Monday, May 30, 2011

August Kleinzahler on Mehrotra's translation of Kabir

"Arvind Krishna Mehrotra's [above] new translation of Kabir brings the poetry of the great 15th-century Indian poet and holy man to life in English for the first time. Not that others haven’t tried: Pound, Robert Bly and, most notably, Rabindranath Tagore in 1915, with a version consisting of thees, thous and thines, delivered in a sandalwood-scented prayer-book-ese that would not have been out of place atop a teak sidetable at one of Mme. Blavatsky’s legendary seances. But it is Mehrotra who has succeeded in capturing the ferocity and improvisational energy of Kabir’s poetry."

Read the review at

Gil Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) - 'I'm New Here' (official video)

Cool. RIP, Gil.

Thanks to Ron Silliman for showing us this one.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Australian Poetry Library - a goldmine of poems and poets!

I'm just so surprised I've never seen this before:

What an absolute goldmine for all lovers of poetry - and students and teachers and poets and ... everybody. I gotta stop writing this to get back to the site - brilliant! I'm only sad I'm not in it. Maybe next time :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Is to Be Done? (on contemporary poetry and reviewers)

Oh, I am often out in the cold with my taste in poetry, but I am glad to see that others also have a poor opinion of Robert Frost. Mind you, I often quote his criticism and poetic theory which I find far more interesting than his poetry, but there you go. Today I came across a long article on PIP's blog - Project for Innovative Poetry by Douglas Messerli, poet, editor and publisher - As I say, it is lengthy, so if you haven't the time or the interest to read it all, let me print for you here a footnote which I found hilarious.

"*I haven’t read what David Orr describes as Susan Wheeler’s “very funny imitation” of Frost, but I myself have written a satiric poem “after” Frost:

The Acquaintance
(after Robert Frost)

I have been, I have
walked, I have outwalked.
I have looked, I have passed
And dropped my eyes.
I have stood still
When far away,
Come to houses
But not to call
And further still
One luminous clock
Proclaimed the time
Taken to be.

I might add that perhaps the funniest of all “satires” on Frost might be the Richard Adler and Jerry Ross song from The Pajama Game, “Hernando’s Hideaway,” the music of which is written in the same rhythm as Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” If one puts the music to Frost’s poem, it is difficult to read the poem thereafter with a straight face.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Sundowner On Surrey - Bassendean Arts Community

4pm to 6pm
Sunday 29th May 2011
1 Surrey Street, Bassendean

next to Pensioner Guard Cottage -

Art Exhibition
Poetry Reading by Andrew Burke
Harp Music by Rowan Rovere (of Fibrant fame)

Refreshments and snacks provided.

Website at

Coming up at Perth Poetry Club

25 June: CLAYTON LIN + launch of DAVID BARNES's book 'Prayers Waiting for God' with poems read by Andrew Burke, Janet Jackson and others


2-4pm every Saturday at The Moon Cafe, 323 William Street, Northbridge. Open mike (3 minute limit), professional sound.

Hurry! Vogel closes 31st May!

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award is one of Australia's richest and the most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of thirty-five. Offering publication by Allen & Unwin and prize money totalling $20,000, the Vogel Award has launched the careers of some of its most successful writers, including Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Gillian Mears, Brian Castro, Mandy Sayer and Andrew McGahan.
Vogel-winning authors have gone on to win or be shortlisted for other major awards, such as the Miles Franklin Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Booker Prize.

Entries for the 2012 Australian/Vogel's Literary Award are now open.

How to enter

Entries for 2012 closing 31 May 2011

Download the entry form (PDF)

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award is one of the richest awards in Australia for an unpublished manuscript, offering a prize of $20,000 in addition to normal royalties from sales. Entries for 2012 close 31 May 2011.

To enter The Australian/ Vogel's Literary Award, you must be aged under 35 years and must normally be a resident of Australia. The manuscript submitted should be a work of fiction, Australian history or biography.

It must be a minimum length of 30,000 words and a maximum of 100,000 words.

The manuscript must be an original work, entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English.
No more than 10% of the manuscript can have been previously published in print form, or in electronic form on a commercial basis.

An entry fee of $25 is payable for each entry and should be submitted to:
Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd
BSB: 082-212
Account no.: 507 671 436
Bank: NAB
Please ensure the entrant's name is clearly identified in the relevant field.
Submit your manuscript, a one-page synopsis, and completed entry form to

Please scan your completed entry form and attach it to your electronic entry. If this is not possible, please copy and paste the following information into the body of your email:

Date of birth:
Manuscript title:
Suburb: State: Postcode:
Telephone:(wk) (home) (mobile)
Email address:
Word count:
I ___________________
agree to the Conditions of Entry.

If it is not possible for an entry to be submitted electronically, hardcopy submissions will be accepted. Send completed entry form, manuscript and cheque or postal order for $25 to:
The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award, PO Box 8500 St Leonards, NSW 1590.

Conditions of entry

Entrants must be aged under 35 years of age on 31 May 2011 (that is born after 31 May 1976).
Entrants must normally be residents of Australia.

The manuscript submitted with the entry form should be a work of fiction, Australian history or biography.

It must be a minimum length of 30,000 words and a maximum of 100,000 words.

Please include a one-page synopsis.

The manuscript must be an original work, entirely by the entrant and it must be written in English. It cannot be under consideration to any other publisher or award. No more than 10% of the manuscript can have been previously published in print form, or in electronic form on a commercial basis.

Allen & Unwin will publish the winning entry, and will have exclusive worldwide publishing rights to it, and to any other entry they feel is of sufficient merit.

Manuscripts should be sent electronically to, accompanied by an entry form and a one-page synopsis.

Entrants must lodge their entry with an accompanying official entry form or the entry may be deemed ineligible for the prize.

Entries must be lodged with the accompanying entry fee of $25 submitted to Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, BSB: 082-212, account no.: 507671436, bank: NAB. Please ensure that the entrant's name is clearly identified in the relevant field when paying the entry fee. Cheques or postal money orders are to be made out to The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award.

Entries must be lodged by 31 May 2011.

An electronic acknowledgment will be sent to each entrant on receipt of entry.

The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The judges shall have the discretion to divide the prize equally between authors of entries they consider of equal merit. If, in their opinion, no entry is worthy of the prize, no winner shall be chosen. No entrant may win the prize in successive years.

The winner will be told in strict confidence during September 2011, at which time the winner must agree to keep this news absolutely confidential until the simultaneous announcement and publication of the winning entry in 2012.

In 2012, the prize will total $20,000.

Manuscripts will not be returned.

Each entrant is required to complete the entry form, which binds them to the above conditions of entry.

Download the entry form at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2011 PM Literary Awards - Hooray for Scott and Daisley!

Couple of Western Australian authors lined up for the Fiction Awards at


How To Make Gravy
, Paul Kelly
Sydney, Delia Falconer
The Hard Light of Day, Rod Moss
The Party, Richard McGregor
Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory, Patrick Wilcken


Glissando, David Musgrave
Notorious, Roberta Lowing
That Deadman Dance, Kim Scott
Traitor, Stephen Daisley
When Colts Ran, Roger McDonald

Young adult fiction

About a Girl, Joanne Horniman
Good Oil, Laura Buzo
Graffiti Moon, Cath Crowley
The Piper's Son, Melina Marchetta
The Three Loves of Persimmon, Cassandra Golds

Children's fiction

April Underhill, Tooth Fairy, Bob Graham
Flyaway, Lucy Christopher
Now, Morris Gleitzman
Shake a Leg, Boori Monty Pryor and Jan Ormerod
Why I Love Australia, Bronwyn Bancroft

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yalgorup Poetry / Installation for Art Gallery Launch Exhibition: Annamaria Weldon and Carolyn Marks

INQB8.mandurah, a new art gallery and studio space, will be opened on Friday May 27th 2011 by the City's Mayor, Paddi Creevey and Artsource's Executive Director, Jude Van der Merwe. Its inaugural exhibition runs from Saturday May 28th to Sunday 26th June (Wednesdays to Sundays, 12 noon to 4pm, with 6pm later closing on Thursdays only).

