Wednesday, May 27, 2015


The 2014 Patricia Hackett Prize

by Kate
We are very happy to announce the winner of the 2014 Patricia Hackett Prize, for the best fiction piece published within the volumes of that year. Last year's prize has been awarded to David Whish-Wilson, for his wonderful story 'The Cook'.
The Prize has been awarded annually since 1965, from a bequest left for this purpose. It remembers the contributions to both theatre and poetry of Patricia Hackett, and her family’s connection with the University of Western Australia. A feature in remembrance of Miss Hackett was published in Westerly 10.1, 1965, and is now available to download free from our digital archive here.
David's piece can be found published in a previous post, here, or in Westerly 59.2, 2014. Congratulations to David for a superb piece of writing!


measuring the step
with her chin -
the blind dog

- Andrew Burke

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hadow/Stuart Short Story Competition closes JUNE 1st

The FAWWA Hadow/Stuart Short Story Competition is closing
Monday, June 1st 2015
Last chance to enter your stories!!
First prize: $400
Second Prize: $100
Plus 2 Highly Commended prizes up for grabs: $50 each
For more information on how to enter 
go to our
or contact us
Phone: 08 9384 4771
Many Thanks,

Jazz Dinner in Canberra

Bookings on 6248 5538 or email Jaye and Katie at
Dinner at new time of 6.00; music starts at 7.30; non-eating seats can be booked but eating keeps the Gods in business. Please note: special dietary requirement requests, e.g. gluten-free. can be sent to the Gods ahead of time to ensure satisfaction. There is always a vegetarian option and I've asked Jaye to have a lower cost option on the menu as well e.g. about $22.

Admission: $22/$15 conc.

Donate to Doctors Without Borders

Responding To Medical Emergencies    

Dear Friend,

With escalating violence and instability in many countries where we work, our resources are being stretched to the limit.

Médecins Sans Frontières’ field teams in Yemen, Syria, Gaza and South Sudan have set up mobile clinics to provide internally displaced families with access to expert medical care.

Our teams are providing emergency surgeries to patients affected by conflict and delivering psychosocial care in the aftermath of trauma.

When the Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa, we were ready and able to send emergency response teams to treat patients and help contain the spread.

And we were able to respond quickly to natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and, more recently, the devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

But we need your help. Please send a gift today so we can continue to deliver emergency medical assistance to patients when they need it most.
Your generous gift will help Médecins Sans Frontières keep operating where other organisations cannot - whether we’re treating mothers and babies, patients suffering from deadly diseases and other medical emergencies, or people devastated by war or natural disasters.

Within days of the first earthquake in Nepal, more than 80 tonnes of cargo sent from Médecins Sans Frontières’ warehouses arrived in Kathmandu, including equipment to construct an inflatable field hospital.

Our teams are running mobile clinics by helicopter, visiting remote villages in the mountains north of Kathmandu to provide consultations and distribute tonnes of shelters, hygiene materials and cooking equipment. With the monsoon season approaching, we’re worried that the window of opportunity to reach people in these areas is rapidly closing.

Please donate today so we can continue to provide medical humanitarian aid to people in desperate need of our care and respond quickly to emergencies like the recent earthquakes in Nepal.

Warm regards, 
Paul McPhun
Executive Director
Médecins Sans Frontières Australia

Building Bolero -- The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Moves to South Bank

One of my favourite pieces of music. Anybody else remember Albie Thoms film of the same name? Wonderful!

Geelong Poetry Anthology - SUBMIT NOW

Call for Submissions for a Poetry Anthology

First Call: Now to 3oth June
(Early Submissions encouraged)


At the meeting on 23rd May '15 I spoke about this idea.
Last year we had a Poetry Competition with 12 'Winners' and more than 60 poems entered. We undertook to provide the opportunity for publication but the Annual Anthology was for 'Memoir'.
We will now do a Poetry Anthology to include work from 12 winners and open to both the other entrants and all others in our GW contacts who want to send us Poetry for possible publication.
Maurice Alexander, Secretary, Geelong Writers
Important Note:
This publication will be as well as our Annual Anthology. The call for submissions with details of requirements will be sent to this same group but there will be 2 different e-mail addresses to submit your writing to.

