Friday, May 31, 2013

Red Wheelbarrow Books Reading Friday 7th June

  • Red Wheelbarrow Books, 105 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
  • featuring poets, writers & musicians:


    Enquiries: George,, 0438656313
  • See ya there. 
    andrew burke

    andy jackson 

The 8 best poet-on-poet profiles in Jacket's first 5 years


From left to right: Ann Waldman, Lytle Shaw, Rob Wilson, Marjorie Allen Seiffert
I took the pleasure recently of re-reading nearly everything published in the first 17 issues of Jacket magazine. Then I went back through quickly, identifying eight poet/critic-on-poet profiles that I found most impressive and memorable. Many of these I recalled from the first time I’d read them in the magazine. For what it's worth, here are — to me — the eight best essay-profiles published in the first five years of the magazine:
1. Eliot Weinberger on James Laughlin (#2; 1998)
2. Rob Wilson on Jack Spicer (#7; 1999)
3. Lytle Shaw on Frank O’Hara (#10; 1999)
4. Stephen Vincent on Joanne Kyger (#11; 2000)
5. Tom Orange on Clark Coolidge (#13; 2001)
6. Brian Kim Stefans on Ian Hamilton Finlay (#15, 2001)
7. Ann Waldman on Kenneth Koch (#15; 2001)
8. Catherine Daly on Marjorie Allen Seiffert (#17; 2002)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dangerously Poetic Byron Bay Writer’s Festival Prize

Dangerously Poetic Press and the Byron Bay Writer's Festival are co-sponsoring a national poetry prize to be awarded at the Byron Bay Writer's Festival 2013 on 3 August. 

Poets are invited to write up to 40 lines on the theme Ordinary Miracles - Poems of the wondrous and strange. 

Judge Cate Kennedy will personally award the prizes at the Festival. 

First Prize: $500, a 3-day pass to the Byron Bay Writer's Festival 2013, publication in Dangerously Poetic's upcoming anthology (projected launch date 4/2014), a free copy of the anthology and chance to read the poem at the festival. 

Second Prize: $100, a 3-day pass to Byron Bay Writer's Festival 2013, publication in DP's upcoming anthology. 

Entries close 7 June. For details, click here.

What advice do you give aspiring writers?

RODNEY HALL – author of Popeye Never Told You: Childhood Memories of the War

Taste: 10.
Read. Read. Read. Read books that challenge and stimulate you. Don’t waste your life on time-filling entertainments. Love the language and use it to the full, stretching it if you are able. Find out everything you can about words, their origin and use. Think about them. ‘Feel’ them. Feel the rhythms they create. Experiment to create different emphases by changing word order or choice of vocabulary. Get the best dictionary you can afford and a Roget’s Thesaurus (and if you’ve already got a thesaurus arranged as a dictionary, throw it away, it’s rubbish). Like anything, if you want to be good at it you have to practise. And remember that what you read will shape what you write. Choose well and aim high.
Rodney Hall

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Travel Notes Ha ha

Have you ever travelled there, with or without a paddle? 
They also stock barbed wire canoes.

'The Rite of Spring' 100 years ago Today!

The Royal Ballet's production of Kenneth MacMillan's 'The Rite of Spring' in 2011.

On May 29, 1913, the audience at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris settled in for a performance by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. There were three pieces on the bill, but it was the debut of "The Rite of Spring," with music by Igor Stravinsky and choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky, that would transform this night at theater into one of the most influential cultural moments of the 20th century. The piece broke sharply with the ballet-centric approach to dance and expanded the range of classical music, causing a disturbance that has fascinated the arts world for a century.
Members of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company rehearse a new 'The Rite of Spring,' marking the work's centennial.
Wednesday marks the 100th anniversary of that night, and the occasion is being celebrated before, on and after the actual date with all the special events that typically spring up around landmark moments in classical music. Unlike other anniversaries (May 22, for example, was the 200th anniversary of Wagner's birth), this one feels a bit more accessible. There's been an ongoing festival-like vibe around "The Rite of Spring," in part because the audience is effectively doubled—it includes fans of both music and dance—and both camps get to see this old friend fairly frequently.

