My book reviewed

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My most recent book, First… Then…, has been reviewed in the Canberra Times.  The piece, ‘Another planet, other places’ by Peter Pierce, editor of the Cambridge History of Australian Literature, appeared in the Panorama literary section on Saturday August 25, 2012.

I feel particularly blessed to be reviewed in the Canberra Times literary pages at this juncture, as they are about to lose all local content, thanks to cuts at parent company Fairfax. Many, many thanks to Gia Metherell and Peter Pierce (neither of whom I have ever met) for squeezing this review in before the crunch came.

I was also honoured to be reviewed in the same article as the excellent John Foulcher‘s ninth poetry collection, The Sunset Assumption (Pitt Street Poetry, 2012).

And as for the review ? Not bad, actually. The short version, which I will be bandying about and putting on the covers of all my reprints, goes: ‘imaginatively and formally challenging…plaintive…brilliant…terse, concentrated, questing’. Read the long version here.

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#Autism #poetry readings, @geekmook and the Southern Capital

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So I am in Melbourne on a mini poetry tour ! Very exciting. Apologies for not giving more notice – the final details didn’t all come together until kind of the last minute, at which point it was too late to post about them as I was already in transit.

Anyhoo, my ‘tour’ consists of three events. The first two are already over so I’ve written about how they went below.

One, a reading from my book of autism poems First… Then…. at Autism Victoria (‘AMAZE’) on Friday 13 July (yesterday). The poems got an amazing reception and felt really privileged to be able to share them with those who attended. I also recorded a couple of them for the lovely people at AMAZE to put up on their website http://www.amaze.org.au/. This will happen early next week. I donated a copy of the book to their library and left a few more at their office for people to buy.

Two, the launch of Vignette Press’s http://vignettepress.com.au Geek Mook (in which appear some Twitter poems of mine, including some autism ones). This was at Bella Union in Carlton last night. Very entertaining night including a live Klingon translation of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale (!). Also great to meet Amy Espeseth (publisher at Vignette), Adam Ford http://www.theotheradamford.wordpress.com (author of the Twitter novel Aramis Fox [@arfox] among many other things) and Angela Meyer (@LiteraryMinded) and chat to them IRL as we geeks say 😉 . Many thanks to @hackpacker and his amazing eyebrows for being my plus one for the evening.

Three, another reading from First… Then… this time for the folks at Casey Asperger’s Syndrome Support (CASS http://www.thecass.com.au ). 2 to 4 pm today Sat 14 July at the CASS Headquarters (20 Agonis St Doveton). It’s not too late to come along if you’re free and in that area – just turn up. Again I’ll be donating a copy of First… Then…to the library so if you miss the reading you can always catch up with the poems later.

So that’s all for now folks – happy quatorze juillet.

(Your poet reporting live from Melbourne)

Launch of my new book ‘First… Then…’

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Hello there. We have a launch date ! Two in fact:

Launch One – for the autism community – is on Easter Sunday Afternoon (8 April), from 2-4pm, in the Chifley Community Hub (old Chifley primary school), at the premises of Autism Asperger ACT, in the Bendigo Room. Light refreshments provided

Launch Two – for the literary community and anyone else who can’t make it to Launch One – is on Wed 11 April, at 6.30 for 7pm, at Smith’s Alternative Bookshop in Alinga St Civic (in the Melbourne Building opposite the GPO). Eminent poet and novelist Alan Gould will be doing the honours at this one. Light refreshments provided, buy your own drinks at the bar.

Love to see you at either – or both !

In between, I’m doing a reading at the Gods Cafe, on the ANU campus, from 8 pm on Tuesday 10 April.

[By the way, also reading that night will be P.S. Cottier , author of the excellent Cancellation of Clouds. Go check out her blog, linked to from the sidebar over there. Go on.]

But back to talking about me and my new book…

About the book

First…Then… is a short collection of 24 poems, mostly dramatic monlogues in various voices. The poems focus on the experience of living with autism, but you do not need to know or be an autistic person to enjoy this book. The poems are by turns moving, harrowing and laugh-out-loud funny, and provide a unique window into a much misunderstood facet of the human experience.

The writing of the poems in First…Then… was supported by an ArtsACT new projects grant during 2011.  You can take a sneak peek inside the book over at my other blog, CircleQuirk.