Friday, December 30, 2005

More Frantastic fun with Fran Sbrocchi

One of a series of computer paintings by poet and teacher, Fran Sbrocchi (who also makes fine muffins!).

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Snap - 28/12/2005

in her last days
my mother manipulated us
blackmailing us with
in all its flavours

'o, I know what you're up to'
she'd say, seeing conspiracy everywhere
and call me by my brother's name
and accuse me of his faults
'you can't hide from me'
she'd say, and we'd resent it

but now years down the track,
sober drunks praise her in
the public bar of their recovery,
and I glow in her reflected serenity
and phone to tell my brother
what a good woman she was,
our mother of the manipulative ways -
he laughs and asks
for a contribution to her last pharmacy bill
and mimics her voice -
'you can't hide from me'

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

More Toilet Door News

Toilet Door Poems will commission 6 emerging poets and 6 visual designers, to create 6 posters for display on the backs toilet doors during April 2006, in domestic Qantas terminals, and Greater Union cinemas, in Sydney and nationally.
The project will also commission 1 poet to write a mini-essay about an aspect of poetry in the public space, to be published online at and presented publicity, at the project's launch.

The poems will be displayed for the duration of APRIL 2006, in these spaces, thanks to the support from ‘The Letter Corporation, The City of Sydney and The John Butler Foundation's 'social activisim through the arts' fund.

Our design partners, DesignWorks Enterprise IG, will co-ordinate the selection of artists and art design, introducing a strong collaborative element between the poet and the artist.

Selected poets will be recorded reading their poems for a red room radio, broadcast via the national community radio satellite.

The poems will replace advertising with poetry and art by emerging Australian poets and artists in spaces that are both very public, and uniquely private.

Each illustrated poem will explore and interpret a theme of social, political, cultural and creative relevance to each poet and designer, offering a balance between creative excellence and a social aware art for the public, humorous and serious at once.

SUBMISSIONS open on DECEMBER 1 2005 and close JANUARY 23 2006

Conditions of entry for poets
Poems can’t have been previously published.
Poets selected for the project will be emerging poets, that means no more than one book (chap books excluded) of poetry previously published.
Poems remain the exclusive copyright of red room company until project completion and future publication must acknowledge previous publication in this project.
Poems submitted must include poet contact details
Poets must be Australian residents
Poems can be sent via email or hard copy to The Red Room Company PO box 1389 Darlinghurst, NSW 1300
Poems must reach us by the 23rd January 2006

Conditions of entry for artists
Artists selected for the project will be emerging artists, that means not as famous as John Olsen.

Art works remain the exclusive copyright of red room company until project completion and future publication must acknowledge previous publication in this project.

Works submitted must include poet contact details
Artists must be Australian residents
An example of previous art work must fit into an A4 envelope (CDs, photographs, photocopies accepted) to

The Red Room Company PO box 1389 Darlinghurst, NSW 1300
Artworks must reach us by the 13th January 2006
Artists will be contacted separately, details here soon.

Selection committee
Poem and art selection committee will include an emerging and established poet. Also involved in the selection process will be a representative from the John Butler Foundation and The City of Sydney

Please don't submit poems built on toilet humour unless they are outstanding
The selected poems will aim to explore issues of social, political, cultural and creative relevance to broad audience.

Further detailsPlease contact

Toilet Door Poetry Opportunity :-)

Dear Poets and writers and visual artists,
Submissions are now open for the 2006 Toilet Door poetry project.
Six emerging poets and artists are wanted to create illustrated
poem posters for exhibition on the back of toilet doors in Qantas
domestic terminals, greater union and village cinemas, nationally
in April 2006.

Please see attached PDF for details [try the link below].

Happy summer swims,

Johanna Featherstone
The Red Room Company

Monday, December 26, 2005

Snap on Christmas Day

i begin the festivities
by watering the lawn
and the two single trees
that stand two metres tall
and five metres apart
their leafy round heads
dripping like mops

a wattlebird flies in
and shakes her body
among the leaves
bathes with gusto
when in flies her would-be lover
so she flies to
the other green mop

both trees now alive
a bird each
and not a partridge
or a pear tree
in sight

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Snow School by Fran Sbrocchi

Snow School by Fran Sbrocchi. I suppose it helps to know that Fran grew up in Canada :-) With this painting she sent a note which read, in part, Kids in our time built a nice house and put a stove in it for winter school lunches. Beautiful. Thanks, Fran ... And happy jolly, merry holly to all!

Poems & Paintings

Pieter Brueghel, Hunters in the Snow (1565)

Here's a website you might enjoy -

Friday, December 16, 2005

Michael Knight painting

Michael Knight is my artist partner at 'The Painted Word' at the Atwell Gallery in January 2006. If you would like to work with words then art, it is a unique opportunity! See below for website address.

January is Summer School Time!

There is a good creative project going down at the Atwell Gallery - one section of which is 'The Painted Word' where a writer and an artist are teamed up for the week to inspire a class to create! Create what? Who knows! The fun is in finding out and creating it ... Go to now and check it out.

See you there! Would I tell you all this if I wasn't one of the writers? Not bloody likely! :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Snake Pit in action :-)

Snake Pit 1950+

In my research for my academic work, I came a cross this photo which I think is great. In my family, we weren't allowed anywhere near the Snake Pit in Scarborough, but I have since learnt it was run by an off-duty cop who was helping out the youth of the area.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Famous Reporter 31 launched

Good news! The sparkling little literary journal from the apple isle Famous Reporter has just been released. This is Number 31, so congratulations to Ralph Wassman and others on the team for their diligent work. You can see parts of it at

A subscription would make a good Christmas gift to someone interested in contemporary Australian literature.