Monday, 24 November 2008

6th 6x6 Exhibition

The sixth annual art shindig. It's easy to
remember: 6pm, 6th Dec, 6th year, 6 works each
by 6 artists.

cheryl scowen

nick powell
suzi krawczyk
jen saunders
andrea lofthouse
kaye johnston

Cambewarra Hall, Cambewarra (Shoalhaven)

This is a heap of fun. I been every year so far. Mostly I buy something. Red dots everywhere.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Exile and Place

I have been a subscriber to American Poetry Review, I'm astonished to discover, almost as long as it's been around. For some of that time, when it arrived I'd remind myself, that I only bought it for the articles. But not recently.

The current issue (v37 no6) has poems by Mahmoud Darwish (trs by Fady Joudah) and an article called 'The Architecture of Loneliness' by Kazim Ali which are worth a look.

Ali's thoughts on exile are framed by a meditation of the cathedral inside the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Or rather the mosque with the cathedal inside.

Speaking about Darwish: "…if a place is to be made into metaphor, the wanderer has a shot of keeping his home alive and in his pocket" he compares this with the experience of Cristina Peri Rossi, Mehmedinovic and Yannis Ritsos. And asks: What is important - the place or the exile from the place?

When in the Great Mosque:
...I haven't uttered prayers in years but neither have I ever decided I wasn’t a Muslim There in that space, where prayer is expressly forbidden, I – who am myself in a certain fashion forbidden – found myself in the most curious position: it wasn't that that I should pray, obligated by my faith, but in that place, vexed and altered, was perhaps the only place I could …That vexed place, the once-mosque now very stridently Not-a-mosque for me became the only possible mosque, and exile in a structure of loss and loneliness, [like] a Jew at the remaining wall, the site of my very faith an interrupted, displaced, transposed place.
As he says elsewhere: Exile is a condition of the heart.

And later
No one knows a country like those exiled from it, and no one knows god like those expelled from paradise. …the primary condition of a person excluded from history or paradise is loneliness. it is not loneliness for the country or god left behind, because the very fact of exile convinced you that it was never yours to begin with. Rather one realises a deeper loneliness, profound, that lives in the heart of the human and cannot be succoured.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Michelle McGrane's Peony Moon Blog

Came across this nice blog via Facebook. It's worth a look - and not only for the fabulous amount of useful links in the blogroll. There are poems and short pieces on other writers - news etc. Try it, you might like it.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


You've got to love Michael Quinion's World Wide Words:

Chatoyant /S@'tOI@nt/
Having a changeable, varying lustre or colour.

No two dictionaries seem to entirely agree on the current meaning
of the word. Some mention only the bright lustre of a gem caused by
reflections from within the stone, because the word now most often
appears in discussions by gemologists; other dictionaries include
the sheen of a bird's plumage or the changing colours and texture
of a material such as silk.

All agree, however, that the source of the expression is the gleam
of a cat's eyes in the dark. The direct source is the eighteenth-
century French verb "chatoyer", to shine like a cat's eyes. Its
French connections remain strong enough that it is still sometimes
said as though it were French (roughly "cha-twai-yan").

Many examples in English literature refer to shining eyes, as in
The Insidious Dr Fu-Manchu, by Sax Rohmer, of 1913: "I managed to
move sufficiently to see at the top, as I fired up the stairs, the
yellow face of Dr. Fu-Manchu, to see the gleaming, chatoyant eyes,
greenly terrible, as they sought to pierce the gloom."

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


From the pen of Ken Bolton:

If you've been attending the Lee Marvin Readings - or even meaning to - you may be interested in the exhibition Mentor/Mentored #4. It features four artists: Viv Miller, Tim Sterling, Louise Haselton, & Ken Bolton. That last is me.

I'm exhibiting a series of illustrated poems (& some filmed footage of reading) - plus work in collaboration with painter Viv Miller: some poems written to her specifications & a work of mine that she began illustrating 'blind', not having seen the text.

Friday November 14, from 6 PM

CACSA, 14 Porter St Parkside
Opens 6 PM November 14th & runs thru till December 19th.
11 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday thru Friday, & Weekends 1 - 5 PM

This would be very interesting if you are Adelaide. Or even if you're not in Adelaide. But you could GO if you were in Adelaide.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

North of the latte line: Launch, Carolyn Fisher's 'The Unsuspecting Sky'

North of the latte line: Launch, Carolyn Fisher's 'The Unsuspecting Sky'

A well-deserved award to Di Bates

Good news! Di Bates, the much acclaimed children's writer from the 'Gong who is also a great champion of writing for children, has been given Lady Cutler Award.

The Lady Cutler Award has been presented annually since 1981 for distinguished service to children’s literature. It is sponsored by Hachette Livre & hosted by the Children’s Book Council of NSW.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Outrageous if true

No opt-out of filtered Internet
Policy to be set after trial

Australians will be unable to opt-out of the government's pending Internet content filtering scheme, and will instead be placed on a watered-down blacklist, experts say.

