Washing Day


                                                         The Mutts


new zealand electronic poetry centre presents -

Announcing the launch of completed SHORT TAKES ON LONG POEMS, (click the title), featuring videos of readings and presentations from nzepc symposium held at Old Government House, Auckland on 29-30 March 2012, and complete materials for American poet Rachel Blau DuPlessis' visit to the University of Auckland, February-March 2012.
  • Rachel Blau DuPlessis in New Zealand
  • Symposium programme and abstracts
  • LOUNGE 34: videos of 11 Australian, New Zealand and American poets
  • SHORT TAKES: 21 video presentations from the symposium
  • Oneroa Long Beach Walk Poem: symposium collaboration on Waiheke Island
  • Gallery: a selection of photos by many hands

  •             Tapa in Old Government House, (photo by Susan Schultz, March 2012)


    The fifth and final instalment of Fifty-one Contemporary Poets from Australia is now published here in Jacket2 magazine. It includes poetry by Justin Clemens, Bonny Cassidy, Michelle Cahill, Michael Brennan, Ken Bolton, Judith Bishop, Louis Armand, Chris Andrews, Elizabeth Allen, Ali Alizadeh and Adam Aitken, along with artwork by Louis Armand and Ken Bolton.


    November Poetry at Sappho's

    Toby Fitch presents November-Poetry-Night :

    Jill Jones' new book - Ash is Here, So are Stars
    (launch talk by Pam Brown)
    Keri Glastonbury (Grit Salute)
    Eddie Hopely (Rude Door)
    & open mic

    Tuesday 13th November
    19:00 until 22:00
    Sappho's Wine Bar/Cafe courtyard
    51 Glebe Point Rd


    Lee Salomone—altre voci / other voices—Australian Experimental Art Foundation, September 21st—October 20th; Jeffrey Smart—Master Of Stillness: painting—1940—2011—Samstag Museum, October 12th— December 14th ; Katie Barber—Perceivable (painted) Objects—Sam Howie—Apainting— jointly at Felt Space, October 3rd—October 20th; Mark Valenzuela—Entry—Nexus, September 27th—October 26th; Pat Brassington—at Greenaway Gallery, September 19th—October 21st; Jeffrey Harris—My Father’s Table—Light Square Gallery, October 10th —November 1st; Matthew Bradley—Space Chickens help me make Apple pie—Fontanelle, September 23rd—October 28th;

    Ken Bolton's latest form guide is now online here.

    Who is Ken Bolton? Click here to find out.


    Ken Whisson - As if

    A brilliant, extensive retrospective
    at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
    Curated by Glenn Barkley (MCA)
    and Lesley Harding (Heide Museum of Modern Art).

    Read art critic John McDonald's review -
    Outside of the awful mainstream

                      Imaginary America, 1974-75

    Glenn Barkley, curator's floor talk
    Thursday 8th November 6.30pm - info here.

    For more information visit the MCA link

                      Books and Landscapes 1987-94


    New Zealand artist & poet Greg O'Brien presents
    Conversation with Rosemary Dobson on Raoul Island
    a suite of drawings in memory of poet Rosemary Dobson

    At Slot Gallery
    38 Botany Rd

    Until November 17

    Gallery information - click here


    Dear visitors to the deletions -
    I'll be posting over at the Southerly blog throughout October.
    The first one is here.
    Week two - click here.
    Week three - click here
    Final post - week four - click here.

    Thanks for the space Southerly editors.


    AVANT GAGA #4 - a night of experimental...

    October’s poetry night at Sappho’s will see the 4th instalment of ‘Avant Gaga’ — a gala night of experimental poetry — this time with special guests Pam Brown, Ken Bolton (Adelaide), and Amanda Stewart, and hosted by Toby Fitch.

    Pam Brown has been around the Sydney poetry realm for a long time. She recently edited 'Fifty-one contemporary poets from Australia' for 'Jacket2' where she is an associate editor. She has published many books including, this year, a pocket book of ten poems, 'Anyworld', from Flying Island Books and a booklet, 'More than a feuilleton', from Little Esther Books. A longer collection of poems, 'Home by Dark', will be published by Shearsman Books in the U.K. in 2013. In a parallel life Pam lives in the bustling town of Asbestos in South-Eastern Québec; in real life she lives two suburbs away, as-the-mynah-bird-flies, in Alexandria.

