Saturday, July 30, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 30

The carved hiking cane
 almost finished
This week I had the good news of picking up extra teaching hours for the next nine weeks.  Unfortunately this has meant more prep and necessitated some some shopping to buy more work clothes.  I have also been busy helping my other half get work and paraphernalia ready for a SALA exhibition.

Understandably the writing hours are down, possibly the lowest for the year but once I have my routine set I think I should be able to maintain he 6-8 hours work I did last term.

I must also admit I am still somewhat distracted by carving. Though I did manage to incorporate carving into a proto-poem.

The Writing...

was limited to last Sunday and Monday.  I kept working on a ghazal featuring a bit of social commentary and started a TS Eliot-esque exploration of the similarities between carving and poetry.  The only trouble is that the long period of time in the middle of the week where I was too tired to work, has left me feeling a bit out of the writing groove, to the point where my reflection journal actually came in handy to remind me what I had been doing.

The Study

I continued with Mary Ruefle's, Madness Rack and Honey and completed her chapter on secrets and poetry. Due to the long break I will probably need to reread that section.  


Close Reading


This week I finished David Brook's, Broad Bean Meditation.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 4:53 (356:20) hrs


poem writing = 2.37 (159:39) hrs

close reading = 1:26(73:02) hrs

technique/theory 0:30(81:49) hrs

reflection = 0:20(27:22) hrs



Poetry written:

0(29) poems completed


(2)17 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn



Poems Submitted:


0(16 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(8) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)



Rejections:



0(8) poems

Verity La | PODCAST is Live



For all those Australian (and International) poets hankering for some more home grown poetry podcasts, Verity La have launched their first .

From their website:

Each month, the Verity La Poetry Podcast talks with a member of our poetic community. We discuss a poem they’ve published in the journal, as well as hear about a poet they admire.  
Our interviewers are Melbourne poet Alice Allan and her faithful sidekicks, Verity La co-poetry editors, Robbie Coburn & Michele Seminara. Occasionally Alice may be joined by a mystery guest interviewer, because, hey, that’s just how we roll. 
Read on





Monday, July 25, 2016

Australian Book Review poetry podcasts - NSW

In this post Poetica environment its hard to find poetry podcasts that focus on Australian content so here's hoping we'll have a run of programs from the good folks at ABR.




H/T to Thom Sullivan

Get free shipping on Australian Poetry - Booktopia

Yes, I know it seems like just last week I was spruiking Stuart Barnes collection, but Booktopia have evidently won an award for best mobile site and as a result are granting free shipping until the 1st of August (see details below).

Now I have picked out three releases from Five Islands Press, but do have a look here at their entire range of Australian single author collections.

Note:  This deal isn't limited to poetry of course.


$21.95 

The List of Last Remaining proves Louise Nicholas to be a poet of generosity, wit and wisdom. In poems which range from childhood dreams and disappointments and the fraught joys of family life to an Israeli kibbutz, love, laughter and unlikely encounters, we are regaled with narrative surprises, racy details and exuberant metaphors. The pervasive humour and leaps of imagination are tempered by Louise's emotional and verbal precision and her poised acknowledgement of loss as well as grace.  - Jan Owen 

'I choose laughter,' Louise Nicholas writes in the last poem in her new book, 'because it joins the dots,'/allows us to find the sense in senseless,/connects us all to the last.' Her carefully thought-through, closely focussed autobiographical poems do all of that and more, whether they choose laughter, sadness, wonder, love, or joy. - Peter Goldsworthy 


$15.00 
Fainting with Freedom displays Ouyang Yu's characteristic wrestlings with absurdity, the quotidian and the pain of history, while maintaining a distinctly different take on what constitutes 'the self'. The poems shimmer with language-play - through slippages between English and Chinese, a more illuminating existential truth arises. John Kinsella

'Why,' asks Ouyang Yu in this stunning new collection, is fame 'never associated with failure?' From the great consensus challenger of our age, Fainting with Freedom skewers all the truisms we have been forced by culture to hold too dear, its language abundant with the honesty, percipience and pith we know to expect from this major writer. Nicholas Birns, Editor, Antipodes

