Monday, October 31, 2011

Czeslaw Milosz poem - Beautiful!


It is true, our tribe is similar to the bees,
It gathers honey of wisdom, carries it, stores it in honeycombs.
I am able to roam for hours
Through the labyrinth of the main library, floor to floor.
But yesterday, looking for the words of masters and prophets,
I wandered into high regions
That are visited by practically no one.
I would open a book and could decipher nothing.
For letters faded and disappeared from the pages.
Woe! I exclaimed-so it comes to this?
Where are you, venerable ones, with your beards and wigs,
Your nights spent by a candle, griefs of your wives?
So a message saving the world is silenced forever?
At your home it was the day of making preserves.
And your dog, sleeping by the fire, would wake up,
Yawn, and look at you, as if knowing.
by Czeslaw Milosz

Alan's made a meal of QANTAS

Thanks, Melinda Scott on facebook.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


photo William Yang

The year 2012 marks the centenary of the birth of Australia’s Nobel-prize winning author Patrick White who died just over twenty years ago. Since his death, White’s critical reputation has suffered somewhat, although there are signs now of renewed interest in his work. The Journal of Postcolonial Cultures and Societies (See blog link: will dedicate a special issue to Patrick White in 2012 in order to celebrate the centenary of the author. 

Submissions for papers to be included in this issue are called for, especially, but not only, from non-Australia based scholars. 

Papers can address any major aspect of White’s fiction including, for example, transnational perspectives, regional aspects, metaphysics, myth-making, recognition (including a discussion of the PW award), aesthetics or representations of Indigenous Australians. 

Special consideration will be given to proposals that address and theorise gender, sexuality and queer readings of White’s work. 

Proposals of book reviews on Patrick White scholarship and on any aspect of Australian postcolonial culture are also solicited. 

Please submit an abstract of up to 200 words simultaneously to both Editors (details provided below) by mid-December 2011. Full length essays will be expected by mid-March 2012.

David Coad is a Lecturer at the University of Valenciennes, in France. After a doctorate on the religious metaphysics of Patrick White, obtained at the University of Paris III – Nouvelle Sorbonne, he published a collection of essays on Patrick White in 1997. Other publications include Gender Trouble Down Under: Australian Masculinities (Valenciennes: PUV, 2002) and The Metrosexual: Gender, Sexuality, and Sport (New York: SUNY, 2008). Contact:

Jean-François Vernay has recently been appointed Associate Editor for The Journal of Post-Colonial Cultures and Societies. He is the author of two monographs on Australian fiction: Water From the Moon: Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch (New York: Cambria Press, 2007) and The Great Australian Novel – A Panorama (Melbourne: Brolga, 2010). Blog: Contact:
Australie, Australia, culture, littérature, literature, publication, parution, appel à contributions, call for papers, auteurs, authors, écrivains, writers, exposition, exhibition, Jean-François Vernay

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sylvia Plath's Drawings

Visual Arts Sylvia Plath's Never-Before-Exhibited Drawings 
would have been Sylvia Plath's 79th birthday, had she not committed suicide
at age 30. Although the literary legend is best known for her
semi-autobiographical novel*The Bell Jar* and the posthumously published
collection of poetry *Ariel*, as her daughter Freida Hughes explains, "her
passion for art permeated her short life." After abandoning the vibrant,
complex paintings she made during her years as an art student, Plath
continued to draw compulsively and illustrate her writing, deriving pleasure
and inspiration from the craft. Now, for the first time, 44 pen and ink
drawings by Plath will be on view at the Mayor Gallery in London. See a
selection of works from *Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings and Dadamaino: Volumes* in
the gallery. Read more

Good thought.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poets go a-blogging ...

Here's a very good blog, new to me, at That's right - it's name is So Long Bulletin, and combines the talents of 


They in turn have brought our attention to 
                      PHILIP SALOM's new blog at 

From 1st November I will be Guest Blogger at

So, get reading, and get blogging. 