Guidelines for E-mail submissions (all submissions by e-mail to following e-mail address)

E-mail Address:
Form: Attachment as a ‘Word’ document.
Contact details (to be included in both attachment & body of e-mail):
Name; Postal address; E-mail address; Phone no(s).
Writer’s Bio. -(To be attached as a separate ‘Word’ document:) Limit 100 words Please include your name in document name e.g. Jane Blogs Bio
Preferred formatting
(Except poems if alternate format is artistically important)
MARGIN: ‘normal’ in word.
FONT: Times New Roman 12pt
PARAGRAPHS: Left aligned; first line indented
HEADINGS: Standard 1 to 3 only

Subjects and Themes:

Our working title will be "A People's Poetry" and it will be a Geelong Writers Publication.
Suggestions: Poems that tell of you as person with connection to Geelong as place, people, past history, politics, society etc.
Alternate Title and themes: Joys of (Poetry) Writing.

So all Poets be inspired send your work early for consideration!


Copyright © 2015 Geelong Writers, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a Geelong Writers Inc member

Our mailing address is:
Geelong Writers
PO Box 1306
Geelong, Victoria 3220

Monday, May 25, 2015

Love’s Philosophy by Percy Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river  
And the rivers with the ocean,  
The winds of heaven mix for ever  
With a sweet emotion;  
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine  
In one another’s being mingle—  
Why not I with thine?  
See the mountains kiss high heaven,  
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven  
If it disdain’d its brother;  
And the sunlight clasps the earth,  
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—  
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822

(Such a beautiful poem.)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This touches my heart

A western lowland gorilla baby named Mjukuu, born in October last year, rides on the back of his mother Mbeli at Taronga zoo in Sydney, Australia

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rochford St Review: David Brooks' OPEN HOUSE (UQP)

A Place Where You Can Bring Things Together: Andrew Burke reviews ‘Open House’ by David Brooks

Open House by David Brooks, UQP 2015.
open house david brrokes

There are many themes in David Brooks new book Open House, many values of love, many heart felt convictions, many parables and narratives. The collection’s cohesion is the poet’s voice, borne out of colloquial language, stated in an intimate cadence and brought together by true conviction.
The main theme of the collection is man’s cruelty to animals. And this animal kingdom encompasses every living creature – from slugs to elephants. Mankind should live at peace with all creatures. As Francis Ponge once wrote: We only have to lower our standard of dominating nature, and to raise our standard of participating in it, in order to make this reconciliation take place.
Even though some poems here are polemical, they are not blunt force instruments. The poems are persuasive and thoughtful, sharing a belief with the reader rather than wielding language like a bludgeon. But I am saying too much of what they are not: here is an example of what they are – from the poem ‘Phasmid':
They call them Phasmatidae, I think, the genus,
though I might well be wrong;
the species I simply cannot trace: small
stick-like insects so perfectly disguised
you’d think them a part of a eucalypt until,
the wind or some sudden
disturbance of the leaves dislodging them, they fall
onto something not their colour. Match-length
scrolls of bark, they could be, though looking more closely
you think something more delicate, utterly.
Three more verses expand on the theme until this last verse:
The next day the car was gone
and the creature also from my mind until,
driving in again, a few days later still,
and getting out of the car, I saw her
lying less than a metre from me, her hind-part
just crushed by my driver’s-side wheel.
I picked her up, of course, and buried her beneath
the tree from which I’ve always thought she came
and since then, for eleven years or more, I’ve
wondered what could be their name.
One of the great strengths of Brooks style is his clarity of vision. When poetry in English was polluted by faux philosophy and stylistic filigree in the late 19th century, Pound and Eliot et al went to Eastern poetry for a cure – the image was at the heart of the new poetry, the sharp image transporting emotions from the poet to the reader via the page. We hardly notice such a technique in our contemporary poetry until it is used in an exceptionally excellent manner – or the reverse. Here Brooks uses the clarity of the senses to paint pictures which carry vibrant thoughts without force or flippancy.
Almost always there is something
flickering on the edge of our attention, like someone
at the back of a crowd, trying to catch our eye.
Sometimes it delivers its message, some-
times in doesn’t.
…………..This last three months or so
there has been a long row of pumpkins
in a farmer’s field, running parallel to the highway …
Five verses of meditation on pumpkins later, Pumpkins on the Koper Road ends with these lines:
The mystical significance of pumpkins quite
escapes me. But maybe that’s the point: that it’s
one of the businesses of things to go, one of
the businesses of poets to try to hold them.
A simple imagistic poem follows, August:
No wind, and yet
a flock of tiny
to the road like leaves.
Some of these small poems lie in the text like a pause for breath, both physical and thoughtful. There are love poems here, and a small amount of elegies, and some poems near the end of the collection focussed on our relationship with sheep – ‘Reading to the Sheep’ is a delightful poem, prompting many trains of thought (see Emery Brook’s launch speech for more). The Lambs carries much weight in its approach to lambs and sheep as used for tales in the Bible – Brooks’s reading is rich and thoughtful:
and a reminder too, that ‘sacrifice’
means to make sacred: it’s all
to do with lambs, rams, ewes and wethers, it seems to me,
not God,
a way to justify a choice of food
we know to be cruel beyond measure
but for which we nevertheless continue to hanker, though
not just that but – back to the tales – the curious way in
read carefully, we find they admit to it all …
Open House ‘is a place where you can bring things together’, as David Brooks says about poems in one poem. It’s a healthy size at over 150 pages and a multi-level collection, beautifully written
with its own intimate tones echoing long after you have put it down.
– Andrew Burke
Andrew Burke has been writing and publishing in Australia and beyond since the 60s. He holds a PhD from Edith Cowan University, and his current titles from Walleah Press are Undercover of Lightness (2012) and One Hour Seeds Another (2014) Burke blogs at

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to write a Cover Letter: Ploughshares

You’ve written and revised your story, essay, or poem. The hard part is over, and now it’s time to send out your work. Don’t let something as simple as a cover letter trip you up.

Here are a few tips on writing a great cover letter.
Don’t forget! Submissions for our Emerging Writer’s Contest close this Friday, May 22, at 12 noon EST. The winning story, essay, and poems from the 2015 contest will be published in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Ploughshares, and each writer will receive $1,000.

Submit online today!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Listen to Australian Poets & News


Monday, May 18, 2015


the health food shop
hiding a chocolate wrapper


brewing a cup
to wake up enough
to brew another


eating hot pizza
listening to jazz
mushroom rolls off


minus five Celsius -
dog keeps under
the blankets


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Denise Levertov Should Be More Famous : from The Literary Hub

Saint Joseph’s put a small committee including Warn and Seattle poet Jan Wallace in charge of choosing a tombstone for the grave. They did an admirable job. It’s a huge black rectangle, substantial and dense, and in a pleasant literary font it reads, simply:

Denise Levertov
levertov grave

On top of the stone is a sculpture. It’s by a local sculptor named Phillip McCracken, who both Levertov and her son, Nikolai, had grown to admire; Levertov had visited his studio not long before her death. From a distance, the sculpture looks like a small granite boulder, but as you get closer, you can see the beginnings of shapes erupting from its surface; a smooth concave bit hollowed from its side, a point carved at the base. From one angle, it looks like an arrowhead; from another it’s an egg; from a third it’s a cube. It captures the moment of becoming, that boundless possibility before the shapes take hold and seize your recognition, force you to acknowledge they resemble one object or another. The sculpture is caught in that eternal instant of possibility, evading categorization and identification.

