Monday, April 30, 2012

Using the Five Senses in your Writing

from Poetry Daily, a great resource

"I just feel lucky. I don't feel like I own [a poem]. I made it, but that's different. It's more about the pleasure that's just there when it's done, whether anyone sees it or not. I see it myself, quietly. I'm not showing anyone."—Jack Gilbert, An Interview with Jack Gilbert by Chard deNiord. 


The Disappearing Walking Tour at Sydney Writers' Festival

  • Please join The Red Room Company for The Disappearing Walking Tour.

    Uncover sydney’s hidden poetic currents with your guide Johanna Featherstone during Sydney Writers' Festival. Celebrated poets Martin Harrison, Astrid Lorange, Nick Bryant-Smith and Lorna Munro, as well as experts from The Historic Houses Trust will meet you along the way to explore poetry and place.

    saturday nineteenth may two thousand and twelve

    tour one: six pm
    tour two: seven pm

    departing sydney dance cafe, pier 4/5 15 hickson road walsh bay

    places are extremely limited, so please RSVP to or phone 02 9319 5090

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Australian Poetry and Jazz with Allan Browne

Conjuror: poems by Allan Browne
ISBN 978-0-9807362-2-9
$29.95 Purchase online >
You may know him as a jazz drummer, patron of Stonnington Jazz, mentor of young musicians, recipient of a lung transplant. You may have heard him waxing lyrical at a gig at Bennetts Lane in Melbourne during his 18 year residency there. And you may have read his poems on some of the 110 CDs released with his name on them.
Conjuror collects 70 pieces by poetic auto-didact Browne into one volume. The poetry was written over 40 years. The verses speak of jazz and its doctors, home and hearth, love and life, music and this mad, mad world.  Seven poems from the collection frame the music on On it, Browne’s long standing sextet (see personnel below) swing in 7 tunes that mix contemporary and classic jazz with poetry.
You may know many things about Allan Browne, but Conjuror holds some wonderful surprises.
Conjuror at Melbourne International Jazz FestivalConjuror is to be launched on Monday 4 June 2012 at Melbourne International Jazz Festival with the Allan Browne Sextet.
Or join in on Wednesday 6 June at Uptown Jazz Cafe, with the Allan Browne trio.
Companion CD features Eugene Ball (trumpet), Geoff Hughes (guitar), Nick Haywood (acoustic bass), Marc Hannaford (piano), Phil Noy (alto sax) and Allan Browne (drums)

A conversation with poet W.S. Merwin | Bookish | a blog

Here's a pleasant quote from an interview with W.S.Merwinzen naturalist poet:

A haunting little poem, “Blueberries After Dark,” begins:
So this is the way the night tastes
one at a time
not early or late
my mother told me
that I was not afraid of the dark
and when I looked it was true
how did she know
so long ago
“Those were great gifts she told me from the beginning — the things I wasn’t afraid of,” Merwin says, when I mention the poem.
That leads him to another childhood memory, spooning dried peas into a brass bowl over and over again, mesmerized by the sound.
“My mother always said, ‘Billy’s never bored,’” he recalls. “All my life I’ve listened to the rain. “I think it’s utterly mysterious. Every raindrop falls just once and you only hear it at the end of its fall.”
It's a warm-hearted chat with an amazing and popular poet and Maggie Galehouse - read it all at

A conversation with poet W.S. Merwin | Bookish | a blog

Saturday, April 28, 2012


My website JOURNAL page has just been updated at

It details my new artbook Sharing the Edge, has news of an installation of my landscape photos, and announces the Adaptation Exhibition May 6th to June 10th at the INQB8 Gallery of Contemporary Art, where all
of the above will be displayed. 

On May 3rd and 5th, I will be reading my poetry in a new, collaborative performance work with dancers and
musicians for the Stretch 2012 Art Festival at the Mandurah PerformingArts Centre Boardwalk Theatre. Sample the  2010 version at this video link: More
information at my webpage.

