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Poetry and the Contemporary Symposium
7-9 July 2011
Venue: Victorian Trades Hall, Melbourne

Convened by Ann Vickery & Michael Farrell

For further information, the program and details about a reading at the famous poetry bookshop ‘Collected Works’ click here

Over two nights, join us and some of Australia's best poets for papers, panels, roundtables, readings and book launches.

THURSDAY 7 JULY - 5.15 for a 5.30 start

Pam Brown - Complaints Department: what I've heard - a few gripes about the incorporation of Australian poetry plus some whining about poetic content, or, what's wrong.

Pam Brown is an associate editor of Jacket and, currently, Jacket2 and a past poetry editor of Overland, she is the author of numerous collections including Authentic Local, True Thoughts, Dear Deliria (NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry winner 2004), Text Thing, and 50-50.

Vivienne Plumb - Fact or Fiction: Meditations on Mary Finger.
A performance lecture that comments on the symbiotic relationship between the critic/curator and the writer/artist/creator

Vivienne Plumb writes poetry, drama, and fiction. She was born in Sydney and has lived in New Zealand for some time, and presently lives between Sydney and Auckland.

Grand Parade Book Launches:
* Perrier Fever by Pete Spence, and
* 6am in the Universe by Benjamin Frater
with Alan Wearne, Kris Hemensley, and John Hawke.

There has to be limits to suffering the sheer volume of poetasters and their doggerel (no matter how 'free', no matter how 'well made') that continue to swamp Australian verse. For although all poetries have and have had them, toleration is finite. Come along then to the launch of these two magnificent books.

Five Islands Press Book Launch:
* Vishvarūpa by Michelle Cahill
Launch by Jill Jones
Of ‘Vishvarūpa’ Chris Wallace-Crabbe writes: “Can there be any Australian poet who has entered with such lyrical depth into the intermingling voices of Australia and India? Our literature is immediately changed by ‘Vishvarūpa’?'

SATURDAY 9 JULY - 6.15pm for 6.30pm start
Book Launches:

* One Under Bacchus by Duncan Hose
The second collection of 2010 Newcastle Poetry Prize winner, Duncan Hose. With its title a cunning anagram of the author’s own name, One Under Bacchus will whet the appetite of poetic truffle hunters. A supersaturated cosmic wealth of cornucopiac phrase, it taunts much & invariably delivers a banquet of soft-skun, delicately chewed, and poutingly cured textual delights.

* Career by Liam Ferney
The second collection by Liam Ferney, a past editor of Cordite Poetry Review and associate editor of papertiger. A ‘Daewon Song meets Jackie Chan’ spectacular, Ferney frees cliché from betwixt press releases and promos, snapping apart short-order culture & shuffling sharp critique with an effervescent dodge of the syntactic curb.

Steamer and Rabbit Launch Special
with MCs: Sam Langer and Jessica Wilkinson
and readings by Emily Bitto, Stuart Cooke, Will Druce, Marty Hiatt, Fiona Hile, Sam Langer, Tom Lee, Jal Nicholl, Sharne Vate, Corey Wakeling, Nick Whittock, Jessica Wilkinson, Caroline Williamson, and Tim Wright.

Rabbit - a journal for poetry is a new print-based quarterly journal for poetry, poetry reviews, and interviews with poets, with an emphasis on new and emerging rabbits.

Steamer is the first Australian poetry magazine to employ André Breton's principles (as defined in the first Surrealist Manifesto) of Automatic Editing, in anything like a rigorously systematic manner. Since November 2010 the magazine has been committed to searching out and presenting the most exciting poetry and anti-poetry of its times and places in an affordable, visually attractive, and portable format.

For the Bella Union site click here.

more night art

John Gillies: Parramatta Road Project (no1)

a site specific video installation

ARTICULATE Project Space
247 Parramatta Road
Leichhardt, Sydney
(opposite Cass Bros)

Tues - Mon 17.00 - 09.00
21 - 27th June

view when dark from footpath or vehicle


Tues 21st June (winter solstice)
17.00 - 20.00

You can find out more about John Gillies here & here


          Sydney Opera House before Lights On

Vivid a festival of light, music and ideas is about to wind up in Sydney this weekend. In 2009 the first Vivid festival was curated by Brian Eno and last year by Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. Each of the festivals project images and light onto the 'sails' of Jorn Utzon's Sydney Opera House. I missed seeing both preceding light and image shows due to geography (living out of Sydney) and indisposition.

I've been curious to see it and now that I'm living in Sydney again I've visited this event. This year it's curated by Sydney-based Steve Pavlovic a.k.a 'Pav' from Modular Recordings. He invited a young French trio, SUPERBIEN to do the projections and they are super.

There are professional photos on the web site (click on 'Vivid' above) but here are a few of my snapshots (obviously taken with a pocket camera, no flash, no tripod) of the lights.

          Sydney Opera House just before…

Some city buildings have projections - including Customs House and the Marriot Hotel. The AMP building is blue and the Circular Quay Railway Station façade turns red and blue, framing the bay for the Opera House projections.
Around the Quay there are light sculptures by local artists. I love the stalactites, by Katharine Fife and Andrew Daly on the ceiling of the walkway under the Circular Quay railway tracks.


When you see a city lit this way you look at other lights and neon signs more keenly. The final snap is the speed limit sign on the railway.