Friday, November 30, 2012

Van Walker sings Les Murray at The Drunken Boat

from Larry Shwartz at Sydney Morning Herald 

Drawn to the words of Les Murray, Van Walker sets them to music.

VAN Walker has fun with words and ideas, rhythm and rhyme. ''Creativity, to my mind, is basically playing games and the problem-solving that comes from a play instinct,'' he says.


The prolific singer-songwriter will next week perform on the same bill in West Melbourne as one of Australia's foremost poets. He will sing songs, including his versions of two poems by Les Murray, in Melbourne for a series of readings.
Walker was a student in Burnie, on the north-west coast of Tasmania, when he was first taken by the work of the poet from Bunyah, on the north coast of New South Wales.

Walker's passionate, always engaging and robust live performances along with his storytelling flair on albums since 2008's The Celestial Railroad has won him acclaim and a strong following. He will play at The Drunken Poet after readings by Murray and nine poets from the Melbourne Writers Festival Poetry Idol event.

His favourite lyricists include Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Captain Beefheart, Bon Scott and Mick Jagger, an underrated lyricist for whom, like Dylan, ''the literal meaning is secondary to the sound and feeling''. ''I don't reckon Jagger sweats over his lyrics either,'' he says. ''I don't imagine he overworks them. It's instinctual; same with Dylan. Though I assume Townes worked his lyrics hard on the page and drafted each line of his songs like a poet.''

Van Walker and Les Murray will be at The Drunken Poet in West Melbourne on Thursday, December 6.

Read more:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Keeping in touch with MONA

I am an enormous fan of MONA down in Tassie. I would like to support its existence in anyway possible, but I will start with directing you to MONA's spirited blog. A sad first item up at present, but lots of interesting posts about amazing artworks.
Let's get behind this national treasure, folks!
From the Feet to the Brain - copyright Jan Fabre 2009

Queensland Poetry Festival 2013: expressions of interest NOW OPEN

Queensland Poetry Festival is currently inviting proposals from poets, spoken word artists, and performers interested in being part of the 17th annual festival, ​spoken in one strange word.
QPF looks forward to hearing from individuals and groups interested in performing at the three-day festival spoken in one strange word. We are looking for submissions that embrace the wide possibilities of poetic expression – page poetry, readings, slam, spoken word, performance, music, ekphrastic poetry, collaborations, installations, cross-platform creations, and more.
While all projects must have a relationship to poetic language, we encourage submissions from artists wishing to explore the relationship between poetry and other art forms.


Expressions of Interest should be sent to: Queensland Poetry Festival, PO Box 3488, South Brisbane QLD 4101

Submission deadline: Tuesday 19 February, 2013

QPF 2013 runs from 23 - 25 August at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Please spread the word far and wide, and If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on sarah.qldpoetry[at]

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hurry! Days are running out to send entries to Irish Haiku Competition!

Irish Haiku Society

IHS International Haiku Competition 2012 Rules

The Competition Prizes

The IHS International Haiku Competition offers prizes of 
Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30
for unpublished haiku/senryu in English.
In addition there will be up to seven Highly Commended haiku/senryu.
Entrants may win more than one prize.


All the entries shall be postmarked by 30th November 2012. Overseas (non-EU) entries mailed in the month up to and including this closing date must be sent by airmail.

Address for entries:

The IHS International Haiku Competition 2012
75 Willow Park Grove
Dublin 11
See more information about this competition and other Irish Haiku activities at

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

See how an 'innocent' poem can be so misread!


Sit in the car with the headlights off.
Look out there now
where the yellow moon floats silks across the birdcage.
You might have touched that sky you lost.
You might have split that azure violin in two.


To read about the old uproar about this poem, click HERE.

FREE! Lawrence Upton's WRACK

A free e-book of Lawrence Upton's WRACK is available from
 _Quarter After_ press in USA. Download it from _Issuu_.

You need to join _Issuu _to download; but it is relatively mild and
apparently relatively benign data capture; they let you select your


Quarter After home site:

WRACK contains three sets of writing: _I wrack_, _Intimacies_ and
_pages from a book of the dead._The writing is solo and polyvocal,
variously and sometimes simultaneously. There are multivoice texts;
and a range of visual texts.