It’s called “Stone Poem,” and it’s absolutely perfect.

Read it all - a very good article - at

Poetry: "I like it when you read to me."

illustration by Cecilia Ruiz
New York Times article on Poetry as an Oral Art -
how recorded performances figure in today's audiophile markets.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dylan Day: Poet's lost notebook goes on show in Swansea, revealing 'tiny, neat writing of a meticulous craftsman'

Dylan Thomas’ granddaughter Hannah Ellis says she was struck by how “tiny and neat” her famous grandfather’s writing is in a “lost” notebook which has gone on public display for the first time.
The previously-unseen Dylan Thomas notebook, re-discovered after lying forgotten in a drawer for decades, has gone on display at Swansea University to mark the inaugural International Dylan Thomas Day.

Events were being held across the UK and the world yesterday for the first “Dylan Day”, which the Welsh Government hopes will rival Burns Night.

Celebrations got off to a start in the Welsh Dragon Bar in Wellington, New Zealand, where Dylan poetry readings were held while Welsh drinks and food were consumed.

Lots more to read at

Thursday, May 14, 2015

At the Grave of Denise Levertov

Her faithful friends are there before me –
Seattle – or her dozen local fans –
ready for Denise Levertov Day,

with bookshop events, her parish church
performing her words set to music –
Father Glen, in robes embroidered

P - e - a - c - e, already launched on his
pious spiel as I sidle in, having
toiled uphill in spring sunshine

to the big old evergreen that tops
Lake View Cemetery (as if the dead
still have eyes to thank Lake Washington!).

Here beneath a sculpted stone, her name,
and green turf, rest her mortal remains.
The immortal remains are sounded

by friendly voices, themselves poets –
her books, tenderly read, in hand;
their own lines also of their friend,

their shared years, lake, mountain, parish
church. The aftermath, its story told
of right design, reverent sculptor,

carved memorial stone. We smile
noting how nearby, more visited,
is Bruce Lee’s grave. Martial artist!

The poet of peace, had she still ears,
would hear her words, and ours, of peace,
mountain, lake, and sacred space. 

- Max Richards
Australian poet presently in Seattle

25% Off WILD CARD - by Dorothy Hewett

A Promotion with UWAP

May 14, 2015
In the July issue – 60.1 (2015) – Westerly is excited to be offering ‘Prologue to The Empty Room‘ by Dorothy Hewett. Together with the University of Western Australia Press, we are celebrating this wonderful piece with a promotion!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Issa Haiku

entrusting it to young folk
I sleep...
cozy wood fire

Issa 1818

wakai shu ni tanonde netaru hotabi kana

Shinji Ogawa explains that wakai shu means "young men, slightly older than young boys."

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Annie Finch from Huff Post's THE BLOG: Memorising Poems

"When I teach a new group of poets, I often ask who knows some poetry by heart, and it turns out that many of them do. If you're like most people, even if you have never memorized a poem, you can recite a few lines of a children's poem, an advertising jingle, or maybe some song lyrics that sound like poetry when recited. So you know you can do it. Setting out to memorize a poem on purpose just makes the process more intentional.

Here are my top tips for memorizing a poem:

1. Choose a poem that will feed you, one you truly love. Since memorized words become, in a sense, a part of your personality and your life, by committing certain poems to memory you can consciously choose to shape yourself and your life in certain directions.

2. Consider a poem that has strong rhythm or uses meter and rhyme. These ancient poetic tools were developed in part to help with memorization, and they work.

3. Write or print out a copy. This way, you can keep the poem near you, and every time you see it you will be reminded to practice. You can put your copy on the bathroom sink while you brush your teeth, next to you at the dinner table, in the car for a quick glance when stopped at a red light, and yes, nestled in your pocket while you walk.

4. Start at the beginning. Memorize the first line first and keep adding onto it, line by line. Gradually increase the amount you can recite until you get to the end. Each time you recite, start at the beginning. This helps your confidence and strengthens the effect each time you run through the poem.

