The Hobart Bookshop, 5.30pm, Thursday April 6th

A Celebration of Tasmanian Poetry

With Australian Book Review, Hobart Bookshop offer a celebration of Tasmanian poetry and the Tasmanian States of Poetry anthology, selected by distinguished poet Sarah Day. This event will feature readings from poets featured in this year’s anthology, including Adrienne Eberhard, Graeme Hetherington, Karen Knight, Louise Oxley, and Tim Thorne. Sarah Day and ABR Editor and poet Peter Rose will also read favourite works by Tasmanian poets.

The ABR States of Poetry project highlights the quality and diversity of contemporary Australian poetry. Funded by Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund, this is one of the first federally arranged poetry anthologies published in this country. All states and territories will be covered with separate anthologies, each of them edited by a senior poet living in, or closely associated with, that state. The state editors will choose six local poets actively publishing new work (up to five poems per poet). The state anthologies will appear on our website with introductions from the state editor, biographies and remarks from the individual poets, recordings, and other features.

This work was developed in a studio managed by the City of Melbourne’s Creative Spaces Program.

This is a free public event, all welcome.

Tasmanian Poetry Festival 2015 – lineup


The lineup of Guest Poets for the 2015 Tasmanian Poetry Festival in October has been announced, and will this year welcome to Launceston:

Ivy Alvarez
Irish Joe Lynch
Lyndon Walker
Anne Collins
Duncan Hose
Caitlin Maling
Billy Marshall Stoneking
Ali Cobby Eckermann

More details regarding Guest Poets and the Festival will be released on the Tasmanian Poetry Festival website over the coming weeks and months.


Hobart poetry reading & launch tomorrow

– A reading with Philomena van Rijswijk and  Andrew Burke

– The launch of Andrew’s new collection ‘One Hour Seeds Another’

5:30 for 6:00 – 7:15 pm, Thursday 3rd July, 2014
Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square, Hobart

Andrew’s book will be launched by poet and publisher Lyn Reeves (Pardalote Press)

Free event, all welcome


Philomena van Rijswijk

Philomena van Rijswijk



The Romance of a Horse-thief

Today is the second disappointing episode
in our short and furtive history
of non-events.
I think you are a man
who never casts a shadow;
perhaps you are a rustler
who never leaves hoof-prints.

You are the horse-thief of the unfaithful,
escaping from even these illicit bonds.
I imagine my seeking hand,
stealing to your shoulder,
might merely pass through
a mirage of evanescent flesh,
of luminescent bone.
And I imagine,
if I reached forward, eyes closed,
to find your sunburnt cheek,
I would open them on an empty windswept plain
devoid of any rag or shred to show
that you had ever been.

No, not a mirage! a glamour!
Now, I know that the shimmering I see
disguises an underneath solidity.
Pale Hun with beautiful and balletic hands,
who are you? And what do you mean?

How, and why is it, that our bodies always lean
inward to make a shelter of intimacy?
Like Mongolians squatting
in their felted shelters,
we lean toward each other to make a place
that excludes the harsh winds off the blue peaks,
the burning winter sun.

We huddle either side of a short-lived fire,
feeding scraps and yak turds into the flames,
knowing that it never lasts;
that, before long, the warmth and safety
will be gone
and the endless and lonely steppe
will be all that either of us has left.


Notes for Andrew Burke’s ‘One Hour Seeds Another’

In ‘One Hour Seeds Another’, Andrew Burke is writing at the height of his powers. In this collection he has the confidence and quiet wisdom of someone who knows his particular patches of mind and craft and experience inch by inch, never ceases to be surprised by them, and has learned how to pass that surprise on to us, without spilling a drop. His pleasure, irony and compassion are contagious. You could give him five ordinary things on a table top and he would show you just how to place them, to let in the pleasure and the wonder.

– David Brooks

His poetry has an openness and candour that is a form of honesty. Mundane things – ants, birds, garden plants, pets etc – are seen so clearly that they are transfigured and made vibrant with luminous immediacy.

Also, several moving elegies for dead friends draw on the powerful sense of memory that infuses the whole collection with depth and multi-dimensionality.

– Andrew Taylor


The Other Woman

Nina Simone died yesterday. The café girl
told me when I asked, ‘That’s nice. Who’s on piano?’
‘Nina Simone,’ she said. ‘She died today.’
I stopped and stood, confused. ‘That’s what happened
to me when I heard,’ the girl said. I smiled, ‘But she,
she’s been around …’ I tumbled over words
to teenage nights, girl on my lap, lights
low, Nina on the stereo. My sweet
affair lasted months – Nina and I,
forty plus years. Dead at seventy in her home
in France. Now jazz jockeys play ‘Nina at Newport’.
A record company has a tribute ready. It’s a long time
since that girl was in my lap. We had lunch
last Thursday. I didn’t hear what was playing.

Andrew Burke

Andrew Burke