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‘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:

http://postcolonial.org/index.php/pct/article/view/2204/2039

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“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 http://tincture-journal.com/buy-a-tincture/ 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!

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

19 Feb

don-banks

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 http://thebasiloflaherty.weebly.com/mark-roberts.html. 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 http://thebasiloflaherty.weebly.com/archives5.html

‘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 http://the-otolith.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/mark-roberts.html. 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

forgetting-is-so-long-2

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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 blankrunepress@gmail.com

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‘City Circle’ hits the (big?) screen!

15 Sep

beams-fest

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.