Ouyang Yu has mellowed but is by no means tamed. Anger has given way to sadness, occasional bitterness, but also acceptance; his linguistic fireworks explode on the page. This collection cements Ouyang's position as one of Australia's most innovative poets. Wenche Ommundsen

$7.50 

'You can never get away from where you come from. This is poetry that confronts those difficult connections, gutsy work with a deep understanding of people. Tough, staring down the truth. Loving, too, but never sentimental.' - Anna Fern

 'From tender observations of children to the tortuous witnessing of a mother's dying, Jennifer Compton's poems zing and sting with the joys and complexities of real living. Her 'dazzling intimacies' and sharp, but generous watchfulness of all the world lead to swooping narratives that are poignant, funny, sensitive and fiercely intelligent. Now You Shall Know is a wondrously wide-ranging, disarming and haunting collection.' - Jean Kent 

'This is generous, mercurial poetry with linguistic and dramatic verve and telling silences. In Now You Shall Know Jennifer Compton claims her space con brio: I think of a rider or ballet dancer and also of a long-distance traveller since these poems cover so much ground. I warmed to the intimate, ironic assurance, to the trust placed in the reader and to the almost palpable presence of this witty, provocative, perceptive raconteuse prepared to tell me, in confidence, everything. There are such sparkling images in this book, and such acknowledged darkness too, a truthfulness and brusque compassion 'as human as anything is'.' - Jan Owen



The FREE SHIPPING promotion code is: MOBILE

 Simply place an order before midnight, Monday the 1st of August (AEST and NZST) with the promotion code MOBILE and you will receive free shipping on your order.

The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.

 The promotion code field where you enter the word MOBILE is on the last page of the checkout just before you complete your order (Payment and Review).

Under Order Summary, click the plus symbol to expand the section so you can enter the code. Please note: You may need to click the word "Apply" next to the promotion code field to receive your free shipping discount if it has not automatically applied it.

 This offer is only available to Australian and New Zealand shipping addresses. If you are overseas and want to ship to an Australian or New Zealand address then you can use this promotional code too. It is not applicable for Australia Post Express Post, eBooks, gift certificates OR magazines.

The discount code applies only to the shipping cost of standard delivery to Australia or New Zealand and not to the overall order.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 29

First attempt at carving hiking stick
from Tasmanian Oak
Reading back through my reflection journal I categorized myself this week as slack and distracted. Chiefly because I began teaching myself how to relief carve. This after viewing the ceremonial walking stick that the New Zealand Poet Laureates receive when they are awarded the position.  

Personally I think its a great shame that we don't have one in Australia ( A poet laureate that is) the arguments people have against it are not particularly convincing to me.

On reflection though "slack" is perhaps just me pushing myself too hard again. I still manged nearly 10 hours around all the holiday running around  (a  trips to the framer to help my wife prepare for a SALA exhibition).

Two of my recent bargain purchases from Booktopia also turned up on Monday and I haven't counted any of that reading toward my stats.  I have almost finished Andy Jackson's Immune Systems, I'd recommend it at the full price of $22 but Booktopia still have it going cheap (under $5).


The Writing

After a casual reading of Kathryn Hummel's collection Poems from Here, I stumbled across her poem  Villanelle - Don't kill yourself but the hours instead. This gave me an idea to rework an early prose poem into villanelle form and now I think I prefer it this way. 

I took some time to review and edit the last couple of poems that had reached first draft stage in week one of the holidays and ended up happy with those results too.  

The end of the week saw me fleshing out one of my fleeting breakfast thoughts into poem form.  

The Study

I continued with Mary Ruefle's, Madness Rack and Honey and it continues to tackle the writing of poetry in wonderfully indirect ways.  The later half of the week saw me refreshing some grammar rules in preparation for conducting a style analysis as part of my review/edit procedure.


Close Reading


This week I did virtually no close reading about 15 mintues all up of David Brook's, Broad Bean Meditation.



