Saturday, October 29, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 43

My current musical crush -
Eivør's album Slør.
A good week as these things go.

A poetry order arrived in the form of two of Miriam Gamble's poetry collections - The Squirrels Are Dead and Pirate Music from Bloodaxe Books. A purchase whose blame I lay firmly at the feet of the Scottish Poetry Library Podcast.

As Facebook and Twitter followers will know I did get an acceptance this week and I was understandably chuffed, but I don't know if I get as chuffed as I used to - picture me doing the Leyton Hewitt COME ON!.

I have noted that one of the benefits of this year long process is that the rejections don't seem to bite so hard but I also think that the joy of acceptances don't feel as pronounced. Which isn't to say that I don't care about publication, more that there's less running about like I scored a goal for Australia when it does happen.

Part of this is experience and part is psychology no doubt (we do tend to down play positive experiences) but I also think I am getting a lot of enjoyment out of the process of writing.  I am also working full time which leaves little time for basking in glory.

In any event, I will let you know when it's published

The Writing...

Managed nearly two and a half hours poetry writing by devoting Sunday morning to it. Spent about 20 minutes faffing about with an idea until some strong inspiration hit and I went with that instead. Consequently a poem was born and is now sitting in 1st draft stage.

The Study...

Read and noted the the chapter on the positioning of the poem's speaker and began the chapter on rhyme and repetition in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems.

Close Reading...

Read The unpleasant poet elf from PS Cottier's pamphlet Quick Bright Things. I like Cottier's work and reading this collection inspired me to inject a little bit of humour into my work.  The result being a poetry acceptance.

So thanks P.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 4:48 (415:43) hrs

poem writing = 02.24 (191:40) hrs

close reading =1:00(82:09) hrs

technique/theory 0:54(96:54) hrs

reflection = 0:305(35:07) hrs

Poetry written:

1(38) poems completed

1 (17)poems in draft

Poems Submitted:

0(23 in total) poems

Poems Published:

1(8) poem

Live Performances:



0(10) poems

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ep. 22 R. A. Villanueva: chance, race and games – Poetry Says

Available from Booktopia
In this latest episode of Poetry Says, Alice interviews Filipino-American Poet R.A. Villanueva.  It's a massive interview going close to an hour and a half but it's  packed full of interesting conversation.

Please click through to the Poetry Says website:

Ep. 22 R. A. Villanueva: chance, race and games – Poetry Says

You can also check him out at the Poetry Foundation or follow him on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

VERITY LA POETRY PODCAST Episode 4: Ben Frater | Verity La

I am  about three quarters of the way through this podcast.

I have worked in community mental health previously and it was good to hear some of the work being done with Poetry and the stigma and cultural stereotypes surrounding sufferers of mental health issues.

It was also good to hear of the late Ben Frater.

Click through:

VERITY LA POETRY PODCAST Episode 4: Ben Frater | Verity La:

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ep 21. Adrienne Rich’s anger and tenderness – Poetry Says

It's almost time for the next Poetry Says I'm sure, but I thought I would recommend Alice's insight on Adrienne Rich here.

I like these short solo podcasts almost as much as the interviews.  Although they do tend to start costing me money as I find that Alice has a good eye (or is that ear?) for digging up quality poets.

Click through below:

Ep 21. Adrienne Rich’s anger and tenderness – Poetry Says:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Unsolicited Advice from a Failed Male Poet by Alvy Carragher

As a follow up to yesterday's post re Alvy Carragher's poem numb. Here's another hitting back at her critics with style and poetic mojo.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Numb by Alvy Carragher

Numb performed by Alvy Carragher. Trigger warning, this poem is about the poet's own rape.

You would think that a poet relating the tale of their own rape, as a personal catharsis, as an expression of their identity, of coming to terms with the incident would be something to be applauded even if the poetry wasn't good (which is not the case here).

This is exactly what poetry can do; help us understand ourselves, help us understand others, make us think.

Unfortunately there's still men and women out there for whom the merest criticism or talk about rape and failing to get consent,  descends into personal attacks ranging from victim blaming to patronizing criticism of the poet's work and performance.

I often wonder if Joanna Russ would have penned an updated How to Suppress Women's Writing including social media, if she had lived to see it.

I have waffled too long, please appreciate Numb.


Year of Poetry Update - Week 42

Courtesy of the
SA Library System
Quite possibly the worst week in terms of productivity this year and a reminder that if I don't get in some good morning work on poetry writing it just doesn't get done.

No poetry purchases this week but in doing my tax I worked out that I had spent nearly $500 on poetry this year - both collections and technical works.

The Writing...
was missing in action this week.  I did manage to jot one line down but I won't count that.  

This week I forgot I was old and needed more than one good night's sleep to recover from a post midnight DVD marathon.  

Getting a sinus migraine today didn't help either.  

The Study...

was about the only thing that I achieved this week. I read James Longenbach's chapter on line and syntax in Art of the Poetic Line

Then finished off noting the chapter on Image in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems. 

I also read an article on Lithub with regard to aiming for 100 rejections a year, well worth reading.  I had planned to right my own reflections on it this week but ...well ... you get the picture.  Check it out. 

Close Reading...

also missing in action. But in my defense I did lots of shallow page flipping.

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 2:35 (410:31) hrs

poem writing = 02.00 (189:16) hrs

close reading =0:00(81:09) hrs

technique/theory 2:10(96:00) hrs

reflection = 0:35(34:37) hrs

Poetry written:

0(37) poems completed

(0)16 poems in draft

1 poem abandoned

1 poem facing execution at dawn

Poems Submitted:

0(23 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(7) poem

Live Performances:




0(10) poems

Friday, October 21, 2016

Contibutors list for Best Australian Poems 2016

$19.25 via Booktopia
I had all ready pre-ordered my copy but for those of you hanging out to find out whose poetry is contained therein, you can click on over to the Black Inc Website and scroll down.

Edited by Sarah Holland-Batt,it looks likes there's a good variety of poets and styles.

You can buy direct from Black Inc. or through Booktopia (and I presume any good bookstore),  the release date is the 7th of November.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Podcast - The Poetry Gods Episode 1

Ok, so new to me at least.

 Please enjoy:


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Helen Mort of the SPL Podcast

I am a huge fan of Helen Mort's work and so I was overjoyed to see that the Scottish Poetry Library
had interviewed her for the podcast.

In this podcast they talk about her latest collection, No Map Could Show Them, and her love of Norman MacCaig's work.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 41

Collections by
Naomi Shihab Nye
Elizabeth Bradfield 
I had hoped to get a few more hours under my belt this week, but that was probably unrealistic, what with prep for the start of term and the discovery of Seasons 1 & 2 of Bosch.

That being said I did manage to find seven and a half hours to put pen to paper.

My poetry package arrived from Booktopia along with my Tea order from Tea Leaves and I have had fun nipping into both purchases as my Facebook and Twitter feeds will testify.

The Writing
I put the Jane Eyre poem on hold this week as I had another instance where a starting line came out of nowhere and demanded to be worked on, I did take the risk of not penning it at the time it occurred; right as a lay on the verge of sleep (see us poets live on the edge), but I was confident that it would stick around till morning.   

It worked itself into a good little poem and it along with a poem I have been sitting on for a while, were submitted some time on Friday.  

And like homing pigeons they returned; rejected.  Can't say that I was too unhappy - a combination of a steadily growing confidence that my writing is good and a shift in focus from what really is giving my pleasure in terms of poetic practice. 

Mind you I could be still riding the high of my Camembert and Russian Caravan Tea session.

The Study

Completed reading and started noting, the Chapter on Image in Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems.  Probably worth it for this chapter alone. 

Close Reading

I completed Leaving by JV Birch.  

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 7:04 (407:56) hrs

poem writing = 2.30 (189:16) hrs

close reading =0:34(81:09) hrs

technique/theory 2:00(93:50) hrs

reflection = 0:30(34:02) hrs

Poetry written:

2(37) poems completed

(0)16 poems in draft

1 poem abandoned

1 poem facing execution at dawn

Poems Submitted:

2(23 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(7) poem

Live Performances:



2(10) poems

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Caroline Reid SA Poetry Slam 2016 State Finalist

Friend and writing buddy Caroline Reid recently performed in the SA Slam Finals.



New Poetry Says - Alice Interviews Sophie Mayer

Alice Allan over at Poetry Says has just released another podcast in her weekly series.  This time she interviews Sophie Mayer and they talk about poetry and politics among other things:

A few weeks ago I went along to the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair and saw the panel ‘Poetry and Politics’ with Choman Hardi, WN Herbert, RA Villanueva and Sophie Mayer. Sophie and I then took the conversation off-road. 
Read on

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Month 10

Two pamphlets from
the Picaro Imprint
No storms this week.  But Spring in all its pollen filled glory has arrived along with sinus headaches.  So while I had writing time, I was out of commission for at least two days.

