Saturday, November 29, 2014

From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Summer 1991, Vol. XIII, No.3: Tomas Transtromer

Poem of the week:

April and Silence
by Tomas Tranströmer
Translated from Swedish by Robin Fulton

Spring lies desolate.
The velvet-dark ditch
crawls by my side
without reflections.

The only thing that shines
is yellow flowers.

I am carried in my shadow
like a violin
in its black box.

The only thing I want to say
glitters out of reach
like the silver
in a pawnbroker's.

China bans wordplay in attempt at pun control

China puns tory China’s print and broadcast watchdog says puns may mislead the public – especially children. Photograph: Chen Li/ Chen Li/Xinhua Press/Corbis

From online discussions to adverts, Chinese culture is full of puns. But the country’s print and broadcast watchdog has ruled that there is nothing funny about them.It has banned wordplay on the grounds that it breaches the law on standard spoken and written Chinese, makes promoting cultural heritage harder and may mislead the public – especially children.The casual alteration of idioms risks nothing less than “cultural and linguistic chaos”, it warns.

Chinese is perfectly suited to puns because it has so many homophones. Popular sayings and even customs, as well as jokes, rely on wordplay.But the order from the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television says: “Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms.”
Programmes and adverts should strictly comply with the standard spelling and use of characters, words, phrases and idioms – and avoid changing the characters, phrasing and meanings, the order said.
“Idioms are one of the great features of the Chinese language and contain profound cultural heritage and historical resources and great aesthetic, ideological and moral values,” it added.
“That’s the most ridiculous part of this: [wordplay] is so much part and parcel of Chinese heritage,” said David Moser, academic director for CET Chinese studies at Beijing Capital Normal University.
When couples marry, people will give them dates and peanuts – a reference to the wish Zaosheng guizi or “May you soon give birth to a son”. The word for dates is also zao and peanuts are huasheng.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Australian batsman Phillip Hughes dies aged 25

Phillip Hughes has died as a result of the injuries he sustained when struck by a bouncer on Tuesday, Cricket Australia has confirmed. He was 25.
Team doctor Peter Brukner confirmed the news in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.
"It is my sad duty to inform you that a short time ago Phillip Hughes passed away," Brukner said. "He never regained consciousness following his injury on Tuesday. He was not in pain before he passed and was surrounded by his family and close friends.
"As a cricket community we mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to Phillip's family and friends at this incredibly sad time. Cricket Australia kindly asks that the privacy of the Hughes family, players and staff be respected."

Hello, Palazzolo! Book Launch

Haiku and Tanka Courses - enrol now


There are still places on the haiku and tanka courses starting January 2015, available at the early bird rate (a £10 or US$16 dollar discount) until the end of this week.  

Please email for more details.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Haiku Submission Notes from Tash Adams' Blog

Attention Haiku Poets

Attention Haiku Poets
Below are four publishing opportunities for your calendar:
The Heron’s Nest: Submissions due December 15 (for the March issue)
Please submit 5 - 15 poems at a time.
Haiku may be sent at any time for consideration for the next available issue.
A Hundred Gourds: Submissions may be sent at any time.
March Issue - submissions close on December 15th, the prior year
The AHG editors will consider submissions of up to 10 haiku
Lorin Ford, Haiku Editor:
Creatrix: Submissions of up to 10 haiku per person accepted for each issue.
Email your submission to with ‘haiku submission’ and your surname in the subject line, with all haiku in the body of the email only (i.e. no attachments).
10th February for the March issue
paper wasp
If you wish to submit haiku or other Japanese forms to paper wasp, they should be sent by email
Don't forget to include your name and return address!
or, if you have no access to email, by mail (including a stamped self-addressed envelope) to:
paper wasp, 14 Fig Tree Pocket Road, Chapel Hill, Qld 4069, Australia.
We cannot pay for contributions; however, the first time your work is published we will send you a free copy of the issue in which it appears.
For subsequent contributions, we will send you a pull-sheet of the page with your work. Of course, the best thing to do is to subscribe!
Above are (edited) exerts from the publications' websites. I am not affiliated with the publications in any way. Further information can be obtained from the websites by googling their submission requirements.

2014 Queensland Literary Awards


2014 shortlists

The Queensland Literary Awards would like to congratulate the authors and publishers of all shortlisted nominations for the 2014 Awards.
The winners of each category will be announced at the Award Ceremony on 8 December 2014.

