Five first-time nominees – including an author with a title inspired by the award’s founder – have been announced on the shortlist for the 2017 Miles Franklin literary award.

Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, established in 1957 by the estate of My Brilliant Career author Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, recognises a novel which reflects “Australian life in any of its phases”.

Ben Doherty, ‘The Guardian’,

More at Miles Franklin Award shortlists five first time nominees



Dennis Haskell’s eighth poetry collection Ahead of Us is a tender chronicle of illness and bereavement. The heart of the book is its second section, That Other Country, a series of 23 poems about his wife Rhonda’s long battle with ovarian cancer, her death, and his adjustment to life without her. All royalties from the book are to be donated to the Cancer Council of Western Australia for cancer research.

(By Linda Louise Smith; read more at The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 April 2016)

Les Wicks’ twelfth poetry title – ‘El Asombrado’

Available as a free e-book from Rochford Street Press – visit here.

Alternately, PDF copies can be obtained for just $1 – visit here.

The title loosely translates to “He Who Watches and is Amazed”- it is a selection of work from over the past 15 years presented in both Spanish & English. The translator, Colombian G. Leogena is a master of the art. And translation is an art.

Two fabulous graphics front and back cover from Australian-born, long-time Mexico resident, artist Elizabeth Skelsey.

les wicks


Fragments … 3rd Feb 2015

A sampling of new recordings at PennSound

A sampling of newly acquired recordings at PennSound

From left: Ted Greenwald, Claudia Rankine, Jennifer Scappettone, Cynthia Hogue.

1. Ryan Eckes reads in the series “Whenever We Feel Like It”: MP3
2. Jennifer Scappettone talks with Leonard Schwartz: MP3
3. Naomi Replansky, “Night Prayer for Various Trades”: MP3
4. Alejandro Crawford at a “Thinking Liveness” session: MP3
5. David Bromige, “Our Tongues”: MP3
6. Kenneth Irby, “A letter from Ed Dorn”: MP3
7. Ted Berrigan at Buffalo in 1968 reads “Birches”: MP3
8. Goya’s L.A. performed at New Langton Arts in 1995: VIDEO
9. Cecilia Vicuña, “When This Language Disappeared”: MP3
10. Ted Greenwald’s “Voice Truck,” 1972: LINKS
11. Cynthia Hogue, “The Common Reader”: MP3
12. LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs: “Border Universe”: MP3
13. Norman Fischer on “Poet as Radio”: MP3
14. Julianna Spahr on “Poet as Radio”: MP3
15. Rosmarie Waldrop 11/6/2014 at Kelly Writers House: VIDEO
16. Steve Benson, “A Moment On Life/Or Not” performed in 2013: VIDEO
17. Leonard Schwartz talking with Yan Li in Shanghai: MP3
18. Jennifer Bartlett on Larry Eigner: LINK
19. Claudia Rankine, “The Health of Us”: MP3
20. James Weldon Johnson, “Go Down Death”: MP3
21. Cia Rinne talking with Charles Bernstein on Close Listening: MP3
22. Lonely Christopher on the “High Volumes Radio Show” in 2010: MP3


This OBSOLETE issue invites readers to reconsider the throwaway – to rummage, revise and reassess in the imaginary office of lost property that some languages prefer to call ‘found’. It’s not about nostalgia; some things we need to lose. It’s about individual and collective responsibility and reinvention.


Longlist announced


Issue 36 is live.


February feature – Evan Jones Selected Poems

Evan Jones’s career has been a long one, beginning in the late fifties (his first book, Inside the Whale, was published in 1960) and continuing productively into the present (Heavens Above! appeared four years ago). It’s also one which raises a lot of interesting issues about how a poet should be represented in a late Selected Poems….


Fragments … 9th Jan 2015

SINGAPORE IS CELEBRATING its 50th year as an independent nation in 2015 and BLOUIN ARTINFO has selected 50 Singaporean Artists You Should Know for SG50, particularly focusing on the newest generation, and providing an opportunity to show how far the city-state has come from its time as a “cultural desert”….

THE AMBIVALENCE OF BEING REVIEWED … encountering a fascinating essay by Kirsten Tranter in the wake of reading a few short reviews of his book “the thin bridge“ helped Andy Jackson make sense of a swirl of enigmatic and contrary feelings,,,,

MORE FROM DESSAIX at the blog ‘A bigger brighter world’ … Dessaix describes the impact of his encounter with Larkin. ‘Larkin has just looked me straight in the eye and said: forget years, forget lifetimes and the shapes they’ve taken on, it’s a succession of days you live in, so make sure they’re good ones, be happy in them as they pass, one after the other, that’s the point.’

AMDREW CATTANACH DISCUSSES HIS FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2014 at the blog ‘Booktopia’, including books by Sonya Hartnett, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Omar Musa, Brooke Davis and Richard Flanagan, ‘Okay, okay, I know Richard Flanagan didn’t release a book in 2014, but he still had a pretty solid year, no?’….

THE POPULATION OF CYGNET, TASMANIA will explode tomorrow when thousands of music lovers roll into the tiny town for the 33rd annual Cygnet Folk Festival.


the ideal rejection letter?

Interesting conversation playing out on a friend’s facebook page at the moment, considering the question of rejection letters from magazine publishers. I’ve had experience of this – of ‘sending’ rather than ‘receiving’  – and at the end of the day couldn’t go much further than a simple thanks, sorry we haven’t accepted your work on this occasion. For some people you go the extra mile, sometimes cos you’re taken with aspects of the work, or because there’s a specific request for a response. What constitutes a decent rejection letter, anyway? Back at the facebook conversation, one contributor’s suggested that succinct is good, eliciting the response … True, succinct has its merits, but some rejections are so succinct they may as well just be a full stop….




new work from Tim Thorne, W.N. Herbert, George Szirtes and others….

A Modern Don Juan: Cantos for These Times by Divers Hands has been published by Five Leaves Publications, Nottingham UK.

Edited by Andy Croft and N. S. Thompson, it follows the sexual and other adventures of Byron’s picaresque anti-hero in the 21st century, with ottava rima cantos written by Ben Borek, Andy Croft, Claudia Daventry, Ian Duhig, Rachel Hadas, W. N. Herbert, George Jowett, John Lucas, Amit Majmudar, Sinead Morrissey, A. E. Stallings, George Szirtes, N. S. Thompson, Tim Thorne and Mike Wilson.

It was chosen by Blake Morrison in The Guardian as one of the books of the year.

Unfortunately it is not available in Australian bookstores, but it can be purchased online via Amazon or Inpress.


Reviews, by Martin Duwell: Frost and Hall

Zenobia Frost: Salt and Bone; Phillip Gijindarraji Hall: Sweetened in Coals
Posted on 1 October 2014 by Martin Duwell
Salt and Bone, North Hobart: Walleah, 2014, 63pp.
Sweetened in Coals, Port Adelaide: Ginninderra, 2014, 77pp.

Two likeable first books with completely different orientations: the one inner-suburban and concerned with the contemporary, the other set in places as far afield as the Blue Mountains, Gordonvale and Borroloola and, though dealing with the present, keeping an eye on the perspectives of geological time.

Much of Zenobia Frost’s Salt and Bone is concerned with the inner, older suburbs of Brisbane an area to which, as a long-time resident of Paddington and Auchenflower, I’m always attracted. It is the world of possums, VJ walls and apocalyptic summer storms. The book has a handsome cover: a line drawing by Bettina Marson of the steps and verandah of a “Queenslander”. But one wouldn’t want to give the impression that this is all the book is about, or its most important contribution or even where its best poems congregate. Salt and Bone is organised so that the poems about these suburbs are framed by poems which are quite different – though they reflect consistent interests. Also not all of the poems based in inner-suburban Brisbane are overtly about an attempt to “capture” the quality of suburbs like Toowong – they are a long way from Laurie Duggan’s poetic anthropology – but, in their detailing of personal experiences that take place there, capture it they do.

More …