    A gay, light-hearted bastard, Ken Bolton cuts a moodily romantic figure within the dun Australian literary landscape, his name inevitably conjuring perhaps that best known image of him, bow-tie askew, lipstick-smeared, grinning cheerfully, at the wheel of his 1958 Jaguar D-type, 'El Cid'. Born in Sydney in 1949 he works at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide and edits Little Esther books. He has published a good deal of art criticism, some of it collected in Art Writing (Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia). He edited 'Homage To John Forbes', the book on Kurt Brereton, 'More Is Plenty', and wrote the monograph 'Michelle Nikou'. He edited the magazines 'Magic Sam' and 'Otis Rush' and has published numerous books of poetry. Wakefield Press published 'The Circus' in 2010 and Vagabond Press 'A Whistled Bit Of Bop'. Earlier titles include 'At The Flash And At The Baci' and 'Untimely Meditations'.

    Amanda Stewart is a poet, writer and vocal artist. Much of her work is informed by ideas from linguistics, philosophy and science. She has created a diverse range of publications, performances, radio and visual works, locally and internationally, over many years. During the 1980’s and 90’s she worked full-time as a radio producer at the ABC and since then has worked freelance as a writer and performer in literature, music, theatre and new media contexts. She is a cofounder of the Australian text-sound ensemble 'Machine For Making Sense' and the Netherlands trio, Allos. Her Book and CD set of selected poems 'I/T' is available from splitrec.

    To read your work in the open mic reading, just turn up on the night and put your name on the list. 2 minutes each so we can fit everyone in. And, because ‘Avant Gaga’ is a particularly playful night, why not muck around with your poem — swap the lines around, turn it upside-down, change every verb, read it into a computer translator and have it spat back out — experiment with it and see what happens; you might even like your poem better than before.

    The wine and tapas bar will be open so you can have a meal and glass of wine while you're there if you fancy it. The Soup season at Sappho’s is over, but it’s Spring, so get your vernalagia on ...

    Starts at 7.00 pm in the back courtyard/garden at Sappho's.
    51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
    Phone: 9552 4498
    Look forward to seeing you there.


                                                                Instructional Drawing, 2012 by Erwin Wurm


    Looking east, looking in.

    In Brisbane recently I listened to poets, novelists and publishers from Oceania. From countries that have experienced colonisation by France and a Maori novelist, obviously from Aeotearoa/New Zealand. The main question was largely about writing in French, in local languages, and the experience of translation in a post-colonial era.

    Having been involved in several Trans-Tasman poetry symposiums that aimed to make a bridge between poets from Australia and Aeotearoa/NZ (and, this year, with Hawai'i and China as well) I know some of the difficulties of distance and disconnect that exist in the South Pacific region. In Brisbane novelist Witi Ihimaera suggested that instead of looking north (to Europe, USA etc) Australians could concern themselves with looking east. I think he made a good point. And in ensuing discussion the suggestion was made that we also look to the interior towards the indigenous Aboriginal people. It was a welcome reminder. The Pacific Islands Forum exchanges ideas, funding etc at an international government level and met recently in the Cook Islands. The Festival of Pacific Arts was held in July this year in the Solomon Islands. I've visited and attempted to explore some aspects of the cultures of Nouvelle Caledonie, Aeotearoa and two of the Mascarene islands to the west of Australia as well, across the Indian Ocean to La Réunion and Mauritius. Looking west.

    The topic in Brisbane generally veered towards French-language writing and the identity of, say, a Kanak writer in relation to that. Someone remarked that Australian, Vanuatuan, Pakeha (etc) writers don't describe themselves as 'British-Australian' writers and neither do writers from the "French" Pacific think of themselves as 'French-Tahitian' or 'French-Kanak' (etc) writers.

