ALEX SKOVRON LAUNCHES ‘FLUTE OF MILK’ BY SUSAN FEALY

It was near enough to a decade ago that one Susan Fealy materialized on the Melbourne literary scene as if out of nowhere – or so it seems in retrospect, and so it appeared to me at the time. She had written a searching response to my then recently published novella, The Poet, and this led to an exchange of emails and our first meeting. We began to cross paths at poetry readings, and I soon discovered that Susan loved to write long but interesting emails packed with her musings and reflections on matters literary, artistic, or otherwise noteworthy. As time went on, these emails, and our conversations whenever we met up, gradually revealed to me a person who thought hard about language, art, ideas, the natural world; a serious, passionate reader who probed deeply into whatever text was before her or whatever notion was exercising her mind.

More from Alex Skovron, at Rochford Street Review, 21st March, 2017.

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HEATHER CROXON REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION FOLLOWING CHATSWOOD CRASH

A woman struck by an out-of-control car while walking to work in Chatswood on Friday morning is fighting for life in hospital.

Office worker Heather Croxon, 31, was hit on the footpath in peak hour on Victoria Avenue near Chatswood Chase on Sydney’s north shore.

The self-described book nerd, who has a sizeable online following for her book reviews, suffered severe head injuries and remained in a critical condition on Friday evening.

[By Rachel Olding and Megan Levy; more at The Sydney Morning Herald]

THE LATEST ISSUE OF OTOLITHS IS LIVE

Issue forty-four of Otoliths has hit the hustings. Included in this issue are Eileen R. Tabios, Sheila E. Murphy, Steve Dalachinsky, Andrew Topel, Brandon Nakasato, Cecelia Chapman, David Lohrey, C. R. E. Wells, Norman M. Gendelman, Texas Fontanella, Philip Byron Oakes, Caitlin Rose Doyle, Keith Walker, John Xero, David Dick, Kyle Hemmings, Mary Claire Garcia, Jesse Glass, Arpine Konyalian Grenier, Philip Elliott, Sanjeev Sethi, sean burn, Kirk Robinson & Garin Cycholl & William Allegrezza, Bill Wolak, Pete Spence, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennett, Thomas M. Cassidy, osvaldo cibils, Kelly J. Powell, harry k stammer, Raymond Farr, John Amen, Lucianna Chixaro Ramos, a.j. carruthers, Olivier Schopfer, Joel Chace, Carol Stetser, Les Wicks, Volodymyr Bilyk, Lana Bella, Diana Magallón, Clara B. Jones, Laurent Grison & Yvon Guillou, Meeah Williams, Michael Berton, Michael Farrell, Anatoly Kudryavitsky, Charles Borkhuis & John McCluskey, Lakey Comess, John Martone, Evan Gray, Willie Smith, Allen Forrest, M. Leland Oroquieta, hiromi suzuki, Jack Galmitz, Mason Keys, Joe Balaz, Luisa-Evelina Stifii, Howie Good, Matina L. Stamatakis, George Moore, Drew B. David, Adam Levon Brown, Márton Koppány, Michael Caylo-Baradi, Carlyle Baker, J. Crouse, Richard Kostelanetz, Heath Brougher, Anwer Ghani, J. Ray Paradiso, AG Davis, Joanna Thomas, Kasy Long, Heller Levenson, Tom Snarsky, Dawn Nelson Wardrope, cathy aragon, Jeff Harrison, Marco Giovenale, John W. Sexton, Eugenia Hepworth Petty, bruno neiva, Stu Hatton, Ian Gibbins, dan raphael, Alberto Vitacchio, Douglas Penick, Nika & Jim McKinniss, Alan Summers, Jeff Bagato, Mariapia Fanna Roncoroni, Michael O’Brien, M.J. Iuppa, Carla Bertola, Andrew Galan, Katrinka Moore, Thom Sullivan, Joseph Veronneau, Marcia Arrieta, Sean Negus, Shloka Shankar, Seth Howard, Paul T. Lambert, John Pursch, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Linda M. Walker, Tony Beyer, Edward Kulemin, PT Davidson, Michael Brandonisio, Adam Fieled, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, Angad Arora, Bob Heman, Carol Ciavonne, Sheila Windsor & Brendan Slater, Stephen J. Williams, Marilyn Stablein, Felino A. Soriano, Louie Crew Clay, Peter Bakowski, David Heg & Nicolette Wong, Francesca Jurate Sasnaitis, J. D. Nelson, & Marilyn R. Rosenberg & Ann R. Shapiro.

There’s also an interview at Thomas Fink’s new interview site, Dichtung Yammer, where editor Mark Wright speaks with Tim Wright about the Otoliths journey.

VALE JOHN UPTON

(By Mark Roberts at Rochford Street Review)

Rochford Street Review was saddened to learn of the recent death of poet and playwright John Upton. John was a professional playwright and had written for more that 20 Australian television series as well as having five stage plays produced. His political comedy MACHIAVELLI, MACHIAVELLI won the Australian Writers Guild award for Best New Play.

More at Vale John Upton

STYLUSLIT: A NEW BI-ANNUAL ONLINE LITERARY JOURNAL

StylusLit

StylusLit is a new bi-annual online literary journal, publishing poetry, short stories, creative non-fiction, interviews and reviews, and the first issue will go live in March 2017.

Only previously unpublished work is accepted, that is, the work has not appeared on radio or TV, and has not been published digitally (any website) or in print. Copyright remains with the author. Acknowledgment by the poet of any work first published in StylusLit would be appreciated.

StylusLit is accepting submissions for poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction. Submissions for first issue will be accepted from 14th November 2016 to 14th January 2017. Send to info@styluslit.com. Interviews and reviews are commissioned by the editor.

Submissions:

In the subject header of your email include the genre and the title of your piece, for example, ‘Short Story: The Girl in the Photograph’, and a 40 word bio in your email.

Poems:

Please submit up to three (3) poems at a time,
Please cut and paste poems into the body of the email,
Use font: Times New Roman 12px, and 1.5 spacing.
Short story or creative non-fiction:

Please submit not more than one (1) short story or creative non-fiction piece per submission period,
Please include title, word count and your name in the header of your attached document,
Maximum word length is 5,000 words,
Submit as .doc or .docx file,
Use font: Times New Roman 12px, and 1.5 spacing.
StylusLit is a non-profit organisation and is unable to pay contributors.

The StylusLit Team

Poetry Editor and publisher:
Rosanna Licari was the publisher and founding editor of Stylus Poetry Journal from 2002 to 2010. She was also a co-director of the Queensland Poetry Festival from 2002 to 2003. She completed her Master in Philosophy in creative writing (poetry) at the University of Queensland. Her collection, An Absence of Saints won the 2009 Thomas Shapcott Prize, the Anne Elder Poetry Prize and the 2011 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the 2010/211 Mary Gilmore Prize. In 2015, she won the inaugural Philip Bacon Ekphrasis Poetry Prize for her poem, ‘The Wait’. Her work has appeared in various journals and anthologies.

Short stories and creative non-fiction editor:
Andrew Leggett is a Brisbane writer and editor of poetry, fiction, reviews and interdisciplinary academic papers. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing (poetry) from University of Queensland and has recently completed a doctoral thesis in creative writing (a novel In Dreams and its exegesis on the place of dreams in the novel and the cinematic work of David Lynch). He edited the Australasian Journal of Psychotherapy from 2006-2011. His collections Old Time Religion and Other Poems (1998) and Dark Husk of Beauty (2006) were published by Interactive Press.

Review editor:
Alison Clifton has reviewed poetry anthologies, chapbooks, and collections for M/C Words, Cordite and the Australian Poetry Journal. She holds a First Class Honours degree in English from the University of Queensland and her thesis was a formal analysis of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Her doctoral thesis in English Literature from the University of Queensland explored the work of the late British poet, Geoffrey Hill.

READING YEATS IN THE AGE OF TRUMP

Our president-elect appears to enjoy the rococo, too, but it is the wrong kind of rococo: not delicate craftsmanship as a blow to misogyny, but the gilding of every conceivable surface, the flaunting of a wealth he has used to hurt others, as a boastful public spectacle. Trump represents the end of liberalism, the end of self-restraint and public kindness delivered through flawed, long-lived institutions, at least on a national scale. The social contract of Paul Wellstone and Richard Rorty, of A. Phillip Randolph and Eleanor Roosevelt, and for that matter of Barack Obama, seems all torn up.

It is possible to imagine human progress—to imagine that we can make things better—and it is possible to imagine historical continuity—a future along the same lines as the recent past—but it is no longer possible for me to hold in mind both things at once. Nor is it possible for me to imagine that our institutions, long held up by tacit norms of professionalism and ethics, are likely to heal themselves. “Most of the American public,” writes international relations scholar Dan Drezner, “either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the norms that Trump is breaching,” no more than they care what a sonnet can be.

By Stephen Burt; more at Boston Review

TURNING PAGES: WRITERS DESERVE MORE FROM THE GRANTS SYSTEM

Writers are made, not born, by investing time and money (usually their own) in their development, Forge says. They buy time to write by reducing paid working hours, writing hundreds of words for underfunded literary magazines and other outlets for a nominal fee (or for nothing but “exposure”) and spending every spare moment “practising their scales”. And support comes from a small, low-paid or voluntary army of workers: editors, festival directors, editorial assistants.

By Jane Sullivan; more at The Age, 12th November, 2016.

MICHAELA McGUIRE APPOINTED SYDNEY WRITERS’ FESTIVAL ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday November 10, 2016

The Sydney Writers’ Festival Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that Michaela McGuire has been appointed the Festival’s new Artistic Director and will take over the curation of the Festival into its 20th year. McGuire is the current Director and Co-CEO of Melbourne’s Emerging Writers’ Festival and will leave her role to come to the Sydney Writers’ Festival in December.

McGuire brings a wealth of book, writing, festival and publishing knowledge to the Festival through her work as a journalist, author, director, programmer and curator. She has written three books and is also known for co-founding the successful salon, Women of Letters in 2010. She has programmed and hosted over 160 sold-out shows all around Australia, as well as in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and New Zealand.

The Chair of the Sydney Writers’ Festival Board, Deena Shiff said, “Michaela brings new energy and perspectives to the task of curating the Sydney Writers’ Festival. We are confident that Michaela’s wide interests and ability to present both established and emerging writers will surprise and delight our audiences.”

McGuire, excited by the new opportunity and programming task ahead said, “I’m honoured to be joining the passionate team at Sydney Writers’ Festival. I’ve always admired the Festival’s commitment to celebrating storytelling in all its diverse forms, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to find new and playful ways to continue that fine work.”

“As SWF heads into its 20th year, I hope to program a celebration that befits the organisation’s reputation as a world-renowned literary festival, and also introduce a new generation of audiences to the smart, eclectic, passionate and surprising voices that inspire the national conversation.”

McGuire replaces outgoing Artistic Director, Jemma Birrell.

In other Sydney Writers’ Festival news, Executive Director Jo Dyer has been promoted to the role of CEO. Dyer will also join the Board of Directors. The 2017 Sydney Writers’ Festival returns May 22 – May 28.

Visit the festival’s website at Sydney Writers’ Festival.

#SydneyWritersFestival is Australia’s largest celebration of literature, stories and ideas. Every year, the May Festival brings together the Australia’s and the world’s best authors, leading public intellectuals, scientists, journalists and more.

For further information, please contact Benython Oldfield, Publicity Manager, Sydney Writers’ Festival. 0410 355 790 contact@zeitgeistmediagroup.com

POETS AND PAINTERS – A COLLABORATION

Poet Pete Hay is co-curator with Carol. The collaborative works from this retreat will be exhibited in August 2017. Hay calls Tasmania “a poet’s island”. “We’re expecting a lot from them”, says Hay. “Not just one piece. It’s a whole body of work.”

Adrienne, a teacher at St Michael’s Collegiate, has three sons and writes poetry in what she calls “the stolen moment”. She worries social media is discouraging the quiet, contemplative space people need to write and read poetry. “I think if young people never learn to concentrate, to read, to give a poem a go, then they lose something of immense value. It’s not that we lose poetry but we lose the readership and the potential in ourselves for understanding, empathy, and compassion that poetry can provoke.”

Tasmanian Aboriginal poet and essayist Greg Lehman, who is paired with artist Imants Tillers, has welcomed the group, and urges them to learn the name of the local Aboriginal tribe who once lived in the area. In their watery nest, while they draw and write, Sue and Adrienne repeat the tricky name over and over: Loontittetter Mairrenerhoiner, Loontittetter Mairrenerhoiner, Loontittetter Mairrenerhoiner…

By Hilary Burdon; more at Poets and painters , 22nd October 2016.

SHARON OLDS, GWEN HARWOOD AND DOROTHY HEWETT: TRUTH, LIES, POETRY

In 2008, US poet Sharon Olds came out about her poetry, admitting that her writing is based on her own life. Since the publication of her first book, Satan Says, in 1980, when she was thirty-seven, she’d been evading questions about the biographical basis of her work. In her rare interviews, she would gently correct ‘personal’ to ‘apparently personal’ as a description of her poems and emphasise with kindly patience that they were works of art, not autobiography. Then, in her late sixties, she changed her mind. She confirmed that the man dying slowly from a throat tumour in her book The Father was her own father; that the woman who in a number of poems ties her young daughter to a chair was the poet’s own mother; that the marriage whose end is painfully documented in Stag’s Leap was Olds’s own thirty-two-year marriage. In an email to an interviewer, she explained her re-think with reference to a reading she once gave at a high school. ‘A student said: ‘If I thought you’d made up all the stuff in your poems, I’d be really mad at you,’’ she writes. ‘And I knew how he felt, and in his place I’d feel the same way.’ Far from being offended by the idea that a reader might connect her poems with her life, she had taken that link for granted. She had assumed that the reader would know the poems had emerged from her own experience, even if she had never explicitly said so. ‘It had not crossed my mind really that anyone would make up a life, make up these stories,’ she goes on. ‘It seemed so obvious to me they were being told, sung, from some inner necessity that rose in an actual life.’

By Ann-Marie Priest; more at Cordite