Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thanks to Kalgoorlie Writers Group and Mulla Mulla Press

Andrew Burke holding forth.

Goldfields Writers Group paying attention.

I spent this afternoon at William Grundt Memorial Library, reading poems from QWERTY (Mulla Mulla Press) and UNDERCOVER OF LIGHTNESS (Walleah Press, 2012). It was an intimate group of ten people, from a bush poet to a PhD candidate in Creative Writing - or should I put it the other way around? The questions were great and lead to good discussions. So thanks to the Goldfields Writers Group and Coral Carter and Terry who were my hosts. (I even sold a few books!)
Coral took me on a tour of the town, and it has changed over the years. Many an old pub has closed down and the old brothels have closed (all except one, I believe) - has religion hit the goldfields? No! It's just the shift in where to make the most money. It ain't in poetry, I can assure you - but then poetry is a 'gift economy', isn't it.

Can Opium or Illness explain a Keats poem?

QUOTE: The mental fever of making poems was, for Keats, a medical issue. When he fell ill, beginning in 1817, the doctors always tried to stop him from writing poetry. One physician kept dosing Keats with mercury, hoping to cure his recurring sore throat and perhaps a case of venereal disease, for which mercury, a dangerous substance, was a standard treatment at the time. And every doctor — even Keats himself, who had medical training — advised the use of laudanum, a tincture of opium in alcohol. Keats had given it to his brother Tom in late 1818 to ease his pain and suppress his tubercular cough when he was dying, and Keats had used it to help himself sleep during that terrible time. For someone as ill as Keats would be, it was a palliative, not a hallucinogen. That he used it makes no difference at all to our estimate of the man or his poems.
As Nicholas Roe writes in his new biography of Keats, “it is difficult to appreciate how commonplace an opium habit was in Keats’s lifetime.”

Read on HERE 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Literary Events far and wide!

This SUNDAY 2pm - 4pm
Andrew Burke reading followed by informal workshop


Then, NEXT THURSDAY in Narrogin -

Followed by -

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Fall Issue of *The Hamilton Stone Review* is now live online!

*The Hamilton Stone Review*
Issue Number 27, Fall 2012 <>

Poetry by Alan Britt, Bill Brown, Keith Dunlap, Myron Ernst, Susan Firer,
Howie Good, James Grabill, Jeff Gundy, Rachel N. Heller, Len Krisak,
Casandra Lopez, Paul Nelson, Genevieve Payne, Simon Perchik, Ned Randle,
Lois Roma-Deely, Elaine Sexton, Tim Suermondt, Lee Upton, and David
Woodward; Fiction by Deborah Clearman, Valerie Fox and Arlene Ang, Mike
Maggio, Charles Rammelkamp, Andreas Trolf, and Eva White.

Poetry Editor Roger Mitchell
Fiction Editor Nathan Leslie
Fiction Executive Editor Lynda Schor

*The Hamilton Stone Review*
Issue Number 27, Fall 2012 <>

Monday, September 24, 2012

Louis Simpson, RIP.

"A poet," Louis Simpson once wrote, "should wish for enough unhappiness to keep him writing."
Simpson may not have wished for trouble, but he kept writing for 60 years — spare, powerful poems about war, infidelity, suburban alienation and other modern ailments that brought a Pulitzer Prize and wide recognition as a perceptive, if cynical, analyst of the American dream.
A native Jamaican of Scottish and Russian descent, Simpson died in his sleep Sept. 14 in Stony Brook, N.Y. He was 89 and had Alzheimer's disease, said his daughter, Anne B. Simpson.
Here's a good comment from a reader:
I'm sorry, Walt, but the public
these days doesn't read anything.
The public watches TV.
That's all right by me.
Popularity out of the way,
we can get on with art…

Only Louis Simpson could write those words so consisely and elegantly. We need more poetry in our lives. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Zukofsky’s concept of poetry

 In [Louis] Zukofsky’s poem, it has the word, “music,” just above its top, and the word, “speech,” just below its bottom.
According to the poem, this represents Zukofsky’s concept of poetry.  
Quoted from an extremely interesting article for all poets by Bob Grumman

Would I admit to rearing one of these?

Only joking, as a million kids around the world say each day. 
I'm the proud father of the laughing clown and the equally proud father-in-law 
of the smiling girl with the golden locks ... 
They were let out of their cage for the night. 
Now, back to bed to wake up to parenthood at dawn :-)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Ballad of Moondyne Joe with authors, John Kinsella and Niall Lucy.

Moondyne Joe is a much-mythologised character of early West Australian colonial history.

A serial escapee, Joe was a cult figure of the convict era but little concrete is known about him. In The Ballad of Moondyne Joe, acclaimed West Australian poet John Kinsella and writer/academic, Niall Lucy, attempt to fill in the gaps with poetry and essays that, in their tone, reflect Joe’s anti-establishment reputation.

