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Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Thought

‘First thought, best thought.’ Ever thought about it? I wonder what my first thought was, I wonder what your first thought was. We come out of the womb with tattered bits of old wisdom shriveling in our new consciousness, and we make a thought with that. What language is it in? What colour is it? Does it matter if you are born in a field or in a maternity hospital? Thereafter each thought is built on that first one: pre-lingual, pre-worldly sensation, pre-education. What you think next and the thought after that and so on is influenced by it. Yet we have no idea what it is. It hides at the very base of our brains. What thought first thought? What thought last thought? This thought is a mere aside on the journey between. Perhaps I am thinking about it because my first thought is agitated, it wants out, it seeks my attention although it is basically more my thought than even these thoughts. What will my next thought be?

John Ashbery talks to The Boston Globe


John Ashbery returns to Harvard on Thursday to receive his alma mater's Arts Medal six decades after he graduated. The 81-year-old poet has won virtually every major literary award, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award. He spoke via telephone from his home in Hudson, N.Y. Here is an edited and condensed version of the conversation.


Q. How did you get interested in poetry?

A. I was about 15. I won a prize in a high school class. Time magazine used to have current-event contests. You had a choice of several books. The only book that appealed to me happened to be an anthology of 20th-century poetry. I started reading it and never looked back.

Q. Why is poetry important?

A. Its beauty is its impracticality. It's also a way of connecting with our lives in a way which I don't see any way of doing otherwise. It's not only the daily emotional life but also the life of our dreams.

Q. Cambridge's poet populist, Peter Payack, is asking residents to submit a few lines of poetry for a "community poem." Are ideas like this good for poetry?

A. I like the idea of many voices contributing to a single poem. The 19th-century proto-surrealist French poet Lautréamont once wrote that poetry should be made by everybody, and that sounds like what this project is carrying out.

Q. Do you have a favorite poet? Poem?

A. Let me see. (Long pause) One would certainly be John Donne. "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning." It manages to say everything.

Q. Your poetry has been described as difficult. How much work should poetry require of the reader?

A. I intend my poetry to be read without head scratching. I think of it as something very immediate like music, which embraces one without having anything to do about it. Of course, that's not the opinion of many critics of my work, but that's the way I see it.

Q. You were a contestant on "Quiz Kids" when you were 14 and loved "The Book of Knowledge" as a boy. What about the collection of information interests you?

A. I just have one of those minds that collects all kinds of intellectual lint.

Q. You are still writing poetry and last fall you had an exhibit of your collages at a Manhattan gallery. Could you please share some lessons of a long life?

A. I go back to Harvard and see all the same buildings and streets and rivers. It seems as though this was only a few months ago that I was there. I don't know that I have really accumulated any wisdom in my fourscore years. I feel as unprepared now as I was when I was a student. I guess I'm just an 80-year-old adolescent. Or 81.

From http://www.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2009/04/25/words_to_live_by/

Martin Amis on JG Ballard - a personal essay


I remembered JG Ballard from earlier SF works and (foolishly) hadn't linked the same man to the many marvellous works he created later. This warm-hearted essay by Martin Amis is an excellent example of the essay form - informative, personal, and critical. Read it all - it's well worth it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/apr/25/jg-ballard-martin-amis

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Poetry Review - January 1912, and a host other goodies

An interesting list of magazines from UK, with many issues online, the most intersting for me being the first issue of Poetry Review (January 1912).
Take a look at http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/index.asp

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

George Eliot said -

“To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion—a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge.”

I put down my quill, frightened by the challenge.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A touch of 'The Tempest' for Tim Winton (see below)

FRANCISCO: Sir, he may live.
I saw him beat the surges under him
And ride upon their backs. He trod the water,
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
The surge most swoll'n that met him. His bold head
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oared
Himself with his good arms in lusty stroke
To th'shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bowed,
As stooping to relieve him. I not doubt
He came alive to land.

from The Tempest 2.1,
William Shakespeare

In and out of Breath - by Tim Winton


Last week, I was going to post the following, plus all the other reports, but since then I have read Breath and just want to post this judges' report, then comment on it. Okay?

