Wild Weather in Canberra, 8 December 2011

Published : Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | Label:

Leader of the Greens, Dr Bob Brown, will launch my new book Australia’s Wild Weather at the National Library of Australia, in Canberra, on Thursday, 8 December.

I’ve done a lot of media for the book, already. And it seems to be selling quite nicely. A perfect gift, as they say, for Christmas.

If it’s a gift, it’s a Greek gift—a Trojan Horse. Inside, I have some challenging things to say about, not just the fear, but the grief one feels at the prospect of a radically changed climate, at whose leading edge we already sit.…

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Montreal—two poems on the shortlist

Published : Monday, November 14, 2011 | Label:

The Montreal International Poetry Prize, community funded and launched earlier this year, is, it seems, the largest prize ever offered for a single poem. The organisers hope to send out the message, one feels, that poetry counts, that it’s cool and valuable. Desperately important, in fact, when the discourse of the soul is shouted down by the discourse of the market, the econobabble in which national and international politics seems to be conducted. To make their point, the organisers will award $50,000 to the winning poem, decided by an arduous judging process, and settled in the end by great English…

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The weather of words

Published : Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Label:

Australia’s Wild Weather—a book of photographs from the National Library of Australia’s archive accompanied by a lyric essay from me about the weather of Australia, and how it makes us who we think we are, and how that weather is changing—is just about out. Pub date is 1 November 2011. There seems to be a lot of interest in it. I’m grateful to the NLA for asking me to write it; they’ve done a fabulous job of designing it.

Listen out for news of the book on radio and in the papers.

Here’s what the media…

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What to do with your self in a poem: a confession

Published : Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Label:

Poetry rises from the place where the self bleeds—often under the weight of grief or longing, or under the influence of one of the many species of love—into the Self; the personal becomes, in that place and in the poem that rises, the universal; the private becomes the profoundly human.

The poem one writes, no matter how much it seems to tell your own life, stands in for things the poet cannot say; it transfigures private concerns into instances of human suffering and delight, wisdom and madness, and being in the world.

These thoughts come to…

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Montreal International Poetry Prize

Published : Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Label:

The Montreal International Poetry Prize, community funded and launched earlier this year, is the largest prize, perhaps ever, for a single poem. The organisers intend to send out the message, one feels, that poetry counts, that it’s cool and valuable. Desperately important, in fact, when the discourse of the soul is shouted down by the discourse of the market, the econobabble in which national and international politics seems to be conducted. To make their point, the organisers will award $50,000 to the winning poem, decided by an arduous judging process, and settled in the end by great English poet, Andrew…

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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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