Under the government's $125.8 million Plan for Cyber-Safety, users can switch between two blacklists which block content inappropriate for children, and a separate list which blocks illegal material.

 blog it

On reflection

After years of scraping together money to keep myself and family afloat(ish) I've decided to go back to my old penurious ways and devote time to reflection as I used to do. It's a hard decision in hard times but without time one cannot continue to be a poet, and if I am anything at all, that's all I am. After years of being ruled by money, in however small amounts, it's difficult to adjust to the regimen of reading and reflection and thinking without guilt about the treadmill. Reflection begins to feel 'undisciplined' - one's mind has become used to the constant distraction of activity and to the inanition of task and deadline. Instead of being the secondary offshoots of the main occupation, they can take over your entire world.

Today I am reading, thinking, writing. And tonight, when I have finished reading, I will do the necessary literary tasks.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

The Travels of Ibn Battutah

I bought Tim Mackingtosh-Smith's version of The Travels of Ibn Battutah in Dubai on the way home from Turkey and am now deep into it, following maps (and endnotes) and relating it to where I've visited in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. It's a strangely put together travel tale - missing the sorts of things that the contemporary travel writer would include - and including things that most contemporary travellers could/would not. He was a qadi and invited to meet sultans, kings and sometimes queens.

It's distant and impersonal but fascinating for the insight it gives you into how things operated. It's one thing to go to a today and another read of it in 1325-55. Apart from the 'I know that castle' effect, the work is interesting for the sensibility which is particular to the man and the insight to the upper ranks of the cultures though which he moved.

Some of it is plainly fabrication - famously, his description of the pyramids, but it draws you on. The mysterious people of the Darkness, questions which you know will not be answered (what happened to the wife, where to the slave girls disappear to), place names which seem to have no equivalence, the description of Baghdad which seems recent (once beautiful, rich, but now wrecked).

Ibn Battutah went to Quniyah (Konya) and to the resting place of Rumi (Jalal al-Din) - his gloss is a bit less reverent version of returning after seeking Shamsi:
Subsequently he came back to the, after many years, but he had become demented would speak only in Persian rhymed couplets which no one could understand. His disciples used to follow him and write down that poetry as it issued from him, and they collected it into a book called the Mathnawi. [Mesnevi]

I'm in Turkestan and Afghanistan now. Don't blame me if I don't answer your emails. I'm reading.

Adelaide reading

16th Reading OCTOBER 21st
Aidan Coleman
Ken Bolton
Jill Jones
Kyriaki Maragozidis
Simon Robb

9 Anster St., Adelaide
(off Waymouth at the King William end, near FAD nightclub)

7.30 for a prompt 8 PM start
Price $5

Monday, 1 September 2008

New PressPress title

Carolyn Fisher's The Unsuspecting Sky was the winner of the 2008 PressPress Chapbook Award.

There was a large and competitive field for this award and the competition was close. Fisher's poems are clear and present an accessible vision of the natural and social world around her. The poems in the chapbook have been written over a number of years when Fisher was a recipient of Australia Council and Arts Tasmania grants.


October 2008: Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Launceston.
December 2008: The Republic, Hobart
January 2009: Poets Pub Night, Forth Pub, Forth

Friday, 13 June 2008

Readings and events coming up

Endless Summer Literary Lunch
14 June 2008

With Emma Hardman, DC Green and Meg Bishop.

When: 12noon, 14 June 2008
Where: St Georges Basin Country Club, Paradise Beach Road, Sanctuary Point
Cost: $45
Bookings: Margaret 02 4443 4207 or Vala 0422 678 940

Rocket Readings - featuring Jane Gibian and Christine Paice
17 June 2008

When: 6.30pm, Tuesday 17 June 2008
Where: Music Farmers cafe, 5 Crown Lane, Wollongong (laneway opposite the western entrance of Crown Street Mall)
Bookings and information: SCWC 02 4228 0151 or
Cost: Free event your donation gratefully accepted.

Writing about Art with Wollongong City Gallery Director Craig Judd
12 July 2008

An introduction to some of the pleasures and pitfalls of writing about art with Wollongong City Gallery Director Craig Judd.

When: 12.30-1.30pm Saturday 12 July 2008
Where: Wollongong City Gallery, corner of Kembla and Burelli Streets, Wollongong
Information and bookings: Vivian Vidulich, Wollongong City Gallery, 02 4228 7500.
Free event. All welcome.

State of Play - Australian Poetry Now! 6th Australian Poetry Festival
5-7 September 2008

Opening Night Party and Performance; Poets from around Australia and overseas; Panels on the State of Play in Contemporary Oz Poetry; Performance Night; The Judith Wright Lecture (to be delivered by Bruce Dawe); The $3000 Poets Union Poetry Prize (entry form on site); The Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Verse; Launch of the Poets Union Anthology; Pre-Festival Events (Monster Open Reading; Reading Seminar); All to be recorded in a special double edition of Five Bells which will be a significant contribution to thinking about the craft of contemporary Australian poetry. Full Program, Ticket Prices, Early Bird Booking Coming Soon. If you have scheduled a event around this time, or you would like to do so, and you'd like it advertised in the program as an Umbrella Event, please contact Brook at the address below. All inquiries, offers to help, requests, etc appreciated. Supported by the Australia Council, Arts NSW, City of Sydney, Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, University of NSW.
Enquiries Brook Emery:

When: 5,6 & 7 September 2008
Where: Sydney Mechanics School of Arts, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney

Poet's Picnic at Bundanon
14 September 2008

With Sam Wagan Watson and SCWC member Jennifer Dickerson.

