Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tinfish submissions - by March 2010

from Susan M Schultz, editor, Tinfish magazine:

I am especially interested in works of innovative translation from Hawai`i and elsewhere in the Pacific, as well as poems about ageing. As Tinfish never has "theme issues," other materials are also welcome.

Remember, we publish experimental work from the Pacific region only. Please feel free to send word around, but encourage prospective authors to read some Tinfishes first.

Our website is at
The blog is at

aloha, Susan

Please send to 47-728 Hui Kelu Street #9, Kaneohe, HI 96744

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas in a Zen kind of way ...

"Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes." — Alan Watts

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Birth of 'Kind of Blue'

One night in 1958, [George] Russell sat down with [Miles] Davis at a piano and laid out his theory's possibilities—how to link chords, scales, and melodies in almost unlimited combinations. Miles realized this was a way out of bebop's cul-de-sac. "Man," he told Russell, "if Bird was alive, this would kill him."

Read all about it at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'Human Beauty' by Albert Goldbarth + article link

If you write a poem about love ...
the love is a bird,

the poem is an origami bird.
If you write a poem about death ...

the death is a terrible fire,
the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames

you feed to the fire.


Albert Goldbarth
from "The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems 1972-2007," Graywolf Press, 2007.

No poem is tame if it's a good one, Albert Goldbarth would say.

Read the entire poem and an article about the poet at

Sunday, December 20, 2009

AVANT-POST - Now archived online

ISBN 80-7308-123-7 (paperback). 300pp.
Published: September 2006. Prague. Litteraria Pragensia Books.
Out of print.

"The question at the heart of these sixteen essays--alternately theoretically demanding, impishly elusive, stylistically impacted, and wholly absorbing--is this: what, in the context of contemporary politico-aesthetic practices, is the avant-garde, and how, if at all, can some version of it continue to exist in an historical moment when ... everything is permitted, hence nothing is any longer possible?" --American Book Review

Avant-Post engages the question of whether or not avant-garde practice remains viable under the prevailing conditions of a whole series of "post-" ideologies, from Post-Modernism and Post-Structuralism, to Post-Historicism, Post-Humanism and Post-Ideology itself.

Edited by Louis Armand. Contributors include: Johanna Drucker, Michael S. Begnal, Lisa Jarnot, Ann Vickery, Christian Bök, Robert Archambeau, Mairead Byrne, R.M. Berry, Trey Strecker, Keston Sutherland, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Robert Sheppard, Bonita Rhoads, Vadim Erent, Laurent Milesi, Esther Milne ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

BRIGHT STAR - Opens on Boxing Day

Written and directed by Jane Campion with research from Andrew Motion's biography Keats
Rated PG, 119 minutes
Cinemas everywhere
Opens on Boxing Day

IN the early days of their relationship, the poet John Keats calls his sweetheart, Fanny Brawne, ''minxtress'' - a nickname stemming from the zest she displays in trading insults with Charles Brown, one of Keats's most chauvinistic friends.

And she's pretty forthright with Keats himself. Aware that she is being patronised over her obsession with fashion, she reminds him that her dressmaking skills earn money, which is more than he can say for his poems.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Ancient Music by Ezra Pound

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damn you, sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing Goddamm, DAMM.

[Pound's] Note.- This is not folk music, but Dr. Ker writes that the tune is to be found under the Latin words of a very ancient canon.

Text as published in Selected Poems, Faber, mcmlix (paper covered edition), except indents which I can't do on blogger.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sumer is icumen in

Sing cuccu nu! Sing cuccu!
Sing cuccu! Sing cuccu nu!

Sumer is icumen in;
Lhude sing cuccu;
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wde nu.
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth;
Murie sing cuccu.
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu, cuccu,
Ne swik thu naver nu.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Celebrating Miles Davis's 'Kind of Blue' at Ellington's Jazz Club

Last night I went to the Ellington Jazz Club to hear a tribute night to the classic Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue - 50 years old this year.
Here's a word from their pre-concert advertising: Explosive saxophonist Carl Mackey assembled an all-star line-up to pay tribute to arguably the most definitive album in Jazz. It has been fifty tears since legendary trumpeter Miles Davis recorded Kind Of Blue in 1959 abandoning his earlier forays in hard-bop to explore pure modalism. It is cited by many music critics not only as Davis's best-selling album, but as the best-selling jazz record of all time, being certified quadruple platinum last year. Miles Davis – trumpet (Ricki Malet), Cannonball Adderley – alto saxophone (Carl Mackey), John Coltrane – tenor saxophone (Jamie Oehlers), Wynton Kelly/Bill Evans - piano (Graham Wood), Paul Chambers – bass (Nick Abbey), Jimmy Cobb/Philly Jones – drums (Ben Vanderwal).

(End quote)

They played through the entire tracks for the first set - a generous helping. But I don't want you to think they were mimicking the original solos: they played as them selves, just in the order of the album. For example, the percussion was much more upfront many times, as is the want these days compared to half a century ago. And, by the end of the night (in the second half, they played all the Milestones tracks, their individual originality shone through. The club was absolutely crowded, wall to wall, for the first half, but, mysteriously, a third of the audience left at half time. Well, they missed a cooking last set where the guys seem to leave the reverence behind and play to their own heart's content. I respected the first half, and loved to hear such mellow tracks live, but for me the excitement lay in the second half, the Milestones tracks, where each muso seemed to push themselves more.

It is incredibly good value at Ellington's as well: just $15 at a table, with full table service - and fine coffee. I'll leave the bar assessment to others, but we received all the efficient and smiling service we needed. A great night of live jazz, paying due homage to my alltime favourite jazzman.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quote Ponting Unquote

'Going to Perth, we know it's a wicket that does offer some assistance to the quicks, but the breeze over there generally helps the finger spinners more than the legspinners.'

Ricky Ponting expects Nathan Hauritz to play in the third Test at the WACA against the Windies.

Robert Herrick, Ben Jonson, et al, kvetching with style

The Yiddish verb for complaining, kvetch—literally to squeeze or to crush—has an onomatopoetic quality to my ear. All of those consonant sounds, squashed into a single syllable, surrounding the explosive grunt of the short E sound, to me, like the prolonged insistence of a grievance. And who has not occasionally been a kvetch, the noun—a relentless complainer?
Robert Pinsky writes about the complaining masters at

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Can poetry change the world? John Kinsella says 'Yes!'

