Monday, August 31, 2009

Couple more snaps from Perth Spring Poetry Festival

Peter Jeffery, chair of WA Poets Inc, addresses the panel in his inimitable style; Shane McCauley, assistent editor of Indigo magazine, waits for the next question.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Images from today at the Spring Poetry Festival, Perth

Amber Fresh and Janet Jackson (reading); Graham Nunn, guest of the Fest, reading; Andrew Taylor reading. In the audience: Maureen Sexton, Coral Carter, Amanda Joy (guest of the Fest), Scott Patrick-Mitchell in black. Poem-painting by Annie Otness.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

'Beyond City Limits' should be in hand Tuesday

BEYOND CITY LIMITS is a book of poems of place, published by the International Centre for Landscape and Language (ICLL) at Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, Western Australia, and edited by Glen Phillips and Andrew Taylor. I thank them profusely for their help along the way of selection, construction and production.

From Nov 13, 2006 and Notes on the Poetry Festival and National Poetry Week

Snap: Learning & Teaching

no poem is perfect
i keep telling myself
but in a whisper
hoping i won't hear.

This first verse was from a slightly longer snap, written way back in China. Shawna, a reader, pointed it out to me.

The Perth Spring Poetry Festival started last night, launched by Phillip Mead, with Chair of WA Poets Inc Peter Jeffery organising, MCing, and being the busybee he has been for decades for the furtherment of WA poets and poetry. Others on the bill last evening included Maureen Sexton, Graham Nunn (guest of the fest), Helen Hagemann, Vivienne Glance, Patrick Scott-Mitchell, Roland Leach and Gary De Piazzi. A reading elsewhere later, in Victoria Park, featured Sue Clennell, Peter Bibby and others. I could only attend the launch, and even then I forgot my camera, so there are no pics to show you.

As part of it all, AnnaMarie Weldon visited Applecross High School during the day, and I visited Carine High School. Both schools were eager and responsive communities. Thanks to the teachers and students who participated.

The Festival runs all this weekend, with National Poetry Week events happening at school, libraries and other centres all next week. Look up the WA Poets Inc website for a full program.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled." - Plutarch -

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Sue Clennell sent me a series of newspaper crazy quotes, and many were funny, but this one tickled my fancy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Celebrate the Launch of ANDREW TAYLOR'S 'THE UNHAUNTING' at Planet Books Thursday 10 September

The Unhaunting
Published by Salt

To be launched by
Dennis Haskell
Thursday, 10th September
6:30 pm
at Planet Books
636 Beaufort Street
Mount Lawley, Perth

RSVP by Tuesday 8th September
Tel 08 9328 7464 or email

You can see more about the book at

Sunday, August 23, 2009

That's why they call it Silly Point, Punter ...

Stumps - Day 3
England 332 & 373/9d
Australia 160 & 80/0 (20.0 ov)
Australia require another 466 runs with 10 wickets remaining

Saturday, August 22, 2009



Melaleuca is a free e-zine of Australian poetry, delivered monthly
through your email in-box. For submissions and subscriptions, contact the editor, Phillip A. Ellis, at


Broken Hill Anthology
Deadline 30 October

Meuse Press is publishing an e-anthology - "from this Broken Hill” - of poetry, short prose & photography celebrating the people, culture, history & landscapes of Broken Hill which is currently being considered for National Heritage listing.

The anthology will not appear on paper & there will be no money in, so no payment out to contributors. You are invited to submit up to 3 pieces. Submissions should be in the body of the e-mail, single spaced Times New Roman 12p & be accompanied by a 3 line bio. Prior publication is no problem but you should include acknowledgement. It will be edited by Barbara de Franceschi, Marvis Sofield & Les Wicks.

Send to


dotdotdash taking submissions for Issue 2

The inaugual issue of dotdotdash will hit the streets on September 5th!
So get writing or drawing again because submissions are now open for dotdotdash Issue 2. The theme is ‘ugly’, but unthemed work is also sought.

Submissions close 30th September. To submit visit

Friday, August 21, 2009

Salt Publishing and Inbooks invite you to celebrate the publication of

The Unhaunting
Published by Salt

To be launched by
Dennis Haskell
Thursday, 10th September
6:30 pm
at Planet Books
636 Beaufort Street
Mount Lawley, Perth

RSVP by Tuesday 8th September
Tel 08 9328 7464 or email

You can see more about the book at

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rae Armantrout, USA poet

Q: What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?

A: I carry a notebook with me and write down observations and ideas. In the morning, over coffee, I sit down with my notebook and see what’s there. If there’s something there, I work on it.

Andrew: What a good routine!

The entire interview, and others in this 12 or 20 Questions series, available at

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perth Poetry Club calendar

Perth Poetry Club this Saturday and every Saturday, 2-4pm at The Court, 50 Beaufort Street, Perth. Free entry. Be early! We start shortly after 2pm. Lots of 5-minute open-stage slots, plus...
22 AUG: Gabrielle Everall + Caroline Sambridge + Fiona Stuart (Melbourne)
Three (yes, three) strong entertaining women this week! All very different from one another... so if, like us, you get bored hearing the same thing over and over, this is for you.
GABRIELLE EVERALL -- feminist theory eyes off tight black Levis --
plus CAROLINE SAMBRIDGE -- straight-up comic rhyme --
& FIONA STUART -- a slice of Melbourne life.
Go grrls!
29 AUG: WA Spring Poetry Festival's only event being held in a bar. With
GRAHAM NUNN (QLD) - poetry described as 'assured, achieved and ambitious'. Chair of the awesome Queensland Poetry Festival.
SCOTT-PATRICK MITCHELL - underground adventures. 2009 PressPress Chapbook Award winner.
AMBER FRESH - wanna hear a secret?
PETER BIBBY - direct, engaging, disarming. Two-time Tom Collins Poetry Prize winner.
5 SEP: Derek Fenton + Karla Hart
12 SEP: Helen Child + Dosh Luckwell
19 SEP: Santo Cazzati (Melbourne)
More info at Enquiries: or Janet 0406 624 578.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Souvenir-seeking seagull at Australia-England cricket match

Seagull interrupts play: The bird snatched one of the bails, England Lions v Australians, Canterbury, 2nd day, August 16, 2009

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell ONZM 1925-2009

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell died aged 84. Campbell also wrote plays, radio drama and novels.

One of New Zealand's leading poets, Campbell was born in the Cook Islands on 25 June 1925. His mother died from tuberculosis in 1932, and after his father died in 1933 he and his siblings were moved to New Zealand.

More, with links, at
A couple of poems at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Carnation Milk 65 Years Ago ...

A little old lady from Wisconsin had worked in and around her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk, with hours of hard work and little compensation.

When canned Carnation Milk became available in grocery stores in approximately the 1940s, she read an advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan.. The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with 'Carnation Milk is best of all.'

She thought to herself, I know all about milk and dairy farms. I can do this!

She sent in her entry, and several weeks later, a black limo pulled up in front of her house. A man got out and said, 'Carnation LOVED your entry so much, we are here to award you $2,000 even though we will not be able to use it!'

Issa's delightful silkworm poem!

at gate after gate
green hills
of silkworm poop

-Issa, 1824

Saturday, August 15, 2009

John Tranter and three New York Poets on ABC's Poetica

ABC's Poetica this week is a presentation of three New York poets - Ron Padgett, Elaine Equi and Brian Kim Stefans - by John Tranter. Very interesting program for me. If you missed it today, check it out at It is repeated Thursday afternoon 3pm Australian time.

Les Paul has passed to the Great Studio in the Sky

From Associated Press:

Tributes for guitar legend Les Paul; dead at 94


NEW YORK — Musicians worldwide are paying tribute to Les Paul, the music icon whose solid-body electric guitar paved the way for rock 'n' roll.

The guitar virtuoso who died Thursday at age 94 performed with some of early pop's biggest names and produced a slew of hits, many with wife Mary Ford. But it was his inventive streak that made him universally revered by guitar gods as their original ancestor and earned his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the most important forces in popular music.

"He actually taught himself to play guitar in order to demonstrate his electronic theories," said Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. "All of us owe an unimaginable debt to his work and his talent."

Paul died in suburban White Plains of complications from pneumonia. He was remembered as a tireless tinkerer whose quest for a particular sound led him to create the first solid-body electric guitar. His invention became the standard instrument for legends like Pete Townshend and Jimmy Page.


Friday, August 14, 2009

ABC Radio National Books and Drama newsletter 14-21 August 2009

15/8/2009 15:00
20/8/2009 15:00
Three Generations of New York Poets
A selection of poems written and read by New York City based poets Ron Padgett, Elaine Equi and Brian Kim Stefans.