This will be Kinsella’s first reading in some years, and comes after being recently twice-shortlisted for the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Prize for Armour (poetry), and In the Shade of a Shady Tree (fiction).

Niall Lucy has published widely, particularly in theory, but more recently Vagabond Holes, a tribute to Dave McComb and The Triffids, and the collation of McComb’s poetry, Beautiful Waste.

Kinsella and Lucy will be at Crow Books on Monday 1st of October to read from the book and to talk about the legacy of Moondyne Joe.

All welcome:
Crow Books
900 Albany Hwy
7pm Monday, 1st of October

A small poem with a big influence ...

by T. E. Hulme

A touch of cold in the Autumn night
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded;
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children. 


This 'simple' poem changed the course of Poetry in English. Ezra Pound praised it and wrote the Imagiste manifesto with Hulme. This 7-line poem was one of the seeds of the Imagism movement, a school, short-lived, with a lasting effect on English poetry in the 20th Century, lingering still.

Thanks to Poem-A-Day for putting it up today!

ABC Jazz Coming Attractions

Rare Miles broadcastJazztrack with Mal Stanley
Rare Miles broadcast
Live on-air: Sat 22 Sep 5:05pm
On Jazztrack, Miles Davis' live radio recording from Birdland in NY, broadcast just prior to his sextet's famous 'Kind of Blue' sessions in 1959...
Details and repeat broadcast times here...
Lighting the wayJazztrack with Mal Stanley
Lighting the way
Live on-air: Sun 23 Sep 5:05pm
The Lighthouse Trio from the UK combine percussion, piano and various reed instruments. Hear this and more on Jazztrack with Mal Stanley.
Details and repeat broadcast times here...
East meets westJazz Notes with Ivan Lloyd
East meets west
Live on-air: Mon 24 Sep 2:00pm
On this edition of Jazz Notes, Ivan Lloyd presents music from the latest Guy Strazz album 'Eastern Blues'. More here.
Details and repeat broadcast times here...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sketches of Kerouac - a rare resource

Jack Kerouac was more than the word-slinging reactionary alcoholic writer portrayed by the popular media. He was a very complex man with a multitude of influences, spiritually and literary, at a time when the world was recovering from WWII. Until relatively recently his personal notebooks have not been accessible to biographers and scholars, but now that they are, a whole new depth of portraiture is possible.

Paul Maher Jr is a seasoned Kerouac researcher who now publishes an indepth blog entitled Sketches of Kerouac, presenting lots of interesting material, most of it extracted from the notebooks.

Take a few hours off and rummage through this lot:

And. just for your interest, here's the first edition cover of On The Road:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hear Dorothy Porter on ABC's poetica ...

Dorothy Porter 

Hear Dorothy Porter's ABC Radio Natioinal's poetica program at

The Tom Collins Poetry Prize 2012 is now open for entries.

This is an annual competition inaugurated by FAWWA in 1975 in memory of Australian author Joseph Furphy (1843 – 1912) who wrote as Tom Collins. His most famous work is Such is Life, published in 1903. Furphy believed he had written a moral for his age and, he hoped, a moral for all times and places about the human situation. Like all great confessions about life it had come out of his own experiences, as a bullock-driver in the Riverina.

For any queries visit - email or phone 08 9384 4771
Or you may send a self-address stamped envelope to FAWWA, PO Box 6180, Swanbourne WA 6910

Tom Collins House in Swanbourne, Western Australia, once the residence of Joseph Furphy is now the headquarters of the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA branch, Western Australia's state-wide network for writers since 1938.

From the Desk of Australian Poetry ...

Dear Members,
Australian Poetry is taking the time up to Christmas to consolidate our foundations and make plans for a bright new 2013. We would like to welcome all of our new members to our fortnightly newsletter, and to extend our gratitude to members who have renewed already for 2013.
In the office, we've also been celebrating the recent achievements of many Australian poets.
Congratulations to Tracy Ryan, who this week won the Western Australian Premier's Book Award for Poetry for her collection The Argument (Fremantle Press)!
We also extend our congratulations to Peter Rose, who won the new Queensland Literary Awards Judith Wright Calanthe Poetry Award for Crimson Crop (UWA Publishing), Amanda Johnson, whose collection The Wind-Up Birdman of Moorabool Street (Puncher & Wattmann) won the 2012 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, and Mal McKimmie, whose second collection, The Brokenness Sonnets I-III and Other Poems (Five Islands Press) was awarded The Age Poetry Book of the Year.

Your membership helps us to support a wide range of programs and activities that develop the skills of all Australian poets. If you haven't yet renewed your membership, you can do so at any time on our website.