    The talks were at the new State Library and the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane right next door to the Queensland Art Gallery where there was an exhibition of portraits from the Prado Museum in Madrid. The entrance to the Gallery has a hologram of part of the Prado - it kind of cried out for a pose. I took a few photos - you can find them here.

    If you're interested in reading work by some of the authors in the photos, one of the publishers is 'Au Vent Des Iles' and the web site is here.

            :        :        :        :    :        :        :        :

    In the September issue of Art Monthly, Susan Cochrane, author of Art and Life in Melanesia has written an extensive illustrated report on this year's Festival of Pacific Arts. She notes, towards the end of the article : "As far as mainstream Australia and its art aficionados are concerned (with a few exceptions), the Festival of Pacific Arts, the world's largest indigenous arts festival celebrating the cultural life of our Pacific neighbours, slips right under their radar. It does not even raise a blip."

    Currently, Australians mainly know about the Pacific politically, as a 'Pacific Solution' - somewhere for the Federal Government to place hundreds of refugees in the hope of discouraging their arrival by fishing boat in our country. They are to be kept, awaiting 'processing', on what is continually referred to as the 'remote' island of Nauru, in Micronesia, and on Melanesian Manus Island in the Asian Pacific just north of Papua New Guinea.


    Recycled Dreaming
    An Open Letter Project
    Curated by Bronia Iwanczak

    at Cross Arts Books
    33 Roslyn Street
    Kings Cross - Sydney
    October 3rd - 31st

    Opening with readings/performance
    Wednesday 6pm - October 3rd
    Everyone Welcome


    The publisher -

    Little Esther Books
    (for Feral & Boffin
    of Feral, Boffin + Distingué)
    Box 10114, Adelaide BC, SA, 5000

    The blurb -

    The book -

    a limited edition - six new poems - available now


    I've been reading the third issue of VLAK magazine. Among the many formidable articles, poems and dynamic graphics, my attention was taken by David Vichnar on Christine Brooke-Rose (the great British experimentalist you've never heard of) who died earlier this year and whose last book Life, End of I read, and loved, a few years ago.

    I also want to recommend Marjorie Perloff's Poetry on the Edge: Reconceptualizing Lyric. She begins with a pertinent question "What happens to poetry when Everybody is a Poet?", referring to the plethora of graduate degrees in poetry in the USA that Jed Rasula addressed in his 2011 lecture The Condition of Poetry When Everybody is a Poet. To reduce her cogent analysis to one of several quotable remarks - "In the current climate, with literally thousands of poets jostling for their place in the sun, a tepid tolerance rules". In Australia we can reduce 'thousands' to 'hundreds' but a similar orientation applies.

    And the third essay I want to mention is about the literary interview - Interviewing - in which David Hayman, professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin, affably recounts his introduction to writers like Alain Robbe-Grillet via Samuel Beckett and his experiences in visiting, interviewing and corresponding with Robbe-Grillet, Maurice Roche and Phillipe Sollers in the mid 1970s. (Interviewing is followed by one of Sollers' blocks of prose H (PART 2))

    VLAK magazine raises the temperature on anything 'tepidly tolerant'. (sorry deletions visitors, I couldn't resist a bit of copy-writing).

    VLAK is produced in Prague. It's edited by Litteraria Pragensia director Louis Armand with, from around the globe, Edmund Berrigan, Ali Alizadeh, Stephen Mooney, David Vichnar, Stephan Delbos, Jane Lewty and Peter Cockelbergh

    You can see the complete author list and buy a copy here.


    Shikibu Shuffle

    I recently received a box of an array of newly published pamphlets and chapbooks from Ottawa's above/ground press. One of them is a collaboration between the two well-known poets: Perth, Australia-based Andrew Burke and Perth, Canada-based Phil Hall. It's a really nice chapbook with a glued cover image (I think each cover is different), a bright orange fly leaf and a line drawing that resembles a rubber stamp, and could be a rubber stamp, on the title and end pages. There are fifteen short, minimal poems riffing on a tenth century Japanese poet. The suite is at once kind of dainty and perky. It's called Shikibu Shuffle.

