Saturday, April 30, 2011

China unveils poetry wall to commemorate 2008 massive earthquake

SHIFANG, Sichuan, April 28 (Xinhua) -- A memorial wall engraved with 20 well-selected poems was made public on Thursday in observance of the catastrophic earthquake that rocked southwest China's Sichuan Province three years ago.

The wall, measuring 2.28 meters high and 51.2 meters long, stands in the Chuanxindian Quake Ruins Park in Yinghua Township in Shifang City, one of the worst-hit areas in Sichuan, where the disaster left more than 80,000 dead or missing.

The height and length of the wall indicate the time at which the tragedy occurred: 2:28 p.m. on May 12.

The poems express deep compassion and condolences for the victims of the magnitude-8.0 quake, said Li Yuanzhi, deputy head of the publicity department of the Shifang City Committee of the Communist Party of China, at the unveiling ceremony.

They also record the country's efforts in quake relief and post-quake reconstruction, he added.

The poetry wall was designed to compare with the Western Wall in Palestine, the Berlin Wall in Germany and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the United States, according to the design group from the prestigious Tsinghua University.

"Poetry is an ideal form to inspire people. I believe the spirit embodied in the memorial wall can stand the test of time," Li said.

Notably, the English versions of the 20 poems, translated by the U.S. poet Denis Mair, are also engraved on the wall to extend the gratitude of the quake survivors to the rescue teams from Japan, Russia, Singapore and the Republic of Korea.

Two years after the quake, a semi-monthly Chinese poetry journal named the Star and the West China Metropolis Daily initiated a nationwide program to collect poems created to commemorate the quake.

A panel of nine judges, including laureate poets and renowned critics, selected the 20 poems written by both professional and grassroots poets from more than 20,000 submitted works.

"Poetry is like a rescue team, as it brings consolation to grief-stricken hearts and gives people courage to face the future," said Liang Ping, editor-in-chief of the Star.

Liang added that he hoped the memorial wall could change painful memories about the disaster into spiritual treasures.

"The poems really touch me, as they remind me of many details during the past three years. Our old home was seriously damaged in the quake, but now we've moved into a new one. I want to thank all the people who helped us," said Qi Wenyang, a sixth grader from Yinghua Township in Shifang.

"The place has changed so much. I feel so proud," said Xu Linquan, a rescuer from southwestern Yunnan Province who participated in the quake relief work in Shifang.

Six days after the earthquake, when he oversaw the rescue operations in Yingfeng Township where more than 6,000 people were dead or missing, Chinese President Hu Jintao urged rescuers to use "every available means" to reach all affected villages.

"I truly believe that the heroic Chinese people will not yield to any difficulty," Hu shouted through an amplifier in front of a group of rescuers as he stood on a heap of ruins, which were later built into the quake ruins park.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book launch @ Gleebooks -'Take Me Higher' by John Clare

John Clare has been writing about Australian life for decades and his admirers include some of Australia’s finest writers, editors and artists. This latest collection of short non-fiction includes favourite pieces from the past and many new ones. His subjects range widely: Naomi Watts, religion, art, boxing, kissing, jazz in Melbourne and Sydney, Miles Davis in interview, a bicycle mis-adventure in Milsons Point, Moreton Bay Figs lobbed from bus windows and walking through dreams and rain.

Thursday 19 May, 6:00 pm
Gleebooks in Glebe (49 Glebe Point Road)

To help with arrangements please RSVP by 17 May to Miriam by email ( or or phone 1300 783 446

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pakistan poetry reading in Dubai

Pic: Dr Sughra Saddaf recites her works during the Mushaira (evening of poetry) at Deira Sheraton Hotel

from Gulf News at

Dubai: Famous poets from Pakistan left the audience spellbound with their thought provoking poetry at a Mushaira (evening of poetry) in Dubai on Wednesday.

The event, organised by Amjad Iqbal Amjad from World Writers Forum in Dubai, brought together big names in contemporary Urdu language poetry, including Anwar Masood, Amjad Islam Amjad, Dr Sughra Saddaf and Shahid Zaman.

Emirati poet Dr Zubair Farooq, who writes poetry in Urdu, mesmerised the audience with his beautiful poems and Ghazals which he sang in his peculiar style.

Some Pakistan expatriate poets living in the UAE, including Sahar Tab Ramani, Zahoorul Islam, Dr Sarwat Zahra and Mohammad Yaqoob also shared the stage with big poets from their country and got the opportunity to recite from their collection of poetry.

"Such events should be organised more often because these can help spread the message of peace and love abroad and bring the community members together," said Tariq Iqbal Somoro, Consul General of Pakistan, while speaking at the function. He appreciated efforts of the organiser and thanked poets for a memorable literary evening.

