Winter news

It’s finally chilly enough to cart a jacket around on hot busses all day in readiness to look cool in the evenings, so you’ll see a lot more of me out and about. There’s been so much great poetry on in Brisbane recently, with folks like Rae White, Ella Jeffery and Shastra Deo at Saturdays; Pascalle Burton and Mindy Gill at Riverbend Books; and, just last week, Bec Jessen and Jarad Bruinstroop (below) at Couplet:


I also loved hearing Claire Keegan talk hypnotically about short stories at Avid Reader — on “the elegance of knowing when you have enough”.

I have a poem out this month in Rabbit‘s new LGBTQIA+ issue, in extremely good company. This is a really worthwhile issue to have, with work by many of the poets mentioned above (Rae, Bec, Jarad), as well as Stuart BarnesPam BrownQuinn EadesToby FitchMitch Tomas Cave and Rory Green (my ol’ Toolkits pals), Angela Gardner, Jessica Wilkinson, and many more.

I also have a poem, “Civic Duty“, in Red Room Poetry‘s POEMS TO SHARE II. This educational resource features 40 poetic activity cards to spark imagination and creative writing. Inspired by original commissioned, student and educator poems from Poetry Object, this interactive resource is designed to enliven poetic learning through language, literature and literacy.

Coming up in worryingly few weeks (where did the year go?), my QUT postgrad poetry pals and I will be reading work responding to Gertrude Stein at QUT Art Museum’s Salon de Fleurus on 19 June, from 6.15pm. Salon de Fleurus is an artwork, a contemporary reconstruction of Gertrude Stein’s Parisian salon that existed at 27 rue de Fleurus from 1904–34.


It’s a month ago now, but I spent my birthday very pleased with myself at Taronga Zoo, and thence became a blushing fan of both Sydney’s Newtown and our president, Eileen Myles. Carriageworks was a sublime venue for a writers’ festival, made all the better by being visible from our AirBnB window. I also found out that Sydney green-thumbs grow some truly great pot plants, as below.

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Entries for the Newcastle Poetry Prize close soon, on 11 June, while all of Queensland Poetry Festival‘s poetry prizes are open until July.


melbpasstonguesWe — that is, Rob Morris, Kristin Hannaford and Belinda Jeffrey (tour coordinator extraordinaire) — set off on a poetry tour of Sydney, Melbourne and Launceston back at the end of September. The trip couldn’t have gone better, but here are my highlights:

  • Stumbling across a little red door that opened onto the Cafe Lounge, which led to a strange series of events in which I received a free bottle of champagne, which I enjoyed on the balcony of a mansion – trespassing, having climbed up and over the hotel roof – in Launceston with Nathan Curnow, Sarah Day and Ross Donlon, and later Kristin and Belinda.
  • Exploring Sydney with my buddy Clare, whom we in Brisvegas wish we could see more of.
  • Getting revved up at Passionate Tongues in Melbourne, and chilling out at the lovely Spinning Room the next night.
  • Visiting every vintage shop in Australia with Rob, who is a real groover. Losing Rob. Finding that every vintage shop attendant understood what I meant when I asked, “Have you seen a madly poetic sort of chap in a jacket?” (“Yes. He went next door.”)
  • Having a glorious afternoon in Melbourne’s laneways with my old friend Ange from high school, now a med student. Ange and I found (and I purchased) an utterly splendid walking cane (with elephant head), whom I named Oscar. And then we met a witch.
  • Accidently using Oscar to get into the short queue at the Dali exhibition at night (which was, in itself, spectacular).
  • Haemorhaging cash at Route 66.
  • Exploring the park and meeting the monkeys (one of whom I swear was eating chewing gum) in Launceston.
  • Meet all the lovely, lovely people at the Tasmanian Poetry Festival. Hanging out with Nathan, Ross, Sarah and Kevin Gillam. I learnt so much from them and from my tour mates.
  • Selling books! And improving my performance, I hope. I felt like I was.
  • Getting checked over for explosives on every single domestic flight. I must look like a firework, or something. Maybe it’s the hat.

You can read Belinda Jeffrey’s account of our tour here.