Monday, 1 May 2017


                                     when the war ends
Looking inside (10.5cm wide x 7.5 cm high)

came about because I was doing a reprint of quid pro quad. The smaller contrians seven poems from the bigger collection:
   when the war ends
   he so keen aches
   it is a bird
   unsinge the opal
   a chuckle bird
   he is worried
   overwrought iron

What is a quad? Go to the quad label (or straight to this link on this blog). Or for more background go to the quad page on my site at

Each quarter of a quad on a single page.
The quid pro quad reprint with its daughter, when the war ends.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

The rise of the small

 You can have a giant anthology or even the legendary 'slim volume' of poetry but often, when the poetry is good, it's like having to eat all your chocolate eggs at once. 

Too much, too rich. Sometimes it's better to have digestible quantities. 

Here are three poem portfolios (Aves, Verge, and The Beekeeper's War) published under the Well Sprung Productions imprint in limited editions, and thematically arranged. 

Each portfolio contains three items.

They are available for purchase. Contact me at


Aves  contains  

Aves & Fishes
[five n twenty]
The Secret Lives of Birds
which are individual poems presented in concertina folds all related to birds, though there is the pun on aves which is taken up in the first poem.

[approx 10.5 cm x 10.5 cm]

Verge which contains the booklets
Young Ulysses takes to the sea for the first time (a single poem)
The Movement to Spring ('17 types of movement' and 'Winter to Spring')
The Question Arriving ('Arriving in Autumn', 'To the Question', 'The Quiet', and 'Stopping the night')
These poems all have something to do with movement and going and coming.
[approx 10.5 cm x 10.5 cm]

The Beekeeper's War contains the booklets
Some Wars ('Some Wars', 'The Fear')
Neda (a single poem)
Obedience ('The General Becomes', 'The Beekeeper')
These poems deal with matters of war.
 [approx 10.5 cm x 10.5 cm]

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Destructing the poem: Ern Malley goes to Sappho Books

Toby Fitch organised a celebration of Ern Malley's 99th birthday (14 March). There were many there. Sixteen poets, academics, and others read a poem each. The audience was vibrant. Judith Rodriguez was there, and David Malouf, Beate Josephi, Andrew Taylor and lots of others. Readers included, Joanne Burns, aj carruthers, Leif Mahoney (who had been bruiting this idea about for some time), me (Chris Mansell), Kate Middleton, Amanda Stewart, Richard Tipping (who brought the original Angry Penguins edition), John Tranter etc


Michele Seminara took this pic  
of this reading mid-action. 
Low light. Far away.

My allocated poem was Night Piece (alternative version). I'd originally been allocated Night Piece so I compared/edited/stripped down the two poems.

First Night Piece:

 And here is the alternative version (also by Ern of course):

Then I thought I'd see what the differences were and see if that made any sort of sense. I've left in the Track Changes/edit so you can see I did not cheat with this. Nymph was deleted and then inserted because it changed its position.

I read this - the alternative alternative version.

And then I wondered what the remainder looked like (extracted from the blue above):

The question then is do any of the versions seem better to a contemporary ear? When you read some of the other poems in the magazine of the time you can see why Max Harris might have leapt at these poems.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to Jacket:
or more comprehensively Jacket2: