Ten Books that Have Stayed with Me

Over at the CityofMasks blog I’ve just done a post on ’10 books that have stayed with me’ and it was a lot of fun, I recommend making one, it’s a nice alternative to a ‘best of’ list (which I also love!).

Looking over it now I’m noting that I read a lot of the ones which stayed with me as a teen, which is probably not a coincidence. Another factor is probably how many I’ve re-read!

Here’s the list if you’re curious :) Love to know if you’ve read any and what you thought of them if you did!


A Newsletter is Born

After quite some time procrastinating I’ve finally finished setting up a newsletter for my writing!

I’ve been meaning to do so for a while now and I’m pretty pleased with the idea, I think it’ll allow me to provide meatier updates due to its quarterly frequency, without taking the place of my blogs, twitter etc and also encourages me to axe my Facebook author page.

I’m using MailChimp and I plan to offer news, giveaways and occasional previews of upcoming releases (poetry & fiction) with the newsletter – in fact, if you sign up by mid-Oct you’re in the running to win a copy of The Fairy Wren (e or print) which I really hope people enjoy!

So, if you’re keen, you can sign up over here :)

The Fairy Wren – Due in Oct

Approximately a month until my next release is available, hopefully a bit less if I’m lucky and Lightning Source ship me a proof copy quicker than I’ve estimated!

The release of The Fairy Wren is giving me a bit more in the way of nerves than any of my poetry collections over the last six years or City of Masks earlier this year. And that’s doubtless because I’ve been more involved with every step of production, from writing to typesetting, to direction of cover art, pricing etc, and while I’ve had combinations of some of these aspects under my control with most of my other releases, this remains different.

I’m the one with the final say on every aspect and so I’m feeling a bit of pressure to make sure my instincts are actually on track. Of course, in Oct I hope to find out!

Scroll down over here to read a tiny bit about the (short) novel – more info to follow.

Martha Richardson Memorial Poetry Prize 2014

The Martha Richardson Memorial Poetry Prize is open again!

This year the wonderful Peter Bakowksi is judging, and will award the winner $1,000. Open theme and entries close on 15 October 2014. Check out more details here at Ballarat Writers’ Inc.



a table set for thousands #4

there used to be poetry in my neighbours

the kind
that wasn’t meant for me
but could nonetheless leap fences
in a single bound

all struggle used to be poetic too
but now
I wonder if it isn’t merely
precursor to defeat

I see it in every pen stroke
and every crossing guard,
even the cobwebs now
seem tired
as the wind cuts into them

in place of the old shop that used to sell
there’s another $2 store

and I have to wonder if I’m interested
in that sort of future

because it has such slippery fins
you know


I still want to make poetry
that brings you mercy

and so how impossible for me now

to find satisfaction
in my own words
knowing that they heal

cut up#3.2014 (haiku)

(Only) My third cut-up of for the year so far – I know I started late so I’d love to do a fair few more, but we’ll see how my time plays out!

The first one is cut from 3 different random Facebook status updates:


enjoying our little
solar system
early start tomorrow


And this one not a cut up, but thanks to Sara for the tip! (replacing ‘car seat’ with ‘passenger seat’) :)


caught between
the passenger seat
fuel docket

A Quick Update (Aug 2014)

Hoping to post another cut-up or two soon, but today I thought I’d post a little writing update instead.

I’ve recently judged the P17 Poetry Competition and I was bowled over by the shortlist and many of the pieces that didn’t quite reach it too, and especially by the winner and runner up, really had a tough time choosing between them!

I’ve also had a new poem appear in Regime 4, which is an awesome publication that I definitely recommend checking out – and which I’d certainly say even if I wasn’t featured in it :)

I’ve also been finalising formatting for my novel The Fairy Wren, which I hope to release this year and I also have a rough date (November-ish) for my next poetry volume old stone – which is a collection of haiku, senryu and haibun.

Hope everyone’s well!

cut up#2.2014

Here’s another cut-up, really enjoying them at the moment – it’s taken from snippets from two of my pieces, this time Saint Mark’s square and Vesuvius sleeping – I reworked this a little more than the last one, and added bits, it’s actually less a cut-up more of a mashing together perhaps!


the sky sang slowly down
to the ocean

and its notes floated
and never
stopped, never
came back

and when it sung to the shore
the flies would sneak into drinks

and though we never saw them
the dogs barked

back at it

with the bright snap
of teeth

and when the sunlight
melted down the stone walls

we found peace

cut up #1.2014

I’m a big fan of the ‘cut-up’ approach to poetry, it’s usually pretty damn fun and I think it allows for unexpected images and ideas to come to the fore – so this time I went with an unfinished draft of one of my own poems, but with the restriction that I take the first line from every stanza, instead of taking randomly.

I’ll probably try a few more of these over the year – probably much longer ones too.

Here’s the result:


two drunk kids
as streetlights
and cars
sneak into the dusk