For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 9:51 (351:27) hrs


poem writing = 6.26 (157:02) hrs

close reading = 0:15(71:36) hrs

technique/theory 2:35(81:19) hrs

reflection = 0:45(27:02) hrs



Poetry written:

1(29) poems completed


(1)15 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn



Poems Submitted:


0(16 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(8) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)



Rejections:



0(8) poems

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Year of Poetry - Update Month 7

How's the Serenity?
This week, being week one of my holidays, I almost felt at a loss with all the time available for writing.  And it shows in the doubling of writing time below.

I managed to drive in to town (Adelaide) this week on this mistaken notion that Friendly Street Poet's would be on ( got my dates wrong) and endured the winter's windiest and coldest day ie 6 degrees and Police warning people to stay off the roads.

Still, not all was lost as I picked up a couple of remaindered poetry books and some new releases - Ellen Van Neerven's Comfort Food and Kathryn Hummel's Poems from Here ( okay this one's 2014 but I have been informed it's gone into a second printing).


The Writing

The writing week began with working over an idea that's been niggling at me, although on reflection, I think it's an idea that I have thought "I should write a poem about that" an indication after spending too many hours trying to force the idea through, that now is not its time.  

So after a 30 minute crack at this idea, I returned to an earlier note about life in Alice Springs and bingo, a draft popped out and by the next writing session it was sitting at first version stage.  

At a loss again for what to write about, I returned to working over that niggling idea. Seven pages of word soup later (even after a tickle of inspiration) my head was sore from the metaphorical head-desking.  

Cue an early morning breakfast conversation about the lack of diversity in Australian teen soap opera and an image from my windy drive into town and I had a poem finished to first version stage in a day.

I am finding a lot of this poeting business is learning how to hack your own thinking.



The Study

Mary Ruefle's, Madness Rack and Honey turned up on Monday and I have made my way through the first couple of chapters - On Beginnings, Sentimentality and Theme.  The book's not quite what I expected, idiosyncratic is one way of describing it. 

Generally speaking if I were to read a chapter about  beginnings I'd expect the writer to be working very succinctly, very directly toward a point they want to get across.  I find Ruefle gloriously indirect and meta at times.  

There's a point but she takes you on a fascinating journey to get there.


Close Reading



This week I finished John Brehm's, When My Car Broke Down. and Kathyrn Hummel's Last Drinks Adelaide II




For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 16:31 (340:36) hrs


poem writing = 9.15 (150:36) hrs

close reading = 3:09(71:21) hrs

technique/theory 3:06(78:44) hrs

reflection = 1:01(27:02) hrs



Poetry written:

2(29) poems completed


14 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn



Poems Submitted:


0(16 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(8) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)



Rejections:



0(8) poems

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

UWAP Poetry - A new initiative from the University of Western Australia

From their webpage:

UWAP Poetry is our response to the current situation in Australian poetry: a moment of shrinking opportunity for our highly productive Australian poets. This imprint enables us to increase our annual output of poetry books and build a channel for established and emerging voices. 

The first four books released to be released (current date 1st October) are :

Pre-order from Booktopia
Bruce Dawe's,  Border Security.  For which I can't find much media release information.  Not that Bruce Dawe needs it.  Just his name and the intriguing title should be enough, no?











Pre-order from Booktopia
J.H. Crone's, Our Lady of the Fence Post   is an imaginative response to news reports of the appearance of a Marian apparition at Coogee, Sydney, in January 2003, on the construction site of a memorial for victims of the Bali bombing.

A year after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon on 9/11 2001 had triggered the 'War on Terror', terrorists bombed Paddy's Irish Pub and the Sari Club on Jalan Legion in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 people.

Many of the 88 Australians who died were football players and their families celebrating the end of the football season. Within days of the news report of the Marian apparition huge crowds started visiting the site, dubbed 'Our Lady of the Fence Post' by the press.

Our Lady of the Fence Post interrogates the rise of religious fundamentalism and the 'war on terror', from the Bali bombing to Jake Bilardi's ISIS suicide bombing in 2015, as it is experienced by locals in the fictional setting of Sunshine Bay, in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.


Pre-order from Booktopia
 Alan Loney's Melbourne Journal Notebooks 1998-2003 is the third instalment in Alan Loney's notebooks, covering the period in between his previous publications (Sidetracks: Notebooks 1976-1991 and Crankhandle: Notebooks June 2010-November 2013).

