Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tribute to Robert Johnson

'Testimony' by SANDY EVANS with words by Yusef Komumyakaa

Sandy Evans Testimony
Apr 16, 2014 Updated Apr 30, 2014
It's International Jazz Day...! ABC Jazz is celebrating this annual event with a special broadcast of Sandy Evans' tribute to Charlie Parker, with an all star line-up of musicians. Hear it tonight at 9pm.
International Jazz Day is an initiative set up by Herbie Hancock in 2012 as part of his role as a UNESCO ‘Ambassador for Jazz’.  Our 2014 contribution is a special broadcast of the work Testimony, composed by one of Australia’s favourite jazz musicians, Sandy Evans.
This piece is a tribute to life and music of Charlie Parker and was originally recorded by the ABC in 1999.  It features the leading figures in Australian jazz, most notably the departed Bernie McGann, Jackie Orszaczky and Joe “bebop” Lane, and also includes the words of US poet Yesef Komunyakka and a performance by US musicians Kurt Elling and Laurence Hobgood.
Enjoy this special International Jazz Day broadcast:  April 30th 2014 at 9pm Australian Eastern Time.  
ABC Jazz is available in Australia on Digital Radio, TV and the ABC Mobile App and online internationally at

Compositions: Sandy Evans (except as indicated below)
Words: Yusef Komunyakaa

Part I

1. 'Testimony Overture'
2. 'Boxcars'
3. 'Chicken Shack Part 1'
4. 'Chicken Shack Part 2'
5. 'Purple Dress'
6. 'Deep South'
7. 'A Day Like Today'
8. 'Abel And Cain'
9. 'Black Cockatoo'
10. Camarillo Part 1'
11. 'Camarillo Part 2'

Part II

1. 'Addie's Boy'
2. 'Pree's Funeral Song'
3. 'Barrow Street'
4. 'Moose The Mooche'
5. 'A Soft Touch For Strings'
6. 'Baroness Pannonica'
7. 'Testimony Finale'
8. 'Testimony Coda'

Musicians performing in Testimony    

Sandy Evans (tenor, flute)
Bernie Mc Gann (alto)
Paul Cutlan (bass clarinet, alto)
Casey Greene (baritone, flute)
Warwick Alder
Bob Coassin
James Greening
Jeremy Sawkins
Dave Brewer
Piano and Keyboards
Chuck Yates
Alister Spence
Lloyd Swanton
Steve Elphick
Jonathan Zwartz
Drums and Percussion
Allan Turnbull
Hamish Stuart
Fabian Hevia
Simon Barker
Kristen Cornwell
Kate Swadling
Jackie Orszaczky
Toni Allayialis
Tanya Sparke
Pamela Knowles
Tina Harrod
Joe Lane
Michele Morgan
Lily Dior
John Rodgers
International guests
Kurt Elling; vocal
Laurence Hobgood; Piano
Michael Edward-Stevens; narration

from David Gerard, 'the Haiku Guy' -

from the great bronze
Buddha's nostrils...
morning mist


daibutsu no hana kara detari kesa no kiri

About this haiku, Kai Falkman writes, "It seems improbable that the fog should come out from the nostrils--the fog probably surrounds the whole Buddha"; seeUnderstanding Haiku: A Pyramid of Meaning (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2002) 49. There are two huge bronze statues of the Buddha in Japan: at Kamakura and at Nara. The one at Nara, in Tôdaiji Temple, is 53 1/2 feet high and made of 400+ tons of bronze. The Kamakura Great Buddha is 37 feet high, 90+ tons. Many critics assume that Issa is referring to the Nara daibutsu, but perhaps he means the Kamakura statue, which sits outside, exposed to the elements (the temple that originally housed it having burned down).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tadeusz Różewicz: poet of a decimated generation

The late Polish author's work bears witness to the worst of the 20th century without surrendering its human sympathy

Tadeusz Rozewicz
Simple language, dark conclusions … The book of condolence for Tadeusz Różewicz is displayed at Wroclaw's City Hall. Photograph: Maciej Kulczynski/EPA
Tadeusz Różewicz, who has died at the age of 92, was one of the great European "witness" poets whose own lives were directly affected by the seismic events of the 20th century. "My decimated generation is now departed and dying, duped and disillusioned," he said soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall. He saw the forgetting of history as a disaster, "the falling of tears on the stock exchange" as he wrote in a poem of 1994.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Rejections to Acceptance: Revising poems for publication

Calling all Poets!

Take advantage of the expertise of our current Writer-in-Residence, Bronwyn Lovell, in an interactive workshop this Saturday 26 April, 1-4pm. Includes tea, coffee and individual critique.

This workshop is for emerging poets who are ready to send their poems out into the world, but are having trouble finding places to welcome them.