With my thanks,

PO Box 155, Melville W.A. 6956

Friday, April 27, 2012

Southerly launches a new issue, A Nest of Bunyips

by Southerly at their blog

Bunyip: (say 'bunyuhp)
noun 1. an imaginary creature of Aboriginal legend, said to haunt rushy swamps and billabongs.
2. Obsolete a full-grown beast (def. 2) which has remain unbranded.
3. Obsolete an impostor. [Aborig.; Wathawurung]
Bunyips, apparently, are nocturnal creatures known to haunt waterholes. It’s been suggested that there are more than a couple of Australian poets to whom this description might apply. This, certainly, is a rich poetry issue, a nest-full of the finest new writing, from Jennifer Maiden, John Kinsella, Maria Takolander, Michael Farrell, Craig Powell, Michael Sharkey, Kate Middleton and many others (several of them quite tea-totalling), plus essays by Kevin Hart on A.D. Hope, Lachlan Brown on Kevin Hart, Michael Buhagiar on Christopher Brennan, Suzie Cardwell on John Scott, Mike Ladd on poetry and radio, John Jenkins on poetry and film, Michael Ackland on Murray Bail, and, here and in The Long Paddock, further bunyipery of the highest order: reviews of many new poetry collections, an interview with Laurie Duggan, and a striking selection of new short fiction.
Please come to the launch of the latest issue of Southerly, A Nest of Bunyips. The launch will have food and wine, and of course, lots of readings from our fabulous contributors.
When: Tuesday May 8th, 5:15 for 5:45pm
Where: John Woolley Building, University of Sydney, N395 lecture theatre

Thursday, April 26, 2012

28 April 2012 Bron Bateman + Glen Phillips at Perth Poetry Club

On Saturday 28 April at Perth Poetry Club we are thrilled to present BRON BATEMAN and GLEN PHILLIPS. 2-4pm at The Moon, 323 William St, Northbridge, WA. Plus open mike.
Bron Bateman has a Doctorate in Creative Writing and a collection published, people from bones. She has work published in the US, Britain and Australia. Her poetry deals with the body, sexuality and issues that are hard to deal with. If you've experienced the rare treat of hearing Bron read her poetry, you'll know why we are excited to have her. Otherwise come along and find out.

In 1985 Glen Phillips with three other poets formed a performance group, 'Poetry in Motion'. That's a long time ago, but Glen is still at it. He is Director of the International Centre for Landscape and Language at Edith Cowan University. His poetry has appeared all over the place, here and overseas. His poetry collections include IntersectionsUmbria-Australia, Green and Gold (with Walter Cerquetti), Poetry in Motion (with three others),Sacrificing the LeavesLovesongs, LovescenesSpring Burning and Singing Granites (with Anne Born).Read more at

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bringing Censors to the Book Fair

by Jonathan Mirsky / New York Review BLOG

Tibetan, Uyghur and Chinese protesters at the London Book Fair, April 16, 2012

When I arrived at the London Book Fair on Monday, I saw a huge sign outside showing a cute Chinese boy holding an open book with the words underneath him: “China: Market Focus.” The special guest of this year’s fair was the Chinese Communist Party’s censorship bureau. Assisted by the government-funded, but independent, British Council, the fair’s organizers invited the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP)—the Communist Party’s designated body for ensuring that all publications, from poems to textbooks, are certified fit for the public at home and abroad to read.
What has caused a bitter public wrangle in London is that Beijing not only chose—with the full approval of the fair itself and of the British Council—which writers to bring to the fair. In a disturbing repeat of what happened at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009, it also excluded some of China’s best-known writers. Among these are two Nobel Prize winners: Gao Xingjian, China’s only Literature Prize laureate, who lives in nearby Paris, and Liu Xiaobo, the Peace Prize winner who is now serving out an eleven-year prison sentence. More scandalous still, not one of China’s diaspora poets and novelists was invited, even though most of the country’s most distinguished writers live abroad.
We must be very powerful and they are frightened of us,” Qi Jiazhen, a fiery, seventy-year-old writer told me, at a meeting of Chinese writers in London to protest the fair’s corrupt invitation list. “That is why they won’t let us into the fair.”
Click above on New York Review BLOG for more.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Les Murray print from The Poetry Society

15 minutes ago 

We're giving away limited # of Les Murray prints of poem 'High-speed Bird' Teeny-weeny damage. 

How to Write your own Obituary - by Halvard Johnson

First find a good recording of Bruckner's Symphony IX,
and start it playing. Then sit down at your typewriter
or word processor. If there's too much hiss
in the recording, get up and reduce the treble.
Then sit down again. Take a blank sheet of paper 
and stare at it for a while as the music
washes over you. Somewhere in all that whiteness
are the words you are seeking, the words
that are seeking you.