My dining partner at Lunch today

This handsome bird joined me for lunch today at McDonalds on the yacht club pen lines at Gold Coast apartments, an hour out of central Hong Kong (if there is such a thing). Why was I eating Maccas in HK when there is so much good Asian food around? Because I was searching for a good coffee, and heard that was the best I can do around here. Not bad, but not brilliant. McCafe here is truly a step-up from ones in Australia.
Speaking of food, I had a delicious Chinese dish yesterday at Kowloon Cricket Club. My son, who is national cricket coach for Hong Kong, took me there. It will be the venue for the international cricket tournament starting Friday and being contested over the weekend - the Hong Kong Sixes. It has a whole new set of rules, etc, so I am intrigued to see it. Check out more at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quarterly Literary Review Singapore celebrates a decade of fine writing online

QLRS is worth a gold medal for surviving through the thick and thin of literary fads and politics! Here's one quote from an article and announcement of their 10th anniversary celebrations:

"You always need a platform for new poets to push out their poems or existing poets to share new poems. We can never have enough short stories, too," said Yong,44, a Singapore Literature Prize recipient.

QLRS began a decade ago as an online alternative platform for writers, one that played second fiddle to the seemingly more prestigious idea of being published on the printed page. But Yong thinks that the online magazine's importance goes beyond the online versus print argument.


POETS GALORE. Quarterly Literary Review Singapore's (from left) founder and poetry editor Toh Hsien Min, essay editor Yong Shu Hong and short story editor Yeow Kai Chai. PHOTO COURTESY YONG SHU HOONG


Monday, October 24, 2011

American Life in Poetry: Column 344 - OVERTIME by Jorge Evans

by TED KOOSER, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-2006
I love listening to shop talk, to overhear people talking about their work. Their speech is not only rich with the colorful names of tools and processes, but it’s also full of resignation. A job is, after all, a job. Here’s a poem by Jorge Evans of Minnesota, who’s done some hard work.
Fair season and we’re tent pitching
on holy grounds in central Illinois,
busting through pavement with jack hammers,
driving home a stake that will be pulled two months
from now. One of us holds, the other presses
down, grease shooting between cracks
in the old hammer’s worn shell
to our hands and faces—one slip and we’ve
lost our toes. I’m from the warehouse,
not the tent crew. I haven’t ridden around
in tent haulers across the nation
popping tents here and there, but for this,
the state fair, the warehousers are let out
to feel important. Around us a silvered city
has risen, white vinyl tents at full mast
and clean for the first time in a year. It’s August.
It’s the summer’s dogged days when humidity
doesn’t break until midnight, an hour after
the fair’s closed down. We’re piled on back
of a flatbed with our tools, our tiredness.
We’re a monster understood best
by Midwesterners, devouring parking lots
and fields, our teeth stained by cigarette
and chew, some of us not old enough, some
too old. All of us here for the overtime.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by Jorge Evans. Reprinted from the South Dakota Review, Vol. 48, no. 2, Summer 2010, by permission of Jorge Evans and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2011 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Friday, October 21, 2011

'Deadly Beautiful' Liana Joy Christensen (Pub date 1st November)

from Pan Macmillan's website

This entertaining book deals with an endlessly fascinating subject in a new, unique way. Humans have always had an ambivalent relationship with deadly animals. For most people they arouse fears and even phobias, yet perhaps the real risks are not quite as large as they loom in the public imagination. Deadly Beautiful offers an entertaining portrait of some of the main dangerous animal species with which humans have a love-hate relationship. Clear, up-to-date, scientifically accurate information about the natural history of these species is presented in a broadly accessible style, examining their day-to-day existence, how they have developed the weapons they possess and how they use them for defence, for hunting and for making love.
Woven into the text are accounts of people's close encounters with deadly animals; the good, the bad and the bizarre; as well as stories from myth and legend that have contributed to modern perceptions. In addition, realistic risk assessments are included, often in a gently humorous way; for example, how much more likely you are to die in your bed than be killed by a shark. A beautiful illustration opens each chapter.
Book Launch
All welcome to the celebration ofDeadly Beautiful by Liana JoyChristensenTo be launched by wildlife photographer Jiri Lochman at 4pm, Saturday Nov 5, at the Mattie Furphy Centre for Creative Imagining, adjacent to Tom Collins House, 88 Wood St, Swanbourne. RSVP via email by November  2nd.