Participants will learn how to self-edit their poems and review their writing objectively. They will be shown various checks they can perform to judge whether or not a poem is working to its full potential, and strategies they can implement to improve those poems that might otherwise not progress beyond a publisher’s slush pile.

Poets will also receive advice about literary publications and competitions that are available for them to submit their work to on local, national and international platforms; and which ones might prove a suitable fit for their own poetry style, themes and aspirations.

Participants are requested to bring along two or three poems they have written that they would like to improve in view of future publication. EMAIL THESE THROUGH TODAY OR TOMORROW AND BRONWYN CAN READ THROUGH BEFORE THE WORKSHOP. These should ideally be poems that participants feel comfortable sharing and analysing together with other members of the group. Time pending, Bronwyn will be able to offer individual feedback to each poet.

Reply email or phone 9294 1872 to book. $30 members, $45 non-members.

Kind regards
Shannon Coyle  
Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre

11 Old York Road
Greenmount WA 6056
PH: (08) 9294 1872
Monday - Tuesday 9-5pm
Wednesday - Friday 9-4.30pm

Poetry reading by Les Murray AO

Les Murraywith an introduction by Sue Butler, Editor, The Macquarie Dictionary
We are delighted to welcome Les Murray back to Fisher Library for readings from his collections of poetry.
Les is engaged at the moment reading the proofs of the American edition of hisCollected Works, to be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He says that the most he has to do is put in a comma that he should have put in years ago. Unlike Oscar Wilde who had the reverse difficulty – he struggled all morning taking a comma out and then in the afternoon put it back in again – Les thinks that the comma should always have been there, so as the afternoon wears on he will still leave it in. He agrees with Wilde however in general principle. A Murray dictum is: “When a book has reached this stage you do as little as possible because you will just end up ‘over-egging the pudding’.”
Les is heading off in May for a reading tour of Germany accompanied by his Swedish translator. He reads the English and she reads the German – although occasionally they swap. Her English has an American accent and Les’s German, according to one of his listeners, has improved. Then he presses on for more readings in London.
Les will read some old favourites and a number of new poems from a book in the making.
All are invited to attend this free event and light refreshments will be provided. This is a popular event and seats are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
When: Tuesday 29 April 2014
Time: 5.30 for 6pm
Where: Exhibition Space, Level 2 Fisher Library
If you have registered your attendance and are unable to attend please let us know via
E or
T 9114 0866

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Peter Porter Poetry Prize 2014

Australian Book Review is delighted to announce the four poems  shortlisted for the 2014 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, now in its tenth year. They are:
‘Absence’ by Elizabeth Allen
‘Scenes from the Olivet Discourse’ by Nathan Curnow
VFGA  ’ by Paul Kane
‘Arrival Platform Humlet’ by Jessica L. Wilkinson
The winner will receive $4,000; the other poets will each receive $500. Our judges – Lisa Gorton (Poetry Editor of ABR) and Felicity Plunkett – chose the quartet from almost 700 poems.
The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at Boyd on Wednesday, 7 May (6 pm). Three of our poets will read their works (Paul Kane, based in the United States, has a very good excuse).
If it’s anything like last year’s Porter ceremony, when Kevin Brophy and Jessica L. Wilkinson herself gave a bravura reading of Dan Disney’s daunting shortlisted poem, ‘Procedures in Aesthetics’, it will be a hoot.
This is a free event but bookings are essential:
Stephen Edgar (2005)
Judith Bishop (2006)
Alex Skovron (2007)
Ross Clark (2008)
Tracy Ryan (2009)
Anthony Lawrence (2010)
Judith Bishop (2011) and Tony Lintermans (2011)
Michael Farrell (2012)
John A. Scott (2013

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ahsahta Press 2014 Chapbook Contest

Just a gentle reminder . . . 

Ahsahta Press invites you to submit your chapbook to the 2014 Chapbook Contest. This year's judge is Susan Briante. The deadline for the competition is April 30. Get your submissions in now!

Find complete details at our submission manager page.

Susan Briante is the author of two books of poetry: Utopia Minus (Ahsahta Press 2011) and Pioneers in the Study of Motion (Ahsahta Press 2007). Of her most recent collection, Publisher’s Weekly writes: “this book finds an urgent language for the world in which we live.” Briante also writes essays on documentary poetics as well as on the relationship between place and cultural memory. Some of these can be found in Creative Non-Fiction, Rethinking History, Jacket and The Believer. A translator, Briante lived in Mexico City from 1991-1997 working for the magazines Artes de México and Mandorla. She has received grants and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, and the US-Mexico Fund for Culture. She is finishing work on a new collection of poems, The Market Wonders, inspired by the current economic crisis.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

paper wasp's Haiku Submission

Submissions are now open for paper wasp’s June/Winter issue of contemporary and experimental haiku. 