Please direct any membership enquiries to

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feather on the breath of god - Eureka Street

Feather on the breath of god - Eureka Street Mark Tredinnick poems to read and to hear.  Eureka Street is a long time supporter of Australian poetry through its creative pages. Have a read of the archives and submit some poems yourself.

Mark Tredinnick, winner of the Montreal Poetry Prize, is the author of The Blue Plateau, Fire Diary, and nine other acclaimed works of poetry and prose. He lives in the NSW Southern Highlands.  

Calls for submissions: 2013 Valentine's Day Poetry Event

Following a successful 2012 Valentine’s Day Poetry Event in the Japanese Garden at the Perth Zoo, WA Poets Inc will present a similar event in 2013 (Thursday 14th February, 7 – 10 pm).


As part of the forward planning we are requesting submissions for the following:

1)   suggestions of a name for the event.

2)  expressions of interest from poets wishing to participate. Whilst all submissions will be considered, preference will be given to WA Poets Inc members and those who are able to incorporatesound/music and or visuals as part of their poetry. Email a brief bio and synopsis of your planned performance.

3)   expressions of interest from visual artists who wish to suggest and develop concepts and ideas for visual projections onto a rammed earth wall to support/supplement the poetry. Email a brief bio and synopsis of your planned visual concept.

Subject to successful funding applications, a fee will be paid to all performers.

Please email your submissions before Friday 28th Sept. 2012 to: with 2013 Love Poetry as the subject.

Monday, September 17, 2012

American Life in Poetry 391 - Kim Ryan poem introduced by Ted Kooser

Kay Ryan was our [USA] nation’s Poet Laureate at The Library of Congress for the 2008-2010 terms. Her poetry is celebrated for its compression; she can get a great deal into a few words. Here’s an example of a poem swift and accurate as a dart. 


We say
A pin hole
of light. We
can’t imagine
how bright
more of it
could be,
the way
this much
defeats night.
It almost
isn’t fair,
poked this,
with such
a small act
to vanquish

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher ofPoetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2011 by Kay Ryan, whose most recent book of poems is Odd Blocks, Selected and New Poems,Carcanet Press, 2011. Poem reprinted from Poetry, October 2011, by permission of Kay Ryan and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2012 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.

Her twist in the knickers - Noami Wolf & Germaine Greer

Noami Wolf's new title, Vagina, reviewed by Germaine Greer at the Sydney Morning Herald.
The cartoon above is also featured.

Germaine Greer

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bob Dylan, a poet? Some are still asking!

Bob Dylan, Bristol 1966 by brizzle born and bred, under a Creative Commons licence

Some questions are old because they refuse to die. We are heading towards a half century of argument over Bob Dylan’s status, if any, as a poet. Not only is the jury still out, it seems to have fled the building, brawling each step of the way.
Some people can’t see the problem. John Berryman, for one, said that 'of course' Dylan was a poet (and an abomination). Allen Ginsberg, first of the literary groupies, was brought to tears by the verses and the possibilities of 'A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall'.
Robert Lowell meanwhile judged – with no possibility of appeal – that Dylan, an 'alloy', could manage lines of poetry, but not entire poems. The singer also required the 'crutch' of his guitar, said a poet leaning on a pen. Why the use of an instrument counted as a criterion was not explained.

Merv Lilley - 93 today! Rock on, Merv!

Thanks for this marvellous pic, Rosie.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 Man Booker Prize Shortlist

2012 shortlist announced

The six books were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. The shortlisted books were selected from the longlist of 12 announced in July. 
The shortlist is:
Author, Title (Publisher)
Tan Twan EngThe Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Deborah LevySwimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)
Hilary MantelBring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison MooreThe Lighthouse (Salt)
Will SelfUmbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet ThayilNarcopolis (Faber & Faber)

Peter Stothard, Chair of judges, comments: “After re-reading an extraordinary longlist of twelve, it was the pure power of prose that settled most debates. We loved the shock of language shown in so many different ways and were exhilarated by the vigour and vividly defined values in the six books that we chose – and in the visible confidence of the novel's place in forming our words and ideas.”

The 2012 shortlist includes two debut novels, three small independent publishers, two former shortlisted authors and one previous winner. Of the six writers, three are men and three are women; four are British, one Indian and one Malaysian.

The winner of the 2012 prize will be announced at a dinner at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday 16 October, in a ceremony covered by the BBC. Each of the six shortlisted writers is awarded £2,500 and a specially commissioned beautifully handbound edition of his/her book. The winner receives a further £50,000.

Amber Fresh at WA Art Gallery this Friday

Friday.17:30 until 22:00.. Rabbit Island, AKA Perth songstress Amber Fresh, presents a one-off show. Literally, each Rabbit Island performance is different to the last in its line-up, set list, and improvisation.

As Rabbit Island, Fresh is joined by a changing list of local and interstate musicians to produce a blen of indie, pop and all-round chilled, beautiful music.