Miles Franklin Literary Award 2009
Shortlist


Judges’ Formal Comments
Breath, Tim Winton

(Penguin)

When paramedic Bruce Pike attends the death of a seventeen year old boy he alone can read the signs: a bedroom reeking of pot, ligature marks on the boy’s neck, a pattern of older bruises around them. In this compelling and masterly novel about rites of passage, Pike goes on to recall his own adolescence in an ordinary mill town on the West Australian coast in the 1960s. Dedicated young surfers, Pikelet and his mate Loonie are taken in hand during their final year of school by Sando, an older American surfer who has ridden the break at Oahu, and his partner Eva, a ski jump champion from Utah. Beside Sando and Eva, Pikelet’s parents seem bland, their drab suburban lives pointless and uninspiring. Compared to Sando, his father is scarcely a man. At twenty five, Eva was ‘a woman not in the least ordinary’; at seventeen, Pikelet is ‘jailbait’. Taken out of school, he is inducted into a range of extreme experiences: with Sando, he graduates from riding the huge storm waves at the Point to the terrifying bombora known as Old Smoky; with Eva he learns another kind of limit experience.

Breath is a searing document about masculinity, about risk, and about young people’s desire to push the limits. Winton is at the height of his powers as a novelist, and this is his greatest love letter yet to the sea, to the coast of West Australia, and a compelling testimony to the role of surfing in Australian culture. Written in Winton’s own distinctive voice, we can sense that it is also a homage to some of his favourite writers: Salinger, Faulkner, Melville and Hemingway. But as we are drawn in by the elemental currents of its narrative and the compelling, wave-like force of events, Breath raises disturbing questions about desire and ‘the damage done’. What lines are crossed during rite’s passage? What ethical constraints affect relations between different generations of men and women? Throughout the novel we hear the scream of wind and storm waves and the distant, siren call of the bombora – surf breaking far out at sea. After ‘so much damage, too much shame’, can there be a going back?

END QUOTE

Well, I disagree in part with this assessment. I found the book absolutely wonderful when it was about Pikelet and Sando and Eva - the 'flash back' which is a load more than a 'flash back' in size and impact. I found it less convincing in the so-called present scenes. In fact, I found the two areas of present and past to be written with different measures of passion: the present is written in a calculated, conscious style, while the past is written with true passion and a poetical depth and breadth. It's not hard to guess which I prefer.

For more, go to http://www.trust.com.au/Assets/Files/MF_Profile_TWinton_Apr09.pdf

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Haiku poems by Edo master discovered in Nagano



Photo: Part of Edo period poet Issa Kobayashi's "Rokuban Nikki" containing two newly found haiku. (Mainichi)


Two previously undiscovered haiku poems by renowned Edo Period master Issa Kobayashi (1763-1827) have been found in Nagano Prefecture.

The two poems were found on a hanging scroll of journal entries and haiku now held by the Issa Memorial Museum in Issa's home town of Shinano, Nagano Prefecture, and were identified as being written by Issa himself.

According to the museum, the two poems were from Issa's "Rokuban Nikki," or "Number Six Journal," taking up two pages and dated April 2, 1808. They read:

Insects of the leaf / Change and fly / Morning moon

Wings grow / And the insect flies / Toad

It is thought that the poems were inspired by the fictional beautiful woman who appears in the poem "Tamamo no Mae," in an Edo period collection of classical Japanese poetry.

The scroll with the two Issa haiku was held by a Nagano antique shop until it was brought to the museum, and Katsuyuki Yaba, an Issa Kobayashi researcher and professor of haiku at Nishogakusha University identified it as "Rokuban Nikkan," noting a hole punched into the paper to make it onto a booklet similar to holes in other pages of the "Rokuban Nikki."

The pages also contain haiku by other poets, and comments on the early Edo period poet Basho Matsuo and the Analects of Confucius.

