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‘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.

 

 

‘The Age of Rubbish’ – New Poem in Bluepepper

13 Aug

bluepepper

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Bluepepper,
edited by Justin Lowe, is one of my favourite online poetry journals so it is always exciting to have a poem accepted by them. ‘The Age of Rubbish’ is a poem about the recent history of Morrison Bay on the Parramatta River near where I grew up.

http://bluepepper.blogspot.com.au/2016/07/new-poetry-by-mark-roberts.html

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‘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:

http://plumwoodmountain.com/plumwood-mountain-volume-3-number-1/

‘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 https://printedshadows.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/concrete-flamingos-poems-by-mark-roberts/