The gallery has allocated a studio to Bush Journal: an installation based on Annamaria Weldon's poetry, conceived, drawn and constructed by artist and sculptor Carolyn Marks. Their collaboration has grown from working creatively together on several Stretch Festival projects since meeting in 2009 (through Weldon's Adaptation residency project Sharing the Edge, with naturalist Laurie Smith, at Symbiotica, UWA). Carolyn and Annamaria are inspired by the coastal wetlands around Lake Clifton at Yalgorup National Park; Bush Journal depicts - in drawings, sounds and words - a walk through this wild landscape of thrombolites and other life-forms, from first light to moonrise.

Carolyn's intricately hand-drawn scenes are ingeniously layered with the verses which prompted her compositions in charcoal - and with a flow of digital images from Weldon's nature photos. The gallery is providing visitors with individual MP3 players, so that you can move around the room at your own pace and hear me read the original poems with evocative accompaniment from George Walley on didge. The CD of Bush Journal words and music was recorded for the exhibition by sound artist Lee Kennedy .

In addition to Carolyn Marks and Annamaria Weldon, INQB8.exhibition features works by the artists Paul Fleetham, Judith Gardiner, Barbara Pennell, Patricia Hines, Sara McAleer, Carol Nicholson, Debbie Zibah, Gary Aitken (who curated the show). So while exploring the varied ways INQB8 celebrates creative writing and the studio space this gallery offers, you can enjoy ceramics, jewellery, textiles, painting, printmaking, digital art and sculpture!

INQB8.mandurah is easy to find: it shares a car-park with the Council Administration Building at 63 Ormsby Terrace, Mandurah W.A. 6210. If you are driving from Perth, head South along the freeway to the new Mandurah turnoff at *Mandjoogoordap Drive. Previously signed as Lymon Rd, its new name has not been updated on Google Maps as yet - but it is now the most direct link to Mandurah Road and from there, Ormsby Terrace is minutes away.

*MEETING PLACE OF THE HEART: "Daisy Bates wrote in her diary that Mandjoogoordap was the original Noongar name for Mandurah and means ‘meeting place of the heart’. . . Apparently, Thomas Peel had difficulty pronouncing Mandjoogoordap and told the Noongars that he was going to change or shorten the name." (Mayor Creevey, Mandurah Mail Online 28 Jan 2010)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cordite Submissions - Read on!

from the Editorial desk of Cordite, a very active and far-reaching Aussie online mag:

Dear Cordite subscribers,

just a very quick message to let you know the second part of our sprawling Oz-Ko special issue, showcasing poetry from Australia and the Republic of Korea, is now online.

Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hanguk) features forty new poems by contemporary Australian poets in English and hangul! Check it out:

We hope you enjoy the contents of the issue - part three, featuring poems by contemporary Korean poets in translation, will appear online in June.

Also, a reminder that while text and audio submissions for our next issue, Electronic(a) have now closed, we're still accepting submissions of multimedia works, including works of e-poetry, video poetry and such. Here's the full rundown:

Best wishes as ever ...


David Prater

Managing Editor
Cordite Poetry Review

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Poet's Pleasure

A human need to feel what it is like to have a work of art come right out of you. I think we like that a lot. - Robert Pinsky

Thanks for this, Halvard

"Reality cannot be copywrited."
--David Shields

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Prose Poetry - a prose poem in poor explanation

‘You call that a poem?! I don’t call that a poem.’ A national flower in one country is a weed in another. ‘That’s prose.’ Would it help if I told you the French started this in modern times? ‘The French?! After what they did!’ No, before what they did. (May Gertrude press your tender buttons.) The seed grew in the Left Bank of Parnassus, blossomed all around the world, soil on its roots in ancient texts, tendrils running in European breath until Make it New! coloured the New World and imagery burst into sunlight, delight. ‘Give us a break, Andy, you’ve been sold a pup!’ A pup digging holes back to its roots. Mind the geraniums, daisies wilful and free.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lost Wittgenstein work found

Wow, Wittgenstein lives on!

"It is extremely interesting that very often when people say that science has not yet discovered this or that but if X will have discovered it then..., that they very often don’t know at all what sort of discovery they are waiting for, that they talk of a discovery without knowing of what nature this discovery would be. (For example when people say that one day when psychology will be far enough developed it will make us understand the nature of beauty.)"
-- marginal note in Wittgenstein's handwriting in an as-yet-unpublished work.