Still as you will see from the stats below I manged nine and a half hours, cracking the 400 hours poetry writing threshold and starting my 6th notebook for the year.

This week also saw some poetry bundles arrive.  I ordered the two pamphlets featured to the left from Ginninderra Press and they arrived within in a couple of days - for $5 each, they were very good value.

My copy of Katrina Naomi's, The Way the Crocodile Taught Me also turned up. I wrote briefly about her here (where you can listen to her read).

The Writing

I had one of those glorious happenings when a stray line just pops into your head and spent the first half of this week crafting it into a poem. I was trying to turn convention on its head a bit with this poem, have a little bit of fun while also engaging the reader in looking at something in a different way. After 10 or so drafts I was happy to send it off.

For the second half of the week a tried an exercise from Ron Pretty's book where you take a passage from a dramatic text and rework it into a poem.  I found it extremely difficult initially.  

The process didn't feel like writing poetry to me.  But then I think I became ensnared in the narrative. Once I loosened up and paid closer attention to the emotion it felt more like writing poetry.  

The text was Jane Eyre if you are interested.

The Study

I completed reading Ron Pretty's Creating Poetry and began Frances Mayes', The Discovery of Poetry - A field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems.  

Close Reading

Understandably a much better week for poetry reading.  I managed to read Stuart Barnes' Ebon Cans from his first collection Glasshouses and Leaving by JV Birch from her first pamphlet collection pictured above.  

Both stonkingly good poems and poets

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 9:30 (400:5
2) hrs

poem writing = 5.30 (186:46) hrs

close reading =1:51
(80:35) hrs

technique/theory 1:35(91:50) hrs

reflection = 0:35(33:32) hrs

Poetry written:

1(35) poems completed

(0)16 poems in draft

1 poem abandoned

1 poem facing execution at dawn

Poems Submitted:

1(21 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(7) poem

Live Performances:



0(8) poems

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Booktober Poetry Bargains - Free Shipping

I can't believe its almost the end of the year.

Booktober, Booktopia's October Sale has started and I thought I'd go through the poetry bargains and see what had changed in the last month or so. There's also a free shipping code at the bottom of this page.

You could also check out the Australian Poet listings here for slightly less bargain prices (still usually a good 10-20% off though) here.

Peripheral Light Selected and New Poems by: John Kinsella, Prof. Harold Bloom (Introduction ) $17.25.

"One of Austrailias most vivid, energetic and stormy poets, a writer who turns to the natural world with a fierce light." Washington Post 

"We are posed before the onset of what I prophesy will be a major art." Harold Bloom, from the introduction.

Review at Verse.

The Best Australian Poems 2014 by Geoff Page (Editor) $11.25

In The Best Australian Poems 2014, award-winning poet Geoff Page compiles an anthology that celebrates both the established and the emerging, the classical and the pioneering in contemporary Australian poetry. This is a lively, colourful and resonant collection for readers and writers alike. 

Previous contributors include Judith Beveridge, Stephen Edgar, Angela Gardner, Clive James, Lisa Gorton, Paul Kelly, John Kinsella, David Malouf, Cate Kennedy, Les Murray, Dorothy Porter, Peter Rose, Robert Adamson, Sarah Holland-Batt and Jaya Savige. 

The Best Australian Poems 2013  by: Lisa Gorton $11.25.

In The Best Australian Poems 2013, celebrated poet Lisa Gorton assembles an outstanding collection of poetry that will surprise and delight. Featuring poets at the peak of their creativity alongside those who have recently burst onto the scene, this volume contains something for all lovers of poetry.

NB:  You could also Pre-order this year's using the free shipping code below.

The Subject of Feeling by Peter Rose $8.75 

This one only came out last year, great value at the price above.

