Montreal Poetry Prize and Tour of Canada, April–May 2012

Published : Monday, April 23, 2012 | Label:

At a dinner in Montreal on Thursday 27 April, the anthology of shortlisted poems from the 2011 Montreal Poetry Prize is being launched. The broadside of Linda Rogers’s “The Grasshoppers’ Silence” is also being unveiled that night. And I am being honoured for winning the prize—the largest in the world for a single poem—in its inaugural year.

Then Linda Rogers and I are embarking on a small reading tour to celebrate—and sell—the prize: Ottawa, 28 April; Toronto, 29 April; Calgary, 2 May (just me, at Pages Bookshop at 6:30); Victoria, 3 May (with Tim Lilburn and Iain Higgins);…


Writing in Paradise August 2012

Published : Wednesday, January 18, 2012 | Label:

This August (18 to 25), I’m reprising the creative writing masterclass, “A Dream With A Pen in its Hand”, I ran at Daku Resort in Fiji last year.

I’m posting below (our host) Delia Rothnie-Jones’s description and outline of the course. For what we got up to last time:

A Dream With a Pen in its Hand
A Masterclass in Creative Writing
18 – 25 August 2012


The course



“Walking Underwater” wins the 2011 Montreal Poetry Prize

Published : Saturday, December 17, 2011 | Label:

My poem “Walking Underwater”, written in Portland, Oregon, on a reading tour, in March last year, has won the inaugural Montreal Poetry Prize.

The prize is worth $50,000, raised mostly from the donations of poets and modest entry fees. $50, 000 is more than has ever been offered for a single poem. The organisers wanted to send out a message to the world that poetry has inestimable worth, and is in wonderful health, even if most of the world doesn’t seem to know how much we need it.

The prize attracted over 3200 entries from poets…


Wild Weather Launched in Canberra, 8 December 2011

Published : Friday, December 09, 2011 | Label:

Dr Bob Brown, leader of the Greens, launched Australia’s Wild Weather at the National Library in Canberra last night.

Bob spoke about the book with great warmth and insight. He spoke very personally, too, about his being a long-term weather tragic, and about how the book reminds us that we may need to live with more love toward the weather if we want the weather that has sustained us and all our great (and terrible) works in the anthropocene is to go on loving us. A hundred people listened to him (and me) speak, and watched the 128…


Weather on the Radio

Published : Monday, November 28, 2011 | Label:

Every day this week (28 November to 2 December), Jill Emberton is talking with me about the weather.

Jill presents Mornings on ABC Radio Newcastle (1233 am), and each morning at ten, she’ll run a piece of a long conversation we recorded a few weeks back—about my poetry and prose, my alleged addiction to the weather, and my book Australia’s Wild Weather. Jill will also play some fragments of “The Wombat Vedas” (which caught Jill’s ear because it won the Newcastle Poetry Prize this year) and a few of the more wind-blown, flood-prone, fire ravaged poems from Fire…


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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