New works by Ludwig Wittgenstein -- original manuscripts of more than 150,000 words, which, until now, were unheard of except, at best, as rumour or speculation -- have been discovered and are being edited for publication by Cambridge.

The manuscripts include a revised and expanded version of The Brown Book, dictated lecture notes, a series of thousands of math calculation exploring "Fermat’s Little Theorem" that pysically stretch 20 feet, an unnamed 60-page manuscript, and what may be the rumoured "Yellow Book" or "Pink Book," a narrative with illustrations written in an exercise book during his time in Norway.

Read on at

Writing Opportunities from writingWA

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

Entries for this award for an unpublished manuscript close 31 May. Entry is open to Australian residents under the age of 35, for works of fiction, Australian history or biography between 30,000 and 100,000 words. Prize of $20,000 in addition to royalties; the winning entry will be published by Allen & Unwin. Entry fee $25. For entry forms/guidelines, click

Editing Workshop

Are you writing a novel or autobiography, or maybe contributing to an anthology? Careful editing and proofing is important to all written work. Benefit from media professional Peter Ramshaw's 32 years of experience. Cost: $25 for KSP Members/$40 others. Sat, June 18, 1pm–4pm, KSP Writer Centre, 11 Old York Rd, Greenmount. For details click Bookings essential, via email or phone 9294 1872.

Southerly Seeks Aboriginal Writers

Murri poet Lionel Fogarty and Nunga poet and author Ali Cobby Eckermann have been offered the opportunity to edit an edition of Southerly, Australia’s oldest and premier literary magazine. New and emerging Aboriginal writers are invited to submit short fiction, excerpts, essays, reviews and poetry on an open theme. The aim is to showcase a wide cross-section of talented writers.

Deadline 30 June.

For submission details, click

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Knuckle Bones - prose poem by Andrew Burke

I stood before the noticeboard and saw my name. Nerves kicked in. In boarding school change was regular: each Monday the roster for altar boys changed. Mass stayed the same, a daily constant in Latin, but we had a variety of priests, and among them a Hungarian, a refugee without English, whose accent refreshed the Mass. Things do change, don’t they, even dogma.

When I change, it surprises me.

Once, at what young age I can’t recall, I rejected a set of plastic knucklebones as a game, yet later, say two years later or less, I sun-dried bones out from the garbage and empty lots to make my own set of knucklebones. Arthritis came first to my knuckles, the same knuckles I punched in frustration against an office wall, working in a department store, selling goods marked up by too much per cent, paying for the first meals of my first born. Fish oil helps me write now, knuckles flexing over a qwerty keyboard. There is a cricket umpire, Billy Bowden, who has a strange calligraphy of signals for fours and sixes. My mind returns to the Hungarian priest when Billy holds up his arthritic fingers, hooked in the sky as he signals a six. Some in the crowd snigger at his movement whereas my dramatic young mind would have it that the refugee’s fingers were distorted by torture in Budapest yet still held Christ aloft so lovingly. Things change but in my mind small lanes run, a labyrinth, a maze.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Prose Poems: Definition

A friend and I have started writing prose poems recently, just as an offshoot of our reading. I have been happily doing whatever I like, having written a few before but never really concentrating on the form. So I went looking for a definition - even though, as a true poet by character and inclination, I will always break certain parameters of any definition!

Here's a Dictionary Definition:

From The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Alex Preminger and T.V.F. Brogan, Eds. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1993) :

...[It is a] controversially hybrid and (aesthetically and even politically) revolutionary genre... With its oxymoronic title and its form based on contradiction, the p. p. is suitable to an extraordinary range of perception and expression, from the ambivalent (in content as in form) to the mimetic and the narrative (or even anecdotal). ... Its principal characteristics are those that would insure unity even in brevity and poetic quality even without the line breaks of free verse: high patterning, rhythmic and figural repetition, sustained intensity, and compactness.