When: 12noon-4pm, 14 September 2008
Where: Bundanon Bomestead Lawn, Bundanon, near Nowra NSW
Cost: $10/$7
More information:

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Loft Reading which is actually in the UTS Studio this time:

Reading/performing are:
  • Antigone Kefala
  • Jennifer Maiden
  • Amanda Stewart
Music from
  • David Finch

Thursday the 12th of June

UTS Studio (Note: NOT The Loft), 6.30 (for 7) pm

Dear friends, poets and lovers of The Word— Come and join us for an evening of poetic pleasures with three of Australia’s most diverse and accomplished poetic voices. On Thursday the 12th of June, Antigone Kefala, Jennifer Maiden and Amanda Stewart will be performing at the UTS studio. Their work spans a huge aesthetic spectrum, from variations on traditional prose forms to abstracted experimental poetics, and this promises to be reading not to be missed.

Doors open at 6.30 – come down and join us for a drink before the show. Readings will begin shortly after 7.

The UTS Studio/Performance Space, Building 3 (Bon Marché), Room 105

(Corner of Harris Street and Broadway Road, Broadway. Entry on Harris St)

Entry: $5/$3 for Students and working/unworking poor

For More Information... Berndt Sellheim: 0420 243 751 /

The Loft Readings could not continue without the support of the Writing and Cultural Studies Area at the University of Technology, and generous funding from The Literature Board of The Australia Council for the Arts.

Antigone Kefala was born in Romania of Greek parents. She moved with her parents to Greece while still a child, and in 1960 came, via New Zealand, to live in Australia. She writes in both Greek and English, and these diverse influences contribute to a poetry that is haunting and intense. She has published a number of poetry collections, including The Alien, Thirsty Weather, European Notebook and Absence: New and Selected Poems. Her most recent publication is a prose work entitled Sydney Journals: Reflections 1970 – 2000, with Giramondo Press.

Jennifer Maiden was born in Penrith, New South Wales. Thirteen of her poetry collections (one including short stories) and two of her novels have been published. Her most recent collection, Friendly Fire (Giramondo, 2005) won the Age Book of the Year Award, and she has received a swag of other prizes for her work, including, on two occasions, the N.S.W Premier’s Award for Poetry, The Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry and the Christopher Brennan Award for a lifetime of achievement in poetry.

Amanda Stewart is a Sydney based poet and sound artist. Since the 1970s she has been producing a variety of poetic texts, performances, radio, film and multi-media works in Australia, Japan, the US and Europe. In 1989 she co-founded the performance ensemble Machine for Making Sense, she co-wrote and directed the 1990 film Eclipse of the Man-Made Sun. Her collected works book and CD entitled I/T won the 1999 Anne Elder Award for poetry.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Lucie Thorne performing

Lucie Thorne, singer/songwriter and all round lovely person

Saturday 19th April 2008
The Tea Club, Nowra.
with Kat Frankie.
band show w/ Heath Cullen, Robyn Martin and Jay McMahon.
7.30pm. $20/$15.
bookings: 02 4422 0900

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Artfest '08 - Sept 19 - Oct 12

Heavenly Bodies” is an exhibition being organized in conjunction with the Milton-Ulladulla Escape Artfest 2008. It will be held from 20 September to 12 October at the Hibiscus Gallery, 15 Wallaroy Drive, Burrill Lake NSW.

The theme of the exhibition is the beauty of the human form – both male and female. Chris and Wanda Bridgland are inviting visual artists in any medium who would like to participate in this exhibition to submit expressions of interest by 30 June 2008. The Expression of Interest documentation is attached to this email as a Word document. For information about the exhibition (or if you need a printed copy of the documentation), please telephone (02) 6254 8927 after hours or email Please pass this on to others you think might be interested

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Launches: The Australian Popular Songbook

Alan Wearne is launching his The Australian Popular Songbook (poetry) in The Gong and Sydney:

Launch by Bonny Cassidy
7 pm Friday 8 April
Headlands Hotel
Headland Ave
info: 02 4221 4098

Launch by Pam Brown
3.30 pm Sunday 20 April
49 Glebe Point Road
RSVP 02 9660 2333

Friday, 28 March 2008

Kerry Leves booklaunch

Come to 'Benledi', Glebe Library, 186 Glebe Point
Rd, Glebe, on Sunday 30 March, 3.30 for 4pm, where/ when Nicolette
Stasko will be launching A Shrine to Lata Mangeshkar, by Kerry
Leves, published by Puncher and Wattmann, rrp $25.

A journey into another culture, conducted through words that feed the
senses and stretch the imagination

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

ASA money workshop

Financial Issues seminar - 9 April - Wollongong

Date: Wednesday 9 April 2008, 10am-4.45pm
Venue: South Coast Writers Centre, Level 3, Cnr Crown & Kembla Streets, Wollongong
Note: There is only stair access to the 3rd floor.

