Inkerman and Blunt’s Australian Love Poems 2013

ALP_coverA quick post to celebrate the recent launch of Australian Love Poems 2013 (from new publisher Inkerman & Blunt; edited by the Montreal-prize-winning Mark Tredinnick).

The book (an anthology of 200 new poems on the theme of love by Australian poets) was launched at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival a few days ago. Here is a write-up of how the launch went – a sell-out apparently (in a good way), and here are some photographs of it.

I should declare an interest – I have a small (tiny) poem in it, as do several of my poet-friends such as Suzanne Edgar, Michael Thorley, John Foulcher, Geoff Page, Alan Gould, Lizz Murphy, Russell Erwin, and Helen Thurloe, to name just a few. Michael Thorley was among the poets who read at the launch.

Despite my ulterior motive, you can trust me when I say I do recommend a thumb-through. The poems in the book are extremely varied in style and form, and explore love in all its phases and moods. Some of the poems contain adult themes, some are hilarious, some are poignant, some are quietly luminous and some are just blow-the-top-off-your-head wonderful. It is a book full of surprises, discoveries, insights, and bewilderments. There really is something in here for everyone.

And if you were keen to hear some readings from the book, it’s not too late. While Byron Bay was the first outing, there will be a number of launch events around the country over the next few months. The next launch is in Melbourne on August 14. I even heard a rumour last night of a possible Canberra launch in September, which would be lots of fun. Watch this space.

A poem of mine on ABC Radio National’s Poetica

Those of you who live in Australia may be familiar with the Poetica program on ABC Radio National, produced by poet Mike Ladd. It is broadcast on Saturdays at 3pm with a repeat broadcast the following Thursday night at 9pm.

I am very pleased to say that my poem ‘Roadside Memorials‘ will form part of the May 11 program, which is a feature on the villanelle in Australia.

Picture of roadside memorial

‘another kind of road sign, small but clear’

(If that technical name is unfamiliar, it may help to know that a villanelle is a highly structured poem in (mostly) three line stanzas with two repeating refrain lines appearing in turn throughout. Think Dylan Thomas’ ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’.)

Now I’m not privy to the full schedule, but I believe you can expect to hear villanelles from Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Stephen Edgar, Suzanne Edgar and Michael Thorley among others. So lots of reasons to tune in, really.

And in case you were wondering, it won’t be my voice reading Roadside Memorials out on Poetica. The ABC are in the happy position of having trained actors available to do that job. Having read my own work on radio – and to camera – before, I know from experience that it is extremely difficult to produce an effective ‘read’ without the instantly available feedback of a live audience. Frankly I don’t know how the professionals do it, but I’m very grateful one will be doing it in my stead with this poem.

So why not make a date with your radio – Sat 11 May 3pm or Thursday 16th May at 9pm. Or, for about a month afterwards, you can visit the Poetica site and listen via the audio links, or download the program as a podcast.

Thanks for listening 🙂