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Sarah St Vincent Welch, Anna Couani and Mark Roberts to read at Rhizomic Poetry Wednesday 30th November

29 Nov


I’m particularly excited to be reading on Wednesday night in Glebe with two of my favourite writers and very good friends, Anna Couani and Sarah St Vincent Welch at Mr Falcon’s (92 Glebe Point Road) as part of the regular Rhizomic Poetry Reading.



‘outcomes’ and ‘cutting the grass’ appear in the November 2016 issue of ‘The Basil O’ Flaherty’

17 Nov

The Basil O’ Flaherty is an interesting newish on-line journal run out of the US by  J.K. Shawhan. In the best tradition of small literary journals it was established by a writer wanting to create outlets for the sort  of writing and artwork she was interested in – 30 years ago it would have been gestetnered or photocopied, these days it is a free online journal.

Along with its normal editions The Basil O’ Flaherty is also devoting sections to feminist poetry and poems in translations. It will be interesting to see how these sections develop over the coming months.

My two poems in the current edition can be found at While you are there you can check the archives for my prose piece ‘red’ which was published in the first edition back in March 2016

‘Shark’ – a block poem in Otoliths 43

6 Nov

My block-poem ‘Shark’ has appeared in the on-line journal Otoliths Issue 43. Otoliths is one of of those journals which flies a little under the radar but which has a rich history and continues to play an important role both locally and internationally. Otoliths is edited by the New Zealand born Mark Young who curently lives in Queensland and who has been publishing poetry for over 50 years. He describes the journal as publishing  “e-things, that is, anything that can be translated (visually at this stage) to an electronic platform”. As a result  Otoliths contains an interesting mix of poetry and prose ranging from the almost traditional to the experimental including some very fine visual poems.

I have described ‘Shark’ as a ‘block-poem’. It is a form that I have been playing around with a little recently where what would normally be a conventional prose poem is ‘forced’ into a contained space – a square, rectangle, circle etc. ‘Shark’ is the first of these poems that I have sent out and is based on a childhood memory of an old creek at the end of the street that had been encased in concrete and was referred to as “the canal”. It basically became the local dumping ground and filled up with car bodies, discarded washing machines and the like. By being forced into a column ‘Shark’ takes on the appearance of a traditional newspaper story where the importance of the story could be measured in column inches – but the actual text of ‘Shark’ retains its poetic origins.

‘Shark’ can be found at While you are there make sure to lose yourself in the reach archive of work that can be found at the Otoliths site. If you haven’t been there before you are in for a treat.



‘Forgetting is So Long’ – Love Poetry by Australian Men

14 Oct

Forgetting is so Long: An Anthology of Australian Love Poetry edited by Robbie Coburn & Valli Poole. Blank Rune Press 2016


Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
………………………… – Pablo Neruda



When we think of anthologies were generally think of larger books with lots of pages so it was exciting to be asked to contribute to a chapbook anthology of Australian love poems. Some years ago I had some poems in the Inkerman & Blunt Australian Love Poetry anthology. That was a huge, diverse and ultimately uneven anthology (as anthologies of that size tend to be). Forgetting is so Long is the opposite – it is a small, beautifully constructed chapbook and it features love poems by men. When I was submitted my poems to Robbie Coburn I was unaware that the anthology would be purely love poems by men but I have been pleasantly surprised by the result and the company in which my two poems have landed. There is a hint here of a different masculinity, something that deserves to be explored in greater depth.

Along with my work Forgetting is so Long contains poetry by Ashley Capes, Robbie Coburn, Glenn Cooper, Phillip Hall, Ramon Loyola, Pete Spence, David Ellison, Andy Jackson, Ariel Riveros Pavez, Kenneth Smeaton and Les Wicks. It is available from Collected Works Bookshop in Melbourne or you can contact the publisher for details on how to acquire a copy



Mark Roberts on Christopher Barnett – Poetry and Collaboration

22 Sep
Luciano Prisco ‘Buio’, 2016, oil on canvas

Luciano Prisco ‘Buio’, 2016, oil on canvas

I was recently asked to write an introduction on the work of Christopher Barnett for an exhibition of paintings by Luciano Prisco and poems by Christopher Barnett which is currently showing at the Langford 120 Gallery (120 Langford Street North Melbourne Victoria 3051) until 9 October 2016.  Christopher has been one of the great influences on my work and my understanding of poetry and literature and I hope that this is reflected in this introduction – if nothing else this project has also introduced me to the wonderful paintings by Luciano Prisco.

The test to my introduction can be found on Rochford Street Review:





‘City Circle’ hits the (big?) screen!

