New Poems In Macao, Louisiana, Avondale, and the Pub

Published : Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Label:

1. Notes For The Translator: Bundanon in Macao

Kit Kelen has just published (ASM Macao; October 2012) a wonderful anthology of poems from Australia and New Zealand: Notes For the Translator. Each of us was asked to submit a poem along with a note a translator might find useful. Each of us interpreted that brief distinctly.

Kit chose my poem “A Day at Your Desk All Along the Shoalhaven”, and I went to town on the note, beginning with some reflections on the nature of poetry, as I understand it, and the alchemical power of form.…

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A Mouthful of Bright Blue Prayers: A Poem and an Essay in World Literature Today

Published : Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Label:

Daniel Simon is running my essay “The Weather of Who We Are” in the January issue of World Literature Today—a wonderful small magazine that carries the world’s literatures to the world from Norman, Oklahoma.

My essay, abstracted from Australia’s Wild Weather (NLA, 2011), had its first outing in May in spoken word on Ockham’s Razor on Radio National. WLT is publishing the essay with some pictures from the book; alongside it, they’re publishing my new poem “Pavane”. Here’s how that ends:

From the pear trees
That stand at my study window, fruit hang heavy…

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Catching Fire: Poems in Meanjin, The Lampeter Review, and Contrappasso

Published : Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Label:

A clutch of new poems has just appeared.

1. Catching Fire

My poem “Catching Fire; Or, the Art of Sitting”, which I wrote in February 2012 (remembering the previous spring) performed on my tour of Canada in March and April 2012, and read again, soon after my return, in the Jenolan Caves, has had its first publication in Meanjin 4/ 2012. (John Kinsella has also chosen the poem to represent me in a comprehensive anthology of contemporary Australian poetry being published about now by Desperation Press, out of the University of Louisiana. That anthology appears soon;…

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How To Get Over Your Self: Forewords on the Craft of Self and Poetry in Sparks and AWAW12

Published : Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Label:

1. Getting Over Your Self.

Each original story is a proof of integrity, a proof against anonymity; each poem is a flame that refused to go out, a silence that would not be kept. That could almost be one’s own.

So I found myself saying in the middle of an essay, “Getting Over Your Self”, which I wrote mid-year as a foreword to this year’s University of Sydney anthology of creative writing. The anthology is called Sparks—in part for that obdurate flame of self I had in mind—and it was launched in November at the university.…

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Love is an Endless Improvisation on a Forgotten Theme: “Jazz” in Extempore 2012

Published : Tuesday, December 04, 2012 | Label:

“Jazz; Or, Every Poem Is a Love Song, Really”, a poem I wrote early in 2011, before a late night reading at Tony Bilson’s One at Circular Quay, and reworked through any number of drafts until it felt like an improvisation, appeared in October in Miriam Zolin’s Extempore 2012.

From 2008 to 2010, Zolin, a novelist and jazz lover, published Extempore Magazine: a journal dedicated to writing on jazz and other (improvisatory) musics. She’s published a couple of works of jazz lit since. Ext 2012, a lovely tight ensemble includes a poem by Geoff Page, a fine poet…

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What’s Writing For

What makes writing worth writing—and reading—is what the story or the poem achieves beyond the tale it tells: its music, its wisdom, its form, the way it makes the ordinary world beautifully strange. A good tale is only good, in other words, if the telling is sound and memorable. It’s the voice and mood, the arc and flow, the poetry of the writing that endure when the storyline fades.

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