Author Information

Dr Liana Joy Christensen was for five years editor of the wildlife and natural resources magazine Landscope. She has worked extensively with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), earning from them a citation for excellence in science journalism. Her nature essays have regularly appeared in anthologies and magazines such as Australasian GEO, and been excerpted in translation for both German and Korean GEOs. Her work is published in literary and scientific journals around the world, including Tawain, North America, the Netherlands and India.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Charles Simic on Writing Poetry

A few things to keep in mind while sitting down to write a poem:

1.     Don't tell the readers what they already know about life.
2.     Don't assume you're the only one in the world who suffers.
3.     Some of the greatest poems in the language are sonnets and poems not many lines longer than that, so don't overwrite.
4.     The use of images, similes and metaphors make poems concise. Close your eyes, and let you imagination tell you what to do.
5.     Say the words you are writing aloud and let your ear decide what word comes next.
6.     What you are writing down is a draft that will need additional tinkering, perhaps many months, and even years of tinkering.
7.     Remember, a poem is a time machine you are constructing, a vehicle that will allow someone to travel in their own mind, so don't be surprised if it takes a while to get all its engine parts properly working. 

- Charles Simic

Andrew: It isn't everything, but as the title says, 'a few things to keep in mind'. The main thing is to get down that first draft - then you have something to work on. Remember, all good writing is re-writing. 

T.S.Eliot Prize short list

John Burnside, Black Cat Bone (Jonathan Cape)
Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees (Picador)
Leontia Flynn, Profit and Loss (Jonathan Cape)
David Harsent, Night (Faber)
John Kinsella, Armour (Picador)
Esther Morgan, Grace (Bloodaxe)
Daljit Nagra, Tippoo Sultan's Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! (Faber)
Sean O’Brien, November (Picador)
Bernard O’Donoghue, Farmer’s Cross (Faber)
Alice Oswald, Memorial (Faber)

Congratulations, John! Here's hoping you win enough votes.

Quote from Poetry Society site:

"From 20 October, reading groups can download a biography and a photo of all 10 poets and three poems from their book, together with reading group notes, from the Poetry Book Society website, where you can also vote for your favourite poet. The results will be announced at the awards ceremony."

Start voting now! 

FAWWA Workshop: Have fun finding news to be inspired to write! with Liana Joy Christensen


photo courtesy of Coral Carter

Loosen up everyone!  Come prepared to play! Have fun finding new ways of being inspired to write. Try dancing an artwork, clapping a sentence or humming a poem. Be prepared to play and be prepared to write. Be prepared to tap into your sense of humour!

Most writers know instinctively that words contain rhythm and energetic power well beyond the abstract alphabet. The ebb and flow of this power is connected to their body. Let Liana show you energy and rhythm and how to re-embody the writing process.

Have fun experimenting with various forms of bodywork and anarchic cross-connections between different kinds of art.

Everyone is welcome. Be they beginners, or experienced writers, and at any level of fitness or mobility. Bring comfortable clothes and two short poems of your choice and come to Tom Collins House, in the Heritage Precinct, Cnrs Kirkwood & Wood Street, Swanbourne on Saturday 29th October 1.30 – 4.30pm

Cost: $45 full, $35 unwaged, $30 FAWWA member. For further information, or to avoid disappointment, please book through TCH: 93844771; or email

Liana Joy Christensen writes and performs in several genres. Originally editor of Western Australia’s Landscope magazine, she was awarded a Creative Arts Doctorate for her stories of the South West of Western Australia. Liana has performed poetry in European and Australian venues, and had work published in literary and scientific journals.

She is interested in collaboration across different art forms and is Biodiversity Poet in Residence at the Flourish Festival in Margaret River, October 6-8th 2011, Liana will perform tap-dancing, rap ballad written in honour of Charles Darwin.

Her new book Deadly Beautiful is released in November. She will be part of the Fremantle Press Performance Poets Collection released in 2012.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Submissions: dotdotdash Issue 9: Recursive

Event Description

Get meta. Get self-referential. Repeat yourself (repeat yourself). Write it
 out by hand and then rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite. Reclaim your
childhood cursive. Be self-conscious about everything. (But we accept
non-themed work, too.)
The dotdotdash Recursive Poetry Competition

dotdotdash is hosting a competition! In the spirit of the Recursive theme,
we are looking for sestinas, pantoums and villanelles to publish in our
ninth issue. While these forms of poetry are not ‘recursive’ in the
strictest sense of the word, we are interested in the limitations (and
possibilities) created by the repetition of particular words and phrases.
 The competition’s first prize is a choice of $250 or three reference texts,
 with the winner and four honourable mentions receiving publication
 indotdotdash Issue 9. There is an entry fee of $5 per poem. For more
 details, please check the competition guidelines.
But don’t forget our regular submission categories – guidelines for
 submitting poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction and visual art can be found.
All submissions will close on 24 October 2011 at 5pm (West
Australian Time).

Submission Guidelines   

Competition Guidelines