As a piece of concert music, "The Rite of Spring" is a 35-minute (give or take) work that can round out an evening's program as the crowd-pleaser. To mark the anniversary, the New York Philharmonic opened its 2012-2013 season with "Rite." The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is up next, with performances June 7-9.
On the dance side, the music is irresistible to choreographers, who are always finding new movement territory ever further from the original. On July 6, the Bard SummerScape festival will open with a new dance-theater version by Bill T. Jones and Anne Bogart; the production will travel to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in October. (It had its premiere at the University of North Carolina's festival, "The Right of Spring at One Hundred," which is wrapping up).

Offstage "Rite," of course, has its historic back story: It marks the collaboration of two seminal artists who turned Paris upside down. So many debates linger about the impact of its debut, you kind of expect Nancy Grace to weigh in. The crowd's reaction has been described as a "riot," but were fashionable Parisians in fact violently protesting? Or did witnesses just not have a word for "mosh pit"? First-hand accounts report that there were vocal objections, so loud that the dancers onstage couldn't hear the music. Or was the drama secretly manufactured for publicity by Diaghilev, the impresario of the Ballets Russes?

Some of this will be addressed on Wednesday during a 24-hour "Rite of Spring" marathon on Q2 Music, the contemporary classical online station of WQXR. Host and curator Phil Kline says the musical segments will be a "hit parade of recordings." Also slated are unusual arrangements, including one for solo piano, to be performed live by Vicky Chow of Bang on a Can All Stars, in WNYC's Greene Space studio at 7 p.m.

Other celebrations will focus on the creative collaboration between Stravinsky and Nijinsky. NPR has been running a contest inviting listeners to submit videos of their own choreography to the music; the best will be posted Wednesday on the station's blog. There's even a new children's book, "When Stravinksy Met Nijinsky," written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer, that emphasizes the actual history of the work, as well as the concepts of exchanging ideas and artistic friendship.

For lovers of "The Rite of Spring," the reasons to see it time and again are all in the details. Different orchestras and conductors bring their own artistic choices. Arrangements, like Ms. Chow's for solo piano, present new ways of hearing a piece originally written for a large orchestra. "It is incredibly thick," said Mr. Kline, adding that the pianist's main question is: "Which elements can I get my two hands to cover?"

The changes are more visible when choreographers explore their visions. The late Pina Bausch created a version in 1975 that taps into the fierce desperation of both an individual and a zombie-like group dancing on a peat-covered stage. Israeli choreographer Emanuel Gat introduced new constraints in a piece that opened in 2004: He put five dancers in a small rectangle of red light and had them perform a steady stream of cold-but-hot salsa moves.

The New York-based choreographer Shen Wei has staged his 2003 version—which uses 15 dancers and a four-hand piano version of the music—at Lincoln Center and the Park Avenue Armory, with an emphasis on the group experiencing a collective tension through movements of extreme precision. Mr. Shen is now in the Netherlands creating a totally new version for the Dutch National Ballet. This one will include some 36 dancers moving to music orchestrated for 100 musicians.

"It was a big challenge to face it again. I have spent so much time working with this one piece of music," the choreographer said, estimating that for the 2003 production he spent about two years listening to the piano version, and for the new edition he spent a year listening to an orchestral version—in both cases focusing on the structure, tension and release in the music.


Thanks to Patrick Speed for the information above.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thursday Poetry Reading in Burns Beach, WA

American Life in Poetry: Column 427 BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

You can’t get closer to our hunter-gatherer ancestors than by clawing in the earth with your fingers. Here’s a delightful poem about digging for bait by Marsha Truman Cooper, a Californian.

A Knot of Worms 

As day began to break, we passed
the “honk for worms” sign,
passed it honking again
and again, to wake up the worms
my dad said. It was only
about another half mile to
the aspen grove and our worm digs.
The humus, spongy and almost
black, turned over easily.
I used my bare hands to put
some moist earth into a coffee can
and, as the aspen glittered
in the risen sun, I gently
slid the fresh, fat bait into my container.
I heard the worms still in the ground
gurgle as they tried to escape,
while the ones in the can began
to ball up as their numbers grew.
Streamside, surrounded by mountains
with snow lingering into summer,
I picked out a worm and my dad
arranged it on the hook to save
my small fingers. Now you can purchase
a time-share on that land.
The colony of aspen, thinned
by the builders, continues to
tremble. No amount of honking
brings back the worms.

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 ©2012 by Marsha Truman Cooper. In 2013, Finishing Line Press will publish the chapbook, A Knot of Worms. Poem reprinted by permission of Marsha Truman Cooper. Introduction copyright © 2013 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.

Monday, May 27, 2013

FAWWA Hadow-Stuart Short Story Competition deadline July 1st

The closing date for the Hadow Stuart Short Story Competition is now July 1st!

Get your entries in for this annual FAWWA competition which showcases wonderful stories from WA and around the world.

The competition is named after two well-known West Australian writers of short stories, Lyndall Hadow and Donald Stuart (sister and brother).

First Prize is $400, 
Second Prize is $100 
and two Highly Commended stories will win $50 each.

To enter go to:
HSSS entry form 2013.pdf

or contact 
Coordinator FAWWA

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Australia really is a BIG country!

Australians! - make a submission to the ABS re the leading Census question on religion by the 31 May deadline! Questions need to be worded properly so as not to undercount the non-religious. 

Sample submission HERE ( Submissions can be made HERE ( An easy way to make a big difference ...

BookThug comes out dancing for Spring!

Image 560x200
Exclusive video footage of the BookThug Spring Launch, featuring individual author readings, is now online.

Click here to view the launch videos. 

Videos include:

Roger Greenwald reading from Meditations on George de La Tour: Poetry by Paal-Helge Haugen
Kim Minkus reading from TUFT
David Dowker reading from Virtualis: Topologies of the Unreal
Kyle Buckley reading from The Coming Envelope Issue 7
Chris Eaton reading from Chris Eaton, a Biography
Jeramy Dodds reading Canadæ
Phil Hall reading from The Small Nouns Crying Faith
Shannon Maguire reading from fur(l) parachute

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Happy birthday, Bob Dylan

Raymond Foye has generously provided us with this account (that first appeared in the 1998 Dylan anthology, Wanted Man (edited by John Bauldie). The Allen Ginsberg Project today celebrates Bob Dylan's 72nd birthday 

The Night Bob Came Around 

Late one night I sat in Allen Ginsberg's East 12th Street apartment with Allen and Harry Smith, the eminent ethnomusicologist and folklorist. We were looking at a new batch of photographic prints delivered that day by Brian Graham, a freelance printer who had been working for Robert Frank. I had proposed editing a volume of Allen's photographs for the  publisher Twelvetrees Press, and we had set about making an initial selection.

Allen proudly displayed a recent portrait of Harry. "You know you're a real menace with that camera," Harry whined in his nasal drawl, and then announced that, as it was 11 o'clock, he was going to bed. Allen and I resumed work, though we were interrupted a few minutes later when the telephone rang. It was Bob Dylan. Could he come over and play Allen the tape of his new album? Of course, Allen replied, and repeated the address, instructing Dylan to yell up from the street, as the doorbells were all out of order. About 20 minutes later, Dylan stood in the street, shouting Allen's name, as a yellow taxi sped off into the darkness. Allen opened the window and dropped down the keys tied up in an old sock. Dylan let himself in and walked up four flights to the tenement apartment. "Is this sock clean?" he asked in italics.

Dylan carried a six-pack of beer under his arm, and was accompanied by an attractive middle-aged black woman who spoke only with her eyes. 

Continue reading HERE

[Francesco Clemente - Illustration from White Shroud - Allen Ginsberg & Francesco Clemente, Kalakshetra Publications Press, 1983]

Friday, May 24, 2013

Eltham South Fine Art Gallery - SUNDAY POETRY READING

Join us for a Sunday afternoon of Poetry when Judith Rodrigeuz, Alex Skovron and Janet R Boddy read from their recent work at the first of our 'Late Sunday Afternoon Readings' at Eltham South Fine Art Gallery.

The readings have a backdrop of the our current exhibition: 'THE RETRO ELTHAM SHOW' which includes 61 artists' who lived in the Eltham Shire during the 1960 - 1980s.

Also on show will be the portraits painted by Jenni Mitchell of Judith Rodrigeuz and Alex Skovron as part of the '100 Australian Poets' Portraits'. 

RSVP to Jenni on 9439 3458, 0417 585 102 or

Books from the Poets will be available for sale and refreshments will be served. 

Cost: $6.50 donation.
 — with Mervyn Hannan at Eltham South Fine Art Studios & Gallery.

6 Mt Pleasant RoadElthamVIC.(03) 9439 3458 M. 0417 585 102

Thursday, May 23, 2013


  • Partly Cloudy 16°C / 7°C

  • Collected Works Bookshop & University of Queensland Press cordially invite you to a 'collaborative reading' from the new "horizontal narrative", 1953, featuring the eminent poet, Geoff Page, & the well-known actor, Edwina Wren.

    Geoff has published 20 collections of poetry, 2 novels & 5 verse-novels. Recent books include A Sudden Sentence in the Air : Jazz Poems (Extempore Press, '11), Coda for Shirley (Interactive Pres, '11), & Cloudy Nouns (Picaro Press, '12). He's a recipient of the Grace Leven Prize & the Patrick White Award.

    Edwina works in theatre, film, tv & radio. She is a core member of the David Schlusser Ensemble, and most recently appeared in Menagerie as part of the MTC's Neon Season.

    Wine & nibbles will be served.

    All welcome.
    RSVP to Kris, 9654 8873

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Helen Vendler quote on middle-age poets

There's more at the New York Review of Books HERE , but here is a healthy quote from the critic herself:

Helen Vendler reviewed Seamus Heaney’s The Haw Lantern in 1988. It is an essay of great subtlety and complexity that turned on her insight into the challenges poets often face in middle age, when the values that informed their earlier style (“abundance” and “mass and gravity” in Heaney’s case) are falling away: “In their new style they cannot abandon their former selves. The struggle to be one’s old self and one’s new self together is the struggle of poetry itself, which must accumulate new layers rather than discard old ones.”

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Poem by Andrew Taylor

I am acting editor of The Wonder Book of Poetry while Kit Kelen is away and I have been rounding up outstanding poems from friends. This is one I received from Andrew Taylor which I think is so unusual and delightful I wanted to share it here too. Hope you like it, and cruise on over to
to read some more.

How we survived adolescence

Andrew Taylor

Wherever she tumbled I fell
up hill and down dell dale
and wherever we fell I lay I she lay
panting pantless that day

she me on top of me her
on the ridge of shifting sand
the sea pounding below our
frantic & ampersand

later we packed our gear
our thoughts regrets delight over bright as the moon
[later we left the beach
back to our lonely rooms]
a hug a kiss a quick look round
‘I’ll call you soon!’

Saturday, May 18, 2013

While Kit's away, the mice will play ...

Postcard from Kit Kelen - he's away in a distant land. 

Issa Haiku

world of man-- 
in a little stone field 
catching fleas 

Issa 1827 

hito no yo ya ko ishiwara yori nomi utsuru 

David Gerard: A field of stones seems an unlikely place to catch fleas, yet in this “world of man,” this happens. According to the Pure Land Buddhism to which Issa subscribed, we are living in a corrupt age. Issa implies, with a sly smile perhaps, that our time is even corrupt in the smallest of ways

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bob Dylan made honorary member of US Arts Academy

US singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Dylan, who was unable to attend the New York ceremony, said he felt "extremely honoured" and "lucky" to be admitted.

The 71-year-old said he looked forward to meeting the other members of the "pantheon of great individual artists".

more to read HERE

Words of Virginia Woolf

“We live our lives, do whatever we do, and then we sleep. It’s as simple and ordinary as that. A few jump out windows, or drown themselves, or take pills; more die by accident; and most of us are slowly devoured by some disease, or, if we’re very fortunate, by time itself. There’s just this for consolation: an hour here or there when our lives seem, against all odds & expectations, to burst open & give us everything we’ve ever imagined, though everyone but children (and perhaps even they) know these hours will inevitably be followed by others, far darker and more difficult. Still, we cherish the city, the morning, we hope, more than anything for more. Heaven only knows why we love it so.”

Virginia Woolf

Thank you to Moniques Passions for this and other lively quotes and art. See more at

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Artscape: Trailer: The A to Z of Contemporary Art, 10pm Tuesday 11 June, ABC1

Coming up next on Artscape, Artscape: The A to Z of Contemporary Art screens 10pm Tuesday, 11 June on ABC1. Don’t know your biennale from a triennial? The A-Z of Contemporary Art is a guide to the often-impenetrable contemporary art world.

The A to Z of Contemporary Art screens 10pm Tuesday, 11 June on ABC1.

Link:The A to Z of contemporary art ANDREW FROST offers a crash course in bluffing your way through art.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Win tickets to see the Tokyo String Quartet

Everyone knows haikus, but do you know what a tanka is?

Write one for us and you could win a double pass to see the grand masters of the string quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, in their Australian farewell tour.

After more than 40 years the undisputed grand masters of the string quartet are bidding a graceful farewell. Playing a famous collection of Stradivarius instruments, their last concerts in Australia will include some of the pieces which cemented their stellar reputation.
Join Classic Breakfast this week for your chance to see the Tokyo String Quartet on their farewell tour during May/June.
We have three double passes to win for each city on the national tour. For your chance to win, we'd like you to try your hand at the oldest and most popular form of poetry in Japan, tanka. Your tanka must include the word "Tokyo". Good luck!
Tanka is a Japanese poem consisting of five lines, the first and third of which have five syllables and the others seven. Traditionally tanka has had no concept of rhyme. For example:
Beautiful mountains
Rivers with cold, cold water.
White cold snow on rocks
Trees over the place with frost
White sparkly snow everywhere.


Latest TRANSNATIONAL LITERATURE Issue now available FREE and online

Lots to read! Excellent - TRANSNATIONAL LITERATURE at

Flinders was an explorer and so is this ever-evolving online magazine from the university named after him.. Take a look.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The dog poem that made Johnny Carson cry

Plucked from the TV archives: Watch as actor Jimmy Stewart shares a poem about his beloved dog, Beau.

    Jimmy Stewart (left) reads his poem about his dog, Beau, on 'The Tonight Show' in 1981. (Photo: johnnycarson/YouTube)
    Back in 1981, legendary actor James “Jimmy” Stewart, the star of  “It's a Wonderful Life” and too many other classics to list here, went on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” to share his hobby: poetry. The piece that he read was titled "I’ll Never Forget a Dog Named Beau" about Stewart’s golden retriever.
    At first, the poem made Johnny and the audience laugh, but it had a very different effect in the end. Describing it can’t do it justice; it’s something you have to see — and feel — for yourself, so check out the video and read the text below.
    Here’s the text of the poem:
    He never came to me when I would call
    Unless I had a tennis ball,
    Or he felt like it,
    But mostly he didn't come at all.
    When he was young
    He never learned to heel
    Or sit or stay,
    He did things his way.
    Discipline was not his bag
    But when you were with him things sure didn't drag.
    He'd dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
    And when I'd grab him, he'd turn and bite me.
    He bit lots of folks from day to day,
    The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
    The gas man wouldn't read our meter,
    He said we owned a real man-eater.
    He set the house on fire
    But the story's long to tell.
    Suffice it to say that he survived
    And the house survived as well.
    On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
    He was always first out the door.
    The Old One and I brought up the rear
    Because our bones were sore.
    He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
    What a beautiful pair they were!
    And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
    They created a bit of a stir.
    But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
    And with a frown on his face look around.
    It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
    And would follow him where he was bound.
    We are early-to-bedders at our house -- I guess I'm the first to retire.
    And as I'd leave the room he'd look at me
    And get up from his place by the fire.
    He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
    And I'd give him one for a while.
    He would push it under the bed with his nose
    And I'd fish it out with a smile.
    And before very long He'd tire of the ball
    And be asleep in his corner In no time at all.
    And there were nights when I'd feel him Climb upon our bed
    And lie between us,
    And I'd pat his head.
    And there were nights when I'd feel this stare
    And I'd wake up and he'd be sitting there
    And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
    And sometimes I'd feel him sigh and I think I know the reason why.
    He would wake up at night
    And he would have this fear
    Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
    And he'd be glad to have me near.
    And now he's dead.
    And there are nights when I think I feel him
    Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
    And I pat his head.
    And there are nights when I think I feel that stare
    And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
    But he's not there.
    Oh, how I wish that wasn't so,
    I'll always love a dog named Beau.
    A book titled “Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality” published in 2000 contains some information on what happened to Beau, Stewart’s beloved dog. Sadly, the poem isn’t fiction. Wikipedia summarizes it:
    “While shooting a movie in Arizona, Stewart received a phone call from Dr. Keagy, his veterinarian, who informed him that Beau was terminally ill, and that Gloria sought his permission to perform euthanasia. Stewart declined to give a reply over the phone, and told Keagy to ‘keep him alive and I'll be there.’ Stewart requested several days' leave, which allowed him to spend some time with Beau before granting the doctor permission to euthanize the sick dog. Following the procedure, Stewart sat in his car for ten minutes to clear his eyes of tears. Stewart later remembered: ‘After [Beau] died there were a lot of nights when I was certain that I could feel him get into bed beside me and I would reach out and pat his head. The feeling was so real that I wrote a poem about it and how much it hurt to realize that he wasn’t going to be there any more.’”
    I’m sure all you dog lovers out there know exactly how that must have felt.
    Hat tip to the Reddit community for unearthing this gem!