15/8/2009 15:45
20/8/2009 15:45
Natural Semantic Metalanguage
The Natural Semantic Metalanguage is a way to eliminate all the confusions of cross-cultural communication, by using a core set of basic and universal concepts present in all languages. Invented by the Polish-Australian linguist Anna Wierzbicka, it is based on a centuries-old idea of a language of the mind.

16/8/2009 08:30
My Brother Steven by Nathan Hollier, read by Syd Brisbane
A young man’s search for good times doesn't help bring meaning to his life.

16/8/2009 15:00
20/8/2009 19:00
Blackrock by Nick Enright
Nick Enright's Blackrock has been an acclaimed stage production and a major feature film. This leading Australian playwright has also reconceived the story of Blackrock for radio, working from aspects of both the stage text and the screenplay. The result is a sharply observed journey among the sounds and voices of Blackrock, the beachside suburb of a contemporary industrial city.

Monday to Friday 10:00 (repeated at midnight)

Graham Swift's Making an Elephant
British author Graham Swift talks about his new collection of non-fiction stories and poetry Making An Elephant.

A literary history of babysitting
They're oversexed, underpaid, they break up homes, steal husbands and are the victims of gruesome murders. They're babysitters.

Bernard Schlink In Conversation
German-born author, scholar and judge Bernard Schlink is in converation with Ramona Koval.

Monday to Friday 14:00
3/8/2009 - 21/8/2009
Life of Pi by Yann Martel, read by Raj Sidhu
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing up on the wild, blue Pacific. The crew of the vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra, a female orang-utan, a four hundred and fifty pound tiger and Pi, a sixteen year old Indian boy.

Monday to Friday 10.45
10/8/2009 - 28/8/2009
Flaws in the Glass by Patrick White
Flaws in the Glass is a disturbingly honest autobiography which, much to White's chagrin, proved more popular than his novels. He writes of his youth in Australia, his English boarding school, life at Cambridge and his trips to Germany. Also of London during the Blitz, his RAF wartime intelligence role in the Middle East, and his first meeting with the man who was to become the focus of his life.

Daily Issa

in the coolness
like Gautama Buddha...

-Issa, 1818

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Answer to Sunday's Word Game

Remember this Word Game from Sunday? It's time I told you the answer, isn't it!

See if you can figure out what these words have in common.

1 Banana
2 Dresser
3 Grammar
4 Potato
5 Revive
6 Uneven
7 Assess

If you take the first letter off and place it at the back, the word is spelt correctly but backwards. Did you get it?

Perth Poetry Club 15 Aug MORGAN YASBINCEK

from the desk of Janet Jackson ...

This week, we've got Morgan Yasbincek! Poignant insights, clever metaphor, surprising language, and a clear, elegant reading style... all you could want in a contemporary poet, really. And it's not just me that thinks so:

MORGAN YASBINCEK is a Western Australian writer. She has published two collections of poetry and one novel. Her first collection, Night Reversing won the Anne Elder and Mary Gilmore awards. Her second collection, Firelick was short-listed for the Victorian Premier’s CJ Dennis award.Her novel, liv, was short-listed for the ASAL award and highly commended for the Victorian Premier’s Fiction award. She has taught creative writing in Australia and overseas and has recently mentored several first collections of emerging Western Australian poets. She will (we expect!) be reading from her new collection.

Plus open stage. Don't be shy -- our audience wants your words.

2-4pm in the Red Bar at The Court hotel & restaurant, 50 Beaufort Street, Perth. Food and drink for all tastes, service with a flourish. Just along from the train station.

Be late if you like -- but you risk missing half the show. Our guests do two sets, one in each half of the afternoon. And we break with the tradition of poetry events by actually starting pretty soon after 2pm.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stylus Journal's evaluation of the state of Australian Poetry

Interesting review of The Best Australian Poems 2008 in Stylus Journal by Simon Patton. And some interesting poetry selected by guest poetry ed, Jill Jones.

Go to

Congratulations, Rachel!

Here's the good news from the Australian Poetry Centre:

The Australian Poetry Centre and the LongLines Poetry Selection Committee is pleased to announce that they have selected the following four applicants to attend the Macquarie Group Foundation LongLines Varuna Poetry Workshop (5-11 October) at Varuna, The Writers’ House as part of the APC New Poets Program:

Ann de Hugard (VIC)
Michelle Leber (VIC)
Rachel Petridis (WA)
Chloe Wilson (VIC)

Congratulations to the four selected poets, and thanks to all the great poets who applied.

Blake redefined

in a local UK paper, as reported by David Birkenshaw:

KNOWLEDGE of angels, William Blake, songs of inner sense and of experience, £3

[1] I celebrate myself, and sing myself, (from Song of Myself)

I loaf and invite my soul

Walt Whitman

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
I loaf and invite my soul,
I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.
My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.
Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back awhile sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Paul McCartney & Allen Ginsberg - The Ballad of the Skeletons

Fun with Words

See if you can figure out what these words have in common.

1 Banana
2 Dresser
3 Grammar
4 Potato
5 Revive
6 Uneven
7 Assess

Give it another try Look at each word carefully.

(You'll kick yourself when you discover the answer.)
This Is Cool.

Answer: No, it is not that they all have at least 2 double letters. I will post the rest of the answer tomorrow.

The Gormley sculptures at Lake Ballard

An eerie sight in the WA Goldfields near Site 20 of the Golden Quest Discovery Trail are the 51 life-sized statues that form the "Inside Australia" exhibition by internationally renowned artist Antony Gormley through an initiative of the Perth International Arts Festival. The Statues are situated on part of the major salt Lake system for the Northern Goldfields - Lake Ballard near the town of Menzies.

The work is an installation of black abstracted steel figures standing in a 7 square kilometre area of Lake Ballard - a salt-lake which is an extreme example of the beauty of the Western Australian outback. Sunrise and sunset are the best time to walk through this extensive installation of sculptures in the landscape.

Locals in the Menzies community contributed by having their naked bodies scanned. The resulting scans were used as the basis for making accurate concentrated forms which allow attitudes and emotions embedded in posture to be revealed. The resulting sculptures cast in a special alloy of elements taken from Western Australia are life-size in height but reduced to one third of their original body volume. They are intense, taut, stick-like body-forms that will stand out against the brilliant white of the salt-lake.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Apology and a Link to 'What Dylan said to the band ...' ha ha ha

I apologise for my silence. I have been busily trying to select poems of place for a publication of a collection by ECU's International Centre for Landscape and Language, as well as reading some titles for an omnibus review, plus trying to pack up my study and two bedrooms before carpet layers appear late this week - and watching Test cricket from England.

But in my screen-gazing moments I have come across a heavy putdown which I'd like to share with you:
Really? Is this an article or has your site been hacked by a keyboard monkey? FFS

It's from an article on what Dylan said to the band at that famous moment when he went 'electric' - read it at

Monday, August 03, 2009

Hearing Helen Hagemann read from 'Evangelyne & other poems'

Today I took myself off to Lunchlines at Edith Cowan University (this semester in its new time slot of Monday 12.30 to 1.20pm) to hear my long time friend, poet and novelist, Helen Hagemann, read.

It was a pleasure walking into the stale old classroom in Building 17 to see some friendly faces I knew from when I taught there. I bought a copy of Evangelyne off Helen - a handsome hand-sized red book with stitched binding and fold-over cover (a style I really like myself).

Helen read from a new poetry collection in manuscript before reading from her second novel, a work in progress. The narrative sense and the imaginative similes kept the audience engrossed, both in the poetry and the prose. In fact, she shared with us her love of the prose poem, and illustrated this love with a haibun from her book, Ball Doyen(ne), pg 17. I notice there are a number of prose poems and haibun in Evangelyne, so I am looking forward to investigating that text.

Helen laughed at herself as she gave the audience (mainly present day students) 'motherly advice' about getting up at Lunchlines and reading to your first audience. Her confidence and style weren't there when she first stood up at ECU some years ago!

Evangelyne and Other Poems is published by the Australian Poetry Centre as part of the APC New Poets Program (supported by the Sidney Myer Fund), PO Box 284, BALACLAVA 3183. Visit their website at

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Read Write Poem refreshed

A fun & potentially useful site for poets:

From Dana Guthrie Martin:

Wouldn't it be great if there was a site that had groups, private messaging, forums, status messages, profile pages and loads of poetry-related content all in one place -- completely ad-free, and all poetry, all the time? What if it were free? Too good to be true, you say?

Check out the new Read Write Poem.