"For me, poetry has no point in existing if it’s not to be a prompt or aid to political and ethical change. This is not to say that a poem should be political or ethical instruction, but rather that it might engender a dialogue between the poem itself and the reader / listener, between itself and other poems and texts, and between all of these and a broader public (whatever that might be). I see myself as a poet activist—every time I write a poem, it is an act of resistance to the state, the myriad hierarchies of control, and the human urge to conquer our natural surroundings."

This is just part of an article by Australian poet and eco-activist John Kinsella at

Advice to all writers ...

Thanks for this one, Frank Parker.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Bad sex award goes to Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones

Bad sex judges pay tribute to 'part-genius' of winning novel and hope winner 'takes it in good humour'

The American winner of the Prix Goncourt, Jonathan Littell, has added another feather to his cap. His novel, The Kindly Ones, was tonight announced as the winner of the Literary Review's 2009 bad sex in fiction award.

The Kindly Ones, which tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of one of the executioners, beat off stiff competition from a stellar shortlist that included entries from Philip Roth, John Banville, Paul Theroux and the literary rock star Nick Cave.

The judges paid tribute to the novel's breadth and ambition, calling it "in part, a work of genius".

"However," the citation continued, "a mythologically inspired passage and lines such as 'I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg' clinched the award for The Kindly Ones. We hope he takes it in good humour."

According to Jonathan Beckman at the Literary Review, The Kindly Ones is the first work in translation to win the award, set up by Auberon Waugh in 1993 to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it".

The Kindly Ones was originally written in French, where it was published as Les bienveillantes in 2006, and went on to sell more than 1m copies across the continent and win the Prix Goncourt, France's highest literary honour.

The Goncourt judges were clearly unconcerned by the section which caught the Bad Sex judges' eye, in which Littell draws a comparison between a woman's genitalia and "a Gorgon's head ... a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks".

"If only I could still get hard, I thought," the winning passage continues, "I could use my prick like a stake hardened in the fire, and blind this Polyphemus who made me Nobody. But my cock remained inert, I seemed turned to stone."

According to Beckman, Littell has no plans to attend the award ceremony. Last year's winner was Rachel Johnson for her novel Shire Hell. Previous winners of the famous plaster foot include Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and Sebastian Faulks.

* © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

ROUGH TRADES by Charles Bernstein

I have a few fav poets at present, but for wit and sheer panache, I go to Charles Bernstein. I have his latest books, yes, but I still enjoy dipping into an old favourite, now available to you complete on the net for FREE. Best price -

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Little Creatures (instant poem)

Last night a brown frog
under thin moonlight
in the circle of
a green hose wound up.

Today my wife's sandal
near takes the back half
of a brown gecko off

by the delicatessen
where the workmen buy
pies and flavoured milk.

Now same bee
as yesterday seemingly
walks up to my barefoot
on the hot driveway
saying, Not you again.

Little creatures so
honest in their lives,
so vulnerable in ours

PS: On another site, a friend has suggested knocking off the last verse. Whaddya think?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Call for Submissions

Landscapes, the Journal of the International Centre for Landscape and Language at Edith Cowan University, is accepting submissions for its upcoming issue 'HYDROBOTANICS' on the twin subjects of water and plant life. We are seeking inter-disciplinary academic essays, poetry, and other creative writing, and visual and sound art based on the theme. Although special emphasis is given to issues and perspectives on Western Australian water and plant life, national and international content is encouraged. All academic articles will be peer-reviewed and published online.

The deadline for submission is 18 December 2009 at 4pm. Please email submissions to Glen Phillips, ICLL Director at

For submission guidelines, please visit the ICLL website:

Another Issue of Landscapes will be published later in 2010 and it is not too early to send material that may be suitable for the second issue which will be open to all aspects of landscape including photographic images, visual and sound art and creative writing. There will also be a tribute to the life work of the late Rica Erickson, Western Australian author and naturalist.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Redressing Shakespeare & Co

Refreshing the old image of an historic bookshop in an age when bookshops are running into foul financial weather. Go see at

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Merri Creek, Kris Hemensley's blog/mag/journal

I have two poems at

Kris Hemensley has been a contributor, supporter and mentor in Australian poetry for decades. He is also the happy bookseller, with Reeta his wife, at The Collected Works Bookshop in Melbourne.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pierre Joris on Robert Creeley


From the real of experience through the real of language to the real of your experience of the poem. In that equation the poet is in the middle, in medias res, the mediator, responsible for and to language. As he [Creeley] said: “I believe in a poetry determined by the language of which it is made. I look to words, and nothing else, for my own redemption.”

Read the entire chapter at

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Best Australian Poems 2009 Edited by Robert Adamson

In The Best Australian Poems 2009, award-winning poet Robert Adamson puts together a selection of the most outstanding poems written by Australian authors over the past year. Alongside renowned names, the editor has solicited contributions from new and emerging poets and some of their work appears in print here for the first time. The result is a vibrant and fascinating edition of this much-loved anthology.

Available now.

A. Frances Johnson
Adam Aitken
Adrienne Eberhard
Alan Wearne
Alex Skovron
Ali Cobby Eckermann
Alicia Sometimes
Amanda Joy
Andrew Slattery
Anne Elvey
Anthony Lawrence
Astrid Lorange
Barry Hill
Berndt Sellheim
Carol Jenkins
Chris Edwards
Chris Wallace-Crabbe
Claire Gaskin
Clive James
Craig Sherborne
David Brooks
David McCooey
David Musgrave
Debbie Lim
Derek Motion
Dorothy Porter
Elizabeth Campbell
Fay Zwicky
Felicity Plunkett
Fiona Wright
Geoff Page
Geoffrey Lehmann
Gig Ryan
Ivy Alvarez
J.S. Harry
Jan Owen
Jane Gibian
Jaya Savige
Jayne Fenton Keane
Jeltje Fanoy
Jen Jewel Brown
Jenni Nixon
Jennifer Harrison
Jennifer Maiden
Jessika Tong
Jill Jones
Joanne Burns
Johanna Featherstone
John Leonard
John Tranter
Judith Beveridge
Judith Bishop
Kate Fagan
Kate Middleton
Ken Bolton
Kent MacCarter
Kerry Leves
Kevin Hart
L.K. Holt
Larry Buttrose
Laurie Duggan
Les Murray
Lia Hills
Lisa Gorton
Louise Waller
Lucy Dougan
Luke Davies
Mandy Beaumont
Maria Takolander
Mark Tredinnick
Martin Harrison
Matt Hetherington
Meg Mooney
Meredith Wattison
Michael Brennan
Michael Farrell
Michelle Cahill
Michelle Leber
Pam Brown
Paul Kelly
Peter Minter
Peter Porter
Peter Rose
Petra White
Philip Salom
Robert Gray
Robyn Rowland
Ron Pretty
Rose Lucas
Sarah Day
Sarah Holland-Batt
Sarah K. Bell
Shevaun Cooley
Stephen Edgar
Stuart Cooke
Susan Fealy
Susan Hawthorne
Susan McCreery
Thomas Shapcott
Tim Thorne
Vivian Smith

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BARBARA TEMPERTON at Perth Poetry Club this Saturday 28 Nov

A rare treat this week: BARBARA TEMPERTON is in town. Barbara is Geraldton's unofficial poet laureate, has published three collections, and was a favourite at the 2009 Queensland Poetry Festival.

Plus open mike.

Professional sound.

Come listen and hang out with poetry lovers in the comfy back room of The Moon. 2-4pm.
323 William Street, Northbridge.

5 Dec: Peach (the next big thing in Adelaide poetry performance)
12 Dec: lush ladies: Jazmin & Sally Clarke
19 Dec: Janet Jackson and Neil Pattinson, plus Coral Carter reading the greats
26 Dec, 2 Jan: break, for obvious reasons
9 Jan: watch this space

More info at Enquiries:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thoughts on Poetry, by Michael Longley in India

Michael Longley is the current Ireland Professor of Poetry, which entails residencies at universities including, Queen’s.
During a trip to India, promoting the univeristy, he sat for an interview. Some of his answers follow. I don't necessarikly agree with them but I find him interesting.

He calls himself old-fashioned. “I believe in the Muse, in waiting for poetry to come.” That is why despite the stimulus of being in “strange places”, he is unsure if his next poem will be on India.

“Chattiness destroys poetry. Poetry can’t exist without compression,” says the poet who regularly prunes his lines. He has an imagery to describe his belief. Prose, he says, is a river. Poetry a fountain. “A fountain is shapely yet free-flowing. In free verse, you miss the shape.”


“But the poet is not like a journalist. It takes time for things to settle to an imaginative depth. There is a notion in Ireland that civic unrest is good for poetry. I think that is a repulsive idea as is the idea that art must provide solace to people. Poetry cannot set out to be relevant.” Most of the poetry that came out of Vietnam, he feels, is rubbish.‘Anything, however small, may make a poem; nothing, however big, is certain to’.


“I live for the next poem,” he says. Longley’s wife Edna, accompanying him on the tour, is a critic (“the best,” he mutters, grudging and gloating). “Had it not been for her, my oeuvre would have been three times in volume.” His most acclaimed poetry — including the award-winning Gorse Fires (1991) and The Weather in Japan (2000) — came after eight years of silence. “Middle age is not good for poetry,” he feels.

So, be warned, you middle-aged poets with social conscience: perhaps a retreat of some years may be best practice!

Complete interview at

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hear ISSA on Poetica

If you missed the initial broadcast of Poetica today November 21st you can still hear it at

My dog listened to every word I said with a quizzical ear ... and yet ... and yet ...

It will also be repeated on Thursday afternoon 26 November 3pm on Radio National in most States of Australia but 4pm in Western Australia. A beautiful programme put together with haunting music and sensitive readings by Ron Sims.


The Society is Celebrating 125 years


Winner: $300. Runner-up: $100.

OK, so it’s four hundred years since Thomas Thorpe published Shakespeare’s sonnets along with “A Lover’s Complaint”, and people are still finding their own emotions in them, still questioning the situations which inspired them, still transforming their creative energy into theses, fictions, scripts, paintings, and music.

To celebrate this anniversary, the Melbourne Shakespeare Society invites entries to a competition for the 155th SONNET.

Competitors are free to interpret the need for a 155TH SONNET, for instance, to include sonnets “in Shakespeare’s voice”, comments on love, the sonnet, us and the times of Shakespeare – and so on. The judges acknowledge the creative variation of the sonnet form as practised in Shakespeare’s time and since. The judges’ decision is final.

Entries: A previously unpublished sonnet, titled or sub-titled “The 155th Sonnet”.
Format: Each sonnet in typescript on one side of an A4 sheet of paper. The poet’s name must not be on this sheet, but supplied with address and contact details (email/phone) on a separate sheet of paper, with title and opening line of the poem.

Closing date: Entries must be posted December 1 or earlier (date extended).
Entry fee: Four x 55c unused Australian postage stamps with each sonnet.
Send to: Melbourne Shakespeare Society 155th Sonnet Competition, P.O.Box 231, Mont Albert VIC 3127

The judges are Kevin Brophy and Judith Rodriguez. The winner and runner-up will be announced at the end of the 1pm, December 12 reading of “The Rape of Lucrece” by the Melbourne Shakespeare Society, at the English-Speaking Union, 146 West Toorak Road, South Yarra 3181.

At the Society’s 2pm December 19 meeting at St Francis’ Pastoral Centre, Lonsdale St, the prize-winning poems will be read, if possible by the poets, and released in print in The Melbourne Shakespearean; writers of other entries may be invited to read or be published. Publication at ASA rates; copyright remains with the poets.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Poetica 21 November 2009 - Issa

In the gentle and incisive world of Haiku poetry, the 18th century, Japanese poet ISSA is still regarded as a giant talent in these 'little, one-breath poems'. - 3pm on ABC National Radio 21 November 2009. Repeated on Thursday 26 November 2009 at 3pm most States, 4pm in Western Australia.

I tell you this because I do make comments in it. The programme was compiled and produced by Ron Sims, recording engineer, photographer, sculptor and who knows what else.

the lazy dog
barks lying down...
plum trees in bloom


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Can you write Sonnet 155? It would be worth $300!

Sonneteers! 400 years after Shakespeare’s Sonnets were published, the Melbourne Shakespeare Society is holding a competition for THE 155TH SONNET. Winner $300, runner-up $100. Fee, each poem: 4 x 55c postage stamps.

Post by December 1 (extended) to
P.O.Box 231, Mont Albert VIC 3127.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big High Song for Somebody by Philip Whalen, read at Perth Poetry Club @ The Moon

As I said in relation to the poem Tides which I posted recently, I am keyboarding in the full text of an old book of mine, 'Mother Waits For Father Late', the purpose of which (this activity) will become apparent in time.

The actual close reading of each word and each line, the punctuation and setting out on the page, is very interesting to me. Poem by poem, I can see the influences in my life at the time of composition, and can feel the memory of some of my editing decisions. It is like walking through and meeting again ghosts of those creative moments passed in a completely different frame of mind, a completely different frame of physical reference.

Yesterday I went to a reading at The Moon Cafe by Amanda Joy for the Perth Poetry Club. The audience was a lot smaller than such an interesting and talented poet deserved, so I am glad I attended. When they asked me if I'd like to read, I at first said no because I had not brought any books or typescripts with me, but then I thought of the poems I know by heart from those early days of discovery of modern American poetry, changed my mind, and said yes. So, with a pseudo-American accent which wouldn't have fooled an intern customs officer, I performed Big High Song for Somebody by Philip Whalen, one of my all time favourite poets. I had real fun performing like that, so I have resolved to work on my own work in a more performative way, to express the rhythm and pace of the poems with more vitality than simply reading them.

But it did bring back to my mind, again like the keyboarding instance, the poetic influences and passions of decades gone by, all of which stream into my creative practice today, for good or bad.

The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen is edited by Michael Rothenberg, and published by Wesleyan University Press, Connecticut, in 2007.

Go to for more about Whalen.

Thanks to Amanda Joy for the photo above, clicked with an iPhone - the wonders of today's technology. In times gone by, just decades ago, we would have been waiting for the chemist to open tomorrow morning to place our roll of film in for developing, and then waiting for some days before the prints returned. As for showing them to all of you in the many countries where you reside, I would have been - pleasantly - travelling for weeks.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

TIDES (1992) by Andrew Burke

It is possible I have written too much sadness
to leave it at that who begat what
time has swallowed women swelling through
seasons O my luck to be the broken boy
of mother’s blind womb born in open urbanity
so certified in birth my paperlife begins
I have writhen through my first cry in songs
swelling in women and swallowed in whispers
each summer beached in the white belly of years
tears and laughter torn as begat and forgotten
women in season swelling to waves of touch
the sharp skin ache in the weathers of night
chilling the transient dunes in dissolution
a moonlit dome in her shadow play. It is
possible I have not sung enough of love
to reach the swelling of ill reason
my rising tide beached between thighs
begotten in listless waves of two-lip
speakers singing the ocean to shore
between the rolling reefs gone now in
the frightened fish-dash of time shadows
swelling like flesh a woman remembers so
rolls down a dune her swollen ache


This poem closed the collection titled Mother Waits For Father Late, published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press (now Fremantle Press) in 1992. Jeanette and I are typing the book up again for another purpose, so I thought I'd just share this poem with you. I think it was influenced by my reading of WS Merwin at that time, although I'm not certain. It certainly is different to a lot of my writing, which is why it is interesting to me still.

Dylan Photo Gallery

If you're interested in Dylan, go to

Rethinking Readings

There is an interesting article on Poetry Readings at

Check it out before this afternoon when Amanada Joy and others will be reading 2-4pm at Perth Poetry Club which is now performed at The Moon Cafe, 323 William Street, Northbridge (near the corner of Newcastle Street).

Friday, November 13, 2009


Photos: Mags Webster, 3rd; Kevin Gillam, 2nd; Flora Smith, 1st; Bruce Russell, tutor and Gala Night compere @ X-Wray Cafe, Fremantle, 12 November 2009

Judge's Report:

Thank you for allowing me the privilege of reading these five dozen or so entries. It sounds glib and clichéd to tell you they were all of a high standard, but it is true.

When Josephine Clarke handed me the entries, she said, “I don’t envy you your task.”
I replied, “Well, I’ve judged a couple of dozen such competitions so I can do it easily.”

I tell you this as a joke at my own expense. It was anything but easy. The high standard of entries made even the first cull difficult. I normally start by reading all competition entries quickly and putting those aside which simply don’t measure up as poetry. Clichéd language, clichéd thought, ponderous rhythms and obvious anvil rhymes are normally the weaknesses which first show up. No such troubles here.

I did puzzle over how this high standard was achieved, and came to this conclusion: because of the closeness of the OOTA group, you have all learnt to edit your poems vigorously. It proves that old dictum which I quote frequently: All good writing is rewriting. I am certain your workshop leaders have had a very positive influence on you all and for this they too should be applauded.

The main problems which knocked out the early casualties were not craft problems, per se, but art weaknesses. Many of these poems were well written descriptions, with nothing else to them. Some started with lively promise and lapsed into unimaginative writing; some said it well, once, and then repeated it again, in different words, to create a longer poem. All good writing is rewriting, as I quoted before, but rewriting the same idea in the same text is tautology!

The number of poems which where still in the race after my first and second reading remained at 22. Far too many. I went away asking myself what is a better poem than a good poem?! These were good poems and I had to exorcise a dozen of them. So, I reverted to a list of objective questions, a list I have found effective in my teaching practice over many years:

* Are the images effective?
* Is the diction fresh?
* Are there sound devices?
* Does the poem make use of rhythm?
* Does the poem contain some type of tension?
* What is the essential unity of the poem?

Passing the poems through this list of questions, I whittled it down to twelve. And there I stuck.

By this stage I had read each of these poems many times. Those that grew in statue with repeated readings rose to the top of the list, but I must say that any one of the top three could have been the over all winner. When it came to that decision, it was my personal gut feeling that ruled the day.

So, here are the Commended Poems:
A Fat, Lying ThiefJanice Withers
Dinner after the SynagogueRose van Son
SnakeJo Clarke
Light and DarkAnnamaria Weldon
Old SpoonDick Alderson
Gliss Kevin Gillam

Highly Commended went to:
OrangeMolly Hall
Laboratory ClassCecily Scutt
Midnight House Flora Smith

Third place goes to – PrognosisMags Webster

Second Place to – What the living doKevin Gillam

And the overall Winner is – Fifth Generation Flora Smith

Congratulations to the winners and to the place getters, and ALL who entered. If you didn’t crack a mention in the winners’ circle, it doesn’t mean your poem is of no value. It simply means that this judge’s criteria put others before it. Another judge, or another editor, may have a different opinion.

Thank you to all involved in Spilt Ink. Judging this competition has been a challenging but a satisfying experience for me.

Dr Andrew Burke
(MA, PhD in Writing)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Three Poems - by Coral Carter

after the slam

someone ordered a bloody maria
someone didn’t want to be there
someone claimed to be smashed
someone couldn’t really tell
someone’s light brought the moths
someone’s voice was a bell
someone was talking nonsense
someone was capable of anything
someone fell through glass
someone was skewered with shards
someone’s sex drive was in overdrive
someone didn’t know the way home
someone was a honeypot
someone was over the Moon
someone was wrangling the bees
someone kissed someone
someone did somebody else
someone wanted to have group sex
someone danced with someone
someone was nobodies boy
someone rejected their fan base
someone passed someone a joint
someone forgot about everything
someone had nothing to tell
someone was guilty as charged
and someone was visiting hell.

Real Question of a Three Day Hangover

My hangover was in its third day and I can't cook
the longest hangover in history grumps son
as he knives chicken breasts
into the tiny pieces he loves
not careless chunks I cut
after relentless years of sating daily hunger
my brain stops on my three day hangover
number one daughter drives me to shop
new to town she forgets the way and so do I
why am I doing all the things
my mother told me not to?
I ask as I wave goodbye
in my socks in the rain.

on the third day of my hangover
words are dead rats from my mouth
long distance daughter scolds
she should be the one going to pub poetry
being deafened by boy bands

The band members
milk fed virgins
soft in obscure message T shirts
and jeans ironed by mum
their equipment unscathed
straight from dad’s well swept garage.

The real question is:
Where are the slim hipped
working class boys
lean as pack wolves
willing to share
at the back of the pub
bulges which strained
in their grease stained jeans
with whoever dared?

The Red and Gold Wedding Sheets

Through the thickness of night
we sleep side by side
in the red and gold wedding sheets from China.

When we bought them our interpreter, Tian, whose name means sky, told me about red. The luckiest of colours means fertility, happiness, harmony. I know it is for sex, war, blood. Red is for sex. I said. She stopped surprised eyed as if she had never heard of such a thing and flushed red.

When we were at the museum, Tian, whose name means sky, told us the Chinese were more highly evolved as they had less hair and were therefore less apelike. We told her that all races have a common ancestor. Hair was a response to environment. She stopped surprised eyed as if she had never heard of such a thing and flushed red.

When we were at the temple of the wild goose I began to chant ohm mani pad ma hum. How you know this, Tian, whose name means sky demanded. After she interpreted the story of a wild goose falling dead from the sky to indicate the spot where the temple was to be erected. She mused: How can this be true? Maybe it isn’t. I replied. She stopped surprised eyed as if she had never heard of such a thing and flushed red.

In our red and gold wedding sheets from China
we are lucky happy harmonious
until we are savage with sex and war and blood.

Coral Carter
Born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, became a nomad but seems settled in Bayswater, Western Australia for now. Barely published. Brought up on Banjo now loves Bukowski. Reads most weeks at the Perth Poetry Club.

Quote of the Day - from Carl Jung

'A man once dipped a hatful of water from a stream. What did that amount to? I am not that stream. I am at the stream, but I do nothing. Other people are at the same stream, but most of them find they have to do something with it. I do nothing. I never think that I am the one who must see to it that cherries grow on stalks. I stand and behold, admiring what nature can do.'

'Retrospect' by Carl Jung

Monday, November 09, 2009

Some scenes from Andrew's Autobiography (first drafts all)

The opening scene is an Australian soldier, 1943, in the thick and steamy jungles of New Guinea, in a clearing, in a jeep with two fuzzy-wuzzies, as he called them, with him. You can’t see it in this photo but he is wearing long shorts. You can see an open army fatigue shirt, a rifle slung slantwise over his shoulder, a .303 most probably, maybe – although it isn’t likely – the rifle I learnt to shoot on later in college-boy army cadets, wearing old uniforms from World War II, parading after school in the playground of a leafy college. It is different shooting at targets in peacetime in a firing range by the Indian Ocean to firing at Japanese soldiers in wartime in a New Guinea jungle.

I stared at the photo in our sunroom by the river. I stared and tried to imagine my father dodging bullets, firing bullets, in the thick humid air, the lush growth beneath steamy skies. I stared like I stared earlier at breakfast at King Willy Weetie holding up a box of his own cereal with his image on it holding up a box of his cereal with his own image on it, again and again, ad infinitum. I tried to count how many images I could see of King Willy, how many images echoed back to the Beginning. Who knew?. Maybe the printer who made the box. I stared at my father with two natives in the jungle in the same way, mesmerized, unable to puzzle out how all the other images of father came to this one in my hand on a pillow in our sunroom by the Swan River. I came from one of these images of my father. Maybe before, maybe after this photo, he left the jeep and waved to his native friends and crawled into bed with my mother way over on the east coast of Australia, in a suburb where the war was headline material and the ladies knitted for the boys ‘over there’. I wriggled loose from that soldier in his fatigues and swam harder than I have ever been able to swim again, swam that night or day in the mysteries of my mother’s body to an egg that, like a Siren, called for me, and we embraced.


I pulled into the parking area behind the church hall so no one would see me. You can’t be too careful, can you. This night could make or break me, and I was nervous. You wouldn’t have known it. I present well: all you will see is the mask over the mask before the mask. Underneath them all must be me, insecure, overweight, depressed. Suck in the night air, smelling of eucalypts and parking lot dust. White Ford Cortina Ghia or green Holden Kingswood station wagon? I can’t remember and it matters not one iota. But life is made up of little things, isn’t it. From little things, big things grow, Paul Kelly sings. Just split an atom and see.

I walked around the old weatherboard hall and up a few steps. Inside the hall the lights were on and a man waited at the door to greet all comers.


I am no one special. A writer, yes, and once upon a time I thought that made me special. An Australian, a male, a chatterbox – none of these characteristics are particularly special. So, why am I writing this autobiography? Well, some people close to me have asked for it, but truly it is for a different reason: to stick to the truth. There are variations, let’s call them, of certain events in my life, variations I have created and spoken so often I myself believe them. His Bobship once sang, He not busy being born is busy dying. Here I am adding to my birth, attempting to find the true Andrew, or even that person I am before I am named by my parents. We don’t come into this world with a name, do we – just a gender and a string of inclinations and inherited characteristics.


Today I chewed a fingernail off. Today I pulled a hair out of the top curve of my ear. Today my body, this house of who I am, is growing, is changing, is throwing a shadow, is taking it back again, is pulsing and rhythmic. Today this body is a link in the chain that is me. I’m surprised I am not a papier mache sculpture, all the pages I have read and written glued together layer over layer, waste bins full of over-valued thoughts, searching soul inventories, shopping lists of the heart and poems of the ego. Today I am sixty five, titular proprietor of this body corporate, and writing this.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Old Singer Sewing Machine - by Max Richards

This snap of an old black one is handsome,
but Mother's was prettier, with flowers -

my hands touched her feet working the treadle
driving the big lower wheel turning

with its loop, a thin strip of leather,
sending its turning up to the small wheel.

Singer, I'd say to myself, while the musical
hum of it speeded up then slowed.

The shiny flat rectangle the needle entered,
that slid open and shut - under it

the tiny shiny reel of cotton she refilled -
her finicky threading of the needle -

my fear of its downward stroke so sharp.
Afternoons, mother's feet working the treadle.

A shadow mother at a shadow Singer
sewed shadows by the real one in the sun.

Her shadow treadle seesawed against the treadle.
Her real slippers, soft to touch, glowed gold.

Max Richards
Max Richards <> was born and educated in Auckland, New Zealand, studied in Edinburgh, and from 1967 taught literature and writing for many years at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Critical articles and reviews on Hardy, Edward Carpenter, MacNeice, Larkin, Heaney; Curnow, Glover, Baxter and other NZ poets; Peter Porter, Judith Wright, Les Murray and other Australians. Like William Hart-Smith on whom he has written, he is a poet of two countries. His books are 'Under Mount Egmont and other poems', 'Catch of the Day', and a recent booklet 'Ruffey and Nearby'. He lives in Doncaster, Melbourne,and teaches creative writing at his local arts centre.

illustration from

Thursday, November 05, 2009

'Taxidermy' by AMANDA JOY

I can hold my tongue/ and then

we make so much use of rocks
/ and then who first thought
to break them down into their
elements / when did we start to
think we are stardust

sequence of events/ and then

what can be made from a heart
without a body or vice versa

/ and then / when
I asked you to take my place
you asked if I was here to stay
I wasn’t
sure if I was forgotten or lost

Time is colourless / and then
I think I once swallowed a day
whole without thinking

/ and then these ways we avoid
fullness here I will make another
void for someone else’s ghost

a window holds a sky
a valley shapes a reservoir
a body is its organs

deep places hold water longer

Bio Notes

Amanda Joy
is a poet, sculptor, installation artist and songwriter born in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She currently lives, works and gardens in Fremantle and travels as often as she can, mostly between France and Australia.
Her poetry has been published in various journals online and in print such as Cottonmouth, Up The Staircase Literary Review, Numbat, Killpoet, Fragile Arts Quarterly, Alabaster and Mercury, Heroin Love Songs, The Toronto Quarterly, Black Listed Magazine and The Best Australian Poems 2009(ed. Robert Adamson, pub. BlackInc.).
She has a fascination with portals and conduits and every now and then she pops out a little limited edition illustrated chapbook for those who ask nicely. A tiny, yet sincere chapbook of her poetry, Not Enough To Fold was lovingly published through Verve Bath Press early this year. A more sizeable binding of her wordage is gestating.

She blogs her poetry semi regularly at her website and

Keeper of a dog called Love, her heart still beats like small pink feet on red earth.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Winter Trees Cough Like Old Men

Winter trees cough like old men
about death's white nightmares
while the rain talks in Latin.
They cough about the sobbing tragic
ash, they bind valises for leaving,
they darken—and in the chill
of frost from the sun, the lungs
bristle to see coffins hidden
in the dry capes of kings.

Eugenio Montejo
translated from the Spanish by Kirk Nesset
The Paris Review
Fall 2008

Tune in to for a poem a day, and news and views of the poetry world.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

2009 Spilt Ink OOTA Poetry Competition - Short List

I had the privilege recently to judge the OOTA 2009 Poetry Competition, named Split Ink. Here is the short list of finalists from which three prize winners have been selected and will be announced at a Gala Evening on Thursday, November 12th, at X-Wray Cafe, Essex Street, Fremantle.

Congratulations to the following poets -

Annamaria Weldon- Light and dark flow together
Cecily Scutt - Laboratory Class
Dick Alderson - Old Spoon
Flora Smith - Midnight House and Fifth Generation
Janice Withers - A Fat, Lying Thief
Josephine Clarke
- Snake
Kevin Gillam - gliss and what the living do
Mags Webster - Prognosis
Molly Hall - Orange
Rose van Son - Dinner after the Synagogue

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Writing is an Act of Faith - EB White

"There is no average reader, and to reach down toward this mythical creature is to deny that each of us is on the way up, is ascending.
"It is our belief that no writer can improve his work until he discards the dulcet notion that the reader is feeble-minded, for writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. Ascent is at the heart of the matter."

EB White, "Calculating Machine"

After the Poetry Form Writing workshop at Tom Collins House ...

Today's workshop went well, even if it was lightly attended. We looked at sonnets from Shakespeare to Tranter, villanelles, pantoums, Dream Songs, syllabic verse, concrete (typewriter style) poetry, and wrote a healthy amount of the time. One clever lady wrote three very acceptable poems! With a little shining up they'll be blessed with printer's ink before you know it.

I continue to be amazed at how people can write in a group, complete strangers, and turn out such creative work. I'm a bit of a loner when it comes to writing. Is this a male trait, do you think?

today 1pm Poetry Form Workshop at Tom Collins House

For reasons beyond his control, Kevin Gillam can't run this workshop, as advertised. So, you have me. (So, no cello, but more bad jokes ...)

Saturday 31 October 1-5pm, I will be running a Poetry Form Workshop for the FAW(WA) at Tom Collins House. All welcome! We will be approaching the usual forms plus some exotics with examples and exercises.

$50 non-members, $40 members/unwaged/pensioners.

Tom Collins House
is in the Allen Park Heritage Precinct, among the trees cnr Kirkwood and Wood Streets, Swanbourne.

Friday, October 30, 2009

STOP PRESS: Poetry Form Workshop 1-5pm Tomorrow @ Tom Collins House

For reasons beyond his control, Kevin Gillam can't run this workshop, as advertised. So, you have me. (So, no cello, but more bad jokes ...)

Saturday 31 October 1-5pm
, I will be running a Poetry Form Workshop for the FAW(WA) at Tom Collins House. All welcome! We will be approaching the usual forms plus some exotics with examples and exercises.

$50 non-members, $40 members/unwaged/pensioners.

Tom Collins House
is in the Allen Park Heritage Precinct, among the trees cnr Kirkwood and Wood Streets, Swanbourne.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Perth Poetry Club presents ANDREW TAYLOR Saturday 31st October

Perth Poetry Club entertains you with spoken word every Saturday.

This Saturday at The Moon Cafe, 323 William Street, Northbridge (near the corner of Newcastle Street). 2-4pm. Open mike and featured guests:

31 Oct: the illustrious and entertaining Andrew Taylor

7 Nov: the insightful words of Lily Chan + Terry Farrell

14 Nov: the poetic pleasure of Amanda Joy (venue TBA)

More info at
Enquiries: or Janet 0406 624 578.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thanks for this, Penny

Daily Issa

As many of you know, I receive an Issa haiku daily, from the site listed below. Today's haiku is so wonderful, I'd like to share it with you:

but right next door

-Issa, 1824

'Larrikin Angel': a Biography of Veronica Brady by Kath Jordan

Admonisher of popes and politicians, feisty gladiator in many a social justice campaign, inspirational teacher and devout Catholic nun, Veronica Brady was an intriguing figure on the Australian scene in the latter part of the twentieth century. As well as covering her childhood, her decision to enter a religious order, her rise through the ranks of academia and her social activism, this authorised biography discusses Dr Brady’s term on the board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, her preparation of the biography of Judith Wright and her travels in China, among many other facets of her very full life. The author has had access to private papers and has spoken to many of her subject’s acquaintances and former colleagues.

Some comments on Larrikin Angel:

A splendid tribute to an utterly splendid woman. Veronica Brady's personal combination of activism, spirituality and energetic intelligence is a model of how to be-in-the-world with both rigorous conscience and profound affirmation.
Gail Jones

Ah, Veronica Brady, my favourite Catholic, the one of whom Pope John Paul II used to ask every morning when he woke up, 'Is she dead yet?' A story worth the telling.
Phillip Adams

Veronica Brady's profound literary sensibility, as well as her vision, moral integrity and fearless truth-speaking, made her the perfect biographer of my mother, Judith Wright. Larrikin Angel gives a fine, vivid sense of Veronica’s own story and shows why she must be considered one of Australia's most precious assets.
Meredith McKinney

Veronica Brady's question ‘Do we worship Jesus or an institution?’ captures her value to the Church she served and to all of us. In an often smug and complacent society, we need Veronica Brady and her ilk to remind us to look beyond ourselves. I think Jesus would be OK with her.
Fred Chaney

Order by mail

To order Larrikin Angel by mail, please send a cheque / money order / bank draft for AUD32.95 plus AUD4.00 postage/packing for each copy to

Round House Press
PO Box 652
South Fremantle WA 6162

Please do not neglect to advise us of your address.

About Round House Press

Round House Press
is a boutique publishing house located in Fremantle, Western Australia.

The press offers inexpensive editorial, design and production services to organisations and individuals to assist them with publishing projects. Contact Allan Watson to discuss your proposal.

Postal Address:
Round House Press
PO Box 652
South Fremantle WA 6162


+61 (0)8 9430 4964

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just released: 'Birds in Mind' by Andrew Lansdown

from Wombat Books' website at

Author Andrew Lansdown is renowned for his award winning poetry. In this brand new collection of over 200 pages there are poems told through various forms, but all with a focus on nature.

On the back, Les Murray says: "Lansdown spices the world with pinches of finches."

There are many haiku and tanka within these pages, and the same accurate eye and ear is brought to bear in other forms on much minutiae of the natural world.

Here's a little poem, as many of them are, as a taster:

Street Artist

Using pompom brushes
and a pointillist technique,

a wattle tree has dabbed
a park bench with yellow.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sheila Murphy's 'Reverse Haibun' now available


Paper, wrinkled relic, all the power to hold as if absorption shapes the actual

Versatility may not equal woods. Plain speech, once collateral in form. Now tension’s practiced-seeming. In small concentration of attunement fostering an energy induction. Irises, mint, cottonwood. Enough to say the litany reverts to actuality from senses five through seven. Made something to resemble wholeness if perceived as accidental wilderness. Overcome with being filtered through a sentence.


Just one example from over 200 pages of Sheila Mutrphy's wonderful and exciting new collection through Chalk Editions at

NYT article about Jung ...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

OOTA Spilt Ink Poetry Competition 2009

I have just finished judging the OOTA (Out Of The Asylum - Fremantle Arts Centre writing group) Spilt Ink Poetry Competition - and I was truly surprised at the consistent high quality of the entries. I have judged many writing competitions over the past three decades, and am used to having an easy time sorting the wheat from the chaff - only the finalists cause real decision making in most competitions. Not this time: I was asked for ten finalists, and my second run through cut it down to 21!! To reduce it further was a test of my evaluating skills. After some hours of soul searching, I reduced it twelve. Then I concentrated on the relationship of form to content - what the poem said and how it said it. Now I have my ten. The top three are still jumping around, but I'm comfortable that I have made an informed judgement. Now, to find out who they are at the celebration (some two weeks away at least).

It has been a very satisfying experience, so thank you, Jo, Annie and others on the OOTA team, for entrusting me with this job. And the winners are ... to be announced on the night.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

NSW Win Champions Trophy in style!

New South Wales 159 for 9 (Lee 48, Rampaul 3-20) beat Trinidad & Tobago 118 (Clark 3-21, Lee 2-10) by 41 runs

Brett Lee hoists David Warner in celebration, New South Wales v Trinidad & Tobago, Champions League Twenty20 final, Hyderabad, October 23, 2009
The big match needed a big performance from a big player and Brett Lee provided it © Global Cricket Ventures-BCCI

Brett Lee starred with a stunning all-round performance as New South Wales beat Trinidad & Tobago to win the inaugural Champions League Twenty20, and with it a jackpot of US$ 2.5 million, in Hyderabad. The 41-run margin of victory, however, didn't mean it was a one-sided contest: T&T dominated initially, reducing NSW to 83 for 6, before Lee's fighting innings lifted his side to a competitive total. He then returned for a fiery spell with the new ball, jolting T&T's chase with two early wickets.