    The introductory page reads:

    "Happy fate brought a poet from Perth Western Australia and a poet from Perth Ontario Canada together in 2009.

    Then Andrew had a heart attack and was queued up for life-saving surgery.

    With nothing to do but wait, kept alive by sprays and medical potions - to distract himself - Andrew agreed to work with Phil on a collaboration.

    Andrew suggested the Japanese court poet Murasaki Shikibu (973-1014); her 5-line form might be a place to start.

    Phil was thinking of Ornette Coleman: two quartets facing each other and going at it (1960).

    We wrote in 5s back and forth, then shuffled our silence-inducing cacophony into 10s, then improvised from there...

    Andrew's operation was bumped once, and then happened. He's fine.

    The shuffle served its purpose, and now surprises and delights them both."


          I watch my chest
          rise and fall in the mirror

          nature in the raw

          nothing I see or think
          means anything to me

          then I plan to tell you about it

          and into each dull thunk
          like lemon on fish

          comes flugelhorn

          a faint zing


          Talking to the air

          I break cobwebs
          on the line

          cello   kite  fishing

          making lurid
          the net result

          while hammock hook shines

          sun holds   motes float


    Andy Carruthers, Sam Moginie, Pam Brown & Chris Edwards with Michael Farrell's latest book open sesame (at gleebooks, Sydney, on the occasion of a Vagabond Press chapbook launch of six other new books) Sunday, 29th July. Vagabond poet Adrian Wiggins took the photo.

    See this link for the Vagabond Press launch.

    open sesame - cover detail from Wilderness by Juan Davila.

    For information click here.


    The fourth instalment of Pam Brown’s feature Fifty-one contemporary poets from Australia (ordered, “[i]n the interest of objectivity” by “a recently invented ‘downunder’ method — the reverse alphabet”) includes work from Jane Gibian, Claire Gaskin, Angela Gardner, Liam Ferney, Michael Farrell, Kate Fagan, Chris Edwards, Laurie Duggan, Anna Couani, and Stuart Cooke, along with artwork by Angela Gardner and Chris Edwards. It has just been published in Jacket2. You can read the poems and see the artwork here.


    Book launch - end of July

    The indefatigable Vagabond Press is launching six Rare Objects:

    beheld by Niobe Syme
    Chooks by Adrian Wiggins
    Don Juan Variations by S.K. Kelen
    green thought - green shade by Kit Kelen
    Imitation Era by James Stuart
    under rats by Nicolette Stasko

    49 Glebe Point Rd
    Glebe, Sydney

    on Sunday July 29th
    at 4pm

    For brief descriptions of the books and futher information click here

    Can't help BUT be FUN with that many poets celebrating.

    Everybody welcome.


    Photo by Eve Arnold, from the dust jacket of fragments : Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe (Farrar, Strous and Giroux, 2010). Read Jacqueline Rose on Marilyn here.


    Bob Arnold's southern Vermont-based press Longhouse currently has a "lost" and then found booklet by Lorine Niedecker available. It's called Homemade Poems. It's edited by John Harkey and published by 'The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative'. John Harkey says-

    My zeal for textual knowledge in this case drove me to seek out Homemade Poems in the New York Public Library's Berg Collection of English and American Literature, where the book is held as part of Cid Corman's papers. Encountering the book that day — spending time reading its poems in just the form Niedecker had so deliberately inscribed and arranged then — immediately stirred in me a conviction that the textural production itself, in some form or version, deserved a much wider readership, a life outside of the archive.

    You can enquire about obtaining a copy by emailing poetryATsoverDOTnet. Read further about Lorine Niedecker and view photographs and some of her rare paintings by visiting Bob Arnold's blog A Longhouse Birdhouse.

    (For over forty years Longhouse has been producing poetry books, chapbooks and pamphlets by many, many poets including Carol Bergé, Gerard Malanga, Rosmarie Waldrop, Maurice Scully, Cid Corman, Joseph Massey, Janine Pommy Vega, Thomas A Clark and Tom Clark, Theodore Enslin, Ian Hamilton Finlay and so many others, and, in 2010, a pamphlet of my own poems, Sentimental).


