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)
UN News Centre, March 3rd 2015. Read more …
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.
A sampling of new recordings at PennSound
CORDITE – OBSOLETE ISSUE – Live
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.
RON PRETTY POETRY PRIZE 2014
Issue 36 is live.
AUSTRALIAN POETRY REVIEW [MARTIN DUWELL]
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….
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.
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….
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.
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.
Launch of Zenobia Frost’s poetry collection ‘Salt and Bone’
Avid Bookshop, West End, Brisbane, September 18th, 2014
For me, this manuscript began with a dead rat named Cookies. I met Zen properly on a boiling summer day in Brisbane. The red dust storm from Sydney had just rolled through. The apocalyptic glow had settled. One thing I wasn’t expecting was a message from Zen asking if I had a shovel and/or could I help her bury her housemate’s rat. The poor wee thing had choked on the dust.
This late rat would later feature in one of Zen’s poems, called Graveyard Haibun, which is also one of the first poems I helped Zen edit. The draft versions of this poem alone could fill a small room. I remember so clearly sitting on the floor with Zen, surrounded by printed out poems, the both of us furiously scribbling. After every hour or so of scribbling we’d yell a-ha! And change a single word, shift a line break, add or delete a comma. After about two years of this, we yelled for the final time and closed the book on Graveyard Haibun. I’d like to say we stopped editing that poem because it was perfect and finished, but honestly we also couldn’t bear to look at the damn thing one more time. But also the poem was perfect, clearly.
Five years after that fateful day with Cookies, I’ve had the pleasure of reading and editing pretty much every single one of Zen’s poems. I’ve seen her writing grow more and more assured. I’ve watched her slide effortlessly from topic to topic, from tone to tone, from cemeteries to video stores, from Kafka’s forgotten characters to 3rd century warrior queens, from terror to courage and courage in terror. What has remained constant throughout is her extraordinary attention to detail that sees her agonise over commas and draft poems until the there’s enough draft versions to construct a tasteful evening jacket out of. I’ve watched her pour herself into this manuscript, sometimes quite literally leaping into a pile of the printed out poems scattered on the floor, always furiously scribbling. This skill and this dedication has forged the manuscript I have the pleasure to launch tonight. As with the Graveyard Haibun, this book is perfect and finished and done (clearly), but also we’ve read the damn thing so many times that we’re having trouble looking at it straight anymore. So now you’re all going to have to look at it for us instead.
Cover, Zenobia Frost’s ‘Salt and Bone’