In the p. p. a field of vision is represented, sometimes mimetically and often pictorially, only to be, on occasion, put off abruptly; emotion is contracted under the force of ellipsis, so deepened and made dense; the rhapsodic mode and what Baudelaire called the “prickings of the unconscious” are, in the supreme examples, combined with the metaphoric and the ontological: the p. p. aims at knowing or finding out something not accessible under the more restrictive conventions of verse
(Beaujour). (p. 977)

Here's a new Australian collection of prose poems -

The Indigo Book of Australian Prose Poems
Michael Byrne (ed.) 2011, Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide. ISBN 1 74027 650 4

This selection of one hundred prose poems published in Australia since the 1970s demonstrates what a hip, bohemian and subversive vein the prose poem is. Prose poetry has proved a most flexible vehicle for an extraordinary range of Australian talent – from Gary Catalano to Joanne Burns, from Ania Walwicz to Alex Skovron. There have been overseas anthologies of prose poems but no Australian counterpart. The Indigo Book of Australian Prose Poems meets the needs of students, reviewers and the general literature loving public. [I hear it also has John Tranter, Tom Shapcott and Andrew Taylor.]

$25.00 To order The Indigo Book of Australian Prose Poems through Ginninderra Press, please go to

Monday, May 16, 2011

Australian Poetry Journal SUBMISSIONS OPEN

Australian Poetry is now inviting submissions for this year's Australian Poetry Journal.

As previously announced, the publication is to be edited by Bronwyn Lea.

Deadline for submisions: 4 July 2011.

For all submission details and to download the required submission form, head to the Australian Poetry website.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Literary research into Little Dick

Julia Lawrinson, YAL writer and literary livewire, has been doing a little research into what young boys call their penis. I fell over laughing at the last one!

Boy bits

"When I asked my Facebook buddies about modern terminology for boy bits - for the purposes of the latest version of Losing It (yes, really!) - it caused much household mirth, as middle-aged and otherwise respectable parents called out to their offspring, 'Hey! What do you young folk call penises these days?' The 56 comments the request amassed included:

dick (de rigeur, apparently)
doodle (archaic, apparently, tho my sentimental favourite)
dingle dangle (I'm not making this up)
donger (not the thing you sleep in on mine sites)
luscious love muscle
hairy dangler
doohickey (my favourite)
wing wang (my equal favourite)
vertical dangler
transcendental signifier (For all of you who suffered Literary Theory at university. The friend who contributed this, one of the brainiest people on the planet, tried to train her young sons in irony at an early age. But even child geniuses prefer dick, it seems.)"

Follow more research at Julia's blog at

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Evening - prose poem

The things left undone look at the refrigerator door in the gathering dark. There the list is married to the door with an icon with hieroglyphs beneath. They know they are there, not struck out, not executed yet. Tomorrow, the next day. Some must wait for sunshine, some are best in rain. They move away resignedly and gather now in the warm glow of TV. Executioners are voluble as figures run across the screen, run up, run down: some fall, some fight, some jump, some cheer. TV cheers are echoed here as the glow grows brighter and the dark grows deeper. The dog dances on the carpet as the executioners laugh and hug before turning TV off and turning on the lights: passageway, kitchen, toilet. White powder with specks of blue are poured into the open machine beside the refrigerator. An executioner closes the door firmly. They turn away from one who was formerly left undone, turn away as he is electrocuted. The whirring machine sets them a-shiver on the refrigerator as a hand strikes one out. Done.

Andrew Burke

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mascara's New Issue is out now.

Check out Issue 9 May 2011 at

It features poems by Anthony Lawrence Michele Leggott Andy Kissane Marlene Marburg Ashley Capes Ali Jane Smith Nicholas YB Wong Mal McKimmie Margaret Bradstock rob walker Jennifer Compton Judith Beveridge Sue Lockwood Anis Shivani Brook Emery Philip Hammial Aidan Coleman Sam Byfield Tricia Dearborn Peter Lach-Newinsky Anna Ryan-Punch Desh Balasubramaniam Michael Sharkey Alan Pejković Jo Langdon Sridala Swami

And a story by Alan Gould

I fully intend to submit for the Special Poetry Issue, so I don't know why I'm telling you about it!


Submissions to Mascara Literary Review are by e-mail. We only consider previously unpublished work, ie first serial rights, electronic and print. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as we are notified immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Submissions are closed in the month of April and in the month of October.