    Coming up next week -

    Melbourne Poetics Research presents:
    A Ken Bolton Day

    at Monash University, Thursday 21st June
    Click here for program.

    Collected Works Bookshop presents:
    Friday 22nd June at 6pm

    John Jenkins and Ken Bolton launch their latest collaboration, Lucky for Some. Already have a copy? Lucky you! But come along anyway. The two authors will read from Lucky for Some plus a favourite each from their nine other co-written books, including Airborne Dogs (1988), The Gutman Variations (1993), Nutters Without Fetters (2002), Poems of Relative Unlikelihood(2005). John Jenkins is a Melbourne poet. Ken Bolton lives and works in Adelaide, and has hardly ever read poetry in Melbourne. As for the pair reading together from their collaborations, this is very rare indeed!

    Wine & nibbles.
    Everyone Welcome!
    Collected Works Bookshop:
    Nicholas Building, Level 1,
    37 Swanston Street,

    For more on the chapbook click here.


    No future ..

    and some small jubilation down my street in Alexandria, Sydney ..


    This is such a great birthday greeting. I have to post it. It's my birthday today and it's Agnes Varda's, Emperor Renzong of China's, American rapper Big L's
    Thirtieth of May - enjoy the day.


                                   Vale Michael Callaghan

    Michael Callaghan, the artist behind the iconic If the unemployed are dole bludgers, what the fuck are the idle rich?, has died at his home in Exeter. In 2009 he was the recipient of the Nugget Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship. Michael was a founder of Redback Graphix in Wollongong and spent some years making brilliant posters in Sydney at the Tin Sheds, Sydney University's art workshop.

    Back in 1978 I wrote and worked on a film, Cattle Annie,
    directed by Gill Leahy in which Michael played a street punk -

           PB, Michael and Doco on location,1978 (photo by Micky Allan)


    Next Tuesday in Adelaide :

    australian experimental art foundation
    & Dark Horsey Bookshop present:

    Convened by Ken Bolton

    The new writing performed
    Every Tuesday in May
    Dark Horsey Bookshop
    EAF, Adelaide
    7.30 for a prompt 8pm start.
    Price $5

    TUESDAY May 22

    Aidan Coleman * Kerryn Goldsworthy *
    Steve Brock * Pam Brown *


    And even more - Coming up in May
    UWA Publishing presents

    Kate Lilley

    to be launched
    by Pam Brown

    Friday 11th May
    5:30 for 6:00 pm
    at the Common Room
    Level 4
    Woolley Building A20
    Science Road
    University of Sydney

    The publicity says :
    Ladylike is Australian poet Kate Lilley’s much awaited second volume of poetry, following her 2002 debut Versary (Salt Publishing).

    The title poem of this collection (‘Ladylike’) draws on pamphlets associated with the notorious case of the bigamist Mary Carleton, who was executed in 1673, and texts contemporary with it; women from Sigmund Freud’s case studies provide the material for the series of poems, ‘Round Vienna’; and the poem ‘Cleft’ is dedicated to Kate Lilley’s mother, Australian literary giant Dorothy Hewett.

    Throughout this collection, Kate mines the areas of her scholarly specialisation – the early modern period – as well as contemporary popular culture and matches it with some of the twentieth century’s enduring interests such as psychoanalysis and Freud. Ladylike is a valuable addition to Australian poetry at large and will be of interest to readers of poetry, early modern history, Freud and early psychoanalysis.

    Pam Brown says :
    Kate Lilley's trim poems linger in thresholds between the material world and otherworlds of slippage and undersound. Women and girls - strumpet, slattern, coquette, rubbermaid, princess - wayward, proclaimed, scandalous, diminished, wronged - are recovered and redeemed. In the dolour of grief, mother and daughter coalesce imperceptibly and mourning is immense. Ladylike loves language literarily. Kate Lilley is a mistress of adverbs and discrepancies. She adroitly melds the seventeenth century with the nineteenth and the twentieth, with its cinema classics and Freudian psychosexual dreams and neuroses, into the televisual synthetics of the twenty-first. These poems are compelling and exquisite.