The ASA's seminar on financial issues aims to provide writers with the tools to effectively manage the business side of writing.

Presenters have been selected for their knowledge and expertise in advising clients on matters ranging from compliance with the tax office to providing income for the future.

Lou Kinnas, Chartered Accountant from Akele Kinnas & Co, has over 20 years’ auditing experience and will speak about:
* Running a small business: record keeping * An eye for detail: the importance of record keeping * Financial reporting: GST, BAS and FBT for the financially challenged * Tax accounting: ABNs, invoices and payments * Royalty payments

Penny Miles, Arts on Tour
* Applying for grants, awards and competitions

Jeremy Fisher, Australian Society of Authors
* CAL, PLR and ELR * Freelance writers and illustrators: negotiating payments

Sean Butcher, Wealthinsure Financial Services
* Superannuation: types of funds, superannuation guarantee * Insurance: accident & illness, defamation, public liability and income protection.

With the CAL Cultural Fund’s generous support of the ASA’s professional development program, we are able to offer this seminar at the affordable price of $82.50. If you know anyone who might be interested in attending the seminar, please let them know we have a limited offer of $172 for non-members, which gives them one year ASA membership and the seminar is free!

Come along to this very practical seminar, have your questions answered, and get your business organised!

Download your registration form at:

or email: for a registration form.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

It's funny I tell you: Watching Bitter Films: Animated Shorts by Don Hertzfeldt

The difference between what we expect and what we get
is either disappointment or a definition of humour.

Genres work on expectations. If you see a romantic comedy, the bloke and the sheila better get together in the end or you'll ask for your money back. Imagine any Jane Austen novel where Darcy goes off and sulks forever and Elizabeth remains a conceited self-important, self-absorbed middle class Daddy's girl all her life. That girl with the big teeth, what's her name, Julia Roberts, would be out of a job and Colin Firth would have to kill himself. The heartbreak is not real and we know it's not real. The rejection and humiliation is for our titillation and vicarious enjoyment. We're pleased that it's not us and live in the happy, if illusory, certitude that somehow we're just like the heroine/hero, even though even our family admits we're not intelligent, good looking or about to become rich. The world, however, seems ordered and right.

Speaking of ordered and right: what does it say about a culture when most of its entertainment is about murder and law enforcement? There are whole programs about catching sexual deviants (Law and Order: SVU). Does this strike you as odd? It is possible to watch nothing but football and murder for hours and days on end and in one of them the same team wins all the time. The odd show where the crims are the heroes are a big surprise, but even then there's a moral dimension. And what about that darkly comic movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels for example. The complex plot unfolds in a very satisfying 'good guys' prosper 'bad guys' fail sort of way (though 'good and bad and very relative here). What does our insistence that the blokes in the white hats win say about our anxiety about keeping things ordered and right?

Even the biggest show on the planet, The Simpsons, embodies moral rectitude. From Chaucer to Mr H.Simpson via The Honeymooners and The Flintstones, there's a message there. Think about it. Every time Homer Simpson does something which scandalously threatens the right and the true, it never works out. He's always back to where he started. Not with the ruinous consequences such behaviour would invoke in our worlds, but back to zero for him. Most episodes invoke movies of the 30s40s50s (why does he give those Rousing Speeches? Don't you watch late night black and white television? Anything made by Rank? Why the dance routines? Homer lives in a post-modern world.) Homer's biggest sin, (Sloth) gets him into more trouble than it's worth. Homer even goes to church.

We're relieved we're not him, though mostly we are: yellow with 2.5 children and a secret wish to escape our responsibilities and to lie on the sofa in our underwear.

What about the phenomenon of Mr Hertzfeldt's simple cartoons? What secret do they nod to?

For the individual, it's clarity. Our wish for things to be simple and clear and for moral complexity to be straightened out and simplified to the point where we can act truthfully. Hertzfeldt laughs at us and we laugh too. We expect the expected.

Buster Keaton's cunning simpleton evades disaster, unlikely odds, winning out and winning the girl, evoking our sympathy and sometimes anxious dismay until the end when the baddies are defeated and he comes out all right. When he's caught in a cyclone and the walls fall, he's the one left standing in the open doorway as the wall falls flat around him, He's blithely unharmed. The audience laughs as one. It's all too much, any normal person would have been killed. When there's a coiled rope on the deck of a boat he walks over it several times, and the joke becomes that he hasn't tripped up on it.

When Hertzfeldt's baby falls down the stairs, tripping over the small pun of the title ('First Steps') it's funny because it's appalling (poor baby!) and not real. When there is an impossibly huge set of steps, the like of which humanity has never seen in brick or stone, the joke becomes a meta-joke: we get it that he's sending up the trick he's just this moment pulled on us. When there is blood in excess, it is much less than any night of any week of television or the horrible realities of thousands of the real bloodied collateral damage perpetrated in our names just over the horizon. All the red scribble of Don Hertzfeldt doesn't come within spitting distance of this. But he makes us laugh. Why was that? Because 1. he steps over a loine and breaks a taboo (that anus talk) 2. he shows improbable gushing of blood 3. then he takes the improbably gushing illogically far too far (see the too many steps, above).