My next novel awaits in the wings at NaNoWriMo

I've just signed up for writing 50 000 words in November at

Yes, a first draft of a novel in one month. A hell of a lot of people sign up, but I wonder how many people complete it. I wonder if I'll complete it. I've been flashing at false starts for weeks now, so this may get a bulk of words down which I can then shape into something useful. Literary fiction, general fiction, YAL, pulp fiction - who cares. I plan to board my Inner Critic somewhere else for November. Even here, I am editing as I write. So, 50 000 in one month should cure me of that.

Won't you join me?

Friday, October 23, 2009

TS Eliot Prize 2009 shortlist

The shortlist

The Sun-fish
by Eiléan Ní Chuilleánain

Continental Shelf
by Fred D'Aguiar

by Jane Draycott

The Water Table
by Philip Gross

Through the Square Window by Sinéad Morrissey

One Secret Thing
by Sharon Olds

Weeds & Wild Flowers by Alice Oswald

A Scattering by Christopher Reid

The Burning of the Books and Other Poems by George Szirtes

West End Final by Hugo Williams

ABC National Radio's gems for this week

24/10/2009 15:00
29/10/2009 15:00
Sunbathing in the Rain: Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis reads and speaks about her work
Gwyneth Lewis, one of Wales’s most distinguished poets, reads a selection of her poetry including some new, unpublished works.


Monday to Friday 10.45
26/10/2009 - 6/11/2009
Written and read by Don Walker
In prose beautifully informed by his long career as one of Australia's best song writers, Don Walker creates a series of snapshots, ranging from his early life in rural Australia to his time as a member of the hugely popular band Cold Chisel. Learning music as a young boy in the bush, the band's early days in Adelaide, wild times on the road, and living on the edge in Kings Cross are all evoked in a pared-back but captivating manner.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fringe Gallery Poetry and Performance Night Sunday October 25th, 7pm till 10pm.

Guests: Vivienne Glance; Jean Kent & Julie Watts

Vivienne Glance (pictured, reading from her book, The Softness of Water)(pic by Meredi Ortega)
Vivienne’s poetry and short stories have appeared in journals (incl. mascara, Colloquy, TEXT, indigo, Blue Dog), anthologies (incl. Poetry without Borders, The Weighing of the Heart, Open Boat Barbed Wire Sky) and other publications; she’s won places and commendations in competitions (C J Dennis Literary Award, Spilt Ink, Southern Cross Literary Award, Bauhinia Literary Award). A selection of her work features with 4 other poets in the new anthology ‘Amber Contains the Sun’, published in march this year through the DCA A Few New Words programme. Her first collection ‘The Softness of Water’ is published by Sunline Press.

Jean Kent
Jean comes from Lake Macquarie, in NSW, she has published three books of poetry: Verandahs ( Anne Elder Prize; Dame Mary Gilmore Award; short listed for the 1991 NSW State Literary Award), Practising Breathing and The Satin Bowerbird ( 1998 Michael Wright Prize). Her most recently completed manuscript, Travelling with the Wrong Phrase Books, was highly commended for the Arts ACT Alec Bolton Prize 2008. Jean is in Perth as the Established Artist in Residence at the Katherine Susannah Prichard Writer’s Centre.

Julie Watts

Julie is a member of OOTA and has two poems published in Weighing of the Heart, an OOTA anthology. Julie is a member of the OOTA Friday morning poetry series run by Shane McCauley and has recently become a committee member of OOTA.

When: Doors open at 7pm for chat, drinks, open mike sign up.
Readings start at 7.30 and the night is over by 10pm
Where: The Fringe Gallery Willagee, 94 Bawdan Street Willagee(opposite Webber Reserve)
Cost: $5.00 entry. Refreshments can be purchased on the night.

For further information contact:
Terry on 0412 911562 or email to

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monk Lives!

I'm off to buy this one: THELONIOUS MONK

The Life and Times of an American Original

By Robin D. G. Kelley

Illustrated. 588 pp. Free Press. $30 [in USA]

Read excerpts from this new biography of a jazz giant at

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dive into The Merri Creek

Take a look at Kris Hemensley's The Merri Creek blog at ... Well, I think the blog is called Poetry and Ideas, but you'll get the gist of it when you go there. Enjoy. (The Collected Works bookshop is the best poetry bookshop in Australia, probably in the Southern Hemisphere. Next time you're in Melbourne do yourself a favour and shop there.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Readings Grand Success @ Cultural Centre Markets

A beautiful spring day in Perth, with a maximum temperature of 37 Celsius, but plenty of shade, saw the inaugural Cultural Centre Markets Poetry Readings. What a lively bunch our WA Poets Inc members are! Chariperson and MC for the afternoon, Peter Jeffery (pictured) rolled up with a microphone and speaker, and poets arrived, bearing books for sale and big smiles. The dark angst ridden poets of bygone eras seem to have faded into the night or the dank corners of cellar bars. Here the sun shone in all its glory, and the words rose to greet the occasion. High-nesting cultural birds provided a chick chorus as Coral Carter got the reading off to a spirited start. I followed, and took the audience on a trip about Western Australia finally landing in China. From my quiet pensive tones to Janet Jackson's performance recital of colourful poems which she projected over PICA and down city streets. The poets followed each other, playing tag, introducing themselves as they went: Sue Clennell (reading from her book The Ink Drinkers), Sally Clark (reading from Poets@KSP, a small anthology hot of the press), Amanda Joy (reading from two USA magazines she has recently appeared in), Rose Van Loon (from Poets@KSP), Brendan Fenton, Jan Napier and his nibs Peter Jeffery.

The weather was great for us, in our shadey place, enjoying each poet's performance, but it seems to have discouraged shoppers. I have seen those markets crowded four times larger than today's meagre crowd, but the readings have begun, and we thank the Maidens of the Markets who encouraged such a reading and supplied the power for our humble amp. (Billy Thorpe wouldn't have used it as fold-back >g<)Further outings of a similar kind will be advertised here as dates and performer lists come to hand.

All photos by Amanda Joy.