The Mushaira, which began with the recital of poems by local poets, became interesting as it progressed. As always, renowned Pakistani poet and writer Anwar Masood got standing ovation after his rib-tickling comedy poetry. He touched the heart of the people with verses which reflect the harsh realities of everyday life.

Amjad Islam Amjad, who is known for his poetry, prose and playwright with dozens of awards, also cast his spell on the audience with poems revolving around love, human relations and issues concerning today's common man.

Amjad Iqbal Amjad, who is a poet based in Dubai, conducted the Mushaira.

Antigua Entrada by Halvard Johnson

Near the old door, a rock. Sitting
on the rock, an old man.
An old man sitting on a rock.
Near an old door.

Friday, April 22, 2011


You man there keep those women back
and God Almighty he laid down
on the crossed timber and old Silenus
my offsider looked at me as if to say
nice work for soldiers, your mind's not your own
once you sign that dotted line Ave Caesar
and all that malarkey Imperator Rex

well this Nazarene
didn't make it any easier
really - not like the ones
who kick up a fuss so you can
do your block and take it out on them
held the spike steady and I let fly
with the sledge-hammer, not looking
on the downswing trying hard not to hear
over the women's wailing the bones give way
the iron shocking the dumb wood.

Orders is orders, I said after it was over
nothing personal you understand - we had a
drill-sergeant once thought he was God but he wasn't
a patch on you

then we hauled on the ropes
and he rose in the hot air
like a diver just leaving the springboard, arms spread
so it seemed
over the whole damned creation
over the big men who must have had it in for him
and the curious ones who'll anything if it's free
with only the usual women caring anywhere
and a blind man in tears.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize

Australian Book Review is now calling for unpublished fiction from 2000-5000 words for this prestigious prize, now offering a total of $8000. First prize is $5000. Entry fee $16/$12 ABR subscribers. Entries close 30 June. For guidelines and entry form, go to

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Poem beginning with a line by Armantrout

Quick, before you die,
All is brightly mundane
seen in the right light

years don't change it
only the eyes change

like the tone of
a doll's eyes
left open in the weather.

50 Poetry Blogs to get lost in ...

I don't wish to lose you, but I'd like to invite you to peruse some great poetry blogs, as listed by Online Colleges - 50 all up. And at the end of that there's a link to 100 Great Web Sites for Poetry Lovers ... Easter could be a good time to go a-roamin' over the poetic hills and faraway ...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Newcastle Poetry Prize 2011 – ENTRIES NOW OPEN

The Newcastle Poetry Prize (NPP) is turning 30. To celebrate, they have increased the prize money to over $20,000, thanks to generous sponsorship from the University of Newcastle.

First prize: $12,000
Second Prize: $5000
Third Prize: $1000
Local Award: $500
Harri Jones Memorial Prize: $250
(For best poem in the anthology by a poet under the age of 36)
+ anthology payments

The closing date for entries is Friday 10th June 2011.

The theme is open. For a poem or suite of poems up to 200 lines.
For more info and entry forms, see

Monday, April 18, 2011

How many words must a man write down before you call him a poet?

The old question that's been around for decades is back: is Dylan a poet? Or is he just a song and dance man, as he once said?

The Irish Times says, in part:
However, if Eliot’s contention that poets are those who “startle us out of our sleep-of-death into a more capacious sense of life” is in any way true, Dylan has been doing just that since he took his first steps to becoming one of the 20th century’s most alluring and influential cultural figures.

A friend of poets, named after a poet, with a poet's sensibilities and wordplay and wordpower, what if Dylan never had a guitar - would you be reading about him now? Check it out on

Fremantle Press seeks performance poets

Fremantle Press invites poets to submit a collection of their work for publication in Fremantle Poets 3: Performance Poets.

Up to ten outstanding performance poets will be chosen for the survey on the basis of their manuscripts and a recorded performance piece.

Fremantle Press poetry publisher Georgia Richter said she hoped the survey would garner the same enthusiastic responses she received for Fremantle Poets 1: New Poets.

“Performance poetry in Western Australia is vibrant and diverse and we can recognise this talent by publishing a title of this kind,” said Richter.

Poets will be selected by an editorial committee comprised of Georgia Richter and Wendy Jenkins of Fremantle Press and guest editor Scott-Patrick Mitchell.

Mitchell, who is currently undertaking a PhD in Performance Poetry at WAAPA, said the publications and events associated with July’s Fremantle Poetry Month were helping him attain new skills in poetry publishing.

“I was published in Fremantle Poets 1: New Poets, performed at the launch, ran a student poetry writing workshop and now I’ve been invited to edit the next edition of Fremantle Poets – it’s been an exciting process,” said Mitchell.

