Thursday, March 31, 2016

Jane Hirshfield reads Three Foxes ...

Three Foxes By The Edge of the Field at Twilight

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

List of poetry UK magazine submissions windows by Robin Houghton

I rarely submit overseas but I do intend to when I find the time to read the magazines listed at Robin's post. Check out the link if you are interested. You might also benefit from discovering some new poetry reading outlets

List of poetry magazine submissions windows – Robin Houghton Poetry:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Poet Tips Launches

The first thing that's hard to figure out when you first come across poetry is working out what you like.

The second thing is finding out, with any sort of reliability who else you might like.  If you're lucky you might have a community of poets nearby, or a mentor, or a friend who knows a bit more than you.

If you have to rely on the internet its going to take some time and reading, you might go down a few overgrown paths.

Then comes Poet Tips, a crowd sourced recommendation engine.  Try it out here. It's best to view the video above first, though the site is pretty intuitive.

Cover Reveal - Poetry and Place Anthology

So this is the swish cover of the Anthology I have some poems in.  If you want to check out some other details, like the TOC you can find it here.

Reflections on my first solo gig

So if you have read my 3 month update you'll note that I took the opportunity to do my first solo reading on Saturday.

Now I have read at Speedpoets in Brisbane with an audience of 20-30 people and at various more intimate i.e. smaller gatherings, where the audience has been a poetry reading public and very polite.

These events typically limit you to 1-3 poems and there's very little time for, say, waxing lyrical with introductions and stories that lead into poems.

It's a good experience, gives you a chance to work on your delivery, you sometimes even get some good vibes from the audience and if you're lucky an audience member might come and tell you how one of your poems might have affected them.

The solo gig for obvious reasons felt like putting on a show.  I had about 2 hours notice to pull something together and put out calls for help on Facebook - thanks to those friends that saw the post in time and offered what help they could.

I had no idea how long I would have to read for, or what type of audience to expect.  There was going to be a muso singing and playing acoustic guitar and me for a period of two hours.

I prepared about 20 odd poems, taken from the last 3 years - initially I thought this might have been over preparation but in the end turned out to be just about right.

About 75% of the work I had performed before and these were all well revised poems.

In the end the crowd was small - the waitstaff, the muso, those walking the street (we performed Alfresco) and a young french couple.

The audio setup was perhaps a little over-engineered for the event (but this is what you get work with professionals) and I am sure everyone in a 2 block radius got to hear my work.

In some respects it was similar to a poetry reading, although I don't usually work with an amp and speakers, but there were new experiences too:

  • I had much more time to lead into the poems and this was an area I felt I need to work on, ad-libbing intros was a bit hit and miss, something that would improve with performances, or with having some notes. Consequently some of the poetry felt a bit rushed (part of this was nerves). The muso said I improved toward the end.
  • I had never before sat down and read an extended collection of my poetry, even if you don't perform live I think you could do this as an audio recording.  I found theme, tone and distinct emotions arising from the sum of all the parts, I ended up gaining a new perspective for my work.
And I got a call back, so who knows this might turn into a regular thing?

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - 3 Month Mark

Hmm as you can see not much going on re blogging this week.  I had three consecutive days working which pretty much wiped me for doing any hardcore writing.

Still I managed to pull my first solo live performance together in a couple of hours, and perform to an intimate cafe crowd and passers by.  That this fell at the end of the three month mark wasn't planned but I certainly feel like it capped off the first quarter of the year nicely.

I did 2 sets totaling about 20 poems and the musician who invited me to perform said he really enjoyed my work.  I got invited back to do another performance when there will be a bigger crowd.

I got another poem to beta reading stage this week in addition to the performance.  The other stats are pretty horrendous though.  Still I ain't complaining.  I start week 13 with an appearance in Gawler at the Poetry in the Pub event so I can't honestly say that I am slacking.

This week's study was comprised of Some Notes on Organic Form by Denise Levertov and Jane Hirshfield's essays Poetry and the Mind of Indirection and Two Secrets in Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry.

My close reading was To Judgement: An Assay by Jane Hirshfield.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 10:52 (196:00) hrs

poem writing = 7.00 (79:43) hrs
close reading = 1:00(43:14) hrs
technique/theory 2:12 (47:02) hrs
reflection = 0:40 (16:28) hrs

Poetry written:

1 (17) poems completed
1 poem abandoned

Poems Submitted:

1 (12 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(1) poem

Live Performances:



0 (2) poem

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 11

Worked three days this week and still managed to crank out 15 hours poetry related effort which is why I am feeling a bit exhausted on the poetry front.