Some 20,000 of Issa's haiku have been discovered. The "Rokuban Nikki" was written around 1808-1810, in between "Bunka Kujo" (1804-1808) and "Nanaban Nikki" (1810-1818). Both "Bunka Kujo" and "Nanaban Nikki" are entirely extant in their entirety, but the pages of the "Rokuban Nikki" are scattered throughout the country.

"The existence of the 'Rokuban Nikki" has more or less been proven," says Yaba. "This is material with real historical significance."

The hanging scroll with the newfound haiku will be on display at the Issa Memorial Museum starting April 24.

Article from http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20090418p2a00m0na032000c.html

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Issa is a fine poet


autumn evening--
the hole in the paper door
blows flute


-Issa, 1811

http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Recently my mate Ron Sims, freelance radio producer/photographer/scultor/wine sales buff, came around to interview me re: the great Haiku poet, Issa, for a future ABC Poetica programme. Although poverty ridden and ill much of his life, with tragedies besetting him at every turn, Issa wrote 20,000 haiku. Phew, that's a major feat even with today's technology, but try it with ink tray and brush! Anyway, the web link above will get you the joy of an Issa haiku a day, so put your name down now and enjoy. I particularly liked today's.

The photo: Issa's Residence (actually the warehouse where he lived after the town fire, a year before his death)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Evangelyne and other poems - by Helen Hagemann


Helen Hagemann’s writing is a triumphant celebration of the power of poetry to recapture the past and still the present. Whether she is remembering growing up on the Central Coast of NSW, memorializing family and neighbours or observing cormorants, she makes each moment vividly real. These poems have all the dazzle and sting of a summer day at the beach, with the Esky full of rolls and lettuce and the ‘cozzie’ a ‘rainbow’ to put on. Evangelyne & other poems is an exuberant, generous, thoroughly lived-in collection. Its relish for the everyday details of Australian life is a rare delight.

- Jean Kent


Helen Hagemann grew up on the Central Coast of NSW during the fifties & sixties, and lived in Sydney for a short time before settling in Perth.

Her poetry is widely published in literary magazines and anthologies. She has an MA in Writing, and teaches prose at the Fremantle Arts Centre.

The Australian Poetry Centre
invites you to the launch of
the APC New Poets Series 2009

little bit long time
by Ali Cobby Eckermann

Evangelyne & other poems

by Helen Hagemann

Awake During Anaesthetic
by Kimberley Mann

Canyon
by Andrew Slattery
Monday 18 May 2009
7.30pm–9.00pm

Hotel Gearin, 273 Great Western Highway
Katoomba NSW

To be launched by Ron Pretty
with readings by Mark Tredinnick and Romaine Moreton

Entry $5, or free to members of the Australian Poetry Centre

For more information go to: http://www.varuna.com.au

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WS Merwin wins 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry



From the Citations of this year's awards:

For a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to “The Shadow of Sirius,” by W. S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press), a collection of luminous, often tender poems that focus on the profound power of memory.
Finalists

"Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “Watching the Spring Festival,” by Frank Bidart (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a book of lyric poems that evinces compassion for the human condition as it explores the constraints that limit the possibility of people changing the course of their lives; and “What Love Comes To: New & Selected Poems,” by Ruth Stone (Copper Canyon Press), a collection of poems that give rich drama to ordinary experience, deepening our sense of what it means to be human.

Go to http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/123 for biog and poems.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miranda at two ... by Thomas Shapcott

This weekend's Australian newspaper includes a marvellous moving poem by Thomas Shapcott, a long time poet, author and friend to Oz literature. I presume copyright laws prevent me from publishing it here, so please hunt it up. It is a sonnet in the Review section, bottom column of page 17, a right hand page.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

SAVE THE KIMBERLEY - article by Rod Hartvigsen




Broome was settled in the mid to late 1800’s as a pearling centre after the pirate William Dampier’s log books inspired pearlers to investigate the area. It is fitting that a pirates' log books would start the town of Broome because it continues it’s debonair spirit to this day. Broome is an inspiring town. It attracts people from all walks of life. From your average backpacker in his/her ‘wicked’ van looking for adventure to the most well-healed investor who wishes to make a pearl ear-ring or a 5 star resort. It is the flavour of the town and its cosmopolitan atmosphere that attracts tourists and residents alike.