Allowing observations and ideas to fall on to the page half formed, poems to shimmer into and out of existence like apparitions, Alan Loney's Melbourne Journal celebrates the reflexive muscle of the poet's mind, heightened by the stimuli of a new place: Melbourne.



Pre-order from Booktopia
David McCooey's, Star Struck, is made up of four sections. The first documents an alienating encounter with a life-threatening illness. The second plays out an unforgettable obsession with darkness and light. The third brings together popular music and the ancient literary mode of the pastoral.

In this highly original sequence we find, among other things, Bob Dylan singing Virgil, Joni Mitchell reflecting on life in Laurel Canyon, a lab monkey pondering the sound of music, and a bitter, surreal rewriting of 'Down Under' for our times. In the final section, narrative poetry is cast in an intensely new and uncanny light.



The poetry imprint is being launched at the Sturmfrei Poetry Night on the 28th of July, in Perth at the State Theatre, check out the FaceBook page for that here.

I should note that if you want to get free shipping on these titles at release Bootopia have a free shipping deal going until midnight Eastern time tonight (13 July 2016), just use the code COSY at checkout.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Young Dawkins - Letter to my Unborn Child

No relation to Richard Dawkins I think but an expat American now living in Scotland Australia who represented Scotland at the World Slam Championships.



What is very interesting is that he doesn't set out to write "slam" poetry.  Check out his interview at the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast.

His FaceBook page can be found here.

Moar! Aussie Poetry Bargains - Wright, Clarke & Musa

Wanting to spread the love around for my fellow poets, I thought I would remind you of some other Aussie work that's available.

As noted in me previous post regarding Stuart Barnes' The Glasshouses, if you are an Australian purchasing from Booktopia and you order (any book, not just these wonderful works of art) before midnight Eastern Time on the 13th of July you can get free shipping with the code word COSY)

$19.25
Judith Wright - Collected Poems

This definitive collection represents the impressive poetic achievement of one of Australia's best loved and most highly respected poets.

Judith Wright's Collected Poems comprises her work from 1942 to 1985 and is a fitting tribute to an outstanding poet. 

Demonstrating a deep love of the Australian landscape, coupled with an awareness of white history and an intense concern for Aboriginal rights, she increasingly focused on the need for wildlife preservation and conservation and was one of the first Australian environmentalists.


$16.75

Parang is the second collection of poetry from former Australian Poetry Slam winner Omar Musa. Written over four years, the collection explores Malaysian jungles, dark Australian streets, and dreams.

Dealing with the issues of loss, migration and belonging, Parang is an incisive and sometimes raw look at the here and now of a changing world.




$20.80


ABIA and Indie award winning author Maxine Beneba Clarke (author of Foreign Soil and The Hate Race) is one of Australia's most innovative and celebrated poets.

A haunting visit to the International Museum of Slavery, in Liverpool England. A feisty young black girl pushing back against authority. The joy and despair of single parenthood. A love-hate relationship with words.

This collection brings the best of a decade-long international poetry career to the page.


If you thought bargains meant really, really cheap poetry 
 
You can check out other Australian Poetry here and search through the bargain bins here (I recently picked up Andy Jackson's latest for under $5.00).

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 27

Japanese inspired journal cover
from my wife
Another week down (and still no government)

This week was a shortened week for me, I took an extra day's work on top of my normal teaching load and consequently really only had last Sunday as a serious day of writing.

Despite this limitation though I still managed to bring one poem to fruition.

In writing related matters, I have filled my fourth notebook which amounts to about a thousand handwritten pages. I began my second reflections journal and received this lovely Japanese inspired cloth journal cover from my wife.



The Writing

A curious thing happened this week. After last week's rather good effort of three poems I was, shall we say feeling a little creatively drained.  

Normally I just sit and write and that process may result in a couple of ideas and then the writing takes off and I simply continue to work on what I've got.  

This week, I kept hitting a wall.  I'd write and nothing grabbed my attention, for sure I did some quality thinking, unearthed some memories but it didn't catapult me on to anything.  In the end I gave in and decided to do some close reading of  Richard Hugo's poem.  I was about ten minutes in and a line came into my head.  I can get pretty fixated on disciplining myself to follow the process so my initial reaction was to ignore it, but I couldn't settle back.  