Youth and maturity, love and infatuation, memory, music, loss, landscape, Peter Rose exposes the human experience in poems that are gorgeously lucid and often profound. The Subject of Feeling reveals a fearless wisdom, a wry wit and a quiet depth. These poems stop you in your tracks. - Andrea Goldsmith 

The poetry of Peter Rose moves from classical Rome to contemporary Australia; from mordant comedy to moving elegy; from searing clarity to teasing obliquity. In his brilliant anatomies of the relationship between 'art' and 'life', the public and the private, Rose shows himself to be a master stylist. But style for Rose is not divorced from experience. Rather, experience is understood as, and through, style, a fact illustrated by the welcome new additions to the 'Catullan Rag', Rose's caustic and hilarious ongoing satire of Australian literary life. -David McCooey

Peter Rose's poems encapsulate a passionate vision of life, fusing sardonic wit, sophisticated irony and unsettling gestures. Through their innovative imagery the poems repristinate the mundane and the quotidian, transforming their experience into a unique revelation of the uncanny and the miraculous. It is the poetry of the ultimate sensations, crystalised in lucid formal transparency and imperceptible rhythmic patterns. It is finally the space where words show their love for the real, and besiege its secrets, with intensity and empathy. - Vrasidas Karalis

Heart Starter by John Tranter $7.25
another recent Puncher & Wattmann title and more good value.

Heart Starter is John Tranter's twenty-fourth book of poems. It is made up of three parts: some poems related to 'The Best of the Best American Poetry 2013', some poems related to 'The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of 'Poetry' Magazine', and thirty or so poems, mainly rhymed sonnets, written by Tranter in recent years.

In the case of the first two parts, the author started with loose drafts which borrowed the end-words of each line of some poems in each of the two books concerned. The poems engage in a typically oblique way with North American poetic culture, and with the world of poetry in general, and sometimes speak harshly about the nature of 'poetic insight'. The formal poems towards the end of the book take a bleak and sometimes humorous look at the contemporary world.

Once Removed - Poems by Elizabeth Bradfield $8.25

Known for her poetic portrayals of polar expeditions throughout the ages, Elizabeth Bradfield explores environments remote and local, ecological and interior, in these enthralling new poems.

Whether afloat on the Amazon or wandering her home turf of Cape Cod, Bradfield connects her natural surroundings with the most essential of human longings. 

You can check out Elizabeth's webpage here.

NB:  All prices were correct at time of writing but I have noticed every now and then they change during campaigns, just make sure when you click through on the prices that it is at the stated price.

The FREE SHIPPING promotion code is: BOOKTOBER

Simply place an order before midnight, Monday the 10th of October (AEST and NZST) with the promotion code BOOKTOBER 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 BOOKTOBER 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.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Podcasty Goodness - Make No Bones Podcast

Thanks to Alice Allan over at Poetry Says, I am now acquainted with Hannah Gamble's work and a new podcast - Make no Bones.

Pop over and listen to Alice's reading of Hannah's poem Growing a Bear  at the Poetry Says website:
Hannah Gamble and the bear of secret desires.
Then make your way to Brooklyn via the Make No Bones podcast (who don't appear to have a downloadable link for MP3 but if you have the Internets to stream or itunes you should be fine.)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Year of Poetry Update - Week 39

Storm front as it rolls in at work
So this week saw the storm of the century,  three tornadoes narrowly missed the farm ( by narrow I mean within 50km), there was hail and the entire state was plunged into darkness.

The poetry went on (us poet's are tougher than we look).

Feeling the effects of the sleepless night and the disruption to schedule though.  The hours were down by one but all things considered I am calling it a win.  I am looking forward to doing a heap of writing in the coming days.

If I can drag myself away from The Last Kingdom, Season 1.

The Writing

Left the redrafting of last week's poem and switched to another "finished" poem, applying some of the thought process picked up during the last two weeks or so.  Consequently I have finished and submitted it to a journal.

The Study

I read and noted Ron Pretty's chapter on Sound Patterning (not so much new here but presented in a different format)in Creating Poetry.

Read and noted Clive James' Letter to a Young Poet from The Scores.

Read and noted the first chapter of James Logenbach's The Resistance to Poetry.

Close Reading

None this week. 

For the Statbadgers:

Total time: 5:09 (391:22) hrs

poem writing = 2.00 (180:56) hrs

close reading =0:00(78:44) hrs

technique/theory 1:40(90:15) hrs

reflection = 0:15(32:1358) hrs

Poetry written:

0(34) poems completed

(0)16 poems in draft

1 poem abandoned

1 poem facing execution at dawn

Poems Submitted:

1(20 in total) poems

Poems Published:

0(7) poem

Live Performances:



0(8) poems
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