When, in L'Armour, the girls rejects our simple though confident hero, he remains unaccountably uncowed (think Keaton, think Chaplin, Marx Bros, Three Stooges, Dumb and Dumber) and optimistic in just the way we we hope we could be and tell our children to be. It's stupid. He should give up. He's had his heart ripped out and been beaten around the head with it. That, surely, was hint enough that he should give up. Or if not then, perhaps when he was cut in two, lengthways, with a chainsaw. But no, he reappears, whole, optimistic and even judgemental (he bypasses the overweight girl. We'd expected that he would approach her and she would be all right because…oops, in expecting the expected a vile little prejudice is revealed.) Only after several lifetimes of unlikely and excessive damage, does he finally work out what you are supposed to do to win the girl. He could have written a paper about it (others have) but by eschewing earnestness Hertzfeldt has been succinctly eloquent about gender relationships and got a laugh out of it. It's the men who laughed in recognition – while the women quietly exempted themselves from such sins. We do not lie around on the sofa in our underwear and we do not chop blokes up with chainsaws, tempting though that is.

When there is overweening inanity (My spoon is too big), the four million episodes of Sesame Street come rushing back, the comfortable wholesomeness exposed as slight. We laugh this time with embarrassed recognition that we accepted them as worthy and that we had suppressed our suspicion that they were actually silly. The innocent earnestness of the child character's face, the unlikely stupidity of the enterprise, even the awkward entry of the straight-talking and irrelevant banana, the pause for the punch line that doesn't come, make us laugh because we expected a development and it wasn't there.

When Bugs Bunny picks up the black circle that represents a hole and puts it under his arm and runs away with it, puts it down again and disappears down the hole, we laugh because we're operating in two contradictory states at once: one where we have accepted the fake as real (black circle equals hole) and one where we understand completely that it's a drawing and false. When the cartoonist's hand comes in and picks up the Hertzfeldt's rabbit by the ears in Genre and the ears are ripped off, and bleed, three conventions are being violated: the real hand is seen directly manipulating the creation (rabbit) and the rabbit's (non-existent) weight has internally consistent (though excessive) consequences (a reality is enforced though it was just revealed as illusory, and then immediately violated again). The blood is the third violation. We expect the expected: vile and excessive assaults in cartoons are neither lethal nor bloody.

Our first jokes are just like this. The terror of the parent disappearing behind the blanket in Peek a Boo only to magically reappear again from nowhere instantly is a wonder. Perception (what we see/don't see) gives way to anxiety which is replaced with relief. Something strange, worrying and improbable in the disappearance of the parent, is resolved. There has been a Trick. Do it again! When Uncle Jimmy pretends to take off his thumb, the joke is not the fear of mutilation which momentarily arises but the realisation that this is a Good Trick. We laugh because we know we've been duped, and everything is really, all right. We like it. Because we're in on the joke the gap between apparent reality and what subsequently seems true is not a disappointment after all.

What happens if the funny is not funny? Fart jokes, racist jokes. Why aren't they funny? Racist jokes are not funny because we can't suspend any disbelief there. We know the consequences: the very meanness that kills people. We've got to be careful. They've Gone Too Far. Jokes that could have serious consequences cease to be funny. Fart jokes, however, are funny to some people. The same way that bums and bottoms are hilarious to nine year old boys but less so when you are older: by the time we're 49 we've got used to having bums and bottoms and it seems a bit normal and unremarkable.

Have you ever tried to explain an elephant joke to anyone? I have. Me: Why do elephants paint their toenails many different colours? Them: I don't know, why? Me: So they can hide in Smarties boxes. Them: Elephants are too big to fit into Smarties boxes. Me: I know. Them: So how's that funny? Me: That's the joke, that they're too big, so painting their nails would be futile and no help at all disguising them. Them: So why say they should hide in Smarties boxes? Me: Look! Over there! {Exits, stage right. Sound of rapid footsteps, off}. There comes a point where you have to admit that if it isn't funny to them, it isn't funny to them.

Even so, I've got to tell you, Don Hertzfeldt is funny. What about when the people with the silly hats beat up the guy with the normal hat! Hilarious.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Collateral misinformation

From Urban Word of the Day:

When someone alters a [Wikipedia] article to win a specific argument, anyone who reads the false article before the "error" is corrected suffers from collateral misinformation.

