Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Introducing ...

Introducing my new daughter-in-law, Becky (Rebecca) who married my son Charlie at Auckland Castle, County Durham, on Saturday 21 May 2006.

'The Work of the Wind' by S.J.Litherland

Jackie and Joanna at The Shakespeare

Jackie Litherland and Joanna Boulter at The Shakespeare in Durham before Colpitts Poetry Society reading in May. Jackie went on to launch her new book The Work Of The Wind, published by Flambard Press Poetry, at Colpitts on Friday, 26 May. For more info, look up and

Monday, May 29, 2006

Poetry Reading in Durham at Colpitts

On Friday, 12 May 2006, Paul Summers and I read at Colpitts Poetry Society, Allington House, 4 North Bailey, Durham. He is the fellow in the middle, with his girlfriend and a German friend. The program described his poetry as 'perfect pieces of sea glass, polished, sparkling, illuminating the ordinary'.

It was a great night, with Paul and I doing twenty minute performances separated by a very social interval. The only weird thing was the way they turned out the lights when I started to read! I had to lean over and read standing up sideways and holding my manuscript and books under a table lamp :-) Paul is a wanderer as performer, and found being anchored to the lamp rather difficult ... He's a Northumbian 'lad' with a cheeky and cheery persona which comes through in his poetry and his performance.

I really enjoyed Colpitts and am sad to hear their funding has been withdrawn - after a healthy stint of 31 years as a poetry venue in Durham.

S.J.Litherland, known to friends as Jackie, read from her new collection The Work of the Wind (Flambard 2006) on Friday 26 May, 2006. But by that stage I was half way home to Perth by Qantas, so I can only recommend the book - if you can lay your hands on it. Maybe Google can help ...

WOW Readings Monday

Jane Cornes has kept alive the Walking On Water literary readings - and this week it opens at a new venue. Not only is it difficult to find such a venue in Perth, but when you find it it can be hard to find such a venue in Perth !!

I'll let Jane's latest email tell you the story:

Hope to see you there. Don¹t forget: Monday 5 June, 7.30 sharp. $5 waged/ $3
unwaged; open readings; three nice invited guests (poet piano accordionist
ross bolleter/musician simon nield/novelist felicity young).
Also we'll supply tea and coffee but feel free to bring drinks.

Ahhh, the mud map refuses to be exposed in this medium. I'll hunt up a description ...

Here it is, courtesy of Jane Cornes:



Three fantastic performers:

Ross Bolleter
Ross is perhaps best known for his work with ruined pianos, which he rescues
and then plays. Tonight, however, he'll be sharing some of his poetry and
playing the piano accordion. Very exciting.

Simon Nield
Simon is one of my [JC's] favourite guitarists. He is a well-travelled performer
and an accomplished songwriter. Simon will share some of his original music
with us.

Our emerging writer is Felicity Young, a fine local writer who will read
from work in progress.

WOW's NEW HOME is in the city, near the corner of Murray and Pier streets.

It's an easy place to find but a difficult one to explain, so bear with me.

From the corner of Pier and Murray, walk towards the city on Murray. To your
right, opposite Miss Maud's, there's a laneway on which runs down to
Wellington Street.

There's a florist on one corner of the laneway and the Pier Street carpark
on the other. Just down the laneway a little is the Ambar nightclub. Walk
down past the nightclub until you come to the blue building on the left, no.

WOW is on the first floor, in a custom-built theatre with black curtains.
All very gothic and lovely.

Coffee and tea provided, but please feel free to bring nibbles and drinks
(and something to drink from).

We'll start at 7.30 sharp, with the usual open readers first.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

jane cornes

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Stanley Kunitz

Stanley Kunitz (1905 - 2006) RIP

Stanley Kunitz died on Sunday, aged one hundred. I won't give you all the life story and the eulogies from the major papers - you can easily google them - but here are some quotes from Stanley Kunitz in a Paris Review interview to celebrate the life of a great modern poet:

“A poem has secrets that the poet knows nothing of.”

“From the beginning I was a subjective poet in contradiction to the dogma propounded by Eliot and his disciples that objectivity, impersonality, was the goal of art.”

“I want the energy to be concentrated in my nouns and verbs...”

“The poem in the head is always perfect. Resistance starts when you try to convert it to language.”

“Unless craft is second nature, it means nothing. Craft can point the way... but it's not to be confused with an art of transformation, the magical performance.”

“Bob Dylan couldn't have existed if Dylan Thomas hadn't existed before him.”

“Often a poem is a dream, but I don't necessarily say it is.”

“I've tried to squeeze the water out of my poems.”

“I like to use a word in a poem with its whole history dragging like a chain behind it. And then we go over the sound.”

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Historic Durham Cathedral

This photo from the continuous webfeed from the Physics Dept of Durham University of the historic Durham Cathedral - recently voted the 'most popular building in Britain'. The locals brag about it daily! (Today's actual image is grey and overcast, so I went to the archives for a more interesting shot :-)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Reading tomorrow night in Durham City

Colpitts Poetry Society invites you along to hear Australian poet Andrew Burke read at Alington House, 4 North Bailey, Durham City, May 12 at 8pm.

Andrew's attractive book Whispering Gallery will be available for purchase.

Peter Minter's new book through SALT

Great cover. 'Blue Grass' ... I haven't seen the book yet myself but I guarantee it won't be anything short of interesting :-)

Angel Of The North - on the road to Newcastle

I'd like to see this one fly!

Angel Of The North

I'm on the road - and seeing giant angels! I wonder did Jack K see Angels too - or boddhisatvas? This giant sculpture is on the way to Newcastle from where I am staying in Durham.Some of the locals are divided in their appreciation of the Angel - but I thought it looked quite majestic up close.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Congratulations, Jill Jones (& Cordite message)

The May issue:

Congratulations, Jill!


Cordite Poetry Review seeks submissions of poetry for its 24th issue, on the theme of COMMON WEALTH. Please note the following:

1. Send email submissions only to with "Common Wealth" in the subject line;
2. Please send up to five unpublished poems;
3. Include a biography;

Read our submission guidelines for further details:


Cordite's guest poetry editor for this issue is Claire Gaskin.

Thanks to the funding of the Australia Council for the Arts, we are able to offer the following rates of payment for Australian contributors:

POEMS: $60
AUDIO: $30

Poneme Questions & Answer Poems

Over at the poetry email-list, Poneme, we have been playing with Question and Answer poems. Here's one from Kristin Hannaford, Heather Matthew and Tim Thorne: (Ahh, see below: this one is Kristin and Heather's whereas the next version was Tim 'cutting in' like at the old school dance ...)

who came between?

in the end your offer was nothing, really

it was the idea of you I liked

are we repeating?

a sense that this gesture is always the same

look at our hands

if we wait here long enough it will happen again

how could they find it?

I didn’t understand it then either

do we doubt that which we see?

skin deep, a mirage

glass always a distortion

your voice accusing stop assuming

will there be a crisis?

only if we run out wine

if there is will I be safe?

you are laughing now

above the quiet drift of our lives

crystals are forming in the honey

when will the hours fade?

a turning in the outsideness of weather

vegetables thickening root

is this truly the time of yellow?

the wattle is flowering

Join us at


Andrew I just looked at your blog....

the one you have put up is Heather Matthew's question's Kristin Hannaford's answers But I am flattered you like it!

This one - see below - is Tim Thorne's answers and Heather Matthew's questions. Two different poems...... same questions Ahhhh. I hear the penny dropping on the tiles...... Cheers Kristin

who came between?
deep green shades of the other people.
are we repeating?
only the unimportant things.
how could they find it?
in a dry place - sand, hand or heart.
do we doubt that which we see?
no, but we used to.
will there be a crisis?
a crisis of plums at their height.
if there is will I be safe?
with fruit you will always be safe.
when will the hours fade?
in the imperceptible gap before the skin bends.
is this truly the time of yellow?
yes, but keep it a secret.