Saturday, March 28, 2015

Issa haiku

draining the rice field--
a fish also
heads home

- Issa 1793

oto[shi] mizu uo mo kokyô e modoru kana

In autumn when the rice is ready for harvest, farmers break the dikes that have kept the fields flooded. In this charming haiku Issa muses that the fish, too, is returning to its "native village" (kokyô)--an excellent example of his portrayal of animal behavior in human terms.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Andrea Keller/Miroslav Bukovsky live at 616

Listen to this if you're within broadcast range - or wherever you can! I'm not sure how far it can travel. But it is extremely good - which is to say I like it :-)

 2014 SIWJF 22 Andrea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky
Page added Mar 18, 2015 Updated Mar 27, 2015
Andrea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky present their 'Komeda Project,' recorded live at the 2014 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival.
Pianist Andrea Keller and trumpeter Miroslav Bukovsky recently formed an octet to perform their arrangements of film scores by the Polish jazz composer Kryzsztof Komeda. Komeda was a prominant film scorer and is known in particular for working closely with director Roman Polanski during the 60s. Komeda composed the scores for Polanski's 'Rosemary's Baby,' Fearless Vampire Killers' and 'Knife in the Water.' Sadly, Komeda died in an accident in 1968.
Keller and Bukovsky have taken a number of Komeda's compositions and reworked them for octet. They premiered their 'Komeda Project' at the 2014 Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival at Foundry 616, and the gig was recorded by RN's 'The Live Set.' The octet also did a studio recording with Gerry Koster for Jazz Up Late in 2014.

In the band

Andrea Keller; piano
Miroslav Bukovsky; trumpet
James Greening; trombone
Andrew Robson; alto saxophone
Ben Hauptmann; guitar
Erkki Veltheim; violin
Jonathan Zwartz; bass
Evan Mannell; drums

Tracks in this feature

1. 'Sleep Safe' (K. Komeda)
2. 'The Cavern' (K. Komeda)
3. 'Svantetic' (K. Komeda)
4. 'Cherry' (K. Komeda)
5. 'Themes from The Verdict' (K. Komeda)
All arrangements by Andrea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky
Recorded by RN's 'The Live Set' with Alice Keith

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Geelong Anthology Launch FRIDAY

Reminder Anthology Launch 

Geelong Writers


'Moments In Time' 

An anthology of Memoirs

Please join us in celebrating the launch
 Geelong Writers latest anthology. 
Where: Belmont Library 

When: Friday 27th March

Time: 6:30 - 8pm

Copies  for sale at the launch - $20 

Writing About His Impending Death Has Given Clive James's Poetry New Life

Clive James’s new book of essays, Poetry Notebook: Reflections on the Intensity of Language, makes plain at the outset a desire to “keep things terse and particular.” Many of these pieces are short essays that address a general reader and conduct close readings of particular poems, even particular lines; many were commissioned by Christian Wiman, the former editor of Poetry magazine (to whom James dedicated a recent collection of poems). “I was getting old,” James observes in the introduction, “and the concentration necessary for writing a long piece seemed better reserved for writing poems, when they came.”

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Has your inclination to revise diminished or increased over the years?

Very interesting interview with Donald Hall about Revision ... Take a few minutes to read - and agree or disagree. 

I like to think of revision, not as tinkering with words but as re-vision - seeing it all again. Sometimes the whole damn thing needs a different point of view or a further resetting (like a diamond in a ring).

Go to the Hall interview

Pay with a poem: cafes around the world to exchange coffee for poetry

To mark World Poetry Day, more than a thousand coffee establishments around the world will use poetry as their currency this Saturday
man reading in cafe
Poetry ... A man reads a book in a cafe. Photograph: Getty Images

What is a poem worth? As authors around the world despair of making a living, a company based in Vienna has finally come up with a definitive answer: one cup of coffee.