I changed the scientific classification of red foxes last night in order to win an argument with Judy. I hope some stupid High School student didn't suffer from collateral misinformation.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

The new Big Bridge is out now!

is pleased to announce its 2008 issue.
It includes:

Up By The Maritime Museum
Poem by Nathaniel Tarn; Drawings by Nancy Victoria Davis


Exhaustive anthology and commentary on the Berkeley Poetry Scene of the 1960s; some writers went on to become major figures; others set up a unique dispensarion of their own
Edited with Commentery by Rychard Denner

Book-length study of community of poets just north of San Francisco from the mid 60s to mid 80s, many of whom went on to play major roles in the literary modes that followed throughout the century
by Kevin Opstedal

Spritely and diverse anthology of women living in the San Francisco Bay area today
edited by Katherine Hastings

On The Publication of Philip Whalen's COLLECTED POEMS
Celebration of the Collected poems of one of the most important American poets to emerge at mid century. One of the original Beats, his poems do not age or become dated, as this ample selection of commentary, poems, and appreciations makes clear.
Commentary and poems by: Dale Smith, David Schneider, Karl Young, Neeli Cherkovski, Brian Howlett, Ron Silliman, John Tarrant, Tom Clark, Anne Waldman, and David Meltzer.
Edited by Dale Smith

Poems by Philip Whalen; Photographs by Aram Saroyan:
Saroyan took photos of children more or less his own age while travelling in Europe with his father. He sent them to Whalen who wrote poems based on them.

Poems, essays, comments, and hyper-text art against war.

First Impressions of
Selected Poems of Kitasono Katue
For most readers in the west, Japanese poetry of the 20th Century remains almost if not completely unknown. Yet it had its Avant Gardists comparable to Ezra Pound, Kenneth Rexroth, and Kenneth Patchen (to mention three who saw Kitasono as a peer. Kitasono foreshadowed most concerns and methods of western poets, from Concrete to Language Poetry to the PhotoPoetry emerging today decades before his western counterparts. This gathering respresents initial responses to the first large and easily available selection of his work.
Comments by: Aysegül Tözeren, Anny Ballardini, Susan Smith Nash, Carlos M. Luis, and Dan Waber

Poems of Mahmoud Darwish; Translated by Omnia Amin and Rick London
Generally considered the most important contemporary Palestinian Poet, this selection of poems shows a poet steeped in a great tradition dealing with contemporary issues, and doing so outside of stereotypes and predictable misconceptions

a d.a.levy satellite
Still controversial 39 years after his death, levy is finally emerging as a major American poet, inovator, publisher, and influence. This widly diverse collection of responses gives a sense of his range and his appeal to audiences of all sorts.
Comments by T.L.Kryss, Joel Lipman, Ingrid Swanberg, Karl Young, Dan Waber, Stephen Nelson, Joshua Gage, jon beacham, John Oliver Simon, Richard Krech, Geoffrey Cook, and Charles Potts.
Edited by Ingrid Swanberg and Karl Young

Nathaniel Tarn: quatre poèmes; traduction : Auxéméry
French translations of some of Tarn's best-known poems

A California Trip: Salutations from Ira Cohen —
Two Spontaneous Odes and a Photo of Terri Carrion

Ira Cohen in Hungarian

A Retrospective of the Publication Work of Karl Young, Part 3


The Convergence of Then and When: A Game Without Rules
by Jane Dalrymple-Hollo

Spitzer Breakdown
A Reading of a Poster by Jim Spitzer

La Femme Mecanique
Photo Art by Johnathan Kane

Family Photos: Beats In Winter
by Larry Keenan

The Fine Art of Conversation
Collaborative art by Brian Howlett and Associates

Memories of Vali Myers

Waning Moon – March 20, 2003
In Memoriam Carl J. Young
by Karl Young, Jr.


Fiction by Chris Wells, Paul A. Toth, Roberta Allen, Ann Bogle, Stephen-Paul Martin, Tsipi Keller, Tsipi Keller, Marc Lowe, Richard Martin, Mel Freilicher, Fisher Thompson, Nickolay Todorov, Paul Kahn Lou Rowan, and Jordan Zinovich.


Reviews of:
Vali Myers, Joanne Kyger, Alice Notley, Judith Roche, Allan Weisbecker, Lou Rowan,
James Broughton, Jack Foley, Jeffrey Side, William Allegrezza, and Raymond Bianchi

Reviewed by: Allan Graubard, Kirpal Gordon, Stephen Vincent, Allan Davies, Lynn Coffin, Mary Sands Woodbury, James Tierney, Katherine Hastings, Jake Berry, Michael Schumacher, T. Hibbard

Malcolm McNeil
Interviewed by Larry Sawyer
with some of McNeill's graphic collaborations with
William S. Burroughs

Vernon Frazer
Interviewed by Ric Cafagna

Lou Rowan
Interviewed by Dominic Aulisio


Index of poems by more than 138 writers, including

War Papers Poetry (2) includes poems by:

