The cult of the noble amateur

Rebecca Watts, PN Review 239, Volume 44 Number 3, January – February 2018

What good is a flourishing poetry market, if what we read in poetry books renders us more confused, less appreciative of nuance, less able to engage with ideas, more indignant about the things that annoy us, and more resentful of others who appear to be different from us? The ability to draw a crowd, attract an audience or assemble a mob does not itself render a thing intrinsically good: witness Donald Trump. Like the new president, the new poets are products of a cult of personality, which demands from its heroes only that they be ‘honest’ and ‘accessible’, where honesty is defined as the constant expression of what one feels, and accessibility means the complete rejection of complexity, subtlety, eloquence and the aspiration to do anything well.

More at PN Review 239 HERE

Pete Hay reviews Rachael Mead and Amanda Joy

… below the hard packed earth
the dead slowly get on with their dark work
of sifting themselves back
into the green world.

I read those lines and straightened my back – I’d just experienced one of those rare ‘I wish I’d written that’ moments. This is a fine small collection, then, one that does the chapbook format proud – tightly themed, resonant and democratically accessible.


Read Pete Hay’s review at Cordite, 16th January 2018

Loop (Liminal Presents 2018)

Studio-shot choreography of Adolfo Aranjuez’s dance piece for Liminal Magazine and Signal Arts’ ‘Liminal Presents’ event, held on 18 January 2018 at the Signal building in Melbourne.

Adolfo Aranjuez is from Melbourne, the editor of Metro, Australia’s oldest film and media periodical, and editor-in-chief of sexuality and gender magazine Archer. Adolfo writes nonfiction and poetry, and appears at festivals and arts events to speak about race, queer and mental-health issues, the publishing industry, and various other topics. His natural dance genres are hip-hop/urban and commercial, with notes of lyrical and house.

Liminal magazine is an online space for the exploration, interrogation and celebration of the Asian-Australian experience, founded in 2016. (Visit here for a conversation with the creators of Liminal Magazine, streamed live from the Digital Writers’ Festival, Oct 2017).


Here’s something different … mentioned in a post to the British-Irish-Poets email list at JISCMAIL.AC.UK


… the online collaborative wikisite of The Peripatetic University – Prifysgol Y Treiglo. A repository of online workshop tutorials, inviting multidisciplinary collaboration, writing experiments and teaching between poets, text artists and interested others.

The Peripatetic University/ Prifysgol Y Treiglo is a nomadic college of experimental writing and Summer school seminar series, offering mobile seminars, walking conferences and travelling workshops. With an interest in walking poetrypsychogeographyprocessual poetics and cut-up procedures, lessons take place on the hoof, our campus is in cafes, pubs, markets, shopping arcades, public lavatories, train station foyers. “If you know where to find it, the university will be there”.

Website at The Peripatetic University – Prifysgol Y Treiglo


– poetry workshop with Les Wicks –
6 hours plus substantial prior editorial work in an extraordinary locale.


Venue: Community Hall, Dangar Island
Saturday 10 March 10.45 to 5.00 with a 30″ break for lunch (vegetarian, included in price).

This template has been a complete charge for everyone. One of the country’s leading poetry facilitators will be giving a workshop in Sydney.

This project will consist of three components.

Everyone gets in advance a strategy sheet on editing their work. Then, participants will send four poems (maximum 30 lines each) to 14 days prior to the workshop. The poems with commentary will be distributed to the participants four days prior to their workshop. Participants should bring a copy of the entire commentary document to the workshop.

On the day of the workshop, participants will work intensively through each other’s poems building on prior suggestions and experiencing a dynamic interplay of ideas/insights.

Should they so wish, participants will have a chance to have a piece published in the e-mag Australian Poetry Collaboration, which is widely read and archived by the National Library’s Pandora.

It is strictly limited to only 8 attendees.

Bookings must be made by 17 February.

Cost $100.

Getting there: train Hawkesbury River or drive Brooklyn. Ferry departs at 10am. Fares 7.80 or 3.90 Conc. each way. Arrive early/leave later – wander through this unique community, have a swim! Further details & booking:

Les Wicks

Getting By Not Fitting In

Books available

Paypal available.