“I feel I can bring an understanding of how performance poetry is written, performed and the process of becoming a published poet to this new volume as a result of my performance experience and current studies,” he said.

Submissions for Fremantle Poets 3: Performance Poets close on 1 June 2011.

Contributing poets will be announced at the Fremantle Poetry Month launch on 7 July 2011 at the Fremantle Arts Centre. Submission guidelines and more information about Fremantle Poetry Month are available on

The 2011 Fremantle Press poetry list includes The Argument by Tracy Ryan, The Moving World by Michael Heald and Fremantle Poets 2: Two Poets by Kevin Gillam and Andrew Lansdown.

Fremantle Poetry Month is sponsored by the City of Fremantle, Australian Poetry, dotdotdash magazine, Fremantle Arts Centre, the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre, the Fremantle Library, Fremantle Radio, Thompson Estate, Out of the Asylum Writers Group, Voicebox and WA Poets Inc.

Media contact: Claire Miller, or 08 9430 6331.

Claire Miller
Media and Promotions Manager
Fremantle Press
PO Box 158
North Fremantle, WA 6159
Ph: (08) 9430 6331
Fax: (08) 9430 5242
Mob: 0419 837 841

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ben Quilty wins Archibald Prize with Olley portrait

As the man says:

When Ben Quilty first asked legendary painter Margaret Olley to sit for him she said no. ‘Her lack of ego is so appealing,’ says Quilty. ‘Margaret didn’t understand why anyone would want to see a portrait of her.’

Quilty met Olley when she was a guest judge for the 2002 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, which he won. ‘She’s been a friend and great supporter of my work ever since,’ he says.

Born in Lismore in 1923, Olley was awarded the Order of Australia in 1991 for service as an artist and to the promotion of art. In 1996, she was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia.

More on

I hate to brag, but I chose this portrait as my pick on my facebook page. Humbly I bow ...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

'Why they start talking when there's something to hear?' John Cage with Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Ah, 'Is music, music?' Such questions lie at the heart of our art use of sound. John Cage asks them over a sound track of Roland Kirk - two enormous great composers of the last century together who never met. 'Silence is not a question.'

Get your ears into it:

John Cage and Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Sound?? (1966)

Although Rahsaan Roland Kirk and John Cage never actually meet in this film (Cage's enigmatic questions about sound are intercut with some of Kirk's more ambitious experiments with it) these two very different musical iconoclasts share a similar vision of the boundless possibilities of music. Kirk plays three saxes at once, switches to flute, incorporates tapes of birds played backwards, and finally hands out whistles to his audience and encourages them to accompany him, "in the key of W, if you please." Cage, on the other hand, is preparing a work for musical bicycle with David Tudor and Merce Cunningham at the Seville Theatre in London. Cage meets Rahsaan's music in an echo chamber, and he ends his search for the sound of silence in his favorite spot -- the anechoic chamber -- where it turns out to be the uproar of "your nervous system in operation." -- Martin Williams, JAZZ TIMES

Friday, April 15, 2011

from Southerly, a new start to blogging series ... with Tracy Ryan

Southerly's new blogging program has now started, with poet and novelist Tracy Ryan making the first post:

Tracy starts off with:
When it comes to reading fiction, I’m not averse to the single isolated encounter. It may be because the author only wrote one novel (Emily Brontë), or because there’s only one that appeals. It’s not the writer that’s in question, it’s the individual work. And after all, you can read that one book again and again – and again, with different outcomes at various stages in your life.

She is so right about the way texts change with the context of your changing life! James Joyce keeps changing for me ... When I'm out and about at a local litfest, I may sport my On The Road shirt but I am somewhat shocked at much of Kerouac's writing when I go back to it today. As a reader, each book is a stepping stone to the next, but you can return to earlier books with a new understanding and a deeper perception simply through the amount of experience life has thrown your way.

I'll shut up now and let you return to Tracy.

The Southerly blog is a great idea and a great addition to Australia poetry life. May it long prosper!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three Spring Haiku by Kobayashi Issa

Spring breeze—
the pine on the ridge
whispers it

Steam on the bay
past midday...
spring rain

Licking a bamboo leaf’s
spring rain...

(trans. David G. Lanoue)


Why Spring? Well it's spring in Northern Hemisphere ... and the summer sun keeps shining here in Western Australia!

Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

The big and brilliant poem, Song of Myself by Walt Whitman awaits you at

It's a long read but it is one of the most spirited poems of the modern era.

The Three Ravens - Anonymous

There were three ravens sat on a tree,
They were as black as they might be.

The one of them said to his make,
'Where shall we our breakfast take?'

'Down in yonder greene field
There lies a knight slain under his shield;

'His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they can their master keep;

'His hawks they flie so eagerly,
There 's no fowl dare come him nigh.'