    Kate Lilley was born in 1960 and grew up in Perth and Sydney. After completing her PhD on Masculine Elegy at the University of London she spent four years as a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University. Since 1990 she has taught feminist literary history and theory at the University of Sydney and has published widely on early modern women’s writing and contemporary poetry. She is the editor of Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World and Other Writings. Her first volume of poetry, Versary, was published in 2002 and awarded numerous prizes internationally.

    For further information click here


    More - Coming up in May
    Convened by Ken Bolton

    The new writing performed
    Every Tuesday in May
    Dark Horsey Bookshop
    EAF, Adelaide
    7.30 for a prompt 8pm start.
    Price $5

    Linda Marie Walker * Cath Kenneally * Shannon Burns * Gretta Mitchell

    Christine Collins * Nicholas Jose * Rachael Mead * Rory Kennett-Lister

    Ken Bolton * Steve Brock * Lauren Lovett * Carol Lefevre

    Pam Brown * Aidan Coleman * Kerryn Goldsworthy * Stephen Lawrence

    Jill Jones * John Jenkins * Chelsea Avard * Mike Ladd


    Coming up in May
        Giramondo Poets present

        Kate Fagan
        First Light

        to be launched
        by Pam Brown

        on Sunday 6th May
        3:30 for 4:00 pm
        at Gleebooks
        49 Glebe Point Road
        Glebe, Sydney

        RSVP: (02) 9660 2333

    The publicity says: First Light observes the details of the world with curious and restive attention. It explores the threshold between things and words, seeking out places where music and language are equal in charting human experience. Some poems sample from other writers to create new works, often as gifts for friends. Some meditate on the tipping point between poetry and prose, or revisit established forms, such as sonnets and love letters, to stage a conversation between poetry and song. Alongside these more experimental sequences is a series of discrete lyrics, ‘Authentic Nature’, which responds to specifically Australian habitats – political, cultural and ecological – while asking about the role of ‘nature’ in poetic writing. First Light is a book of sonic discovery, philosophical insight and formal playfulness; a precise study in the music of thought.

    Kate Fagan’s previous collections of poetry include The Long Moment and return to a new physics. Her poems have appeared in major anthologies, newspapers, journals and on ABC TV. An acclaimed musician and songwriter, her album Diamond Wheel won the National Film and Sound Archive Award for Best Folk Album. She lectures in literature at the University of Western Sydney.


    Shearsman Books in the UK has published another extensive selection of the indefatigable, inimitable Ken Bolton's poems from 1975 to 2010.
    To read a sample from the book and for further information click here.


                           thursday arvo. Sydney Park


    Here is a link to the penultimate poem in Kevin Davies' book and below, a copy of the paper I presented on it at The 'short takes on long poems' Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand/Aotearoa on 29th March, 2012. Below that you'll find the slides used in an accompanying power point - made as a diversion for the listening audience.(Click on the text documents' titles for a full screen version).

    Duckwalking but No Guitar
    Here are the slides -
    Duckwalking a Perimeter Slides


    short takes on long poems
    Auckland and Waiheke Island, Aotearoa-New Zealand 28-30th March 2012

              Poets gather on Waiheke Island to inscribe poems on the sands of Oneroa Beach

    I've uploaded an album of photos of the symposium and the extras here.
                             Rachel's grid for 'Drafts' (with Kate Lilley)
    Renowned US poet and critic, Rachel Blau du Plessis, crossed the Tasman Sea to visit Sydney yesterday. She had been invited to present her reflections on the long poem and her own practice in writing 'Drafts' at the University of Sydney. This was followed by a reading of her poetry and, later, dinner in Chinatown.

    You can see some photos of the Sydney occasion here.


    k a  m a t e  k a  o r a
    a new zealand journal of poetry and poetics

    A new issue of ka mate ka ora focusing on the myriad facets of poetry translation was launched in Auckland last Friday. It includes articles by Laurie Duggan, Jack Ross, Jacob Edmond, Cilla McQueen, Jane Zemiro and others. Read the journal here.

                         The editor, Murray Edmond, launching 'ka mate ka ora' in Auckland