The Little Green Grammar Book

Published : Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Label: Works In Progress  

The Little Green Grammar Book does for grammar what The Little Red Writing Book does for style. The book, shorter than it’s red progenitor, and simpler, is due at the press at the end of January 2008. If I meet that deadline—and it’s going to be touch and go—the book should be out in October 2008 (UNSW Press).


A Novel

Published : Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Label: Works In Progress  

My web designer asked me the other day whether I’d been inspired yet—by the cowshed, he meant, and the beautiful country it sits in, which he was seeing for the first time—to write fiction.

“But BB,” I said, “that’s not where inspiration takes me. Not at the moment, anyway. I’m inspired to lines not plots—to stanzas and prayers and paeans and meditations and rants. I know it’s weird, but that’s the direction my writing mind wants to wander.”

One day I might write a novel. More likely a string of short stories. But I don’t know.…


The Blue Plateau

Published : Monday, October 15, 2007 | Label: Works In Progress  

Back in March 2007, I finished a complete rewrite of a book, The Blue Plateau, I’ve been working on, sporadically for seven years. The Blue Plateau is a work of lyric nonfiction about a place I lived in for seven years; it’s a piece of nature writing; it’s a prose poem. And the book is out now with a number of publishers in the United States and Australia. One way or another, it should appear in 2008–09. Here’s a description:

The Blue Plateau is a memoir of an astonishing Australian landscape and some of its people, among them…


Rules for Walking

Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  

I have a general theory: keep going.
I have a rider: watch for transitions.
And another: beware false summits.

Prepare for the walk
by taking the walk.
Go a little faster than you should
and a little slower than you’d like.
Notice the pink mountain berry
brilliant as a hooker’s lipstick,
the pink robin on the fallen log above the amber stream,
the waratah, her crimson fingers curled


Lake St Clair Cycle

Published : Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Label:   Poems  


Walking the other sunny afternoon
along the Frankland Sands
I heard a fish jump in shallows.
The sound drew me, and then it drew the fish,
small and sleek and insouciant, translucent as the water,
which was so shallow and so tannin-clear
I could make out easing along the lakebed beneath
the shadow of the fish.
That, I thought,
following the shape the sun drew of the fish,
until I lost it,
is where the…


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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