It is an issue in which poets can spread their wings, be different, be daring or even … just relieved that at long last all those experiments in the bottom drawer might find a home.

The deadline for the experimental and contemporary haiku June/Winter issue is 1 May 2014.


Postal: paper wasp, 14 Fig Tree Pocket Rd, Chapel Hill, Qld 4069, Australia

Anne Elvey and Mark Tredinnick INVITATION BOOK LAUNCH

Issa Haiku

potato leaf--
a rice bowl's worth
of dew!

- Issa 1813

imo no ha ya oya wan hodo no tsuyu no tama

Sunday, April 13, 2014

5 Points where Jazz and Poetry meet - from Blog SUPREME

Structured and free, sonic and rhythmic, poems and jazz music seem like natural partners. 

For National Poetry Month and Jazz Appreciation Month, here are some notable collisions between the two.

Hear it, love it, dance to it!

Jayne Cortez tells it like it is.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ghazal - by Maulana Hasrat Mohani

Chupke, Chukpke Raat Din by Maulana hasrat Mohani


By Maulana Hasrat Mohani

Silently, silently, crying day and night – I still remember
All those days of our love – I still remember 
With a thousand worries and even more fondness
I felt that first spark of love – I still remember 
At our first meeting when I was instantly taken
By the shy way you bit your finger – I still remember 
The time I yanked aside the curtain
And you hid behind your scarf – I still remember 
In the heat of the afternoon you tiptoed barefoot
Across the terrace and called to me – I still remember
Dodging every stranger’s glance and everyone’s wishes
You stole away at night – I still remember
That evening when the mere thought of separating
Made the tears pass from your eyes to mine – I still remember
And the place where you came to meet me, secretly, so secretly
And so long ago – but I still remember
At the moment of our parting, you said goodbye
With your lips dry and trembling – I still remember 
In spite of all your claims of piety, Hasrat,
That time of desire – I still remember
Translation from the UrduBy Hamida Banu Chopra, Nasreen Chopra, and Zack Rogow

Full essay on how the team translated this ghazal is HERE


Friday, April 11, 2014

Top 50 Cricketers - as picked by MARTIN CROWE

Six generations of cricketing greats

'The Naked Writer' - not always a pretty sight!

Apropos of sheep ...

Freshly dyed sheep run in view of the highway near Bathgate, Scotland. 
The sheep farmer has been dying his sheep with nontoxic dye to entertain passing motorists.

from Vogue Knitting via Susan Hawthorne

American Life in Poetry: SPIRIT OF THE BAT

"Despite having once been bitten by a rabid bat, and survived, much to the disappointment of my critics, I find bats fascinating, and Peggy Shumaker of Alaska has written a fine poem about them. I am especially fond of her perfect verb, “snick,” for the way they snatch insects out of the air."

Spirit of the Bat 

Hair rush, low swoop—
so those of us

stuck here on earth
know—you must be gods.

Or friends of gods,
granted chances

to push off into sky,
granted chances

to hear so well
your own voice bounced

back to you
maps the night.

Each hinge
in your wing’s

an act of creation.
Each insect

you snick out of air
a witness.

You transform

into sounds,
then dodge them.

Peggy Shumaker

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 © 2013 by Peggy Shumaker from her most recent book of poems, Toucan Nest: Poems of Costa Rica, Red Hen Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Peggy Shumaker and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 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.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Vatican to Digitize 41 Million Pages of Ancient Manuscripts

Doors leading to the Salone Sistino, a reading room for printed books in the Vatican Apostolic Library (courtesy of the Vatican Library)
Doors leading to the Salone Sistino, a reading room for printed books in the Vatican Apostolic Library (via Vatican Library)
What happens when a wide swath of history — previously only explored by white-gloved librarians and erudite historians — is made available to anyone with a solid internet connection? Thanks to the Pope, we’ll soon find out.
The Vatican Apostolic Library has announced it will digitize all 82,000 manuscripts in its 135 collections with the help of a Japanese IT company. That’s 41 million pages spanning nearly 2,000 years of church history that will soon be clickable, zoomable, and presumably, printable. When all is said and done, you’ll be able to read the Psalms handwritten across13th-century vellum on your iPhone — so long as you speak ancient Greek.

More to be seen about this and other great interest features at

Opportunity for Poets

poetry circle
pəʊɪtri/ səːk(ə)l/ 
  1. 1.
an online group of poets from varying styles, experience and locations, seeking and providing constructive criticism to advance our poems

The group is evolving and harmonizing. Members exercise flexibility when seeking and providing feedback to suit their writing habits and commitments.

The concept of a circle appealed to me - a continuous line, with all positions on the circumference equal; each poet contributing and responding, perhaps even inspiring other members works - creating, responding, reinventing. The momentum of the circle acting as a creative centrifuge for our members.