On Friday nights AGWA will feature an array of cultural delights from 5.30pm. Soak up the ambience of the live performances and enjoy drinks in our Manhattan Bar and...the inspiring artwork upstairs in our current Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters exhibition.

AGWA Nights’ music is powered by The West Australian Music Industry Association Inc.

Date: Friday 14 September.
Gallery opens at 5.30 pm, performance commences at 7pm.
Cost: $19 (includes entry into Picasso to Warhol)
*This is an 18+ event. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Buy tickets here:

Visit website:

Art Gallery of Western Australia

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia 6000

Monday, September 10, 2012

This Saturday, Perth Poetry Club - Dennis Haskell + Chris Ingram (North Wales)

At the Moon Saturday 15th September, 2012: Perth Poetry Club presents
2pm, 323 William St Northbridge.

Read our blog to get some background on our magnificent guests.

Poets coming up at Perth Poetry Club:

22nd Sep:Helen Hagemann + Alan Hancock
29th Sep: Cath Drake (UK)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Highwayman - by Alfred Noyes

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle,
   His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
   Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like moldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
   The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
   Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
   (Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the West.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side.
There was death at every window;
   And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast.
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
   Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good.
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood.
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
   Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
   Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love's refrain.
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
   Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
   Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood.
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew gray to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
   The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
   Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.
Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard;
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
   Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

- Alfred Noyes

This poem a childhood favourite, so I was happily surprised when it appeared as Poem-A-Day today at

Saturday, September 08, 2012

From Australian Haiku Society ...

    The fourth issue of A Hundred Gourds, a quarterly journal of haiku, haibun, haiga, tanka and renku poetry is now online: 

    The deadline for all submissions to AHG 2:1(the December issue) is September 15th ...

Friday, September 07, 2012

BONELANDS - poem by Dominic Fox

Call it Jungian cosmic drama -
animus ensnared with anima

poor Tom self-spooked, self-spun
(the lost bead glistens in the web)

"children's author" remakes fiction
into scourging abreaction

what have I done with my shadow
what has it done with me

- Dominic Fox

Amazing video -- 'The chances of anyone coming from Earth are a million to one, he said ..."


“Sssh, don’t say a word –
I’m just thinking of something
I’ve forgotten.” She concentrates.
The pain in my chest lingers.
Then, brightly she says,
“Will we have chicken and spaghetti,
Tonight, or will we just have
Baked beans?” Another sharp twinge.
I straighten up and breathe in.
“Well, you always have it easy,
Not having to make these questions …”

- Andrew Burke

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine

Open Door Cover
And now for something completely different. The most important and enduring poets have been published in Poetry magazine, founded a century ago in Chicago by Harriet Monroe. In a few days, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the magazine, we will release The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of Poetry Magazine edited by Don Share and Christian Wiman

Pre-order the book at 30% off—just $14.00 or 14 cents per poem!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

LOVE - available now 33 poems by Frances Macaulay Forde

Before you…

… I slept in a bed
without creases
only pulled up
the sheet to straighten
smooth – no effort at all
ready for the next dreamtime
now I love my wrinkles…

Frances Macaulay Forde
I asked my friend Frances here if I could hijack her poem for this blog. and she generously said 'yes'. As it turns out, it is one of the poems in her latest publication, LOVE, a chapbook available HERE.

'Love' - a chapbook containing 33 poems
PRICE: $10 + $2 p&h
Click HERE

Monday, September 03, 2012

Friday, bring your poems to read at Perth Library

As part of National Poetry Week, the City of Perth Library is hosting on Fri. 7 September 12 noon - 2 pm - OPEN MIC with Kevin Gillam, who will also play the cello. Everyone welcome to attend and read their own work or recite someone else’s poetry.

The Library is now situated at Level 1, 140 William St, which is a multistory complex at the corner of the Murray St Mall and William St.

Access to the Library is by escalator from the Murray St Mall, near the Coffee Club cafe.
Just follow the walkway and you will see the Library signs on our doors and window panels.

 Alternately you can walk through the GPO building from Forrest Place and come up the escalators, which you will see as soon as you come into the small open space beyond the GPO building.


Saturday 22 September 2012
Boyd Education Centre, Riversdale
Gates open 1.30pm, reading 2.30pm
Cafe & Bar available onsite
Tickets $20 adult, $15 concession,
Shoalhaven FAW members $10.
Children under 16 FREE
The program will also include readings by the Kitchen Table Poets and an Open Mic session.

Prize winners of the Shoalhaven Literary Award: Poetry 2012, the prestigious poetry prize run by Shoalhaven Branch, Fellowship of Australian Writers will be announced.

Bookings: 02 4422 2100 or
Les Murray
A selection of Les Murray's poems short enough for comfortable on-sceen reading forms the heart of