008


Caption: Chris Mansell, publisher, trying to sell a camel driver a chapbook at Sakara

The PressPress Chapbook Award is for an unpublished chapbook length manuscript of poems. The winning manuscript will receive $300 and chapbook publication with PressPress. The Award will be announced in July 2008 on the site.

Conditions of entry

1. The manuscript should be an original poetry of chapbook length (ie 20 to 40 pages). It must be unpublished and not on offer to another publisher in Australia or elsewhere (except that individual poems can be already taken or on offer to journals, sites or anthologies where you keep the copyright).

2. The Award will be made to the best overall chapbook received. PressPress reserves the right not to make an award if the standard of submitted entries is insufficient or to split an Award.

3. The Award will be judged by the PressPress Award panel: the decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered.

4. The Award, $300 (AUD) and publication of the manuscript as a PressPress chapbook, will be announced on the PressPress site in July 2008. The final content of the winning chapbook will be negotiated with PressPress editors.

5. The author's name and address must appear on the entry form but not on the manuscript.

6. A stamped self-addressed envelope (SSAE) big enough to return the manuscript OR a small envelope for notification of results (in this case the original ms will be recycled and the disk destroyed) must be included if you want your entry returned. Entries from outside Australia must be accompanied by an International Reply Paid Postage Coupon.

7. Two copies of the entry should be provided: a hardcopy typed double or one and a half spacing on single-sided A4 with no borders or illustrations or fancy fonts; and, a digital copy on disk as a pdf or in Word (Mac or PC) or Appleworks.

8. Entries must be received by 30 May 2008.

9. Attach an entry form and a cheque or money order (or pay by credit card via PayPal) for the administration fee of $15 (AUD) per entry.

10. Send your entry to: PressPress Chapbook Award 2008 PressPress PO Box 94 Berry NSW 2535 Australia

http://www.presspress.com.au/

Friday, February 01, 2008

Aussie Writers list Expanded

Thanks, Helen Hagemann, for prompting me to add a few more to this list, and I added one or two more ...

50 Best Australian Writers since 1945 ...
(in no particular order)

Helen Garner,
Peter Carey,
Tim Winton,
Patrick White,
Gwen Harwood,
Vincent Buckley,
David Williamson,
AD Hope,
David Malouf,
John Tranter,
Les Murray,
Robert Adamson,
Kevin Hart,
Peter Cowan,
Shirley Hazzard,
Janette Turner-Hospital,
Frank Moorhouse,
Hal Porter,
Randolph Stowe,
Andrew Taylor,
Dorothy Hewett,
Thom Shapcott,
John Forbes,
Judith Wright,
Thomas Kenneally,
Glenda Adams,
Elizabeth Jolley,
Kim Scott,
Kenneth Slessor,
Thea Astley,
Bruce Dawe,
Morris Gleitzman,
John Marsden,
Clive James,
Kate Grenville,
Ern Malley,
Bruce Beaver,
Peter Porter,
John Kinsella,
Geoff Page,
Jack Davis,
John Blight,
Geraldine Brooks,
Paul Jennings,
Brenda Walker,
Gail Jones,
Dorothy Porter
...