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The Disappearing Reappears with my Newcastle poems

1 Nov

red-roomI went through a literary hibernation for a number of years from the mid 1990s. There was an element of burn out involved, together with the pressures and joy of being involved in bringing up young children. The result being that for many years any writing I did was private and not intended for publication. A few years ago, however, I started thinking of re-engaging with the wider writing community. Around this time I saw a call for submissions from the Red Room Company for the first version of the The Disappearing project and decided to dive back in.

The Disappearing  was/is an intriguing project. Designed to be linked to place by mobile device or website, the project highlights what is being lost by means through poetry. I had a poem selected for that first Disappearing release. ‘Flood Watch’, which was about a relationship that had long disappeared, as recalled a Newtown that was also fast disappearing. The poem can be found here  http://disappearing.com.au/poem/flood-watch/.

The Disappearing has now been relaunched with a new website and more poets and poems. Among the bunch of new poems are two of my Newcastle poems which first appeared in the anthology A Slow Combusting Hymn: Poetry From and About the Hunter Region (edited by Jean Kent and Kit Kelen). These poems, which are based on my memory of two photographs taken by my grandfather in the 1950s, can be found at: http://disappearing.com.au/poem/photographs/

While you are at The Disappearing make sure you have a look around, there are some great poems about place and memory there and they are still looking for contributions.

 

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‘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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‘perfume’ wins 2016 Dangerously Poetic Byron Writers Festival Poetry Prize

14 Aug
With Anthony Lawrence (left) at the Dangerously Poetic Byron Writers Festival Poetry Prize presentation. Photograph Linda Adair

With Anthony Lawrence (left) at the Dangerously Poetic Byron Writers Festival Poetry Prize presentation. Photograph Linda Adair

Last weekend I had the wonderful experience of attending the three day Byron Bay Writers Festival and, on Saturday night, being awarded the 2016 Dangerously Poetic Byron Writers Festival Poetry Prize for my poem ‘perfume’. In his judge’s report for the prize Anthony Lawrence described ‘perfume’ as:

‘perfume’ moves like frames in a sepia-tone, grainy film. Its story suggests intrigue, death, rural myth or local history, in a time of war.

First and third person points of view combine in clipped, lyrical stanzas to create a miniature novel in which mystery and allusiveness are palpable.

 

Details of the award, together with the winning poems can be found here http://dangerouslypoetic.com/2016/08/and-the-winners-are-2/ or you can find ‘perfume’ below.

 

perfume
………………………………………………….she heard him
………………………………………………….an instant before
………………………………………………….the scarf pulled tight
………………………………………………….against her throat
the train to lithgow
settles into a metal song
reassurance of steel on steel
………………………………………………….her arm swung around smashing
………………………………………………….the perfume bottle to the floor
last night I smelt a ghost
sweet & alluring
flowers, orange
a suggestion of earthiness
………………………………………………….wartime
………………………………………………….he will be shipped out
………………………………………………….before
………………………………………………….they find the body
a ripple of iciness
flowing up the bed
my eyes closed
but awake
colder now
than a bathurst winter
………………………………………………….left behind in the pub
………………………………………………….next to the station
………………………………………………….waiting

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Concrete Flamingos – Poems by Mark Roberts

23 Jan

 concrete flamingos

Concrete Flamingos, the first book by Mark Roberts since 1985, will be launched by Anna Couani on Saturday 27 February from 2.30pm  at the Friend in Hand Hotel 58 Cowper St Glebe.

Lauren Williams’ Clean Skin Poems and David Gilbey’s Pachinko Sunset will also be launched on the same afternoon)

If you can’t make it to the launch you can order a copy now:

Credit Card/Paypal $20

buy

$20 Cheque/Money Order

Mail to Mark Roberts, PO Box 5399 Chatswood West NSW 1515
(make Cheques payable to Mark Roberts)

or

Island Press and sent to 29 Park Rd, Woodford NSW 2778 Australia.
(make Cheques payable to Island Press)

Mark Roberts was born in Sydney and has been active in the writing community since the early 1980s. He has been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies both in Australian and overseas. He co-founded the occasional literary journal P76 in 1982 and set up Rochford Street Press in the same year. In 2011 Mark founded he online cultural review journal Rochford Street Review and he is currently poetry editor for Social Alternatives journal. Concrete Flamingos is his first major collection of poetry.
“Concrete Flamingos is a long-awaited collection of work from a writer who has been a prominent behind-the-scenes presence in the Sydney literary scene for decades. The work has an uncanny familiarity but traverses a wide conceptual and literary territory. Very Sydney, self-consciously writerly and drily witty. The collection includes moving memory pieces from a Sydney childhood alongside conceptual pieces that reference other writers. Whilst embracing international influences like The New York School, Mark Roberts’ work is distinctly authentic and effortlessly political”.
………………………………………………………………..– Anna Couani
“In these ironic contemplative poems, Roberts has examined our literature and assumptions with precision, depth  and delicacy…”
………………………………………………………………– Rae Desmond Jones
“What is our time, our current moment about? Has the near future arrived? Mark Roberts is a poet I would read for a (non)answer. What cannot be said is said. Here is a voice that slips between the ribs, where you want it to, to offer succour for the incommensurable, where no other balm is available but these poems.”
……………………………………………………………..– Moya Costello

 

http://islandpress.tripod.com/ISLAND.htm