Andrew: I haven't read it yet, but I am always interested in Lawrence's work. Please feel free to send responses to this blog or directly to me at burkeandre(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, November 26, 2012

POETRY REVIEW: Due out soon: Order now.


‎'Offending Frequencies', edited by Bernardine Evaristo, is the winter issue of ...
Poetry Review - out on/around 14 December!

Contributions from poets including Jacqueline Saphra, Jemma Borg, Valerie Laws, Richard Scott, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrán, Rody Gorman, Warsan Shire, Roger Robinson, Nabila Jameel, Suzanne Conway, Ivy Alvarez, Katie Hale, Simon McCormack, Abegail Morley, Katrina Naomi, Dorothea Smartt, Steve Tasane, Edward Doegar, Sophie Mayer, Charlotte Ansell, Jay Bernard, Tolu Ogunlesi, Marvin Thompson, Ishion Hutchinson, Sonnet L’Abbé, Roger Robinson, Kayo Chingonyi, Anthony Joseph, Nick Makoha, Jocelyn Page, Caroline Smith, Mir Mahfuz Ali, Ivy Alvarez, Diriye Osman, Hannah Lowe, Moya Pacey, Yemisi Blake, Elmi Ali, Jo Brandon, Suzi Feay, Rowyda Amin, Nicholas Laughlin, Dzifa Benson, Sophie Clarke, Matthew Gregory, Brigid Rose, Ishion Hutchinson, Geraldine Clarkson, Pascale Petit, Ranjit Hoskote, Cherry Smyth, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Kwame Dawes, Saradha Soobrayen, Michael Horovitz, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Alison Brackenbury, David Morley, Rob A. Mackenzie, & Sarah Wardle.

See more by: The Poetry Society

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

There is an art to doing as little as possible,
more art than science, I think.
For a poet it's an important art to learn,
and over time to hone.
- August Kleinzahler

Anonymous sketch ...

It's a tough life, being a doorgirl. Right? Right.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

'Recalculating' - Bernstein's NEW Book

Long anticipated, Recalculating is Charles Bernstein’s first full-length collection of new poems in seven years. As a result of this lengthy time under construction, the scope, scale, and stylistic variation of the poems far surpasses Bernstein’s previous work. Together, the poems of Recalculating take readers on a journey through the history and poetics of the decades since the end of the Cold War as seen through the lens of social and personal turbulence and tragedy.
from University of Chicago Press.
Rae Armantrout
Recalculating gathers a substantial selection of (mostly) new poems—a few go as far back as the 80s and 90s—in a remarkably coherent and enlightening collection—though I’m certain Bernstein would abjure both of those adjectives. He has always rejected the idea of the poem as honed and polished object, and the poems in this book are as open as life itself. One thing that Recalculating makes clear is that, though Bernstein can deliver some ‘killer’ aphorisms, he is primarily a poet of abjection. He has always been drawn, as he puts it here, to the ‘painfully clumsy, clumpsy.’ Slapstick is bunkmates with failure and even heartbreak. This is especially evident in recent poems such as “Recalculating” and “Before You Go” which directly or indirectly reference the sudden death of the poet’s daughter. It is breathtaking—disturbing and admirable—that grief appears in these poems, as it does in life, alongside—well, alongside everything.”

PS: I had this title filed away as a possible for my next collection. Oh well, back to the writing board.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Make the most of FREE MONA

1. FERRY (feel the wind in your 'fro).
2. BUS (with your groupies).
3. TAXI (just like being chauffeured, minus the limo).
4. BIKE (because you’re just that socially responsible).
5. (MOON) WALK (see option 4).
6. SEAPLANE* (for real. Click here).
7. HELICOPTER** (because you’re a superstar).
8. PARACHUTE* (diva).
9. DRIVE*** (limited parking available).
10. DONKEY (organise your own).
Depart from the MONA Brooke Street Ferry Terminal (Hobart) at:
9.30am, 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm

Depart from MONA at:
10am, 11.30am, 12.45pm, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm

The ferry can be booked online, over the phone, or at museum reception or Navigators reception. It’s best to book in advance.

Booking line (03) 6223 6064

Buses will depart from the MONA Brooke Street Ferry Terminal (Hobart) at:
9.30am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm

Depart MONA at:
4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6pm

Mona Roma buses can be booked over the phone or at museum reception or Navigators reception. It’s best to book in advance.

Booking line (03) 6223 6064

You can also visit the Metro Tasmania website for their timetables.

A free bike parking service will be run by Bicycle Tasmania out the front of Cellar Door between 1pm and 6pm.

Taxis will drop passengers off at the MONA bus stop.
* Seriously, this is not a joke
** Not available
*** Please reconsider
This free event brings the sound of Motown and African American Gospel to MONA, via Andrew Legg and the ARIA-winning Southern Gospel Choir.

Standing in the Shadows of MONA is for the whole family – and you’ll want to sing along, a la The Sound of Music but with less nuns and goats and stuff, and more:
The Southern Gospel Choir trumpets joy in joining in, and celebrates community. Its roots draw from the musical history of slavery: exuberance in the face of oppression. Cut loose, cut sick, and kick back on the beanbags on the MONA lawns.

Be there or be a massive, boring square.
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25 NOV
2-5 PM
Museum of Old and New Art
655 Main Road
Berriedale, 7011
03 6277 9900

Coming attraction: Sappho's last poetry night of 2012

  • 19:00 until 22:00
  • For Sappho Cafe and Bookstore's last poetry night of the year, the second Tuesday of December, we have special guest poets Peter Boyle, Philip Hammial and Michelle Cahilll, plus the open mic section.


    is a Sydney poet and translator of French and Spanish poetry. He has published five collections of poetry, including most recently 'Apocrypha' which won the Queensland Premier's Poetry Prize and the ARTS ACT Judith Wright Award. He had read at the Struga Poetry Festival in Macedonia, as well as poetry festivals in Medellín, Caracas and Paris. A new collection 'Towns in the Great Desert' is forthcoming from Puncher & Wattmann in 2013. Among his translations of Spanish poetry are 'Anima' by José Kozer (2011) and 'The Trees: selected poems of Eugenio Montejo' (2004).

    writes poetry and fiction. She is the editor of Mascara Literary Review and co-editor of the forthcoming Puncher and Wattmann anthology of Asian-Australian Poetry. She has been shortlisted and highly commended in several prizes, notably the Blake Poetry Prize, the Wesley Michel Wright and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for her collection 'Vishvarupa'. She was awarded the Val Vallis Award and the Inverawe Poetry Prize. Her poetry is anthologised in '30 Australian Poets', edited Felicity Plunkett, and '51 Contemporary Australian Poets', edited by Pam Brown. 'Nightbirds' (Vagabond Press, 2012) is her latest chapbook.

    has had 25 collections of poetry published, two of which were shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize & one for the ACT Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in 26 poetry anthologies & in 90 journals in ten countries. He has represented Australia at seven major international poetry festivals, most recently at Medellin in Colombia. For six months in 2009/10 he was the Australian Writer-in-Residence at the Cité International in Paris. Also an artist, Hammial has had 30 solo exhibitions & has participated in 70 group exhibitions including two in Paris. Travelling for a total of eleven years, he has visited 81 countries. His latest collection of poems is called 'Detroit' (Island Press, 2012).

    for the open mic section, just turn up on the night and put your name down. Up to two minutes each, preferably one poem each. Spots are limited so get in early.


    Come and celebrate a great year of poetry nights at Sappho's in the courtyard garden with some more great poetry, wine and tapas! And maybe some Christmas cheer...

    Sappho's Cafe and Bookstore, 51 Glebe Pt Rd, Glebe, NSW
  • Wednesday, November 21, 2012

    Bad Sex Awards on again!

    A Newsnight editor has been shortlisted for a Bad Sex award by the Literary Review.

    Paul Mason, who is the economics editor of the BBC programme, could win the prize for having written the worst sex scene in fiction over the past year, according to the Evening Standard.

    The 52-year-old from Leigh in Lancashire is nominated for a passage in his debut book Rare Earth, which features an overweight businessman struggling to manoeuvre himself into a tantric position:

    “He began thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum but missing, his paunchy frame shuddering with the effort of remaining rigid and upside down. ‘The cartel, sells, to the global market,’ he panted... He switched to some ancient steppe language as he ejaculated, blubbering and incoherent.”

    More to read HERE

    Announcement Invitation

    Rome Studio

    AEAF CIBO Espresso Studio at the British School at Rome
    supported by the Helpmann Academy

    Please join us for the announcement of the
    inaugural winner of this prestigious residency
    Speaker: the Hon. John Hill, Minister for the Arts
    Announcement of winner: Roberto Cardone,
    Founder and Director, CIBO Espresso Australia
    Wednesday 28 November 2012
    6.00pm for a 6.30pm start
    Australian Experimental Arts Foundation
    Lion Arts Centre, North Tce, Adelaide
    Prosecco and Sangiovese wines courtesy
    of Coriole Vineyards

    Guests are invited to remain after 7.30pm to hear an illustrated lecture
    about Contemporary art in Rome by Christine Morrow,
    Director, Australian Experimental Art Foundation

    australian experimental art foundation | lion arts centre, north terrace;
    morphett st, adelaide, south australia | | | +61-(0)8-82117505

    follow on Twitter | friend on Facebook | forward to a friend
    Email Marketing Powered by MailChimpCopyright © 2012 Australian Experimental Art Foundation, All rights reserved.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Get those Poetic Feet walking ...

    After a false start last month, Perth Poemambulists will be going for a two-hour stroll at 2pm on Sunday 2nd December.

    Meet at the big screen outside PICA, 53 James Street in the Perth Cultural Centre. Wear comfortable shoes and bring whatever you like to create with: pen, paper. camera, voice, musical instruments, whatever.

    We will go on a gentle stroll focusing on colour, form and texture.

    For more information contact Mar Bucknell at, 9371 3791 or 9361 3280

    Feel free to pass this on to anyone you think may be interested

    Poets from Chile - Adelaide Reading

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    'The Conversation' by David Brooks. UQP (Novel). 2012.

    “Two strangers meet in a restaurant in a piazza in the Italian city of Trieste. Stephen, an Australian engineer living in Paris, and Irena, an Italian translator, share a meal and exchange stories in an atmosphere of geniality and refinement.

    As the story gradually unfolds in conversation, the reader is treated to Brooks’ effortless reflections on culture, language, history, art, love and desire, and all of the thoughts and sensations that strike an Australian in Europe. The play of culture, philosophy and food is reminiscent of John Lanchester’s brilliant The Debt to Pleasure. The chapter titles, Antipasti, followed by Primi Piatti, and Insalata etc., add to the atmosphere of delightful indulgence”.

    Sweet Tweet Bebop

    Who needs reeds, horns and strings when you have the Corowa Bird Chorus!

    This morning I stood under a silver birch and whistled back a tune to a blackbird high in the tree. He whistled an impro on the original theme - and I tried to upstage him with my tuneful reply, but my reed broke on the last note (too high) and things went silent for a moment. Then he replied, again extending the theme, but this time ending with a deliberate squawk of sorts! "Ha," I said in my human speech, "you win!" For wit and technique he was incomparable.

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    Easy access to Beckett pics and film clips.

    A great photo of Samuel Beckett and his wife Suzanne. Find this and many pics of SB, plus interesting manuscript doodles by the master at Great website!

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    even the outhouse
    has a guardian god...
    plum blossoms

    - Issa 1822

    setchin ni sae kami arite ume no hana

    American Life in Poetry: Column 399 by TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

    Our sense of smell is the one sense most likely to transport us through time. A sniff of fried fish on a breeze and I can wind up in my grandmother’s kitchen sixty years ago, getting ready to eat bluegills. Michael Walsh, a Minnesotan, builds this fine poem about his parents around the odor of cattle that they carry with them, even into this moment.

    Barn Clothes
    Same size, my parents stained and tore
    alike in the barn, their brown hair

    ripe as cow after twelve hours of gutters.
    At supper they spoke in jokey moos.

    Sure, showers could dampen that reek
    down to a whiff under fingernails, behind ears,
    but no wash could wring the animal from their clothes:
    one pair, two pair, husband, wife, reversible.

    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 University of Arkansas Press, from The Dirt Riddles by Michael Walsh, University of Arkansas Press, 2010. Reprinted by permission of Michael Walsh 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.

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    PCWC Glen Phillips' Poetry Prize Results for 2012

     1st Place: Jim Murphy - 'Domesticity'
    2nd Place: Alison Flett - 'Tenebrae'
    3rd Place: Christopher Race - 'On Final Things'

    Highly Commended: Rafael Scomazzon Ward - 'An ugly convalescence'
    Giancarla Curtis - 'Passing Through'
    Kevin Gillam - 'sonnet breathing'
    Rachel Freebury - 'They came'

    Commended: Keren Gila Raiter - 'Days'
    Jerry Dolan - 'For Jean'
    Carmel Summers - 'The Fall'
    C Millner - 'Under the Jacaranda'

    Encouragement Award: Nicholas Langton - 'Poems are gifts'

    Thanks to our 2012 judge, Jackson (aka Janet Jackson), for judging the competition in its inaugural year. Congratulations to the winning poets and thank you to all who entered the competition this year. The judge's report will be available on Peter Cowan Writers Centre website:

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Every grey cloud has a silver lining ...

    Moving into our new house - Fine weather and friendly people.

    We've moved our furniture in and boxes by the dozen of our possessions to our 'new' 90 year old house in Corowa, New South Wales. Slowly putting our stamp on this different house and finding our way around the neighbourhood. Red tape here, forms galore ... Anybody who has up stakes and moved house a long way from starting point knows how it is - busy, busy, busy. 

    Today a man on the corner of our new street smoked out a bee hive. I sympathised with them, having to move on and start all over again.

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    Jill Jones launch at Sappho's tomorrow

    Tuesday 19:00 until 22:00

    • November's poetry night at Sappho's will see the launch of poet Jill Jones's new book, 'Ash is Here, So are Stars', to be launched by Pam Brown. There will be two other poets, Eddie Hopely and Keri Glastonbury, reading their work, and the usual open mic section as well!



      Book Launch: ‘Ash is Here, So are Stars’

      This new book by award-winning poet, Jill Jones, revels in language’s restlessness, enchantment and grit. Its voices are full of complexity and spontaneity, urgency and delight. 'Ash is Here, So are Stars' contains an expanded version of the sequence ‘In Fire City', which was shortlisted for the 2011 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize. The 'city' in this sequence is made from textual and material intensities sampled from Australian cities, as well as traces of real and imagined cities that may resemble a London, LA or New York. The book also contains three longer poems that took shape when the poet lived and walked through areas of Sydney.

      Jill Jones's previous books include 'Dark Bright Doors', 'Broken/Open', and 'Screens Jets Heaven', winner of the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize. Her work is represented in a number of major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. She lives in Adelaide.

      Eddie Hopely is a poet from the United States, now based in Sydney. He organized Blanket, a Philadelphia poetics/talk series, and is the author of some chapbooks.

      Keri Glastonbury is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at The University of Newcastle. She completed a DCA at UTS with a thesis titled ‘Shut Up: Nobody Wants To Hear Your Poems’. 'Grit Salute', her first full length collection, has been recently published by SOI3.


      OPEN MIC
      To read your work in the open mic reading, just turn up on the night and put your name on the list. 2mins each so we can fit everyone in.

      FOOD & WINE
      The wine and tapas bar will be open so you can have a meal and glass/bottle of wine whilst listening to the poetry.

      Starts at 7:00pm in the garden at Sappho Cafe and Bookshop. 
      Look forward to seeing you there.

      51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, New South Wales