When you've finished your first paragraph, sit back for a bit.
Look around you. Look at the late afternoon sunshine
casting its zebra pattern on the wall to your left.
By now the symphony should be well into the scherzo, so
you can lighten up a bit. Smile. Look at your
grandfather's watch lying on the calendar page for today--
18 Monday Martin Luther King's Birthday (Observed).
You well might wonder where both of them are now.

Imagine this room you're in without you in it. Then, go
a step farther, and imagine someone, maybe even
a stranger, rummaging among your books and papers, even
popping a floppy into your machine and accessing
files at random. Imagine a stranger checking out your
unpaid bills, the letters you forgot to open. No joke, now.
The scherzo is over, and we're already into the doom-
laden finale. Imagine all the things you've just unpacked
going back into boxes. Imagine them wondering why you
ever kept this or kept that. Keep writing, keep
writing. This is your life we're dealing with here.
This is your last chance to get it down right.
Listen to the music--the horns and strings--making 
one last stab at something beautiful before the end.
Look out the window at that fading light. Look
at the cat. All that it wants is your hands on it.
Keep writing, just as though there were one more
movement after this one.

- Halvard Johnson

-- Born in Newburgh, New York, Halvard Johnson grew up in New York City and the Hudson Valley. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and Baltimore City Arts. Among his collections of poetry are Transparencies and ProjectionsThe Dance of the Red SwanEclipse, and Winter Journey—all from New Rivers Press and, now out of print, archived at the Contemporary American Poetry Archives. Recent collections include Rapsodie espagnole,G(e)nomeThe Sonnet ProjectTheory of Harmony—all from—and The English Lesson, from Unicorn Press. Hamilton Stone Editions has published two collections: Guide to the Tokyo Subway and Organ Harvest with Entrance of Clones. He has lived and worked in Chicago, Illinois; El Paso, Texas; Cayey, Puerto Rico; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; and New York City. For many years he taught overseas in the European and Far East divisions of the University of Maryland, mostly in Germany and Japan. He currently resides in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Monday, April 23, 2012

ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize - Enter Now!


Entry to the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, in memory of the late Australian writer, is now open.

First prize: $5000

Second Prize: $2000 Third Prize: $1000

Closing date: 31 May 2012


Gregory Day, Mark Gomes, Maria Takolander

ABR gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Mr Ian Dickson.

Authors must be Australian citizens or have permanent resident status in Australia. Each entry must be a single authored short story in English of between 2000 and 5000 words. The results will be announced in September and the winning story will be published in the September 2011 (Fiction) issue.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spider silk spun into violin strings

by Jason Palmer

The strings are said to have a "soft and profound timbre" relative to traditional gut or steel strings.
That may arise from the way the strings are twisted, resulting in a "packing structure" that leaves practically no space between any of the strands.
The strings will be described in a forthcoming edition of the journal Physical Review Letters. More than 300 spiders were used to generate the thousands of strands of silk making up each string
Shigeyoshi Osaki of Japan's Nara Medical University has been interested in the mechanical properties of spider silk for a number of years.
In particular, he has studied the "dragline" silk that spiders dangle from, quantifying its strength in a 2007 paper in Polymer Journal.
Dr Osaki has perfected methods of obtaining large quantities of this dragline silk from captive-bred spiders and has now turned his attention to the applications of the remarkable material.
"Bowed string instruments such as the violin have been the subject of many scientific studies," he writes.
"However, not all of the details have been clarified, as most players have been interested in the violin body rather than the properties of the bow or strings."
Dr Osaki used 300 female Nephila maculata spiders - one of the species of "golden orb-weavers" renowned for their complex webs - to provide the dragline silk.

He then set about measuring their tensile strength - a critical factor for violinists wishing to avoid breaking a string in the midst of a concerto.
For each string, Dr Osaki twisted between 3,000 and 5,000 individual strands of silk in one direction to form a bundle. The strings were then prepared from three of these bundles twisted together in the opposite direction.
The spider-silk strings withstood less tension before breaking than a traditional but rarely used gut string, but more than an aluminium-coated, nylon-core string.

Dr Osaki suggests that it is this feature of the strings that lends them their strength and, crucially, their unique tone.
A closer study using an electron microscope showed that, while the strings themselves were perfectly round, in cross-section the strands had been compressed into a range of different shapes that all fit snugly together, leaving no space between them.
"Several professional violinists reported that spider strings... generated a preferable timbre, being able to create a new music," he wrote.
"The violin strings are a novel practical use for spider silk as a kind of high value-added product, and offer a distinctive type of timbre for both violin players and music lovers worldwide."

US Postal praises 10 Great US Poets

The US Postal Service has announced publication of 10 Forever stamps honouring 20th Century US Poets. Forever stamps are stamps which keep their current market value for posting as long as you need them. (But, as the old saying puts it, Nothing lasts forever.) Postage stamp collectors have twenty days to buy these new artworks - and a lifetime to relish the works and writings by and about their favourite poets. There's even a quote from the poet on the back of the stamp! 

The Twentieth-Century Poets honored by the Postal Service include Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E.E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov, Sylvia Plath, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams. Each stamp features a photograph of one of the 10 poets. Text on the back of the stamp sheet includes an excerpt from one poem by each poet. The art director was Derry Noyes.
Elizabeth Bishop was known as a "writer's writer," suggesting the admiration other poets feel for her work. The photograph of Elizabeth Bishop was taken in her home in Key West, FL, by Josef Breitenbach.
E.E. Cummings expertly manipulated the rules of grammar, punctuation, rhyme and meter to create poems that resembled modernist paintings more than traditional verse. The E.E. Cummings stamp features a photograph of Cummings taken in 1935 by Edward Weston.
An award-winning author of more than 20 collections of poetry, Denise Levertov wrote mystical, meditative poems about nature, spirituality, love, and loss as well as antiwar poems. The Denise Levertov stamp features a photograph of Levertov taken by Rollie McKenna.
Sylvia Plath probed the conflict between inner self and outward appearance. Her complex body of work includes deftly imagined poems about marriage and motherhood, gender and power, death and resurrection, and the search for self. The Sylvia Plath stamp features a photograph of Plath taken by Rollie McKenna.
The Elizabeth Bishop, E.E. Cummings, Denise Levertov and Sylvia Plath photographs are part of the collection at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Joseph Brodsky, an exile from the Soviet Union, was the first foreign-born poet to be appointed Poet Laureate of the United States. The Joseph Brodsky stamp features a photograph of Brodsky standing on a pier on the Hudson River in New York City. The photograph was taken by Nancy Crampton.
Gwendolyn Brooks is best remembered for distinctive, lyrical portraits of everyday urban life. The Gwendolyn Brooks stamp features a photograph of Brooks in her Chicago home. The photograph was taken in 1987 by Jon Randolph.
The poems of Robert Hayden reflect his brilliant craftsmanship, his historical conscience and his gift for storytelling. The Robert Hayden stamp features a photograph of Robert Hayden taken around 1975 by Timothy Franklin. The photograph is part of the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress.
Theodore Roethke created intimate, introspective poems distinguished by lyricism and a sensual use of imagery. The Theodore Roethke stamp features a photograph of Roethke taken in London, England.
The poems of Wallace Stevens explore language and meaning that make reading a distinctive experience. The Wallace Stevens stamp features a photograph of Stevens taken by Sylvia Salmi. The image is from Bettmann/CORBIS.
William Carlos Williams was a doctor who typed out his poems between seeing patients. His work showed readers the extraordinary in the commonplace. The Williams stamp features a photograph taken in the 1940s. The photograph is from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.
The stamps on the Twentieth-Century Poets pane are being issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price.

More to be read HERE.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A New Wor(l)d Order

He uses his post-post-modern perspective
to deconstruct the new aesthetic. It’s no longer
about gender; it’s about synapses. Her emotions
are binary, randomly generated. He lights her heart
afire with disposable flame. Ablaze, she lifts
her arms and twirls like a figure skater. The ashes
shape themselves into an egg. All his friends
are virtual. These lines cast off in multiple, nested
dimensions. Black holes are not the only voracious
things in this universe. Parentage becomes obscure.
What is eaten changes places with that which eats.
Look into the whale’s eye. Each day she becomes
a new thing, resurrected from dead stars. His edges
are amorphous. All boundaries are permeable. *E
*approximates *MC2*. Motionless, we move. It all
depends on where you stand. Stand somewhere.

- Sharon Brogan