This week I managed to get one poem to the beta reading stage. As per this week's exercise I took a culturally significant story and reworked it in heroic couplet form.

This week's study was comprised of Alice Notley's 1998 Essay: The Poetics of Disobedience, Adrienne Rich's, Someone is Writing a Poem and Jane Hirsfield's essays on Translation and Japanese Poetics in  Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry.  

One poem swam out into the sea of submissions this week.  It's something a bit different and I hope it finds a home.

My close readings were: Guns, Blue and Estuary by Katrina Roberts, all narrative couplets but ranging from slightly irregular to highly irregular iambic pentameter.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 15:04 (185:08) hrs

poem writing = 6:30 (72:43) hrs
close reading = 3:27(42:14) hrs
technique/theory 4:22 (44:50) hrs
reflection = 0:46 (14:48) hrs

Poetry written:

1 (16) poems completed
1 poem abandoned

Poems Submitted:

1 (12 in total) poems

Poems Published:

1 poem


0 (2) poem

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Rab Wilson reads Striddin Forrit

Rab Wilson, a Scot who writes his poetry in Scots dialect reading his poem at Kay Park in Kilmarnock 26th July 2009.  He wrote this protesting the closure of the Ayrshire Plant.  You may have to listen closely

Monday, March 14, 2016

Kei Miller reads Unsung

I cam across Kei Miller on the Scottish Poetry Podcast, and am in the process of trying to get my library to get his work in.

Here he is reading his poem Unsung, from the collection A Light Song of Light.  If you would like to here more of him check out the podcast here.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 10

One day's work this week and a my total hours came up just shy of last week's effort.

Obstacles this week have been me sleeping in and starting late. Though I seem to have been more productive having finished two poems.

The past two weeks have seen me experiment with the sonnet form reworking some older poems that I think benefited from being condensed and this week I wrote a poem for family that I probably won't send out for publication but which I am reasonably proud of from a technical standpoint.

This week's study comprised of TS Eliot's 1920 essay: Tradition and the Individual Talent, and Jane Hirsfield's essays on artistic concentration and originality from Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry.  There was interesting crossover or perhaps I should continuity from the Eliot essay to Hirshfield's on originality.

I also sent out a poem this week to a paying market and received a nice rejection letter for one of last weeks submissions

My close readings were: The Consent by Howard Nemerov, Like Holderlin by Rosemarie Waldrop and The Scarborough Grace by Michael Lista.  I particularly like the sci-fi/horror connotations in the Nemerov, the mirroring that occurs in the Waldrop and the shift from observational to epiphanic in the Lista.

Next week's poetry exercise is to rework a fairytale or some other culturally significant story into narrative couplets.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 14:27 (170:04) hrs

poem writing = 6:55 (66:13) hrs
close reading = 3:05(38:47) hrs
technique/theory 4:45 (40:28) hrs
reflection = 0:58 (14:02) hrs

Poetry written:

2 (15) poems completed
1 poem abandoned

Poems Submitted:

1 (11 in total) poems

Poems Published:

1 poem


1 (2) poem

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Art of the Metaphor - Jane Hirshfield

This video is a short excerpt of a larger TedEd lesson by Jane Hirshfield which I don't have the internet usage to watch.

Still even this small animated snippet has something for everyone, ideal for senior students and those of us that like to muse about metaphor


Friday, March 4, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 9

I finally got some paid work this week - two days.  How this effected the week is hard to judge because I was able to steal some time to study/read/work while away from the poetry writing desk and on my days off I was crippled with an intense headache.

I still managed about 14 hours of work though.  The paid work did muck up the normal flow of write, study, read though.  

This week was mostly study and reworking earlier poems until I experienced one of those rare occurrences where a piece of dialogue that had been floating around in my head clicked into place and a fully fledged poem wrote itself.

My close readings were also minimal; I read Smalltown Memorials by Geoff Page, and Why Brownlee Left by Paul Muldoon.

For those with an interest in stats here's this weeks along with the running total

Total time: 14:52 (155:37) hrs

poem writing = 5:50 (59:23) hrs
close reading = 2:07(35:42) hrs
technique/theory 4:50 (35:43) hrs
reflection = 1:05(13:04) hrs

Poetry written:

13 poems completed
1 poem abandoned

Poems Submitted:

4 (7 in total) poems

Poems Published:

1 poem


1 poem

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

New Audio Poem from SG Larner - White Pill

Words by S. G. Larner
'Ave Maria' written by Franz Schubert, performed by S. G. Larner
Produced by Lloyd Barrett

This is the second or third of Stacey's audio poems - a fusion of music, words and special effects.  Check it out.  She also writes speculative fiction here.
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