Send 3-5 poems and a short bio in a single Microsoft Word doc as an attachment, labelled with your name.

For fiction, submit 1 short story up to 3000 words, or for flash fiction send no more than 1000 words in a single Microsoft Word doc as an attachment, labelled with your name.

Essays, Reviews and Translations will be considered.

Formatting must be in 12 point Times New Roman, 1.5 spaced. Please identify your attachment by surname. You need to write the word fiction, poetry, review or translation in the subject title of your e-mail. Our response time is 3-6 months. Please do not query before 3 months.

Send your work to submissions[at]mascarareview[dot]com

Payment is applicable to Australian writers:

Two poems: $100
Fiction: $100
Reviews: $60
Translations: two or more poems: $100

We encourage you to read at least one or two issues of the journal before submitting your work.


Issue 10 will be guest edited by Keri Glastonbury in poetry. Submissions for issue 10 will be accepted from May 2011 to September 2011. For this special issue we are calling for prose poems.

Paul Harrison at Perth Poetry Club this Saturday

Perth Poetry Club has another treat in store for you this Saturday 14 May, with PAUL HARRISON “one of the best emerging new voices from the Australian underground” George Anderson.

Come and hear Paul at The Moon Cafe, 323 William Street, Northbridge, between 2 and 4 pm. Open mic and professional sound as always.

Paul Harrison's first book meet me at gethsemane was published in early 2011 by Mulla Mulla Press. If you decide to come along to the reading you might find out what all the fuss was about... hell, Paul might even be there himself and read a few. In the event he doesn't turn up a really cute sock puppet is currently on stand-by.

Perth Poetry Club lineup for May:

21 May: Derek Fenton and Gary De Piazzi
28 May: Maitland Schnaars with Alan Boyd

Other events coming up in Perth Poetry:

28 May: "Integration Scherzo" 10am for a combination of art and poetry in the Artspace Gallery in Nedlands. Contact them to express your interest in participating.

29 May: Fringe Gallery, 94 Bawdan Street, Willagee, featuring Chris Arnold and Elio Novello

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How did Neanderthals talk?

Theories, theories, theories ... But I find it fascinating to think about such subjects as where and when language began and if we only stick to the known facts, we will never progress our knowledge. So, take a look at this:

"Right-hand dominance is the latest in a growing list of evidence that Neanderthals had language. In 2008 the French archeologist Francisco D’Errico hypothesized that Neanderthals had language based on artifacts related to symbolic meaning, such as body paint, beads and other decorative materials. In addition, the only bone in the vocal tract, the hyoid, in Neanderthals and in early Homo sapiens is strikingly similar, especially in contrast to the vocal tracts of the great apes, our other cousins. Great apes have an air sac that produces a huge booming sound, but not articulation. Neanderthals and modern humans do not have an air sac. The hypothesis is that the sac diminished as survival became dependent on what was said, not how loud it was said."

Read more information at

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Robert Johnson: fans mark the centenary of the great bluesman's birth TODAY

A whole lotta the music I love came from Robert Johnson and his cohorts. Now, today, it is 100 years since he was born.

There's a full article at the Guardian on


"For all his talent and enduring legacy, however, Johnson's music originally had a limited appeal. The sort of recordings he made – a singer accompanied by a single guitar – were already disappearing from the black music scene, and even his greatest hit, Terraplane Blues, sold just 5,000 copies in its first run. But in the early 1960s, a reissue compilation LP of Johnson's music could not have been better timed. Called King of the Delta Blues, with 16 of Johnson's total opus of 41 recorded songs, it became a gateway to the genre for British guitar players, including Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.

"When you think you're getting a handle on playing the blues, you hear Robert Johnson and then think, 'Whoa, there's a long way to go yet'," said Richards in the 1990 documentary The Search For Robert Johnson. Clapton described him as "the greatest folk blues player of all time … the greatest singer, the greatest writer".


I must admit I love Cassandra Wilson's version of Come On in My Kitchen - and the classic Clapton version of Crossroads.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Jennifer Hawkins shares the spotlight (and the catwalk) with Scott Patrick Mitchell

This is part of a short piece on the fashion parade by Perth-born designer Kym Ellery in Sydney this week.