Keith Wilson, Robert Sward, Rebecca Kavaler, Harriet Green, Tad Richards, Jennifer Compton, Joel Solonche, Chris Mansell, Steve Dalachinsky, Jéanpaul Ferro, Hugh Fox, H. Palmer Hall, Louis Armand, Gay Partington Terry, John M. Bennett, Paul C. Howell, Eileen Tabios, Harriet Zinnes, Philip Metres, Ruth Lepson, Edward Field, Susan Donnelly, Neil Nelson, Larissa Shmailo, Hal Sirowitz, Laura Lentz, Jeffrey Beam, Frank Parker, Alan Sondheim, Murat Nemet-Nijat, Sheila Black, Barbara Crooker, Richard Kostelanetz, Rodney Nelson, Karen Alkalay-Gut, Patricia Valdata, Sybil Kollar, Mark Pawlak, David Howard, Marcus Bales, Jose Padua, Patrick John Green, John Bradley, Kent Johnson, CL Bledsoe, Joseph Somoza, Martha Deed, Lisa Sewell, Hugh Seidman, Sheila E. Murphy, e k rzepka, Harris Schiff, Bobby Byrd, Clarinda Harriss, mIEKAL aND, Jayne Lyn Stahl, Rachel Loden, Jorn Ake, Paul E. Nelson, Alexander Jorgensen, Helen Duberstein, Michael Heller, Georgios Tsangaris, Stephen Vincent, Michael Maggiotto, Marthe Reed, Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Ana Doina, James Scully, Glenn R. McLaughlin, and Ray Craig

Berkeley Daze includes poems by:

Luis Garcia, Belle Randall, Helen Breger, Ron Loewinsohn, David Bromige, Gail Dusenbery, Gene Fowler, Jim Thurber, David Meltzer, Doug Palmer Facino, John Bennett, John the Poet Thomson, Rychard Denner, Julia Vinograd the Bubble Lady, Larry Kerschner, Charles Potts, Joel Walderman, Harold Adler, Richard Krech, Michael Upton, Ron Silliman, Doug Palmer, Patricia Parker, Martin P. Abramson, Richard Denner, Gene Fowler, Norm Moser, Charles Potts, De Leon Harrison, John Thomson, John Oliver Simon, Andy Clausen, Jefferson D. Hils, Richard Krech, Jack Foley, Al Masarik, Kay Okrand, James Koller, David Cole, Thanasis Maskaleris, Sister Mary Norbert, Lennart Bruce, Marianne Baskin, Hillary Ayer Fowler, Sam Thomas, D.R. Hazelton, and Jim Wehalage

An Anthology of Bay Area Women Writers includes poems by:

Mary-Marcia Casoley, Sharon Doubiago, Adelle Foley, Judy Grahn, Susan Griffin, Katherine Hastings, Beatriz Lagos, devorah major, Tennessee Reed, Nellie Wong, Leslie Scalapino, and Maw Shien Win




Heaven Bone

Friday, 29 February 2008

Lending Rights title claims

Lending Rights is now online at:

The Lending Rights Office says:

Please mark 31 March 2008 in your diaries! It is the new closing date for submitting
title claims for Public and Educational Lending Rights.

To make PLR and ELR more responsive and efficient, 31 March will be the permanent
closing date for 2008 and into the future.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Poetry and the Prime Minister's award

... and this is the reply I got:

Dear Chris,

Thank you for contacting us with your enquiry.

The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards celebrate the contribution of Australian literature to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life. The awards recognise literature’s importance to our national identity, community and economy.

Non-fiction works may include biographies, autobiographies, histories, philosophy, literary criticism and works dealing with contemporary issues are eligible.

Works may be entered in either the Fiction or Non-Fiction category of these awards but may not be entered in both.

I am not able to provide specific advice on your work but please note that works must have been first published between 1 January 2007 and 31 December 2007
with at least 750 copies produced by a publisher.

Kind regards,


Karen Bell
Prime Minister's Literary Awards
Literature and Lending Rights (PLR & ELR)
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 3241

Ph: 1800 707 889
Fax: (02) 672 1651

In other words, no actual reply.

Prime Minister's Literary Awards

PressPress received this:

Entries for the 2008 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are now open.
The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are a new initiative celebrating the contribution of Australian literature to the nation’s cultural and intellectual life.

A prize of $100 000, proposed to be tax free, will be awarded to the work judged to be of the highest literary merit in each of two categories:

Authors, publishers and literary agents are eligible to enter books written by living Australian citizens and permanent residents. Works must be first published in English and first offered for general sale between 1 January and 31 December 2007.

Entry forms for the Awards and the guidelines, outlining eligibility criteria and providing further information, are attached to this email.

Completed entry submissions must be received by the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts by 2pm, Friday 28 March 2008 (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

If once you have read the guidelines you require further information, please contact the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, at the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts:

Phone: 1800 707 889


Christabel Wright
Manager - Literature and Lending Rights
Culture Division
Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Naturally I wrote to ask what category I should submit the poetry titles under.

I await a reply.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Poets on Wheels

Apply now for a (paid) spot on the Poets on Wheels 2008 Tour (open to NSW residents only)which will go 'West of the Range NSW by train for a week starting 16 October'.

Go to the Poets Union site for details.

Go there as well for details of the 6th Australian Poetry Festival to be held in Sydney from 5-7 September 2008.

Poets Union

The NSW Poets Union has moved and changed its phone and fax. Here are the new details:
Phone 02 9357 6602
Fax 02 9357 6601


Postal address:

PO Box 755
Potts Point NSW 1335

Physical address:

50-52 Darlinghurst Road
Kings Cross 2011

Friday, 15 February 2008

Scissor Ballet

This is what my scissors and I get up to when we are supposed to be working.

