This is the month when we are able to pause and access the world via a variety of unexpected colours and forms of expression – the month when we are surprised into discovering things we didn’t know we knew.
“Some of the most natural writers, the ones who seemed to shake their prose or poetry out of their sleeves, are among the disappeared. As far as I can tell, the decisive factor is what I call endurability: that is, the ability to deal effectively with uncertainty, rejection, and disappointment, from within as well as from without.”—Sam Cooney on the gap between ability and ambition « Southerly
“Poetry as an art form is struggling to grab people’s attention in all of its traditional forms. Readings, publications and traditional outlets for poetry are battling to engage existing audiences and are less than successful in finding new ones. Poetry has been slow to embrace technology and is not currently maximising its potential in the digital space. Poets put their work online and very few people (other than family or friends) read it. Poetry applications for iPhones are simplistic and lack integration with technology. Australian Poetry believes that the Geek in Residence program is the perfect opportunity to explore reconsidering poetry as an art form, re-evaluating its goals, parameters, definitions, outlets, history and potential.”—
Australian Poetry now has a Geek in Residence, Benjamin Laird.
“As part of our race toward Fremantle Poetry Month, each Friday afternoon we’re speaking to editors and poets around Australia about the poetry climate in their city. This week we asked dotdotdash magazine poetry editors Sj Finch, Rosalind McFarlane and Elizabeth Tan what they look for in poetry submissions. They also discussed the work of the talented John Charles Ryan, who will be performing at the launch of Fremantle Poetry Month.”—Fremantle Press: Friday afternoon with dotdotdash
On Saturday 1 October, join poets Lucy Dougan, Dennis Haskell, Paul Hetherington, Bronwyn Lea, Peter Minter, Jaya Savige, Michael Sharkey, Sandra Thibodeaux, Philip Salom, Jennifer Harrison and many others for conversation, debates and arguments, readings and exploration. Get your early bird tickets here.
“A gorgeous edition of selected poems by Charles Baudelaire has recently come to my attention. It’s a stunner out of Munich, 1922, featuring hand-painted vignettes to the cover and endpapers and twenty-one engravings by Josef Eberz, six of which are full page. The text is entirely engraved.”—
“On the future of the book. James Gleick For some kinds of books the writing is on the wall, but the concept of the book itself will survive, adapting to new technologies in the delivery of words, argues James Gleick in this timely and provocative Sydney Writers’ Festival Closing Address. The question is: Can we adapt?”—On the future of the book. James Gleick | SlowTV | The Monthly
“Going Down Swinging Digital (#31)
One of Australia’s oldest literature/arts journals, GDS have long been innovators: commissioning collaborative writer/illustrator works, pushing graphic novellas long before others caught up, and since 1999, being the only Australian journal to publish spoken word CDs with our print editions.
Now comes another direction, with the first in a series of e‐anthologies for tablets and smartphones, and the first GDS from new editors Jessica Friedmann and Geoff Lemon. No bland page‐to‐screen conversion, this edition mixes video and animation, audio, richly coloured visual art, photography, and interactive text, creating beautiful bite‐sized anthologies. Just right for commuters, dental patients, and people whose friends take a long time to pack.”—Going Down Swinging Digital (#31) | Australian Poetry
My author blurb says that I divide my time between Canberra and Wollongong. That word ‘between’ is in some ways the most important part of the description. I spend ten to twelve hours a week - two of my seven evenings - travelling between my home bases, looking out trains or bus windows, often writing about what I see, sometimes just staring into the dark. Rather fewer of my evenings are spent at poetry events in either town, yet there is so much happening, I would need all seven nights plus some to keep up with everything that’s going on. Here are just a few of the recent highlights.
If you are not one of the lucky ones who has a copy of Issue #1 of PAN Magazine, then you may have to wait until one pops up on e-bay, as the issue was so successful that it sold out two print runs. Not bad for a completely independent magazine! To keep PAN completely independent and publishing the best in poetry, fiction, art, music, design and photography, here’s how you can help… Crowd Funding. PAN have set their sites on raising $2350 to print Issue #2, by reaching out to its potential readers. Making a pledge is simple… for just $15, you will receive a copy of the issue when it is released, for $25 you will receive a copy of the issue and a PAN tote bag and for $50 you receive issue #2, a PAN tote bag and a shout out in the magazine.
“The Red Room Company’s major project for 2011 is Clubs and Societies; a large-scale project that uses poets and poetry to engage with a vast array of clubs and societies from across Australia. The project works by pairing poets with clubs over a period of four months. The poets become a sort of artist-in-residence of the club, attending meetings and events, immersing themselves in the day-to-day operations of the club. In this way they slowly become familiar with the ideas and practices, obsessions and jargon, people and politics. They learn to speak the club’s language. With this language they then compose a work of poetry. For example, the Astronomical Society we’re working with may publish their poem in the form of an astronomical map; the Soup Club may write their poem as a recipe.”—Johanna Featherstone of The Red Room Company discusses alternative approaches to publishing poetry · SPUNC: Small Press Underground Networking Community
“It’s pretty clear that online congress is already the most effective way to get the message out about new books and we are focusing on ways to optimize this direct contact with our potential readers. That said, UWAP is also very keen to remain loyal to the idea of the noble art of bookselling, so we always defer our sales to physical bookshops instead of selling directly from the new site. Likewise, with ebook sales, we divert customers to Booki.sh (chiefly via Readings in Melbourne), Informit, Apple, Kobo and others. We wanted to give customers everything they need to make a transaction in buy one of our books, but not sell it directly to them.”—Terri-ann White discusses UWAP’s new website · SPUNC: Small Press Underground Networking Community
“Jane Joritz-Nakagawa’s “notational” furthers an Identity Positioning System that resembles in elegance and efficacy the memory theaters of the ancients. Each page finds the margin where transition is meaning and each sensational flutter awaits its name. Intensity is all: “Power lines on the range.” She never lets the words down, nor fails to put them accurately where most needed. — Bill Berkson”—
A new opportunity for ATSI writers! Aboriginal poets Ali Cobby Eckermann and Lionel Fogarty have been offered an edition of Southerly, Austs oldest literary journal. The journal will consist of 240 pages of essays, lyrics, poems, short stories and reviews. The proposed title is Boomerang.
ALL ATSI writers, (young, new, emerging, unpublished and established) are encouraged to submit writings for consideration by the editors. Ali and Lionel aim to package a strong edition of writings, to showcase the contemporary truth and strength within ATSI cultures, and the immense values that Indigenous people add to the Australian landscape, despite the ‘boomerang’ effect the media portrays today.
You write your poems but sometimes wonder how to tell if they’re any good. You think they could be better, but want some objective feedback. You get rejections from journals but no advice on how you can improve your work. If this sounds like you, then you’re in luck! It’s difficult to find a service that provides professional feedback for poets on their work – until now. The NSW Writers’ Centre has developed these half hour assessments for aspiring poets who would like to receive general feedback on their work.
“This is an open call to New Zealand and Australian poets for submissions to Issue 2 of Eye to the Telescope, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s new online journal, to be edited by Tim Jones and published in July/August 2011.”—hi spirits: Call for Submissions: Eye to the Telescope