But it was Perth performance poet Scott-Patrick Mitchell who stole the limelight with a brilliant rendition of his new work, Dioscuri, written especially for the show.

Mitchell’s piece opened the event and was weaved throughout the show, set at the White Rabbit Gallery in Chippendale, Sydney.

“It's a love poem between twin brothers based on the Greek myth of Castor and Pollux, one of whom was mortal the other immortal.

“When Castor the mortal died his brother begged the gods to be rid of his immortality. So moved were they by his plea they changed them both into stars, creating the constellation Gemini.”

Read all the article at

ALR's May Short Story Competition (troubled family relationship)

The Australian Literature Review is accepting submissions of stories 1000 – 3000 words for the May short story comp (theme: troubled family relationship) until midnight May 20th.

The winner will receive feedback of 400-500 words on their short story by two of three commercially published novelists below, as well as a Kindle ereader (3G + WiFi).

With your entry, indicate which 2 of the 3 authors you would like to receive feedback from if you win.

The runner up will receive feedback from the author not picked by the winner.

Stories should be submitted to The winner will be announced May 30th. Stories can be submitted as a document attached to your email or in the body of the email itself. There are no special formatting requirements. Multiple entries are allowed.

Theme: Troubled family relationship (can be any kind of story as long as conflict between family members is a major part of the story)

Michael White
(historical mystery and action-adventure novelist)
Rebecca James (psychological thriller novelist)
Bernadette Kelly (children’s book author)

Each of the authors are likely to have quite a different focus for their feedback, and the opportunity to compare feedback from two published novelists should provide some useful insights and ideas for your story and for your fiction writing in general. Good luck.

This is part of a round of monthly short story comps running in March, April and May.


The Australian Literature Review

Thank you to Helen Hagemann at for this one.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

if not in paint - Marion May Campbell

new from E L E C T I O E D I T I O N S

alphabeta 2 if not in paint

by M A R I O N M A Y C A M P B E L L
with two original drawings by MIRIAM MORRIS

Electio Editions is delighted to present the second book in its alphabeta series. if not in paint traces not only a series of ecstatic moments, a kind of alongsidedness of the occasion of writing, but also exhibits its own response to the very commission of writing for Electio. Altho Marion May Campbell is more widely known as a novelist, the poetry in her recent book, Fragments from a paper witch, shows her as a poet of brilliance, sensitivity and skill of a high order – ‘I read the texture / not the word / of shop front signs / the frets and struts / that rust behind each letter’ (from there is no electric miracle). For this book, Miriam Morris has done two original drawings (that is, each copy has originals, not printed images) in pen & acrylic inks. A limited number of extra sets of the drawings, suitable for framing, will also be available.

The book has 24 pages, the types are Giovanni Mardersteig’s Dante and S H de Roos’s Libra, and the printing is on damped BFK Rives Heavyweight paper on a Pratt-Albion handpress. Binding is a single handsewn signature done at the Press in a protective box made by Duncan Group, Melbourne.

All copies will be signed by the poet & artist.

The edition size will be determined by the number of orders received, and orders close on 30 June 2011. Orders and enquiries should be sent to Electio at

Price : AUD $260 the copy for the book. For the book plus the extra set of drawings, AUD $350.

See more about this publisher at

Electio Editions
6/47 Grant Street
Malvern East
VIC 3145

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Poem: Suburban Song (first draft)

Today starts with its own song
sung by birds on the high wire
before the children go to school
and mothers go out shopping

sung by birds on the high wire
phrases fall like morning vespers
and mothers go out shopping
their loving lists in hand

phrases like morning vespers
weave with words of homemakers
their loving lists in hand
bird to word in suburban song

weaves with words of homemakers
cars cough up and down the street
bird to word in suburban song
as tills ring gaily in reply

cars cough up and down the street
and talkback radio gossips in a gaggle
as tills ring gaily in reply
the lollipop man waves his baton

and talkback radio gossips in a gaggle
as urban traffic ebbs and flows
the lollipop man waves his baton
school bells peel and sirens wail

as urban traffic ebbs and flows
now the children are in school
malls mellow with muzak melodies –
each day starts with its own song.

Andrew Burke