Poetry circle is an small group seeking a new member or two. Please contact poet Natasha Adams at to express your interest.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

from The Paris Review - unique Writer-in-Residency offer!

The Paris Review is partnering with The Standard, East Village, to find a Writer-in-Residence. The idea is this: in January, a writer with a book under contract will get a room at the Standard, East Village, in downtown Manhattan, for three weeks’ uninterrupted work. Applications will be judged by the editors of The Paris Review and Standard Culture.

"Last fall, we partnered with the Standard, East Village to find a Writer-in-Residence—someone with a book under contract who would get a room at the hotel for three weeks’ uninterrupted work. Our winner, Lysley Tenorio, was profiled by the Wall Street Journal; in January, he installed himself in room 1006 and found much to admire from his windowThe whole thing proceeded so swimmingly, we thought: Why not do it again?

"And so we are. Today through May 1, we’re accepting applications for the next residency at the Standard, East Village, in downtown Manhattan. The residency will last the first three weeks in July; once again, applicants must have a book under contract. Applications will be judged by the editors of The Paris Review and Standard Culture. You can find all the details here. (We’ll answer your most burning question in advance: yes, the room includes unlimited free coffee.)"


The Mundiad, Justin Clemens (Hunter)
The Stone Garden: poems from Clare, Diane Fahey (Clouds of Magellan)
Boom, Liam Ferney (Grand Parade Poets)
Novelties, Fiona Hile (Hunter)
Ephemeral Waters, Kate Middleton (Giramondo Publishing)
Marionette: A biography of Miss Marion Davies, Jessica Wilkinson
(Vagabond Press)

Leading Australian writers have been recognised with the announcement today of the shortlists for the 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.

Minister George Souris MP, Minister for the Arts welcomed the announcement of the shortlist saying:

“The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards promote national and international recognition of our dynamic literary community and the work of our talented writers.”

The Asian Mother’s Ten Commandments, which thou dare not forget. (Black Inc.)

1.    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2.    Thou shalt not talk back.
3.    Thou shalt take off thou shoes to keep thine floors clean.
4.    Honour thy father and mother – mainly mother.
5.    Thou shalt not kill (me).
6.    Thou shalt not sleepover.
7.    Thou shalt marry nice Asian partner and bear sons.
8.    Thou shalt have bob haircuts.
9.    Thou shalt not badmouth others … to their face.
10.    Thou shalt not covet, except maybe your cousin’s career; he is doing very well 
for himself; you could be more like him.

Find this, voicemail bingo, fashion and beauty tips, maternal Asian wisdom and much more in Sh*t Asian Mothers Say by Benjamin Law and Michelle Law, with illustrations by Oslo Davis. 
Out now in print and ebook through Black Inc.

Monday, April 07, 2014

New Poem 'Epistle to David'

Now on display at The Wonder Book of Poetry

Sappho's Poetry Night - Brooks, Cahill and Powell

On the second Tuesday of April, the monthly poetry night at Sappho Books and Cafe will host poets David Brooks, Michelle Cahill and Craig Powell. Open mic too. 

Tapas, drinks, poetry, etc., in a courtyard.

7pm to 9.30pm

SAPPHO'S Book Cafe and Wine Bar
51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe


spent his earliest years in Greece and Yugoslavia, where his father was an immigration officer. He studied at the ANU before postgraduate degrees at the University of Toronto, where he was overseas editor for New Poetry and worked with such poets as Galway Kinnell, Mark Strand, and Czeslaw Milosz. His first collection, The Cold Front (1983), was short-listed for major awards. His The Book of Sei (1985) was heralded as the most impressive debut in Australian short fiction since Peter Carey’s, and his novel, The Fern Tattoo, was short-listed for Australia’s most prestigious prizes for fiction. The Sydney Morning Herald called his latest collection, The Balcony (UQP 2008), ‘an electric performance’. His most recent publication is The Conversation (UQP 2012). Until 2013 he taught Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, where he was also the foundation director of the graduate writing program. He is co-editor of Southerly.

is the author of Night Birds. Her collection Vishvarūpa was shortlisted in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. She has received awards and grants in poetry, most recently a Forward prize nomination, the CAL/UOW International fellowship at Kingston University, London and a Developing Writer’s Grant. She co-edited Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher and Wattmann).

Born Wollongong NSW 1940, graduated in Medicine from Sydney Uni 1965, then specialised in Psychiatry. Lived in Canada 1972-82. During which time he studied with the Toronto Institute of Psychoanalysis. Worked as a psychotherapist in Sydney 1982 till 2012 when he had to retire because of an injury. He is widowed with two adult children and two grand-daughters. He has produced 9 poetry collections.

Get in early because there's only time for 10 readers, 2 minutes each, maximum!