Figuring that it was my subconscious hitting me with a metaphorical mallet I went with the decision to write, quickly penning a paragraph.  The urge disappeared and I went back to close reading.  

The following morning, wanting to test this interesting development, I decided to start with the close reading and lo and behold the same thing occurred.  This time I answered the door and the poem came in and made itself at home.  I have tinkered with it since but It was one of those glorious experiences where it almost feels like you are not doing the writing.

I think I'll employ this tactic again in the future.



The Study


Nil study done this week. I am still awaiting  Mary Ruefle's, Madness Rack and Honey which I hope turns up on Monday.




Close Reading


This week I finished Richard Hugo's Back of Gino's Place  and began reading John Brehm's, When My Car Broke Down.


For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 4:56 (324:05) hrs


poem writing = 2.35 (141:21) hrs

close reading = 1:57(68:12) hrs

technique/theory 0:00(75:38) hrs

reflection = 0:24 (26:01) hrs



Poetry written:

1 (27) poems completed


13 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn



Poems Submitted:


0(16 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(8) poem



Live Performances:
0(2)



Rejections:



0(8) poems

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pre-Order Glasshouses by Stuart Barnes and get free shipping

Pre-order Now
Australian poet Stuart Barnes has his debut collection Glasshouses coming out at the end of August.  It won the 2015 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize under the title The Staysails.

You can check out his work at Cordite or at his own blog.

I look forward to reading my copy in very early September.

You can pre-order it now through Booktopia and if you (Australians only) place the order before midnight on the 13th of July 2016  and use the code COSY at checkout you can get free shipping.

It should be noted that you can use this code with any Booktopia purchase but I think you should really buy Stuart's book.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 26 ( The Election Edition)

From Booktopia
As I type, counting hasn't begun, but I fear for my country and its most disadvantaged. If you came here looking for poetry about the election I'm afraid to disappoint.  

Mind you Omar Sakr has one here called Election Day.

What can one do but wait and write.  


So this week I did, write that is.  For some reason I felt as though I hadn't put in enough time at the desk, felt that I didn't have any cause for slacking off.  But as I look back over the stats I put a good 50 minutes more in on last weeks poetry writing efforts and only just came up shy of last weeks total hours.

So I certainly wasn't slacking.  

One thing I will have to watch is the determination to push myself and to expect good poetry of myself all the time.  There were two writing periods this week where I felt self imposed pressure to write well first time starting to hamper my creativity.

I discovered William E Stafford thanks to Richard Hugo. Check out the two stanza's below, I love the braille lines. I liked his work so much I went ahead and rewarded myself with an extra purchase of his book The Way It Is.

...

Some year I will ring the line
on a night at last the right one,
and with an eye tapered for braille
from the phone on the wall

I will see the tenant who waits—
the last one left at the place;
through the dark my braille eye
will lovingly touch his face.
...



The Writing

So nearly seven hours of writing produced three fully realized poems, two of which were submitted for publication, one of which was returned, rejected.

The front half of the writing week was an intense period of writing - intense in the sense of almost total absorption in the work.  This can be both a blessing and a curse,  poems get worked over but I can let it tire me.  I think this also contributed to a feeling of listlessness at the end of the week.



The Study

Nill study done this week.  I have ordered Mary Ruefle's,  Madness Rack and Honey though and expect that to turn up next week to give me some meaty essays to consider.





Close Reading


This week I read William E Stafford's A Farm on the Great Plain and began Richard Hugo's Back of Gino's Place .  


For the Statbadgers:


Total time: 11:40 (319:09) hrs


poem writing = 6.53 (138:46) hrs

close reading = 3:30(66:15) hrs

technique/theory 0:00(75:38) hrs

reflection = 0:53 (25:37) hrs



Poetry written:

3 (26) poems completed


13 poems in draft


1 poem abandoned


1 poem facing execution at dawn



Poems Submitted:


2(16 in total) poems



Poems Published:


0(8) poem



Live Performances:

0(2)



Rejections:



1(8) poems
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