Andrew Burke — ‘New and Selected Poems 2020’

Andrew Burke launched his latest collection of poetry last week, ‘New and Selected Poems: 2020’.

Peter Holland performed the honours, an inspired choice — the intimacy of friends — given the pair have known each other since ‘fourteen or fifteen’ and remain close.

Andrew Burke has described himself as being a child of the “confessional” poets of the fifties and sixties, poets like Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath, and certainly in this book he has given us the story of his life. In a sense, I suppose, it is an autobiography, but that’s only a fringe benefit, an incidental dividend. It’s far more than that, far more interesting than that, far more significant than that.

It’s a fucking HUGE collection of what John Kinsella described as “sociable poetry, of day to day, but hard-backed by nature”.

Peter’s launch speech appears online at ‘Rochford Street Review’ along with several of Andrew’s poems.

You can get hold of a copy of the book from Andrew directly. Email him at burkeandre@gmail.com (he receives a couple of hundred emails a day, from poetry friends, jazz lovers, cricket acquaintances, so pls include the words ‘BOOK PURCHASE’ in your header for easier identification). Or pick it up online at Walleah Press (196 pp, $20, includes postage within Australia).

Ralph

Andrew Burke - cover, 'New and Selected'

Zenobia Frost — talking with Katy O’Brian

Zenobia Frost interviews Katy O’Brian (‘Z Nation’, ‘Black Lightning’) in the current issue of ‘Archer Magazine’.

Zenobia and Katy discuss questions pertaining to gender, sexuality and queer erasure … read their conversation here.


Katy O’Brian is an actor, writer and martial artist from Indianapolis, USA. She has appeared in a number of productions, including ‘Gnawbone’, ‘Power Rangers: Zenith’, ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ and ‘Z-Nation’.

Zenobia Frost is a poet based in Brisbane, Australia. Her books include ‘Salt and Bone’ and, most recently, the poetry collection ‘After the Demolition’ (Cordite Books) which won the 2020 Wesley Michel Wright Award and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

Sylvia Martin: ‘Sky Swimming’ launch speech

Something about Vance and Nettie Palmer – some titbit of information, I can’t recall details – caught my attention last year, and I mentioned it to friends. They kindly, (foolishly) lent me a copy of ‘Ink in Her Veins: the troubled life of Aileen Palmer’ (the Palmer’s daughter), authored by Sylvia Martin. I took the book home and stored it in a ‘safe place’, from where it subsequently slipped my mind.

Recalling the loan months later, I searched and finally  recovered the book from its ‘safe place’, and — embarrassed — returned it unread.

I note now that Sylvia Martin has published a new book, ‘Sky Swimming’ (UWA Press, 2020), a memoir. Rochford Street Review  published Sylvia’s son Matthew’s launch of the book in June 2020.

In a UWA Press promotion, Sylvia Martin speaks of and reads from ‘Sky Swimming’, while Sophie Cunningham and Peta Murray offer generous praise:

In this delicate memoir Sylvia Martin considers the ways in which researching other women’s lives have led her deeper into her own. She asks how do you build, how do you write, a life?
SOPHIE CUNNINGHAM

Martin inducts us into the thrill of the biographical chase in this series of lyrical, yet unsentimental, vignettes. Sky Swimming is in turns rhapsodic and elegiac.
PETA MURRAY

A book to savour? And avoid storing temporarily in a ‘safe space’?

Ralph


Matthew Stephens:

I say this book is personal because I suspect many of us in this room feel they know the subjects of these books: Mary, Ida and Aileen, their partners, lovers and networks quite intimately. Significant Australian figures who would be far less well known if Sylvia had not cast her inquisitive, respectful yet forensic, eye on the lives of these women and their worlds.

Some of these women appear in this current volume, Aileen Palmer in particular, but I would like to focus for a moment on Mum’s own life rather than of her biographical subjects. In her chapter ‘Shadowing the Boyds’ she opens with her re-acquaintance with making music, and writes:

I am learning the piano, more than half a century after I last played. Eventually, I would like to be able to play Erik Satie. My father was a piano teacher and we even had two pianos in the house for a time when I was a child; one stood in my bedroom. In a London music shop in the 1970s, I found a book of sheet music by Satie and, with fond memories of his music enhancing the mood of European films such as Carlos Saura’s Elisa, vida mía, I brought the book back to Melbourne and presented it to Dad. He was not familiar with the early twentieth-century French composer but he quickly mastered Satie’s haunting melodies, shifting tonalities and eccentric musical instructions.

Today, at the end of my first lesson for decades, my teacher starts to play the first of the Trois Gnossiennes. As I watch him play, his smooth fingers on the keys fade into the gnarled fingers of my father: their slightly swollen joints after he developed arthritis; the split nail on the index finger of his right hand, relic of a long-forgotten accident. My eyes blur with tears.

[Read Matthew Stephens’ full launch speech at Rochford Street Review]

 

Journal ‘Plumwood Mountain’: Managing Editor and Editorial Administration Team

‘Plumwood Mountain’, an important and classy Australian journal working within the boundaries of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics, is seeking a Managing Editor and Editorial Administration Team.

This is interesting news on a number of levels, not least for the journal’s transparency and its openness to change…

It’s also interesting to read poet Peter Boyle’s response to the question —

‘…  in the current climate of ecological crisis and political wrangling over funding to the arts, what role do you feel poetry does, or could, play in our society?

— posed by Denise O’Hagan, in an interview published in ‘The Nib’ (Sept 2020):

As far as the ecological crisis goes, it is part of our consciousness. It infuses the world we live in, so the sense of living in dark times inevitably comes into the poetry any open, receptive poet writes. There is a strong eco-poetics movement in Australia and a journal like Plumwood Mountain features a lot of it. Many people write directly about environmental and social issues, and much very accomplished, very interesting poetry is written that way, but I think poetry can also operate more indirectly, in a subtler way. Personally, the poetry that speaks to me most can be about anything, or it might start with one thing and then slide into being about something else. I especially like poems that look for the spaces between things, sidestep and swerve, and end up taking me somewhere new.

Ralph


Managing Editor and Editorial Administration Team – Call for Expressions of Interest

Journal ‘Plumwood Mountain’ is in a time of transition.

After 7 years, Managing Editor Anne Elvey will be stepping down at the end of 2020. At the same time the Editorial Board intends to deepen its commitments to decentring or deemphasising the human in ecopoetics while holding this vision in a wider frame of cultural responsibility both in Australia and internationally.

“As part of our continuing affirmation of more-than-human agencies, of intersections between environmental activism and cultures of poetry, and of the complex entanglements of race, gender, sexuality, location and class in an emerging ecopoetics, the journal wants to expand its editorial board to reflect these commitments. As part of this development, the new Managing Editor has the option to find a new name for the journal.”

Expressions of interest are called for a Managing Editor and Editorial Administration Team that would with an Editorial Board shape the future of the journal and undertake the tasks of bringing it to publication. These are voluntary positions.

Three kinds of Expression of Interest are invited

From an individual who would become managing editor and who would build an editorial administration team; or

From a team of three or four who would take on the roles of managing editor and editorial administration team between them; or

From an existing journal in the fields of environmental humanities or literature which would incorporate, as a significant component, an ecological poetry and poetics section/corner as a successor to ‘Plumwood Mountain journal’ with a suitable dedicated editor.

The preference is for Indigenous leadership in the management and editorship of the journal, and diversity in the editorial administration teams and editorial boards that adds to existing diversities of representation on the board.

The incoming Managing Editor will be strongly encouraged and supported to explore funding opportunities to pay contributors to the journal and to cover administrative and management costs.

More at ‘Plumwood Mountain’.

Launch: Andrew Burke’s ‘New and Selected Poems 2020’

The launch of Andrew Burke’s new poetry collection ‘New and Selected’ takes place at 7pm 20th September.  Peter Holland will perform the honours — at Moana Hall, upstairs of 618 Hay Street Mall in Perth, Western Australia.

The launch event is free with a cash bar. ‘And my book is a bargain at $20 (cash),’ Andrew says. He adds ‘I don’t have a credit card machine so cash would do nicely, thank you.’

The book is also for sale (at a cost of $20, including free postage within Australia) — online, from Walleah Press, as well as directly from Andrew: you can email him at burkeandre@gmail.com (please add BOOK SALE within your email header).

And remember to pay him a visit at Hi Spirits, particularly if you’re a jazz buff!