5. Recite the poem frequently and stop to take a look at it as soon as you get confused, so you can catch any mistakes right away before they get ingrained.

6. Try using your body for help. Break the poem into sections, and associate each section with a gesture, change of posture or position, or other physical movement. That way, your body will do the remembering for you.

7. Consider working with buddies. As I found with "Ode to a Nightingale," you may find it easier to memorize if you do it with other people. You could support each other and share notes, or challenge and compete with each other.

The more you memorize, the easier it is to do, at any stage of life. Your brain gets used to it and better at it, and you'll find that you become more confident. Before you know it, you may find you have a whole library of favorite poems in your mind and body--and every month will be National Poetry Month.

Anne Frank's Ideals


“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Friday, May 08, 2015

National Poetry Prize now open

Dangerously Poetic and the Byron Bay Writers Festival are sponsoring a national poetry prize to be awarded at the Byron Bay Writers Festival on Saturday, 8 August at an off-site venue, The Lone Goat Gallery, Byron Bay.

Poets are invited to write up to 40 lines on the theme- Change.
Judge: Krissy Kneen

First Prize : $500, a 3 day pass to the Byron Bay Writers Festival 2015, publication in Dangerously Poetic’s upcoming anthology (projected launch date 4/2016), a free copy of the anthology and an opportunity to read the poem at an offsite Festival event.

Second Prize : $100, 1 day pass (Sunday) to Byron Bay Writers Festival 2015, publication in Dangerously Poetic’s upcoming anthology and an opportunity to read poem at an offsite Festival event.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Natalie Gillespie This Saturday in Albany

From the Canberra office (Geoff Page)

Hello Poetry at The Gods supporters 
Please don't forget the next Gods reading on Tues May 12. It will feature Lisa Jacobson (Melb) and Andy Kissane (Syd). They're both lively readers and quality poets. Both were in The Best Australian Poems 2014 and I've appended their poems below. It'd be good to offer them a good crowd in the national capital.
Lisa Jacobson’s verse novel The Sunlit Zone (Five Islands Press, 2012) won the 2014 Adelaide Festival John Bray Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for four other national awards. Her latest collection, South in the World, came out from UWAP last year.  

Andy Kissane is a Sydney poet and fiction writer who thinks Poetry at the Gods is “the best live poetry reading in Australia”. His recent books are the collection, Radiance, and a book of short stories, The Swarm.

Please note the start times i.e. dinner at 6 and readings at 7.30. If you'd like to join my tables up the front let me know or you may prefer to start your own table and book directly with The Gods on 6248 5538 or
All the best 

Match Girls, 1888

She holds the frame and dips each pair of sticks
into the yellow paste that will catch and burn
in the darkest London night—a luminous ribbon,
Lucifer’s finger. When dry, her sister cuts
the matchsticks with a knife and stacks them
into boxes. The phosphorus is safe, the foreman
said, they need not fear. Yet she’s heard talk
of Bessie losing her jawbone, heard Ada say 

that they ought not eat at the work tables. 
Today she rises early, despite the beginnings
of a toothache and a raw, bleeding gum. One
must not complain. Instead, she pokes her sister
under the quilt and they laugh at their teeth, glowing
green and ghostly in the warm cave of the bed.

Andy Kissane

Morning Ride
Eltham Station, 8.01 am

School girls whinny and toss their yellow manes
in half-wild herds on board the morning train.

I’ll never be like that again, what’s quick
in them now slows in me, though I recall

their visceral scent, new-glistening, which makes
grown men and school boys shift, ambivalent

in their vinyl seats. The girls gossip and stamp
their black-laced feet. Some part their legs a bit.

Something’s begun, some urgent heartstrong need
for root and seed that no old god can halt,

no worn-out creed. The train groans to a stop.
The girls get off in a flecked-skirt, skittish mob,

disperse. And yet, the taut wire of their want
persists; their sharp desire, its imperative.

Lisa Jacobson