Broome was the only town in Australia that was exempt from the White Australia Policy that was established in 1901 and continued until 1973. It excluded Japanese and Chinese immigration to Australia. Broome was exempt because of the requirement for Japanese pearl divers. This exception enhanced Broome’s multi cultural population over and above the rest of Australia during those 70 years. Today, the mix of Aboriginal, Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Koepang , Indonesian and Caucasian blood is a thing to be celebrated.

Broome is a town where the Indigenous population has self respect and thus the respect of others. It has its problems but less than many towns. The Indigenous population is strong in culture and it is this strength that has, in the past, stopped many undesirable developments (a large resort on Gantheaume Point as an example).

The current decision by a few to accept money in lieu of use of country I think is due to misrepresentation by the government and a feeling that if they didn’t accept the offer their country would be taken from them anyway. A pressure situation no-one would welcome.

Broome has a flavour that can be tasted in the air, this, mixed with the colours of its red/orange ‘Pindan’ earth against the turquoise waters of the northern Indian ocean, gives it the essence that attract many people. It is also one of the many things that endears it to its faithful residents, who love it with a passion.

Yes, Broome is a service town. It services the pearling industry, it services the Kimberley cattle industry and it services the off-shore oil and gas industry. These services have little impact on it’s beautiful beaches, its five star resorts and its cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Premier Colin Barnett wishes to establish heavy industry only 30 kilometres north of Willie Creek which is situated at the northern end of the world famous Cable Beach. This industry will pollute with atmospheric discharges of CO2 equivalent to putting 2 million cars onto Australian roads. It will emit cancer causing gases such as benzene, cyclohexane, toluene and ethylbenzine. This is assuming that no other industry springs up adjacent to the gas precinct. It is well known that once an energy source such as the gas precinct is established, it will open the way for other industries such as chemical manufacturers, aluminium refineries and fertilizer plants to establish.

Do we want this to happen? Do we want the essence of Broome to move from a service and tourism town to a mining town with pollution, astronomic house rentals, fly-in fly-out workers who give nothing to the town except more drugs, more violence, more demands for brothels and more anti-social behaviour, as has been seen in other towns that have had their social fabric sucked dry by the mining industry (ie. Port Hedland)?

Broome has a healthy, wealthy future with clean beaches, clear skies and fun loving people. This is how we sell the place now. How would we sell it with heavy industry just up the beach?

Seriously question those business people who promote heavy industry and the bolt-on services. Do they have the future of Broome or their own future at heart?
How long will the gas provide employment and income compared to a clean beach, a beautiful sunset or a bush tucka tour?

No, Broome deserves better than this. The people who call Broome home, deserve better than this. This gas precinct is not a fait accompli. We need to stop it from destroying our town.

Article by Rod Hartvigsen, Broome photographer

Friendly Street Poets Inc. Japanese Poetry Competition 2009 -Tanka & Tanka Sequence

Closing Date: Friday 1st. May 2009

Categories: Prizes: 1st 2nd
A - Tanka $100 $50
page of 2 Tanka = 1 entry
B - Tanka Sequence $100 $50
3 - 8 tanka, 1 sequence = 1 entry

Entry Fee: AUS $5.00 per entry
Cheque or money order payable to “Friendly Street Poets”.

Send entries to:
Friendly Street Poets Inc, PO Box 3697, Norwood, 5067.
Please note: entries will only be accepted via this post box.

Tanka:
This is a 5 line poem of 31 syllables or fewer. Tanka is not a haiku with extra lines. 1300 years ago, lyrical tanka celebrated courtly love. Contemporary tanka address human emotions and aspects of life; not all of them incorporate nature. The first line is used in place of a title for reference.

Tanka Sequence:
For the purposes of this competition, the sequence will comprise 3 to 8 tanka on a chosen theme or narrative. Each tanka must be capable of standing alone, and the connection between tanka can be more subtle than the links between verses in Western poetry. Sequences have titles.

Conditions and Guidelines:
1. Entries must be the original work of the entrant, unpublished, not have won a monetary prize, or be under consideration elsewhere.
2. All submissions must be sent to the Friendly Street post box.
3. Entries must be received by the due date, or postmarked by that date.
4. An entry form, or a photocopy of this form, is required.
5. Author’s name is not to appear on the entries, only on this entry form.
6. There is no limit to the number of entries. All entries must be listed on the entry form and the appropriate fee must be enclosed.
7. Two copies of each entry must accompany the form and fee.
8. Please keep a copy of your work as entries will be destroyed after the judging.
9. Authors retain copyright, but Friendly Street Poets Inc. claim the right (if we choose) to publish winning and commended entries on the website and in Friendly Street Publications.
10. Prizes are based on literary merit. Judges’ rulings are final and no correspondence will be entered into. Prizes are in Australian dollars.
11. Notification of winners will be announced at the Friendly Street meeting in June and posted on the website.

Download an entry form at: http://friendlystreetpoets.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/tanka-form.pdf

Friday, April 17, 2009

Anna Maria Weldon at Perth Poetry Club tomorrow 2pm at The Court Hotel



A blossoming poet on the Australian scene, Anna Maria Weldon has had one book The Roof Milkers published by Sunline Press, and also won last year's Creatrix prize. Anna is a fine reader of her own poetry, so don't miss this occasion.

Free entry. Food and drink available. And an open section for other poets in the audience, so pack a pantoum in your pocket >g<

Check out all the news at Perth Poetry Club: http://www.perthpoetryclub.com

dotdotdash = You


What the world needs now is another literary quarterly! So, here it is http://dotdotdash.org/ Deborah Hunn is the editor of this new West Australian quarterly. Full facts and how to submit, including access to the necessary form, at the website above. So, don't delay - submit today!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Please Note ...

I will be away for the next ten days, 13th to 23rd April, so postings to this blog in that time will be erratic.

Coupling - by Millicent Borges Accardi



Coupling

The woman thought she would be good,
making sure he washed,

rescuing black stockings, wood pile
scraps. Finding theatre tickets

and collecting parking stubs.
She thought she would be good

at using his soap. Remembering
not to wear perfume and waking

up to call home. In the hotel,
hiding while the hot water ran,

her heart compact as plywood.
She thought she would be good

at belonging. The bulk of her time
a two-by -four dove-tailed into a corner,

getting the best he had to offer.
She thought she had a talent for being aloof.

On him, she made few demands.
When he was away, she imagined

his heart open, fearless
hands holding a piece of wood steady

while a diamond-point blade cut through.


Millicent Borges Accardi has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the arts (NEA), the California Arts Council, the Barbara Deming Foundation (Money for Women), Jentel, and the Corporation of Yaddo. Her work has appeared in over 50 literary publications including Nimrod, Tampa Review, New Letters and Wallace Stevens Journal as well as a in Boomer Girls (Iowa Press) anthology. She lives in Topanga, CA and telecommutes as a technical writer. She presently has three manuscripts in progress, looking forward to the publication of her first book. This fall, she was an artist in residence at Fundación Valparaíso in Mojacar, Spain.

All this information from http://womensvoicesforchange.org/poetry-friday-millicent-borges-accardi.htm

Saturday, April 11, 2009

TODAY 2pm Kevin Gillam @ PERTH POETRY CLUB

Perth Poetry Club's featured guest TODAY will be KEVIN GILLAM (poet, cellist and author of 2 beautiful books, 'other gravities' and 'permitted to fall').

Plus open stage. (They have no mike.)

18 April: ANNAMARIA WELDON.
25 April: ALAN HANCOCK.

2-4pm THIS SATURDAY and EVERY SATURDAY at The Court, 50 Beaufort Street, Perth. MCs Janet Jackson and Helen Child.

Food, drink and the company of poets (if that's desirable)..

Friday, April 10, 2009

University's first Pacific Island PhD in English publishes poetry book

The University of Auckland’s first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English will this month publish a poetry and CD collection hailed for its confidence and musicality.

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh’s Fast Talking PI (University of Auckland Press, 2009) reflects the poet’s own focus on issues affecting Pacific communities in New Zealand, and indigenous peoples around the world—including the challenges and triumphs of being afakasi (half-caste).

Dr Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvalu, English, and French descent; “Tusitala” means writer of tales in Samoan. The book, Dr Tusitala Marsh’s first published collection of poems, lives up to that name with stories of the poet’s life,family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. Although the list poem is a favourite style, she also writes with a Pacific lyricism entirely her own.

Fast Talking PI is structured in three sections, “Tusitala” (personal), “Talkback” (political and historical) and “Fast Talking PIs” (dialogue). In poems such as “Guys Like Gauguin” she writes as a “calabash breaker”, smashing stereotypes and challenging historic injustices; but in other poems she explores the idea of the calabash as the honoured vessel for identity and story. Ultimately, though, Marsh exhorts herself to “be nobody’s darling”; as a writer she is a self-proclaimed “darling in the margins”.

“The title poem of this collection has become my signature trademark. I’ve had fantastic responses to it from within and beyond the Pacific community. Its message, and that of the collection, is that if you can name your identity, you can claim your destiny and become exactly who and how you were meant to be, even in the face of outside limitations and proscriptions. After embracing a ‘calabash breaker’ genealogy, my work here at the Department of English has become a strategic place to empower and inspire others through creative writing. For those contemplating study at University, there are a lot more calabashes to go around,” says Dr Tusitala Marsh.

Acclaimed writer and Professor of English Witi Ihimaera praises Dr Tusitala Marsh as “the sassy hip-hop streetwise Samoan siren of South Pacific poetry and poetics. No, correct that: her poetry and poetics are world class. Her aesthetics and indigenous politics are meld-marvellous and her ideas will blow you away”.

Dr Tusitala Marsh will be reading from Fast Talking PI at Auckland’s annual Pasifika celebrations from 11.30am-12 noon at The University of Auckland stage on Saturday 14 March (Western Springs Park).

Dr Tusitala Marsh lectures on New Zealand and Pasifika literature in the University’s Department of English. She is developing a Pasifika Poetry website in conjunction with the NZ electronic poetry centre and working on a critical anthology of Pacific women poets writing in English. Her poetry has been anthologised already, including in the award-winning Whetu Moana: Contemporary Polynesian Poetry in English.

Video and audio files of Selina Tusitala Marsh reading her poems and the text of some of her poems are available on http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fungus in Bassendean


Kevin Gillam @ PERTH POETRY CLUB this Saturday

Perth Poetry Club's featured guest on Saturday 11 April will be KEVIN GILLAM (poet, cellist and author of 2 beautiful books, 'other gravities' and 'permitted to fall').

Plus open stage. (They have no mike.)

18 April: ANNAMARIA WELDON.
25 April: ALAN HANCOCK.


2-4pm THIS SATURDAY and EVERY SATURDAY at The Court, 50 Beaufort Street, Perth. MCs Janet Jackson and Helen Child.

Food, drink and the company of poets.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Happy Hour


They say the rock faces of Tai Bai Mountain
are stained from black ink Li Bai threw away in rage.

Now Bob writes of Mallarme’s first drafts
as a squid squirts black ink in his boat -
‘the darkest hour is right before the dawn’.

Questions of meaning and faith are two squirts
of brain ink drying on the swings
of a disused playground.

Soaring bop from Bird plays behind
bottles of Quink lined up like a cocktail bar
waiting for Happy Hour.

These words do an awkward dance -
I’m thinking this one out
on a laptop where the screen’s image
burns in autumn sunlight.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Edge of Love - Love Story of Dylan Thomas



Photo: Matthew Rhys and Sienna Miller star in ''The Edge of Love,'' the story of Dylan Thomas during World War II.

from the review by Ty Burr at http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/articles/2009/04/03/lots_of_love_and_a_little_poetry_2_women_and_dylan_thomas/

"The Edge of Love" is a "great poet" movie, the poet in this case being Dylan Thomas, and it's utter bollocks. How can you tell? The raffish, hard-drinkin' Thomas (Matthew Rhys) finally sits down to compose some verse (it's 1941's "Love in the Asylum") and the words stream out of his inner consciousness directly onto the soundtrack, the musical score surging orgasmically, the work issuing forth complete, each dactyl tucked neatly into place.

This is how art always happens in movies, but someday I'd like to see the real hard work of writing poetry: the procrastination, the dumb luck of inspiration, the coffee, the rewrites. The process is anything but pretty; thus the need in the first place.

Read more at the URL above.


Facts: THE EDGE OF LOVE Directed by: John Maybury, Written by: Sharman Macdonald
Starring: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Cillian Murphy

Friday, April 03, 2009

PERTH POETRY CLUB at The Court 2pm Saturday

This week the Special Guest is ALLAN BOYD, infamous anti-poet. Plenty of time for Open Mike readers - Get in early and put your name on the list. This club energetically run by Janet Jackson and Helen Child. Back it with your presence.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fremantle Press invites new and emerging poets ...

Submit to Shorelines 2

Fremantle Press invites new and emerging poets to submit a collection of their work for consideration for publication in Shorelines 2.

This volume will feature a small group of poets who, at the time of publication (June 2010), will have published no more than one other full length volume of their work.

Submissions should be between 40-70 pages in length and should be sent in hard copy to

The Publisher
Poetry
PO Box 158
North Fremantle WA 6159

Submissions should include a brief covering letter outlining relevant biographical details and an SSAE for the return of the manuscript.

Poets will be selected by an editorial committee comprised of Georgia Richter and Wendy Jenkins of Fremantle Press and guest editor Tracy Ryan.

Shorelines 2 is scheduled for publication in JUNE 2010, as a key feature of Fremantle Press Poetry Month.

CLOSING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS: June 15 2009

Poet Writer-in-Residence at Fashion shoot



Roddy Lumsden was the lucky writer-in-residence on a fashion shoot with Kate Moss ... Go figure. Maybe this will catch on as a scenario in Oz Lit! Take a look - http://living.scotsman.com/books/Roddy-Lumsden-interview-Poetry-Kate.5067456.jp

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

LET POETS ENJOY STIMULUS TOO

Jon Corelis put this up at poetryetc ...

Washington (CNS) - In a surprising twist on the administration's economic stimulus plan, a proposal is being floated to include funds for the purchase of poetry in the program.

According to White House congressional liaison aide April Narr, the proposal is still under development, but it is conceived as involving substantial grants to American poetry publications to pass on to their contributing poets in payment for their work. "The working idea," said Narr, "is to consult experts to draw up a list of the hundred best established poetry journals in the country, and give them federal economic stimulus grants so they can pay their poets much more for their work. The target figure is $1,000 per line."

Though some may question the effectiveness of trying to restart the American economy by paying money to poets, Narr maintained that "the whole idea of the economic stimulus plan is to get people to buy things, and why should buying poetry be any different from buying apples or toothpaste?"

Since poets are typically starving artists, Narr continued, they would be likely to spend their increased revenues on basic foodstuffs, such as bread, and usually being bohemian types they would also spend the money on wine and cheese, making this part of the stimulus "potentially of significant benefit to our nation's baking,wine-making, and dairy industries."

Narr admitted, though, that there was some concern that the proposed $1,000 per line payments might result in a proliferation of poems with very short lines.

Asked if she herself is a poetry fan, Narr replied, "Yes, I am a great fan. In school I got to recite The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe in a pageant."