University of Queensland Fiction Book Award

Fiona Capp
Harper Collins Publishers
Richard Flanagan
Random House Australia
Alex Miller
Allen and Unwin
Tim Winton
Penguin Australia
Evie Wyld
Random House Australia

University of Queensland Non-fiction Book Award

Steve Bisley
Harper Collins
Paul Ham
Random House Australia
Iain McCalman
Penguin Australia
Penny Olsen
National Library of Australia
Janis Sheldrick
Wakefield Press

Griffith University Young Adult Book Award

A.J Betts
Text Publishing
Felicity Castagna
Giramondo Publishing
Kate Hendrick
Text Publishing
David Metzenthen
Penguin Australia
Jaclyn Moriarty
Pan Macmillan Australia

Griffith University Children's Book Award

Jackie French
Harper Collins Publishers
Pamela Rushby
Harper Collins Publishers
Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne
Walker Books Australia
Shaun Tan
Hachette Australia
Samantha Wheeler

University of Southern Queensland History Book Award

Joan Beaumont
Allen and Unwin
Nicholas Clements
Iain McCalman
Penguin Australia
Bruce Pascoe
Magabala Books
Henry Reynolds
New South Publishing
Clare Wright
Text Publishing

University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection - Steele Rudd Award

Debra Adelaide
Pan Macmillan Australia
Tony Birch
Luke Carman
Giramondo Publishing
Ceridwen Dovey
Penguin Australia
Laura Jean McKay
Black Inc. Books

State Library of Queensland Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award

Judith Beveridge
Giramondo Publishing
Rachael Briggs
Liam Ferney
Grand Parade Poets
Anthony Lawrence
Puncher & Wattman
David Malouf

Unpublished Indigenous Writer - David Unaipon Award

There is no shortlist for this category; the winner of the award will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Monday 8 December.

Emerging Queensland Writer – Manuscript Award

Julie Kearney
3 for a Wedding, 4 for Death
Cathy McLennan
We Come From Saltwater People
Leanne Nolan
Open Cut

The Courier-Mail 2014 People's Choice Queensland Book of the Year

Vote now - voting closes 5pm Friday 21 November 2014.
Sally Breen
T.M. Clark
Matthew Condon
Deb Drummond and Janice Teunis
Keelen Mailman
Kellee Slater
Catherine Titasey
Frances Whiting

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Poem written in circular form by Paul Éluard, 1950 

Title: Bonne Justice (Good Justice)

Bonne justice

C’est la chaude loi des hommes
Du raisin ils font du vin
Du charbon ils font du feu
Des baisers ils font des hommes

C’est la dure loi des hommes
Se garder intact malgré
Les guerres et la misère
Malgré les dangers de mort

C’est la douce loi des hommes
De changer l’eau en lumière
Le rêve en réalité
Et les ennemis en frères

Une loi vieille et nouvelle
Qui va se perfectionnant
Du fond du cœur de l’enfant
Jusqu’à la raison suprême.

Good Justice

The warm law of humans:
From grapes they make wine,
From charcoal they make fire,
From kisses they make humans

The hard law of humans:
To keep themselves safe despite
War and misery,
Despite the danger of death.

The sweet law of humans:
To change water into light,
Dream into reality,
And enemies into brothers.

A law old and new
That continues to perfect itself:
From the bottom of a child’s heart
To supreme reason.

Paul Éluard

Monday, November 17, 2014


Speaking of OLD MASTERS ...

Inspiring stories of OLD (LIVING) MASTERS

Roy Haynes, jazz drummer and bandleader, 89, in his basement practice space on Long Island. Haynes’s latest album was ‘‘Roy-Alty,’’ released in 2011.

Great article about OLD MASTERS at the New York Times magazine


'to go without blinking' Aimee Herman

· Paperback: 156 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-080-4

Aimee Herman, a queer performance poet, has been featured at various New York venues such as ... She currently works as an erotica editor for Oysters & Chocolate and curates/hosts monthly NYC erotica and GLBT lit readings. She can be found writing poems on her body in Brooklyn. 

Ed: Why the free plug? Simply because I love the cover - and the write-up at is amazing.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Long-lost Dylan Thomas manuscript found

London (CNN) -- A notebook full of work-in-progress versions of some of Dylan Thomas's key poems has been rediscovered more than 70 years after the poet's mother-in-law ordered it to be burnt.
The book, in Thomas's cramped, neat handwriting, includes 19 poems in varying states of completion, some with large sections scratched out and revised, and offers a valuable insight into his creative process.
Read on HERE

from 'Vagabondage' by Beth Spencer

How to Be a Better Writer: 6 Tips From Harvard’s Steven Pinker

Here are six of Steven’s tips for good writing:
  1. Be visual and conversational. Be concrete, make your reader see and stop trying to impress.
  2. Beware “the curse of knowledge.” Have someone read your work and tell you if it makes sense. Your own brain cannot be trusted.
  3. Don’t bury the lead. Clarity beats suspense. If they don’t know what it’s about they can’t follow along.
  4. You don’t have to play by the rules, but try. If you play it straight 99% of the time, that 1% will really shine.
  5. Read Read Read. The English language is too complex to learn from one book. Never stop learning.
  6. Good writing means revising. Never hit “send” or “print” without reviewing your work — preferably multiple times.
Rules, rules, rules. There is a science behind these words but as Steven makes clear, language is ever-evolving. It’s organic and alive.


Liked · 14 November · 

A cartoon by Jason Adam Katzenstein from this week’s issue. For more:

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mitchell Johnson claims top ICC awards

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has won the top ICC awards for 2013-14, being named the Cricketer of the Year, as well as Test Cricketer of the Year.
South Africa's AB de Villiers was named ODI Cricketer of the Year, while Australia's Aaron Finch won the T20 performance award for his 156 off 63 against England at the Rose Bowl in August.
England's Gary Ballance was named Emerging Cricketer of the Year, while Sarah Taylor was named the Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year and Meg Lanning, the Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year.
Scotland's Preston Mommsen got the Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year award, and umpireRichard Kettleborough was named Umpire of the Year.

Read more HERE

Creative Adult

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Beth Spencer, Beth Yahp and Jessica Kirkness - the challenges and pleasures of writing memoirs

Memoir Club Lunchtime Panel at the Randwick Literary Institute's Annual Arts Festival 2014

When: Sunday, 16 November 2014, 1.00 - 3.00 PM

The Randwick Literary Institute,
60 Clovelly Road, Randwick 2031

The Memoir Club is honoured to be part of the Randwick Literary Institute's Annual Arts Festival in 2014 with this special event. 

Do come and join in the conversation as these three writers discuss the challenges and pleasures of writing their "work of memory", read from their memoirs and present practical advice for other writers who are engaged in the same process to get started or keep going, including a writing exercise or two.  There will also be an "open reading" section for members and guests who may like to share their work on the day (if you'd like to participate, do contact, as there are limited spots).

Beth Spencer’s verse memoir,Vagabondage, has just been released by the University of Western Australia Press; Beth Yahp’s travel-memoir, Eat First, Talk Lateris due to be published by Random House in 2015; and Jessica Kirkness has just completed her Masters of Research, which included a creative nonfiction work of memoir, titled A Symphony. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wild Heart Turning White: Georg Trakl and Cocaine

Georg Trakl in 1910 – Source.
He doesn’t know whether his behaviour was unusual, he didn’t drink but took large amounts of cocaine.
This remark is taken from the medical file of Georg Trakl and is part of a brief account of the poet’s movements and behaviour in the month or so preceding his committal for observation to a psychiatric hospital in Kraków in early October 1914. Just six weeks earlier, towards the end of August, the 27-year-old Trakl had undertaken the 1000-kilometre train journey from Innsbruck, at the western end of the Habsburg Empire, to the far eastern crownland of Galicia, where he was to be deployed as a military pharmacist. His frontline experience was brief but traumatic. During the Battle of Grodek-Rawa Ruska of September 8-11, he was assigned sole care of ninety badly wounded soldiers sheltering in a barn, a task for which he had neither the training nor the equipment. As he later recounted from his hospital bed in Kraków to his friend and publisher Ludwig von Ficker, when one of the wounded men had ended his own suffering by shooting himself in the head, Trakl had fled outside only to be confronted by the sight of local peasants hanging lifeless in the trees. One evening during the westward retreat of the defeated Austro-Hungarian forces, he announced his own intention to shoot himself, but was forcefully disarmed by his comrades. His committal followed on October 6, and he died in hospital on November 3. His medical file lists the cause of death, complete with exclamation mark, as “Suicid durch Cocainintoxication!”
- See more at: