Reading in progress -

A various field - the chapbook on the top is Jen Crawford's Lichen Loves Stone. It arrived in today's mail - a beautiful small collection of poems from Susan M. Schultz's Tinfish Press in Hawai'i. It deserves a closer view -

Order from Tinfish here

Jen Crawford will have a new collection, Koel,
coming from Cordite Books in 2016.

click on images to enlarge them


SOON soon

Dear music lovers, the curious and the courageous;

In January 2016, we celebrate 15 years of the NOW now.
A 6 night festival over three venues in Sydney.

107 Projects, Redfern
Paddington Uniting Church, Paddington
and Warehouse to be confirmed

We got late news that we had no funding at all, but have decided to go ahead with a festival powered by the energy of the musicians and artists involved. We are still pulling the program together, thus far, musicians from Norway, Switzerland, Japan, Marrickville and Redfern are confirmed :)

Watch this space, but block your diaries.

it's on.

8pm January 18th through to January 23rd
107 Projects
107 Redfern St

Other venues & program coming SOON soon


Shock of The Ordinary
Photographs 1975 – 2015
by Kurt Brereton

Introduction by Munro Jones with commentaries by the author

Collectors Deluxe Edition – only 50 signed and numbered copies.
Published by Jellied Tongue Press

$100 cost price + $20 postage in Australia/$50 International
(200pp 26cm x 26cm 115 colour/68 b/w photos perfect bound)

Taking orders now
contact Kurt Brereton here.

Shoalhaven City Art Centre
December 19
at 12 - 2pm

NOTE The hardcopy edition usually sells out before launch date. 10 copies are held back for sale at launch. Any extra copies will be on sale at Gallery at retail price of $125.


You are warmly invited to celebrate
two new poetry collections
from Vagabond Press


Amanda Stewart
Chris Edwards
Ken Bolton
Pam Brown

Saturday 5th December

Parkview Hotel
corner Mitchell Road & Harley Street
Alexandria, Sydney

everyone welcome

For further information
from Vagabond Press
click here

How to get to Parkview Hotel
Mitchell & Harley, Alexandria
transport & map click here

About London Journal/London Poem :
London Journal / London Poem is an account of the author's thinking and seeing while on a trip to London to visit son and daughter-in-law and to travel with them and his own partner, to Berlin and Barcelona. It is an amusing calibration of self-consciousness, speculation, stereotypes and detail, reflection and discovery.

About Missing up :
These offbeat, fragmentary yet often discursive poems were written over three years up to spring 2015. In part, they epitomize the absurdities of contemporary materialism. Pam Brown's well-practised scepticism dismantles monumental intent and splices the remains into a shrewd melange of imagery and thoughtful lyric complemented by playfulness. For Pam writing poetry is a habit, a disorganised ritual. Her poetic inventories begin in everyday bricolage. Real things interrupt the poems the same way thoughts and phrases do. You know - the fridge over there, the bus stop, surf music on a radio, a raisin squashed against a floor tile - always backgrounding a connection to the 'social' as the poems make political and personal associative links. Though disquiet is present it is usually temporary - an optimistic wit plays through this idiosyncratic poetry as a kind of placebo. But, in the end, Pam Brown simply lets the language do the work.



A new issue of Mark Young's great poetry journal Otoliths
is ready to read here.

As always, it's a cornucopia of delights, with work from
Pete Spence, Annette Plasencia, Shataw Naseri, Philip Byron Oakes, horace p sternwall, Kyle Hemmings, GS Smith, j4, fátima queiroz, Raymond Farr, Angelos Sakkis, John Lowther, Texas Fontanella, Mark Pirie, a. j. carruthers, Jack Galmitz, Marco Giovenale, Michael Aird, Karen Greenbaum-Maya, Dale Wisely, Olivier Schopfer, Anne Gorrick, Mike Gullickson, Simina Banu, Rob Cook, Andrew Topel, Michael De Rosa, Judith Roitman, Peter Ganick, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Eileen R. Tabios, Steve Dalachinsky, Jim Leftwich, John M. Bennett, Volomydyr Bilyk, Lakey Comess, Seth Howard, Nicolas Grenier, Christopher Barnes, Laurent Grison, Brendan Slater, Charles Wilkinson, John Vieira, Richard Kostelanetz, Howie Good, Pearl Pirie, Willie Smith, C.S. Fuqua, Márton Koppány, Sandy McIntosh, Charles Freeland, Jürgen O. Olbrich, Alexandre Pierrepont, Cecelia Chapman, Simon Perchik, Scott Keeney, Anneke Baeten, Branko Gulin, Martin Burke, Bill DiMichele, Bobbi Lurie, Felino A. Soriano, Karl Kempton, Michael Rothenberg, Jeff Harrison, Marcia Arrieta, Natsuko Hirata, Sanjeev Sethi, Robyn Art, Jesse Glass, Vaughan Rapatahana, Marilyn Stablein, Caleb Puckett, Shloka Shankar, Johannes S. H. Bjerg, hiromi suzuki, Katrinka Moore, Mark Staniforth, John Pursch, Mark Russell, sean burn, Bob Heman, Joe Balaz, Robert Lee Brewer, Stephen Nelson, PT Davidson, Tony Beyer, Jake Goetz, J. D. Nelson, Tom Brami, Michael D. Goscinski, John Hand, Edward Kulemin, Jill Jones, & Gian Luigi Braggio.


I love the cover of hardline, a new collection of associative poems by Marty Hiatt. I have it propped on my desk - a new artwork. The seven poems in this gorgeous-looking book are good too. Some lines from the beginning of 'artists impression' -

    the cars go down the road
    concrete pours itself
    the milk is steamed
    the click of the thermostat
    a fist is broken on the skull
    storm surge subsides
    pollutants sent to angry penguins
    the magic of gravity
    and ineffectual regulation
    one of my interests is finance
    the lights keep going red
    they copy each other
    we are all wound up
    we give our trash away for free
    though 'we's a fiction to date

hardline costs only $5.50 and can be ordered from the publisher
bulky news here.


Streets of Papunya

Martha MacDonald Napaltjarri (foreground) & Mona Nangala
painting at Papunya Tjupi art centre, 2015. Photo by Helen Puckey.

An exhibition of contemporary painting and films from the daughters of the desert art movement, the Papunya Tula artists of the 1970s, is showing in Sydney at the University of NSW Gallery in Paddington. It is curated by Western Desert art expert Vivien Johnson, dedicated supporter and lifelong friend of the artists of Papunya. Links to earlier artists, from Albert Namatjira until today, are made via paintings and a long chart of an extensive 'family-tree'. There are also locally produced educational language booklets in Warlpiri, Luritja & English and two terrific films about the community's contemporary art projects - both painting and electronic (computer) work that's going on in the Papunya Tjupi Arts centre.

The accompanying detailed & brilliant book
chronicles Papunya's art history leading to the current 'reinvention'.
For information click here

Kalipinypa (2015) by Candy Nelson Nakamarra

Doris Bush Nungarrayi painting a version of Tjurrpinyi (Swimming at Haasts Bluff) in 2012

Blackwater (2015) by Martha McDonald Napaltjarri

Papunya (1982) by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (1929-84)

The exhibition is on until November 7th
For information click here.

Warumpi & Tjupi, Honey Ant hills, Papunya
Photo by Helen Puckey

click on any of the images to enlarge them


To Adelaide:

Experimentalities: Experimental Writing: Why & Why Now?
17-18 September 2015
Symposium, Master Class with Marion Campbell & Readings
at University of Adelaide
(Napier & Ingkarni Wardli Buildings)
in conjunction with
Australian Network for Feminist Experimental Writers

Symposium on 17th & 18th September
Papers & presentations on meanings, definitions, uses & techniques, prose, poetry, drama, life writing, non-fiction, art, fiction, hypertext literatures, collaborative compositions, digital & interactive writing & poetics.

Reading on Friday 18th September
7:30pm for 8pm start
at the SA Writers Centre
187 Rundle Street, Adelaide

Readings from Gretta Mitchell, Jill Jones, Virginia Barratt
Francesca da Rimini, Amy Ireland, A.J. Carruthers
Kate Lilley, Pam Brown, Marion Campbell

For further information email 'experimentalities2015ATgmailDOTcom'
or search 'Experimentalities' on google or facebook

Volume 2015 : Another Art Books Fair was held at Artspace in Woolloomooloo Sydney last weekend. There were many independent book makers, panels on what's going on in art, books, poetry, plus a printer to make instant full colour, bound paperbacks - the Bookmachine - straight from laptop to covers, collation & staples. A totally lively event & it was great to catch up with interstate artists alongside the Sydneysiders.

Red Hand Prints from Darwin, NT at Artspace

Nick Tsoutas, PB & the P.A people at Nola Farman's launch, Artspace
(photo by Anna Gibbs)

To see some more photos click here


Send a Poem to Cordite Poetry Review

deadline sunday 8th november
for guidelines & further info click here


loungeroom readings

Way back in time, in 1978, I held a book launch and reading in my house at Rozelle for Cafe Sport, published by local independent press, Sea Cruise.

In the 1980s many poets, when visiting Adelaide, would be invited to give readings in the long front yard of Mary Christie & Michael Zerman's big communal house in Hackney. Ken Bolton, who'd moved down to South Australia from Sydney, was the instigator.

In January 1996 when Ken Bolton & John Forbes were both back on visits to Sydney, I organised a little lounge room reading in my house in Ultimo.

i Part of the audience: ii Anna Couani & Amanda Stewart:
iii Ken Bolton, Helen Grace & Ivor Indyk, Ultimo 1996

John Forbes & Amanda Stewart, Ultimo 1996

Lounge room readings are intimate, social, casual and gently intensified, kind of tangible. Recently, a group of Sydney poets met on Sunday afternoons in Nick Keys' share house and then at Sam Moginie's and Eddie Hopely & Astrid Lorange's places, to read poetry, mostly not their own work but often a selection of poets they were interested in and wanted to bring to the attention of their friends. Sometimes people might also read something they were working on. These were informal convivial readings - in fact they were fun. Elena Gomez was one of the attendees. In early 2014 she started up her own lounge room series - cell - held monthly in her flat in Kings Cross. At these gatherings, Elena invited a small, diverse group of poets to read their work.

On Sunday afternoon the cell crowd met at Elena & Rory Dufficy's house on the tranquil little Cooks River for a reading by newly-arrived citizen of Sydney, Emily Stewart, and Andy Carruthers and Kate Fagan. Each poet read mostly new work. Emily read from her recent bulky news chapbook LIKE, as well as some recent poems. Andy read a kind of summary of method to introduce his poetic approach & then enlisted Amelia Dale & myself to read a polyvocal piece 'Axis 38' - part of a continuation of his ongoing long poem, the beginning of which can be found in his book AXIS : Areal I. He went on to read a new experimental bent-narrative - a charged-up poetic prose piece. It was a bit autobiographical & touched on a developing critique of the christian faith. Kate made a test run of several new poems in a sample of new work and other material including a long poem and one of her favourite forms - the cento. There is a series of cento in her book First Light.

I think I took too many photos (new camera syndrome) - but here are a few, for the record.

Emily Stewart

A.J.Carruthers (with Amelia Dale & Kate Fagan)

Kate Fagan

Elena Gomez

genial co-host Rory Dufficy

reminder - click on images to enlarge



VLAK magazine launch in Sydney

Wednesday 12th August at 6:00 pm

Common Room
John Woolley Building
Science Road
University of Sydney

Readings by Louis Armand & local contributors

Not conforming with a recent Aussie trend to one-size-fits-all-A4 magazine formats (with minor fractional differences, according to two of the editors of the aforesaid large format matte-glossies), the square format bulky magazine VLAK : Contemporary Poetics & The Arts has published its fifth annual issue. Founded by Louis Armand & based in Prague in the Czech Republic, the magazine has a twelve member editorial committee (including myself) comprising several countries in both hemispheres. Issue 5 has 167 contributors & is 663 pages in length. If it matters (it does to me) it can definitely claim 'experimentation' as an editorial tag. See the contributor list on the back cover. (Click on the images to enlarge them). An issue of VLAK costs just under twice as much as an average Aussie A4-ish quarterly but it is an annual & its diversity is extraordinary. In a quick comparison with several A4-ish mags, there is four times as much content per issue of VLAK with photos, drawings, & collage by filmmakers, artists & photographers, & essays, interviews, anecdotes & poems by political-aesthetic critics, film writers, philosophers, novelists & poets. In my opinion it's worth the cover price &, prospectively, has a lengthy magazine-rack or shelf life.

If you can't come the launch
(where it will be offered at a discounted price)
VLAK costs 20 euros ($29 aud) & can be ordered here

Louis Armand is currently visiting Australia and there will be a launch party in Melbourne with readings from local contributors :

VLAK - Launch in Melbourne:

Wednesday 29th July at 6:00 pm

Collected Works Bookshop
Nicholas Building Level 1
37 Swanston Street


What Rachel Blau DuPlessis did next ...

Having spent just over a quarter of a century working through a poetic grid, last year Rachel Blau DuPlessis published a book of optimistic yet judicious or canny poems that, as a way to 'unbegin', seemed to emerge from spaces in-between the frames of a grid. It was called Interstices (read my review here). Now she has made GRAPHIC NOVELLA - a big American Quarto sized book of collaged found texts (often news reports), images and poems.

Canadian poet and translator Erin Moure says : In GRAPHIC NOVELLA, Rachel Blau Duplessis goes further than any poet in working with how the brain actually thinks, borrows language as scraps, does not then read them from left to right but upwards or sideways, using language as pictures, words as cartilege, pictures as linguistic ligaments and sinews. And she works always in and through a compelling modesty: it is a novella, not a novel; it is a little theatre, not the internet. It is the street and sign and tree and head. Blau Duplessis, in this latest form and affect, finds a new way to reflect, to let language think us, stare back at its reader, blink. The book is sustenance, a survival manual "acknowledging unpresentable facts," "so naked it was empathy." As she says early on, “this whole book is a detective story on how to write."

GRAPHIC NOVELLA is published by Xexoxial Editions
Visit Rachel Blau DuPlessis' website here


Saturday 13th June

at 55
55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville Sydney

For information & directions click here

A night dedicated to
the ego-less ethic of poet and artist Jackson Mac Low.

There will be reading
reading through,
reading before
reading after
reading with
reading to
reading on
reading at
reading by

Andrew Brooks
+ Emilia Batchelor
+ Pam Brown
+ A J Carruthers
+ Benjamin Forster
+ Brian Fuata
+ Elena Gomez
+ Astrid Lorange
+ Rhiannon Newton
+ Kailana Sommer
+ more
+ you
= us



The latest volume of Ken Bolton's critical art writing can be found here. Read what he says about recent exhibitions by photographer Trent Parke, video artist Bill Viola, Simon Pericich, Ian North, James Tylor, Lisa Roet, Paul Sloan, Dan McLean, Christian Lock, Nicholas Elliot and Anna Horn.

And for extra material on art, life, culture & poetry in book form check out Ken Bolton's Dark Horsey Bookshop here.


Exhibition in the Shoalhaven

The artist tangled up in blue and other colours in the photo, Kurt Brereton, will be having an exhibition of recent work at the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre in Nowra from June 6th until July 4th. Click on the invitation for the opening and gallery location.

For more information about Kurt Brereton's work visit his website here.
And for his recent series of paintings and accompanying monograph click here.


Toward. Some. Air.
If you're in need of a remedy for any kinds of disaffection or disappointments relating to paranoid and probably true perceptions of a stealthy anomie that could be creeping up on the Australian poetry 'scene' then Toward. Some. Air. could be for you. The title of the book is taken from US poet Carla Harryman's 2005 prose text Baby - connoting heading towards a breath of fresh air. Even though concerned with Anglo-American-Canadian poetries (including indigenalities) I think this collection of writings has parallels that are useful to contemporary Australian poetry in general. Rather than promoting solutions the book offers serious consideration of contemporary poetry as a relevant force in the world-at-large.

The publisher's website describes the contents:
Remarks on Poetics of Mad Affect, Militancy, Feminism, De/motic Rhythms, Emptying, Intervention, Reluctance, Indigeneity, Immediacy, Lyric Conceptualism, Commons, Pastoral Margins, Desire, Ambivalence, Disability, The Digital, and Other Practices

Edited by Amy De’Ath and Fred Wah

Toward. Some. Air. is a landmark collection of profiles of contemporary poets, statements, essays, conversations about contemporary poetry and poetic practice, and a few exemplary poems selected by up-and-coming poet and scholar Amy De’Ath and Governor General’s Award-winning, former Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah. The over 40 contributors to this anthology are renowned poets and academics from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Toward. Some. Air. is an open invitation to consider the various contours and meanings of Anglophone poetic practice, as a way of interpreting the world around us. An invaluable critical resource with unprecedented scope, this is a book that speaks to the future of contemporary poetics and writing poetry.

Contributors: Caroline Bergvall, Anne Boyer, Sean Bonney & Steve Collis, Andrea Brady, Dionne Brand, Nicole Brossard, Louis Cabri, JR Carpenter, cris cheek, CA Conrad, Maria Damon, Amy De'Ath, Jeff Derksen, Liz Howard, Peter Jaeger, Reg Johanson, Justin Katko & Jow Lindsay, Larissa Lai, Peter Manson, Roy Miki, Nicole Markotic & Michael Davidson, Daphne Marlatt, Fred Moten, Eileen Myles, Hoa Nguyen, Sina Queyras, Lisa Robertson, Steven Ross Smith, Kaia Sand, Dale Smith, Christine Stewart, Keston Sutherland, Keith Tuma, Catherine Wagner, Fred Wah, Darren Wershler, Rita Wong & Kateri Akiwenxie-Damm, Rachel Zolf, David Jhave Johnston, Rita Wong.

About the editors:
Amy De’Ath, born in Suffolk, UK, is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, where she researches Marxist Feminist poetics. She was previously based in London, UK and in 2011 was Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey. Her poetry books include Erec & Enide, Caribou, and Lower Parallel. She now lives in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.

Fred Wah is from the Kootenay region of southeast British Columbia. He is best known for his biofiction, Diamond Grill (1966). Recent collections of poetry are Sentenced to Light, is a door, and The False Laws of Narrative. He was Canada’s fifth Parliamentary Poet Laureate and lives in Vancouver.

Published by Banff Centre Press - information here

thanks Eva-Lynn Jagoe for the book cover photo


        I Love the Whole World  Agnes Martin   1999