Down there comes a fallow doe
As great with young as she might goe.

She lift up his bloudy head
And kist his wounds that were so red.

She gat him up upon her back
And carried him to earthen lake.

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere evensong time.

God send every gentleman
Such hounds, such hawks, and such a leman.


It's a Poem-A-Day for Poetry Month (USA) at Poetry Daily

Monday, April 11, 2011

Melbourne Poets Union invites Submissions for Anthology

The Melbourne Poets Union is inviting


edited by Sue Stanford

Tea, wine and coffee are widely enjoyed forms of stimulation, comfort and perhaps addiction. The three occupy slightly different but extremely interesting positions in Australian culture.

The anthology will be a book of 46+ pages. It is open to submissions from MPU members and non-members.

All poems touching on the three beverages will be considered, but selection criteria include:

1) the poems should of high standard that ask to be read and re-read
2) the more centrally the poems deal with one of the beverages the better
3) it would be ideal if there was a range of mood including humour,
celebration, reflection and passion
4) shorter poems (20 -60 lines) will be more likely to be selected
5) it is unlikely that more than one poem per poet will be selected

- MPU is not looking for first rights. Submitting poets are welcome to look for publication elsewhere while their work is under consideration
- The editor is happy to work with poets to polish promising poems
- At present we cannot offer payment other than a copy of the anthology
- Notification of consideration of acceptance mid-year 2011
- Publication planned after Dec 2011

Email Submissions:
Place ‘Attention Sue Stanford’ in the subject heading of the email.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Poetry Prompt from Emily Dickinson

I've just been reading a letter by Emily Dickinson to her cousins, in which she says:

"Mother was very beautiful when she had died. Seraphs are solemn artists."

I thought one part or both could make a good poetry prompt.

You might like to search the rest of the letter for further prompts:

Interesting poems by Aidan Rooney on Mudlark Post 91

Aidan Rooney was born in Monaghan, Ireland in 1965 and educated at Maynooth College, National University of Ireland. Since 1988, he has taught at Thayer Academy and lived in Hingham, Massachusetts. A past winner of the Guinness Literary Award and the NY Yeats Society Competition, he received the Hennessy Literary Award for New Irish Poet in 1997.

His collections, Day Release (2000) and Tightrope (2007), are published by The Gallery Press in Ireland. Widely published in Europe and North America, his work has appeared in various anthologies - Staying Alive (Bloodaxe) and 180 More (Random House) among them - and new poems have appeared recently or are pending in The Rialto, Horizon Review, Salamander, Poetry Ireland Review, The Shop, The Recorder, and Prairie Schooner.

Spread the word far and wide.

EDITOR: William Slaughter

An Electronic Journal of Poetry & Poetics
Never in and never out of print...

Rooney direct:

Friday, April 08, 2011

Come one! Come all! Andrew Lansdown's 'Allsorts' Book Launch

Wombat Books will be launching Andrew Lansdown's new collection of children’s poems, Allsorts, this Saturday evening at 6.30pm at the Morley Baptist Church - Vera Street, Morley.

Books for sale, with the author on hand to sign copies. Refreshments will be served.

All welcome.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Frank Parker's LOVE poem

2011 Griffin Poetry Prize List

The finalists for the Griffin Poetry Prize were announced this morning and include Toronto poet laureate Dionne Brand.

Three poets were named to the Canadian shortlist, and four to the international list. The Griffin Poetry Prize is Canada's most prestigious prize for poetry, and awards an international and Canadian winner $65,000 each. Every finalist also receives a cash award, in the amount of $10,000.

Brand was nominated for her collection Ossuaries. She is joined on the Canadian list by Suzanne Buffam, for The Irrationalist, and John Steffler, for Lookout.

This year's international finalists include Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney, for Human Chain, Adonis for Adonis: Selected Poems (translated by Khaled Mattawa). François Jacqmin for The Book of the Snow (translated by Philip Mosley) and Gjertrud Schnackenberg for Heavenly Questions.

The winners will be announced June 1.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Poetry Writing Software | Write Poetry | Poet's Pad for iPad

Export poems in text format via email for external use. ★ Export audio recordings via email for external use. With Poet's Pad™ writing poetry will never be the same again.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Call for Submissions: Beyond First Impressions

field invites established and emerging poets to explore the theme Beyond First Impressions: what changes if you get to know me? and to submit pieces for possible inclusion in a collection to be published in both hard copy and online.

field hopes that in working to the theme poets will embark upon a learning experience resulting in a collection that provides a diverse, challenging and enriching experience for its readers.

Entries are due by 5pm on Monday 20 June 2011.

For full submission details and all enquiries: