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Sunday, June 28, 2009

'New Tricks' Creative Writing Lessons start @ TCH this Wednesday 6.30pm


A series of informal classes by one of Western Australia's most experienced Creative Writing teachers, Dr ANDREW BURKE, begins at Tom Collins House from 6.30 to 9pm on Wednesday 1 July 2009, and continues each Wednesday evening thereafter.

All are welcome, FAWWA members and non-members alike.

Subjects covered will include short fiction, formal prose writing, poetry, and 'aspects of the novel' - The pace and character of the classes will be dictated by the people participating. The main joy of these sessions is sharing with others and creating under the guidance of an experienced writer and workshop leader. Andrew's notes are also highly valued and are only available at these sessions. (Refreshments provided.)

Cost: $20 per session, $15 unwaged/pension/disadvantaged.
Time: 6.30 - 9pm Wednesdays
Venue: TOM COLLINS HOUSE, cnr Wood and Kirkwood Streets, Swanbourne - set in the trees next to Allen Park.

For more information contact Fellowship of Australian Writers WA
Email: admin@fawwa.org.au Telophone: +61 8 9384 4771
or Andrew Burke at burkeandre(at)gmail(dot)com

Saturday, June 27, 2009

First official poem by England's first female poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy

How it makes of your face a stone

that aches to weep, of your heart a fist,

clenched or thumping, sweating blood, of your tongue

an iron latch with no door. How it makes of your right hand

a gauntlet, a glove-puppet of the left, of your laugh

a dry leaf blowing in the wind, of your desert island discs

hiss hiss hiss, makes of the words on your lips dice

that can throw no six. How it takes the breath

away, the piss, makes of your kiss a dropped pound coin,

makes of your promises latin, gibberish, feedback, static,

of your hair a wig, of your gait a plankwalk. How it says this –

politics – to your education education education; shouts this –

Politics! – to your health and wealth; how it roars, to your

conscience moral compass truth, POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS.


Its title? Unfortunately POLITICS. I say 'unfortunately' because it would have been somewhat more subtle if that information was left until last.

Prose Poems - a post to read

As you would have seen recently, I am attracted to the prose poem, as in Water Colour Morning, a poetic form whose definition is not fully clear in my mind, so it is even more interesting to work within its vague borders. Yet I still force free verse (so called) into form, as in the six line verses of On Chapman Hill. So, I am often attracted to discussion about the prose Poem. If you are similarly interested, there is an interesting posting at Best American Poetry's blog, http://thebestamericanpoetry.typepad.com/the_best_american_poetry/2009/06/prose-poem-fact-or-fiction-by-sally-ashton.html It does take you back to the original posting which sparked her thinking, so be patient: at the original posting one must scroll down quite some way to approach the subject.

I hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

'New Tricks' Creative Writing Lessons































A series of informal classes by one of Western Australia's most experienced Creative Writing teachers, Dr ANDREW BURKE, begins at Tom Collins House from 6.30 to 9pm on Wednesday 1 July 2009, and continues each Wednesday evening thereafter.

All are welcome, FAWWA members and non-members alike.

Subjects covered will include short fiction, formal prose writing, poetry, and 'aspects of the novel' - The pace and character of the classes will be dictated by the people participating. The main joy of these sessions is sharing with others and creating under the guidance of an experienced writer and workshop leader. Andrew's notes are also highly valued and are only available at these sessions. (Refreshments provided.)

Cost: $20 per session, $15 unwaged/pension/disadvantaged.
Time: 6.30 - 9pm Wednesdays
Venue: TOM COLLINS HOUSE, cnr Wood and Kirkwood Streets, Swanbourne - set in the trees next to Allen Park.

EXTREME READING An essay by John Olson


Here's an essay worth reading: http://stevenfama.blogspot.com/2009/06/adventures-in-pharmakon.html

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Water colour morning

The farm is in water colour this morning as the rain falls and rests on leaves and in puddles on firebreaks and tracks. Down the pebbly slope from the house, a burnt out tractor rusts faster for this wintry attention, a small pool where the farmer once sat. In the middle of the green paddock, fallow now since the last owner left with his paint brushes and easels, a kangaroo stands head held high, stock still in the rain, sniffing the wind. At first glance he could be mistaken for a tall stump of a burnt out tree – he’s as grey as weathered timber and shadows on this overcast morning camouflage him like areas of burnt bark. His mob moves in the trees beyond the fence where the posts are dappled with lichen on the leeward side and raindrops hang from the wires like thousands of birds’ eyes watching the sun struggle through grey clouds. Far in the distance, far beyond the township which is 17 kilometres away as the eagle flies, lies Geographe Bay. It can be seen in water colour from here on Chapman Hill, framed by the wide glass doors which open onto a raised wooden deck – kangaroo, tree plantation, distant paddocks with cattle, Busselton township, then the bay. Down in the right hand bottom corner, the artist’s old studio sits like a scribbly signature, rough hewn timber planks for walls and rusting corrugated iron roof, bush path to its weathered door overgrown with brown rocks painted yellow on top to light a walker’s way by moonlight. Because the putty has dried out, the glass of a window in the old studio falls and crashes to the cement floor, startling the roo in the field who bounds into the plantation, scaling the fence with one effortless leap.

24 June 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On Chapman Hill
















































































































On Chapman Hill
for Pablo and Jenny


Let’s walk to get the city out
of our bones. I’ll show you red gums,
xanthorrhoea with spears, flame-tailed
black cockatoos — no strangers here
unless you hear the protea’s accent
on the evening breeze.

See, kangaroos’ paws break
the tractor tread marks, while
off that stony corner a body rusts,
wings and bonnets, flat trays
and drive shafts, welded
wildly by the elements.

Tonight, you’ll hear boobooks
stretch silence horizon to horizon
in the bright moonlight. It sends
Pancho into a barking frenzy,
shouting down the ghost in the trees -
attack his best line of defence.

Sure as day follows night, there’s
growth in decay. This land, once
Noongar, is now plotted and pieced. By
the water tank, old Buddha stands silent,
eyes hooded among raindrops sparkling
on gum leaves in sudden sunlight.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fringe Gallery Tomorrow Night Poetry Reading

Event: Geoff Lemon and Dick Alderson at Fringe Gallery
"Tall Fabulous Poets!"
What: Performance
Host: Terry Farrell
Start Time: Friday, June 26 at 7:00pm
End Time: Friday, June 26 at 10:00pm
Where: Fringe Gallery
94 Bawdan Street, Willagee.


$5 to get in.

The acoustics are great.
See you there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

This is just to remind Australian writers that fourW (Wagga Wagga Writers Writers group annual anthology) is open for submission until June 30th.

This will be the 20th annual edition. Launches in Wagga, Sydney & Melbourne.

http://www.csu.edu.au/faculty/arts/humss/booranga/submission-guidelines.html

PS: I am out of town, without internet connection at present, so messages will be infrequent. But lots of photos coming up next week!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Put Your Hands Up for The Kimberley is The Wilderness Society's campaign to help keep the greedy WA government and developers out of one of the most ancient and beautiful landscapes in the world. This is certainly an Australian asset, but it is also a World asset. Here you have a huge slice of the planet largely uncorrupted by humans. We have already let too much destructive industry feast on the natural spoils of this unique area - Don't let apathy rub out another pristine corner of the Natural World!

Go to http://www.wilderness.org.au/campaigns/kimberley?utm_source=apache&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=kimberley and put your hands up for The Kimberley.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beckett on a Hills Hoist in the Australian Bush




Back when I was in China, my eldest son Miles sent me a Beckett T-shirt as a birthday present. I still wear it, with the warmth of love for son and author next to my heart. Here it hangs on a great Aussie invention, the merry-go-round washing line, by the house we are staying in on Chapman Hill.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

On Chapman Hill




Ah, walking in the bush brushes away the city cobwebs in a second. Lots of rain here in recent days, but sudden sunshine breaks through the clouds and warms up our limbs before the rains come again. As the house runs on rainwater, the water is very welcome, and I'm certain the farmers hereabouts are cock-a-hoop. More photos of beautiful native plants to come, but everytime I've ventured forth I've had three dogs with me, two on leads, so taking photos is not easy! I could press the shutter button with my nose I s'pose ...

Also a poem waits in the wings which I've been writing on and off for a week now. Draft after draft is titled 'final draft' until I look at it again, or read it out aloud to the birds who sing better than I ever will.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Can Creative Writing be taught?

It has long been a question between writers and academics, Can Creative Writing be taught? To throw in my tuppence worth, I believe experienced writers can share their techniques and their learning from their journey so far with students, thereby cutting the gestation period to fruition of any writing talent a student may have. Even if there is no latent talent there, a full creative writing course will help any student read with more comprehension and perception. That's worth all the effort a good CW course will ask of a student.

This question has been around for a long time and has been tackled by many insiders and outsiders of university Creative Writing programs - so I point you towards this New Yorker article http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/atlarge/2009/06/08/090608crat_atlarge_menand?currentPage=all

An anecdote: Once, as president of an august writing body, I addressed a group of novice writers in an out of town writing group. They listened very politely to my motivational speech about giving your all to writing - putting creative writing before all else, including making money, personal relationships, supporting family, etc. Afterwards, over tea and cake, a mature gentleman came up beside me and said, "We're just a suburban tennis club, you know - We're not bloody Wimbledon!" That night, I learnt a lot!

Monday, June 08, 2009

SALT New Title from MARION CAMPBELL



Hey, here's an interesting title from an author best known for her novels, Marion May Campbell - SALT's new publication of a book of poems Fragments of a Paper Witch. And during June you can buy it for 33% off. Good deal.

As I reported before about SALT... They're now giving you a huge 33% off ALL books till the end of June. Use the coupon code G3SRT453 when in the checkout to benefit. Don't forget if you spend £30 or $30 you get free shipping too.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hispirits and Son ...


I'm down near Busselton, a town which sports a shop with the original title of Steptoe and Mum ... It has nothing to do with the following, but I'd like you to check out my eldest son's wisdom at http://www.milesburke.com.au/blog/2009/06/04/learn-to-say-sorry/#comment-360452

foam:e, issue 6 on display

I'm down south in Western Australia, on a chilly and damp day, away from my own computer, with little to say, so I thought I'd direct you to a couple of poems which have been online for a while now but which you may not have seen at foam:e, a magazine which grew out of an old discussion list I used to be on. When I am less lazy, I will key in a new poem I wrote here yesterday. Of course, once you have read my poems, there are a heap of other poems to visit there, and an invitation to submit your own poems from next month.

http://www.foame.org/Issue6/poems/burke.html

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Come and celebrate the world's largest population of Humpback whales in Broome SUNDAY 7 JUNE


Come down to Cable Beach to celebrate the inaugural Kimberley Whale Festival in Broome on Sunday the 7th of June!

The Whale Festival is a celebration of the world's largest population of Humpback whales, and a forum to promote the wonders and bio-diversity of the Kimberley Coast.

Events include forming a life-sized human whale on the beach for an aerial photograph (please wear blue for this if you can), an illustration competition for kids, and photography competition for adults (with great prizes including a whale watching trip for 2 with Sentosa Charters), a fish-cake cook-off at Matso's (also with great prizes), and whale and wildlife films in the evening. As part of the show "The Hopeful 3" and "Shadow Play" will be playing at Matsos from 12 - 5.30pm.

Organisers would like to note that this event is not an anti-gas rally, but a celebration of the world's largest population of Humpback whales, and a forum to promote the wonders and bio-diversity of the Kimberley Coast.

Organisers hope that the Whale Festival will become an iconic event on the Kimberley calendar well into the future.

This is a great family day out, and a celebration of the magnificent Western Australian Humpback Whales.

For more info and to volunteer, please see http://kimberleywhalefestival.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 01, 2009

>A THIRD OFF ALL SALT TITLES THROUGHOUT JUNE.



After their wonderful survival activities in recent weeks, SALT Publishing are still in a positive frame of mind, so much so that they are pushing to sell more books by offering you a special June Sale deal on all their titles. Now's your chance to buy those SALT books you've wanted!

A THIRD OFF ALL SALT TITLES THROUGHOUT JUNE


They're now giving you a huge 33% off ALL books till the end of June. Use the coupon code G3SRT453 when in the checkout to benefit. Don't forget if you spend £30 or $30 you get free shipping too.

The Domino Effect - for the rebuilding of New Orleans




Way back in time, in the late 50s and early 60s, when other kids in the neighbournhood were buying and listening to Elvis, I was a big fan of Little Richard and Fats Domino. Now they have met up again, with master blues man BB King, in a concert to help rebuild New Orleans.

Read more about it at http://blog.taragana.com/n/fats-domino-makes-rare-appearance-with-bb-king-little-richard-at-la-fundraising-concert-68299/

(QUOTE)

NEW ORLEANS — Fats Domino rarely emerges from his Louisiana home — and many wondered if he’d show up for “The Domino Effect,” his namesake concert that raises funds to help rebuild schools and playgrounds damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Sure enough, the 81-year-old New Orleans native did show up. He smiled and waved from his private suite overlooking the New Orleans Arena to more than 3,000 cheering people who attended Saturday’s concert to see two of his old friends perform — Little Richard and B.B. King. Domino is an icon in New Orleans, known nearly as much for his reclusiveness as for hits like “Blueberry Hill” and “Ain’t That a Shame.” He was never slated to perform in the benefit that is named after the city’s most famous musician.

Little Richard, at the piano in a sparkly white suite, delivered an energetic set that included “Lucille,” ”Tutti Frutti” and other hits.

Between songs, he reminisced about New Orleans and Domino. Richard’s breakout hit “Tutti Frutti” was recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s studio in New Orleans in 1955.

“I was right here,” Richard said, playing the piano as he talked. “I was right here.” (END QUOTE)