15 Sep


I have been waiting over twenty years for the call from Hollywood. I knew it would come, it was just a question of when. You know the call: “Hi Mark, We’ve read your micro-fiction and we want to make it into a movie. Yes a three hour blockbuster with Tilda Swinton, Charlotte Rampling and Harvey Keitel”. Well I’m still waiting for that call but I did receive an email from the wonderful Spineless Wonders to let me know that my small micro-fiction piece ‘City Circles’ was being made into a very short video by Emily Twomey and will be screened as part of the Beams Arts Festival at Chippendale this Saturday. The piece will be part of Spineless Wonders #storybombing initiative. #storybombing takes place at 15A Dick St, Chippendale NSW and I believe that the videos will also appear on the festival show reel.

If you are in Sydney come along and have a look.


‘Red’ and ‘Reading Poetry’ published in ‘In-Flight’ Literary Journal

3 Apr

mark Dan1

Two more poems from Concrete Flamingos, ‘Red’ and ‘Reading Poetry’, have just been published in the US based literary magazine In-Flight.

Concrete Flamingo is available from

‘how many more are coming’: Cordite 53 THE END edited by Pam Brown

1 Feb


To conclude an extremely busy day for poetry my poem ‘how many more are coming’ was published today in Cordite 53, edited by Pam Brown.

‘how many more are coming’, like some of the slide poems which will appear on Project 365+1 over the coming month, is part of a larger work/book called LACUNA. The poem records the death of Jack Marsh, an Aboriginal cricketer, who was bashed and left for dead in Robinson Park in the Centre of Orange NSW.

The poem can be found here:

The complete issue, which includes some amazing work, can be located here:

My thanks to Pam Brown and Cordite Editor Kent MacCarter.



Project 365+1: A poem a day for a month – #1 Slides – Prelude

1 Feb


February appears to be the busiest month. Just lucky this year is a leap year and February has one extra day to help fit everything in. For the next 29 days you will have the pleasure of reading a new poem from me everyday on the 365 +1 Project website

So what is Project 365+1? It is described on the website describes as:

Project 366 is a poem-centric collaboration of artists and writers taking place daily throughout 2016. And why? Because poetry is a process, art is a process. Poetry and art happen because we do it, because we make the effort to make it. So the object of this project is not to create finished art objects on a daily basis; it’s to get work on the way every day. Project 366 is to encourage the everyday business of artmaking for those who work – however they work – with word and image. Some people will post only pictures, some people will post only poems or short prose pieces. Some people will alternate among the various forms of their practice. And some may evolve new practices over the course of the year. (

I have approached my month with a box of old slides from my childhood – the kind you put in a projector and watched image after image appear on a wall or screen. Almost lost technology now, but the physical slides, like a floppy desk, remind us of something almost forgotten. So each day I will take a slide, either the physical slide itself or the memory of the projected image, and write about it.

Some of the poems may form part of a project I am working on with the working title of LACUNA (an empty space or a missing part; a gap. Inprinting, lithography & bookbinding) a gap or space, esp in a book or manuscript) – this is longish piece about place, history and memory set around the Central Western NSW town of Orange). Other poems may exist for a day and be placed back in a mouldy box, other poems maybe stand alone works.

My first poem has been posted today. Have a look and feel free to take part in a conversation about the poem, the process or the project….

Project 365+1 is also on Face Book


My forthcoming poetry collection, Concrete Flamingos, with will be launched in Sydney by Anna Couani on Saturday 27 February from 2.30 pm at the Friend in Hand Hotel 58 Cowper St Glebe. Further details and purchase details at

‘Byron Bay’ published in Plumwood Mountain Volume 3 Number 1

1 Feb
byron bay whaling station

Byron Bay Whaling station operated from 1954 to 1962. (Photograph ABC)

While it is always exciting to have a poem accepted for publication there was something very satisfying about having my poem ‘Byron Bay’ accepted for Volume 3 Number 1 of Plumwood Mountain. 

Ever since I started writing poetry as a teenager one of the driving forces behind my writing has been a political awareness and a deep concern for the environment and ecology – indeed my first real political involvement was with the Friends of the Earth campaign against uranium mining in the late 1970’s and the anti-yellowcake export pickets at the Glebe Island terminal.

Plumwood Mountain describes itself as a journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics which it then goes onto to say is broadly a “poetry that may broadly be understood as engaging with a more-than-human context, in a variety of poetic forms, articles on the poetics and intent of ecopoetry, exploring ways in which poetry not only responds to and affects its world, but also ways in which poetic practice can model ecological systems and concerns, the ways in which poems themselves are material, breathy things in a world of animate matter, and reviews of collections of poetry that understand themselves or could be understood as ecopoetry”.

Given this I am particularly happy that Plumwood Mountain has published my poem about the old whaling station at Byron Bay in its latest issue. You can read ‘Byron Bay’, along with many other amazing poems by an extraordinary group of poets at:

‘Byron Bay’ also appears in my forthcoming collection, Concrete Flamingos, with will be launched in Sydney by Anna Couani on Saturday 27 February from 2.30 pm at the Friend in Hand Hotel 58 Cowper St Glebe. Further details and purchase details at