Julius Meinl, a coffee-roasting company founded in 1862, is marking Unesco’s World Poetry Day with a promotion in 1,100 cafes, bars and restaurants across 23 countries mostly in continental Europe but including the UK, the US and Australia, offering a dose of caffeine to any customer who hands over one of their own poems.
video Pay with a Poem
It’s not clear if cashiers will be exercising their critical judgment (“This comparison between your girlfriend and a red, red rose is a little overfamiliar – I’ll have to insist on a rewrite”), whether they’ll be focusing on quality or quantity (“This haiku is very nicely turned, but I don’t think it’ll stretch to a skinny frappucino extra-grande with the extra slice of melon”), or what kind of rights your barista will acquire over your work. But if you feel moved to liquidate your lines, you can find participating outlets on the campaign’s Facebook page – let us know how you get on either here or with the hashtag #PayWithAPoem on Twitter.

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Alzheimer’s treatment

New Alzheimer’s treatment fully restores memory function
Of the mice that received the treatment, 75 percent got their memories back.
Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques - structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.
If a person has Alzheimer’s disease, it’s usually the result of a build-up of two types of lesions - amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles. Amyloid plaques sit between the neurons and end up as dense clusters of beta-amyloid molecules, a sticky type of protein that clumps together and forms plaques. 

Rest easy, Malcolm Fraser

The Australian politician Malcolm Fraser, who has died aged 84, transformed himself from the patrician Liberal behind the historic dismissal of the Labor government in 1975 to a vocal proponent for progressive causes often at odds with his own party.
Read on HERE

Thursday, March 19, 2015

sydney poetry | BWS HEADER.02.jpg

Dear friends,

more than five hundred people visited the Brett Whiteley Studio to celebrate its 25th anniversary on Saturday 22nd February.  The next day we welcomed in 16 years of poetry at the Studio with Hani Aden and Saba Vasefi.  Saba’s daughter Minerva, who is a cellist for the Sydney Youth Orchestra also performed.

This month we launch two collections from interstate poets M.T.C. Cronin and Maria Zajkowski.  

Sunday 22 March 2015 |         M.T.C. Cronin and Maria Zajkowski
MTC Cronin has published twenty books (poetry, prose poems and essays), several of which have appeared in translation including her 2001 book, Talking to Neruda’s Questions, which has been translated into Spanish, Italian and Swedish. Her work has won and been shortlisted for many major literary awards, internationally and in Australia. Cronin has studied arts, law, literature and creative writing and after working for the decade of the nineties in law, began teaching writing in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. She currently lives, with her partner and three daughters, on a biodynamic farm in Conondale in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland of Queensland. Recent poetry collections include The World Last Night (UQP, 2012) and in possession of loss (Shearsman Books, UK, 2014). Her 2001 book, Bestseller (Vagabond, 2001), is forthcoming in French translation (Editions de l'Amandier, Paris) in 2017. Her latest collection has been a twenty-year work in progress, The Law of Poetry published by Puncher and Wattmann, will be launched.

Maria Zajkowski is based in Melbourne, but originally from New Zealand. In 2001 she was funded by Arts Victoria and in 2003 by the Australian Council of the Arts to write a manuscript, 'From an island', based on her experiences as the child of a refugee, which in 2007 was shortlisted for the Alec Bolton Award. She has participated in the National Young Writers Festival, the Emerging Writers Festival and the Alphabet City Festival (Toronto).  Shortlisted for the 2008 Newcastle Poetry Prize and the 2009 Bridport Prize (UK), Maria won both the 2011 and 2012 Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize with suites of poems from 'The Ascendant'.  More recently she has collaborated with local and international composers. Poems from 'The Ascendant', recomposed for voice by Wally Gunn (Princeton), have been performed widely in the USA by the Grammy Award winning group Roomful of Teeth and will feature prominently on their upcoming album.  She is currently working with Australian composer Biddy Connor on a selection of pieces for voice, musical saw and string quartet, based on the history of the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. The Ascendant published by Puncher and Wattmann will be launched.

WHO: MTC Cronin and Maria Zajkowski
WHAT:  Sydney Poetry @ 2
WHEN: 2-3:30PM | Sunday 22 March 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

No particular reason ...

pete spence and me at a recent Chamber Poets reading
in Woodend, Victoria

If you're in Melbourne tonight around 6pm ...

@ Collected Works Bookshop

Poems from his Indian experiences,
published by Transit Lounge
to be launched by LUKE BEESLEY
6PM to 8PM 
at Collected Works Bookshop
Nicholas Building, level 1,
37 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Now open: The Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize

The 2015 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize

Entries are now open.

This annual $2500 prize has been generously endowed by Emeritus Professor Bruce Dawe AO.

As one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary poets, Bruce Dawe believed that universities should support the study of Literature and the promotion of the Arts.

Closing Date: Friday 29 May 2015

For further information, see

Friday, March 13, 2015

Regime 05: The Poetry Issue, ed. Andrew Burke (Regime Books)

This collection of 111 poems represents some of the best contemporary poetry and poets currently at work in Australia - and a few from over the oceans.

This latest issue of Regime includes new work from Andrew Taylor, Andy Jackson, Annamaria Weldon, Jill Jones, Judith Rodriguez, Geoff Page, Amanda Joy and Andrew Lansdown, and is also the home for new poetry by Merv Lilley and his daughter, social anthropologist and poet Rozanna Lilley. Now in his 90s, Merv wrote his first book of poems What About the People? (1962) with his wife Dorothy Hewett.

John Tranter also appears for the first time in Regime with characteristic wisdom in his Advice to a New Writer. A long poem by Martin Harrison is included, along with a personal recollection by Terri-ann White, who writes movingly of this poet who was lost far too soon by the Australian poetry community.
For details and to order, click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Voice & Verse: A Poetry and Spoken Word Festival THIS WEEKEND

Verse & Voice: A Poetry and Spoken Word Festival

Saturday 14 March 2015, 10:00am – 6:30pm
NSW Writers’ Centre, Callan Park Rozelle NSW

For the first time, the NSW Writers’ Centre presents Voice & Verse: A Poetry and Spoken Word Festival this March. Approaching poetry and performance from multiple angles, this festival focuses on the diversity of activity within the poetry field including slam poets, rappers, singer-songwriters, micropoets, publishers, activists, text artists and more.

Festival directors Fiona Wright and Miles Merrill come from opposite ends of the poetry spectrum – Fiona from the publishing world, Miles from the spoken word scene. Though these areas rarely mix, Fiona and Miles have shared their contacts to collaborate on a festival that will showcase diversity, not difference. Almost every session features poets from multiple spheres of poetry – and there are practical panels on publishing, editing, and producing, alongside those that talk about ideas, works, and content.

Featuring Omar Musa, Judith Beveridge, Darren Hanlon, Tug Dumbly, Kate Middleton, Candy Royalle, Richard Tipping, Steven Herrick, Kid Solo, Susan Sleepwriter, Pip Smith and many more, Verse & Voice will stimulate you and expand your ideas of what poetry can be.

For the full program, click here.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Hemingway on 'writer's block'

“I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
Ernest Hemingway

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ploughshares' Emerging Writer's Contest

Dear Andrew,
We are committed to promoting the work of up-and-coming writers. Authors like Edward P. Jones, Sue Miller, Mona Simpson, and Tim O’Brien have all gotten their start on the pages of Ploughshares
Our Emerging Writer's Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. One winner in each genre will receive $1,000 and publication in the literary journal.  We consider writers “emerging” if they have not published or self-published a book.
The $24 contest submission fee includes a one-year subscription to Ploughshares. Plus, if you are a subscriber through our Winter Issue, you can submit for free!
We can’t wait to read your short stories, essays, and poems! For more information or to submit, visit
Please email us if you have any questions.
The Ploughshares Staff

Monday, March 09, 2015

Anais Nin quote

“I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.”
― Anaïs Nin
Portrait of Anne
André Lhote – 1930

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

 Woman Scream 2015 - the 5th Woman Scream International Poetry Festival is at the Moon this Saturday 7th March, 2015 at Perth Poetry Club.
 Woman Scream 2015 - the 5th Woman Scream International Poetry Festival is at the Moon Saturday 7th March, 2015 Perth Poetry Club at 2pm, 323 William St Northbridge.

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

Poets coming up at Perth Poetry Club:
14th March             Kevin Gillam
21st March               Jonny White, Marcus John, Craig Rogers

Monday, March 02, 2015

William Blake: Wonderful and Strange

Jenny Uglow read it all HERE
Tate, London
William Blake: Nebuchadnezzar, 1795
Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum has always been a place of surprises, despite its severe façade. Perhaps this has to do with its history, the coming together of two seventeenth-century institutions, the University Art Collection, stuffed with portraits of bewigged dons, and the sprawling cabinet of curiosities amassed by Elias Ashmole. The latter was based on the collection gathered by the Tradescants, father and son, famed gardeners and plant collectors, who put it on show at their Lambeth home as “Tradescant’s Ark,” allowing the ribs of a whale to share space with the hand of a mermaid, poisoned arrows, and agate goblets. Since the Ashmolean’s stunning extension was completed in 2009, walking up the curving staircases and circling through the galleries and across glass walkways feels like wandering through the whorls of a shell, mother of pearl, glowing with treasures. All of which has made it an absolutely fitting place for “William Blake: Apprentice and Master,” an exhibition that is at once didactic and very strange.
Entering the exhibition, with its low light and dark walls, is like opening another secret cabinet, whose curiosities defy time. This show, however, which has irritated visitors as much as entranced them, is determined to place the “timeless” genius back in his day, explaining how the development of his idiosyncratic techniques both sprang from and challenged contemporary art education and practices. A friend had declared that the opening rooms were “rather bossy.” And it’s true that I could almost feel the curator, Michael Phillips, decreeing that I must go slowly and be prepared to read a lot of labels. His opening catalog line is just as severe: “Nothing can tell us more about a work of art than the discovery of how it was made.” Hmmm. There’s clearly no point wailing “But where’s Blake?”—where’s the revolutionary spirit, the color-washed poet, the genius and madman?
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
... Tumbling onward, here is the manuscript, heavily corrected, of the satire An Island in the Moon(1784-87), with the drafts of three songs that would soon be included, in a revised version, in Songs of Innocence, and a sheet showing his attempts at the mirror writing he would need for his illuminated books. These are just over the horizon, and one can’t help but gasp at the poems “Holy Thursday” and “Nurses Song,” springing to pale life, the etchings printed in brown leaf and haloed with watercolor, with the children in the “Nurses Song” dancing in a circle below:
When the voices of children are heard on the green
And laughing is heard on the hill
My heart is at rest within my breast
And everything else is still
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
William Blake: ‘Nurses Song’ from Songs of Innocence, 1789
Applied to Blake, the word “visionary” is a term of method as well as perception.

The Trustees of the British Museum
William Blake: Albion rose, also known as Glad Day or The Dance of Albion, 1794–1796
I have one lament. The exhibition is so brave in its focus on the technical that it’s a distraction to find a recreation of Blake’s tiny London studio in the wonderfully named Hercules Buildings. Is this intended to draw people in? It seems a blunder to place this empty, clean, National Trust-like reconstruction amid prints that imply color, clutter, and mess, piles of proofs, the smell of ink and glue and paint. True, we can see how strong the 5’4” Blake must have been to work the heavy oak press, but his art demanded a different kind of strength. His great prints leave the workshop world behind, their figures soaring and stretching and circling into the stratosphere of Blake’s ecstatic, terrible, fourfold vision. In his technique, in his genius unacknowledged in his time, and in his ambition and desire, contraries unite and matter and spirit meet.

“William Blake: Apprentice and Master,” is on view at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Book Keepers at Back to Back Galleries

Glorious insults - from a past era

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.
A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease." "That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
"He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."  Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain