Monday, September 29, 2014

Poetry Update: Writ Poetry Review

100_5803Just a short note to let you know that my poem, That Summer will be reprinted in the inaugural Writ Poetry Review that launches tomorrow. There’s only a placeholder page at the moment but bookmark the site for future reference.

Writ Poetry Review

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Finding your poetry

shot_1407548672319 My self imposed challenge to read more poetry and to read more widely is beginning to pay dividends, if not in my own poetry yet, at least in my appreciation of poetry. 

I remember reading and reviewing Aria by Sarah Holland-Batt in January and while I liked a few of her poems right away, I mentioned that subsequent readings might engender more appreciation.  I had the good fortune to pick up a copy of Aria second hand a month or so ago and upon reading the first poem, Pocket Mirror I had the wonderful experience of reading a slightly different poem. 

The poem of course hadn’t changed, I had.  In the eight intervening months I had read more widely and also paid more attention to the technical skill that’s not immediately evident to a casual reader of poetry.  It’s the gift of poetry I suppose - a good poem is one that can draw you in again and again as you grow and experience more poetry.

So that’s one way I have found my own poetry or the poetry that I really enjoy i.e. by continued exposure.

I continually hear that poetry is a dying art, that it can’t make money (except in the form of particular anthologies) and this might be the case but there is still an ocean of poetry being written and published.  Reading more widely, reading poets who allude to other poets work has led me to a couple of recent finds that really hit my love for form. 

I recently read Selected Poems by Thom Gunn and discovered someone who wrote writing engaging and gritty poetry in form as well as free verse.  Likewise, I have really enjoyed Philip Hodgins one of Australia’s critically acclaimed poets, who I am sad to say, I never knew existed. Hodgins’ plain talking poetry depicting rural Victoria and the harsh life on the farm showed me that form  still has a place in contemporary Australian Poetry.  Perhaps his honesty was attractive too, brutal at times, particularly when talking of his impending death. He passed away in 2000 but the Australian Poetry Library has all his works that you can read free here.

Just as with fiction writing there are works that you like and those that you don’t.  There are poems and poets who at first seem impenetrable but reward you the more experienced you become.  Finding your poetry takes time, stick with it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Australian Poetry Journal in eBook form

1-APJ-4.1 If you’re signed up to the Australian Poetry Journal’s fortnightly newsletter you'll already know that APJ’s plan to release their journal in ebook form has happened.  If you're a financial member of Australian Poetry, you should have got a code to download a copy for free.

Sadly I am not a member (yet) but decided to take advantage of their Tomely ( Tomely is a service which allows vendors to offer discounts if purchasers announce their purchase on social media) offer for a copy!

So I ended up forking out about $8 for what has been up until now a print publication I just can’t afford.

Now any small publisher who takes on eBooks is brave, especially if it’s not been part of their workflow before, the different formats and the differing devices can make a meal of a straight prose text.  Producing a text filled with poetry and its sometimes bespoke formatting, no doubt calls for long hours and stiff drinks.

So first impressions:

  • Egads! A 30mb epub file - it turns out that this issue contains a few images (photographs/concrete poetry) and embedded multimedia files.
  • Ok, once over the file size shock I opened it in ADE and in Calibre viewer and it seems to work well *
  • There’s scads of top quality poetry, some essays and reviews

*Apart from the fact that I can’t view any of the multimedia files – don’t worry APJ are aware of the situation. If you experience the same issue let them know.

And the price feels about right to me, in that it’s probably worth more than that but it’s about what the market will bear.  I hope that they sort out the multimedia issue because the concept is cool.  I am not sure about the 30mb file size though – I dare not load it on my Voxto test it out.

All in all a good first foray into the digital realm you can test it till the cows come home but you never really know until the product is released. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Published - a Haiku in A Hundred Gourds

shot_1394577960482 Well September has come around far too quickly but it has brought with it the small joy of publication.  My Haiku “Morning Chill” features in A Hundred Gourds 3:4 September 2014

A Hundred Gourds is a quarterly journal of featuring a number of Japanese poetic forms and the western interpretations of these.  You will find Haiku, Renga, Haibun, Tanka and Rengu along with essays.

Please enjoy.



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