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Blue Water Tank published in ‘Re-Side’ Issue 2

21 Oct

‘Blue Water Tank’ is a short prose piece from the Lacuna  manuscript which I am particularly fond of. It is a personal piece but one that I have always liked and I am so pleased that it has found a home in Re-Side Issue Two along with some other amazing work. ‘Blue Water Tank’ can, in some ways, be seen as a companion piece to ‘Place Burial’ which appeared in the  Ramon Loyola edited Issue 3 of Pink Cover Zine ( /2019/05/08/place-burial-appears-in-pink-cover-zine-issue-3/).

Re-Side is well worth a read. Have a look at issue two at

Reading in Canberra tonight with Marianne Boruch at That Poetry Thing That Is On At Smith’s Every Monday

3 Jun

After travelling down from the Blue Mountains last night through the Oberon Plateau, I woke in Canberra this morning looking forward to reading with Marianne Boruch at That Poetry Thing That Is On At Smith’s Every Monday  (7pm at Smith’s Alternative, 76 Alinga Street, Canberra). I will be reading poems from Concrete Flamingos as well as work from my new manuscripts. If you are in Canberra I would love to see you tonight!

For more details check out the Facebook event post:

‘Yaranigh’s Grave’ appears in ‘Landmarks: Microfiction and Prose Poems’ edited by Cassandra Atheron

28 Nov

I haven’t sent much work out over the last 12 months but I have been fortunate to have a number of pieces appear in various magazines and anthologies. Many of these have been from the Lacuna manuscript which I am still working on 18 months after I originally thought it was completed. One of the pieces in Lacuna is a poem inspired by a visit to Yaranigh’s grave just outside of Molong NSW.

Yaranigh was a Wiradjuri man caught up in the rapid dispossession of Aboriginal lands in the first half of the 19th century.  Yaranigh straddled both Aboriginal and European cultures and worked on expeditions with with early colonial ‘explorers’ through NSW and Queensland, acting as a guide and interpreter as the expedition moved through different Aboriginal nations. The most famous of these expeditions was with Sir Thomas Mitchell’s expedition to find the mythical inland sea. On  his death Major Mitchell gave him a formal European burial while his own people surrounded the graves with ceremonial carved trees. This combined tribute made me think of delicate situation Yaranigh must have found himself in and how he might have attempted to limit the impact of the Europeans by carefully negotiating passage away from scared sites and areas of importance to local people.

Landmarks is described as an anthology which tackles the theme of Landmarks: critical or celebratory, watershed moments or turning points in history, culture or in relationships. It seemed to me that my poem about Yaranigh’s grave was a good fit for such an anthology. Unfortunately the anthology was looking for microlit and ‘Yaranigh’s Grave’ was a poem. So, not for the first time, I attempted to take a work in one genre and rework it into another. The version that appears in Landmarks is therefore a different work than the one that exists in the Lacuna manuscript. While I still think the poem is a more powerful piece I am still extremely proud that the micro prose version of ‘Yaranigh’s Grave’ has appeared in Landmarks.


Landmarks: Microfiction and Prose Poems Edited by Cassandra Atherton. Spineless Wonders is available from

‘The Office of Literary Endeavours: Maree’ appears in Postcolonial Text Vol 12, No1 (2017)

11 Jul

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee; Dictee Takes the Stage. Photograph by Soomi Kim. The cover of Postcolonial Text Issue 12: No.1

I am very pleased to have had ‘The Office of Literary Endeavours: Maree’ published in the on-line journal Postcolonial Text. This poem is an interesting one for me as it grew out of a novel I’m attempting to write. As part of my research I was reading a lot of poetry in translation. I found myself increasingly wanting to get ‘behind’ the translation to the poem – to read different translations of the same poem and to use online translation tools and dictionaries to create my own literal translations.

One of the poets who caught my attention during this time was the Spanish poet Luis Cernuda. Cernuda was born in Seville in 1902 and during the Spanish Civil War he found himself forced into exile when he was unable to return from giving a series of lectures in England. Openly homosexual and antifascist Cernuda spent the rest of his life in exile, dying in Mexico in 1961. It was while reading and playing around with Cernuda’s work in translation that I started writing some poems in a style that seemed to me to have a feeling of being translated. This is a hard thing to describe but I guess it is where you look at the multiple meanings behind each word and try and understand different ways of capturing the same idea or image.

One of the results of this exercise was ‘The Office of Literary Endeavours: Maree’  and you can read it here:

“I can be tight and nervy as the top string on a violin” appears in ‘Tincture’ Issue 17

9 Mar

I’m excited to find my short poem, “I can be tight and nervy as the top string on a violin”, which is based on a line from a Sylvia Plath short story, has found its way into the latest issue of Tincture (Issue 17).

Tincture is an unusual journal as it is available in ebook formats (EPUB and kindle) only, no print or on-line versions. There are, a number of advantages to this strategy, Tincture can produce a journal which is available for sale to anyone with an internet connection and a device running freely available software. It is also able to sell the journal, something which is difficult for most online journals running on blogging platforms. Finally it can sell each issue at a fraction of the cost of a compatible print version. By establishing a income stream Tincture is also able to pay its contributors, something all writers should appreciate. There is, of course, on the other hand the issue of accessibility. One can’t simply click on a link, or order a hard copy, and start reading. But all in all Tincture is a innovative concept in the Australian literary scene, which has been running for seventeen issues now, and which deserves our support.

If the fact that Issue Seventeen contains my poem isn’t enough to convince you to click on and buy it, here is the table of contents for the issue:


Editorial, by Daniel Young
Some Days, by Rebecca Jessen
Moederland: Part One: I’m Not From Around Here, by Johannes Klabbers
Political Reflections: The Day Trump Won, by Alexandra O’Sullivan
The Need for Poetry, by Mindy Gill
Water Lily, by Douglas W. Milliken
Ethanol, Eschar, by Charlotte Adderley
WWJD? by Nathanael O’Reilly
Compass, by SJ Finn
Plum, Flower, by Eileen Chong
Shoes That Go Krtz-Krtz, by Tamara Lazaroff
Beach Road, by Thom Sullivan
Great Expectations, by Denis Fitzpatrick
Avid Reader, by Rosanna Licari
Running Away from the Circus, by Philip Keenan
Spider, by Ailsa Dunlop
From ‘Autobiochemistry’, by Tricia Dearborn
Our Mate, Cummo, by Dominic Carew
“I can be tight and nervy as the top string on a violin”, by Mark Roberts
Venus, by Grace Jervis
Last Post, by Aidan Coleman
Fighting for Breath, by Paul Threlfall
Combination Soup, by Pam Brown
You Are Cordially Invited, by Sean Gandert

So click away and you could be reading the latest Tincture in a matter of minutes!


Mark Roberts, Melinda Louise Smith and A Walk Through Gaza (Poetry From Palestine) At Don Banks North Sydney

19 Feb


I’m looking forward to reading with Melinda Louise Smith and listening to A Walk through Gaza (Poetry from Palestine) this coming Wednesday night at the Don Banks Museum, 6 Napier Street North Sydney from 7.30 pm. I will be reading poems from my new manuscript Lacuna as well as some from my last collection Concrete Flamingos. Many thanks to Danny Gardner for inviting me.


‘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