Friday, 8 February 2008

International Women's Day: Shoalhaven 2008 Program

A celebration of Women Past Present Future

History of International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day originated from a public demonstration by women members of the International Garment Worker’s’ Union in New York in 1908, who were demanding changes to their intolerable working conditions.

In Sydney, IWD was first celebrated in 1928 at a rally that called for equal pay for equal work, an eight hour day for shop workers, no piece-work, a based wage for the unemployed and paid annual holidays. Rallies and marches have been held throughout Australia every year since. Some of the major issues on which women continue to campaign include workplace reform, international human rights, poverty, childcare and violence against women.

Green, white and violet were the colours used in 1908 by the women who fought for votes for women in England and have been used ever since.

In Australia in 1902 following Federation the Commonwealth Franchise Act gave women the right to vote and to stand for Federal Parliament. Through the work of the Womanhood Suffrage League, women gained suffrage and began the first significant steps toward equality between men and women. Aboriginal women achieved the right to vote in 1967.

IWD stands for equality between women and men. It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women’s rights

Celebrations for the Shoalhaven
March 2008

Selected highlights

Sunday 2 March 2008 10.00am – 1pm
Come along for some fun, exercise and socialising. We will meet at the Currarong shop at 10am and do the “Abraham’s Bosom” walk. Bring your own lunch and drinks
Venue: Abraham’s Bosom walk Currarong.
Cost: Free
Contact: Melissa Hedger 0423 606 100

Monday 3 March 2008 6.00pm to 8.00pm
Launching Y Quest 2008. Y Quest is a leadership program for young women aged 15 – 25 and this year’s entrants in the program will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the community
Venue: To be advised
Cost: No cost
Contact:YWCA NSW 4423 8501

Friday 7 March 2008 10.00 am – 12.00 noon
Morning tea, entertainment and awards to local women in recognition of their services to the community
Venue: Ulladulla & Districts Community Resource Centre, 78 St Vincents Street Ulladulla
Cost: Free
Contact: Maria Peters 4454 0477

Saturday 8 March 2008 1.00pm
Official opening of the Meroogal Women’s Art Prize. Exhibition open 8 March – 25 May 2008
Venue: Wollongong City Gallery
Cost: Free
Contact Wollongong City Gallery 02 4228 7500

Saturday 8 March 2008 7.00pm until late
This women only event is loads of fun and an excellent opportunity for women to perform for the first time. Meals will be available to purchase, come at 6pm to eat and mingle and BYO drinks. Performances start at 7.30pm
If you wish to sing, dance, read poetry, fire twirl or entertain in any way ring Sandra
Venue: Tomerong Hall, Tomerong
Cost: $10.00 or $5.00 concession. Pay at door
Contact: Sandra on 4421 8150

Thursday 13 March 2008 11.00am – 6.00pm
Join us and participate in a variety of experiential workshops including relaxation, light exercise, resilience and singing. Visit a number of stalls promoting a range of available health and wellness services and businesses available in the Shoalhaven.
Venue: Wesley Hall. Opposite old Post Office building, Nowra
Cost: Gold coin donation
Contact: Judith Reardon 4423 8501

Saturday 15 March 2008 7.30pm – 11.30pm
Groove the night away with DJ Kung.
Lucky door prizes. Bring Supper to share.
Venue: School of Arts Annex
Cost: $10.00 or $5.00 concession. Pay at door.
Contact: Marg 4422 0103 Women only event

Proudly supported by:
Office for Women NSW Premier’s Department
Older Women’s Network (OWN) Shoalhaven Branch
Shoalhaven City Council
Shoalhaven International Women’s Day Committee
Shoalhaven Women’s Health Centre
Shoalhaven Women’s Resource Group
Shoalhaven Youth Centre
South Coast Register
Unions Shoalhaven
University of Wollongong – Shoalhaven Campus

Monday, 4 February 2008

PressPress Chapbook Award 2008

This has just opened. If you could tell people, it would be good. I'm looking for really good material!

The PressPress Poetry Chapbook Award 2008 has opened for submissions. You need 30-40 pages of original poetry to enter.

The winning the Award will get you:
1. incalculable glory
2. $300AUD
3. Publication of a chapbook with PressPress.

Full guidelines and entry form on the PressPress site at

Many thanks

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. - Lao Tzu

Thursday, 17 January 2008

‘Fierce and funny’ poet finds right angle on life to win top prize - Times Online

He is one of the leading poets of his generation, a wordsmith who is no stranger to winning prizes. Last night Sean O’Brien picked up another award for his mantelpiece – the prestigious T. S. Eliot Prize.

O’Brien, 55, who believes that “a good poem reintroduces you to the world at a slightly unexpected angle”, won the £15,000 prize with his collection The Drowned Book, which judges described as “fierce, funny and deeply melancholy”.

The poet, Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, joins the Nobel poet Seamus Heaney and the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes as a winner of the prize, described by Andrew Motion, the current Poet Laureate, as the honour “most poets want to win”.
‘Fierce and funny’ poet finds right angle on life to win top prize - Times Online

Monday, 7 January 2008


Here's the audio to a brand new one...'Water' aka 'Would Condoleezza Rice...':
Title: Water
Artist: Chris Mansell