Tag Archives: Stylus Poetry Journal

Stylus Poetry Journal #37 – Reviews

The feedback from Stylus Poetry Journal #37 – Street/Life has been nothing short of glowing… I know that I have been dipping back into the collection with great regularity to enjoy the wisdom each poet has conjured.

And now, to complete the issue, here are the reviews that were to be published alongside the Street/Life Poems.

The Best Australian Poems – reviewed by Toby Davidson
The Bee Hut – Reviewed by Jill Jones 
Drawing God and Other Pastimes – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Eucalypt #7 – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Killing the Black Dog – reviewed by Martin Duwell 
Moonbathing – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Peace – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Song of an Old Cherry Tree – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Walking Into Autumn – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Wild Camomile – reviewed by Patricia Prime 
Wind Over Water – reviewed by Patricia Prime

Again, I am sure you will find there is much to keep you coming back…

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Stylus Poetry Journal #37 – Street/Life

A while back I was asked to edit issue #37 of Stylus Poetry Journal: Street/Life. This was an exciting prospect… the opportunity to assemble an issue of poetry that breathed life into the streets was irresistable. Since that time, Stylus has experienced some serious server issues, and is currently under repair. But to keep things moving, founding Stylus editor, Rosanna Licari and I have teamed up to bring you the Street/Life issue, via Another Lost Shark. The issue features twelve poets, each of them pulling us deeper into the streets & alleyways, highways and malls, that run like veins through our cities and towns. It has been a joy to work on and I hope that you find as much wisdom in these words as I did. But that’s enough from me… head on over to the Street/Life Issue and get up close and personal with this magnificent dozen:


Amanda Joy
Andy Jackson
Ashley Capes
Emily XYZ
Hinemoana Baker
Jacqueline Turner
Jeremy Balius
Jessika Tong
Matt Rader
Max Ryan
Steve Kilbey
Suzanne Jones

* Reviews and other articles will be uploaded soon.


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Another Lost Shark hits the street

I was recently handed the editorial reigns for issue #37 of Stylus Poetry Journal. This morning, I put the finishing touches on it and handed it over to founding editor, Rosanna Licari. The issue will be titled Street/Life and it is brimming with images of equal parts beauty and decay. It features 21 poems from 12 streetwise poets: Emily XYZ, Matt Rader, Hinemoana Baker, Steve Kilbey, Jacqueline Turner, Ashley Capes, Suzanne Jones, Jeremy Balius, Amanda Joy, Andy Jackson, Jessika Tong & Max Ryan.

It will be live online as of April 1 and I ain’t fooling when I say this issue is going to whack your senses and make you want to rush out into the babble of your own streets.

Here’s a poem from one of the Street/Life poets, Amanda Joy to transport you from your computer screen into the caffeine starved streets of morning.


               Cappucino Strip

                    In all seasons,
                    coffee crowd,
                    know each other
                    by face, to nod, 
                    to complain
                    about the stink
                    of sheep piss
                    from the trucks,
                    to point 
                    at the sky & predict
                    the weather

                    each disappears
                    from the street
                    like an actress
                    into a role


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Riverbend Books Feature Poet #3 – Pam Schindler

Pam Schindler is a Brisbane poet who has also lived in Hobart.  In the past few years, her work has appeared in various magazines, including Blue Dog, Island, and Meanjin.  In 2009, she began to present her work in readings.  She is also a bushwalker and a university reference librarian, and is working on a first book of poems.



Striped Marsh Frogs
            by Pam Schindler

the first stars
after so much rain
and the frogs are going off like popcorn

each note
a fingernail flicked on a paper drum
they tap the patter
of rain arriving

my garden’s energetic
invisible typists –
if I come close
they know me for a sort of wading bird
and fall silent

then cautiously begin
again their transcription,
their morse-coded words,
tapping the glad rambling
letters of the rain


More of Pam’s work can be found online at:

“In Paperbark Country” in foam:e http://bit.ly/braXSp


“Brisbane Nightfall” in Stylus: http://bit.ly/ba8L41 


Poetry on the Riverbend Books deck

Queensland Poetry Festival, QLD Writers Centre & Riverbend Books are proud to present the first Poetry on the Deck event for 2010. Join us on the Riverbend deck as we showcase an exciting mix of local poets to kick start the year. Our first event will feature the seductive and award winning words of Bronwyn Lea (The Other Way Out, Giramondo Press) reading along side debut author, Jonathan Hadwen (Night Swim, Brisbane New Voices vol. 1), Pam Schindler and recent finalist in the QLD Poetry Slam, Betsy Turcot. And as the event falls on the 189th anniversary of John Keats’ death, there will also be a special reading of some of his best known works.

Date: Tuesday 23 February
Location: Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St. Bulimba
Time: Doors open for the event at 6pm for a 6:30pm start
Tickets: $10 available through Riverbend Books and include sushi and complimentary wine. To purchase tickets, call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2237

These events are always hugely popular, so book early to avoid disappointment!


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Brisbane Writers Festival in review + A Taste of Salt

After a big night of poetry on Friday night, this Lost Shark hit the road to get a taste of salt… but before I get to that, a little BWF roundup.

Friday evening’s Small Change Press reading was a lot of fun. It was especially wonderful to hear the words of Julie Beveridge, who has been absent from the mic for a while, due to her QPF commitments. The poems from Home is Where the Heartache is cut clean and deep, pulling back the fat from those moments in life that we often keep hidden. Take Last Cigarette for example:

‘Can I have a cigarette?’ he asks

That once familiar voice, now alien. I take out a cigarette, but don’t light it. In thirty seconds he will forget. I pull the blanket up over his chest. Finger the rim on the hole in his larynx. I want to wear him like a ring. As he falls into sleep his breath grunts and rattles.

thin red line
I light
his last cigarette

It still hurts as good as it did when I first read it two years ago. Check out this review of Heartache on Stylus Poetry Journal.

Next up Sheish Money and I blew out the cobwebs that had gathered during the week with a short set. I have to say, that I am absolutely buzzing about the launch this Thursday, September 17 at the Judith Wright Centre. Sheish and I are really hitting our straps at the moment, and we are both looking forward to sending The Stillest Hour out into orbit and putting the finishing touches on what has been an amazing series of gigs lately. The launch details are on the blog here so come along and help celebrate!

Nathan Shepherdson then read from What Marian Drew Never Told Me About Light. This long poem will never cease to blow me away. With each reading the microscope that Shepherdson so deftly wields, shifts focus and reveals new details:

pick a number between
one and ten
that is how many times
you have died today


And to round off the evening, Afeif Ismail Abdelrazig was in town, so together we performed his poem, Book of Screams, Afeif in the original Arabic and me in English.

If you see, while your eyes are closed;
the image of a baby suckling at the breast of his
dead mother;
               then know
               that this miserable child

This poem is profoundly haunting.

Then I dashed over to the Red Chamber of Parliament House to catch Bronwyn Lea, Rosanna Licari, Hinemoana Baker, John Bennett, William Barton and Delmae Barton.

And after hearing Hinemoana’s set, I am even more excited to be sharing the stage with her on Thursday and helping to farewell her in style as she launches her CD, gondwanavista.


So with Brisbane turning out perfect Spring days at the moment, Julie and I loaded Hinemoana into the car on Saturday morning and hit the road for Coolangatta, as with her residency coming to a close next week, we felt she (and we) needed to feel the pull of the Pacific, to get a taste of salt.

The sky was spotless, the tide high, the temperature cool enough to bring the skin to goosebumps and then loosen. We checked out Kirra, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Point Danger & the Tweed.

                                                           still river
                                                           the current releases
                                                           a mullet

I had forgotten just how much I need the water, how it levels me out, brings everything back into focus. We drove home, smiling and sleepy-eyed. Yep, this Lost Shark is definitely Ocean Hearted.


So today, I am heading back to BWF to catch Hinemoana Baker in conversation with Kate Eltham and the final event of the festival, a poetry reading in State Library of QLD’s Red Box featuring Nathan Shepherdson, Bronwyn Lea, Emily Ballou, Felicity Plunkett and Lionel Fogarty.

A great way to wind up BWF, so if you are looking for something to do this afternoon… get along and add some poetry to your Sunday afternoon.


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QPF Spotlight #16 – Ten QPF Poets

Just four more sleeps and I will be in poetry heaven… yes QPF 2009 is just around the corner. There are still some tickets left for Friday night’s, ‘A Tangle of Possibilities’ concert so make sure you get your seat booked asap. You can do that online here, or call The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts Box Office on (07) 3872 9000 between 12pm and 4pm.

And to help fill your next few days with poetry, I have put together a sampler from ten of the poets featuring at QPF this weekend. Hope this gets your poetry gland salivating.

See you at the festival!


The Violence of Work by Geoff Goodfellow

Ruminations, Allegro & The Swoop by Geoff Page

These are Wobbly Days by Anna Krien

Cheap Red Wine & Why I Write? by Bronwyn Lea

38 ways to stain a memory by Nathan Shepherdson

Death and the Maiden by Jeffrey Harpeng

And this is just the morning, glass to sea-junk: a sacrifice & How do you do, Tuatara? by Zenobia Frost

Getting off the Round-About by Janice Bostok

Of a Place by Elizabeth Bachinsky

One by Hinemoana Baker


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Jumping the Poetic Hurdle (part 7): an interview with Rosanna Licari, editor Stylus Poetry Journal

In late December/early January I interviewed a number of people involved in the print publication of poetry, including Lyn Reeves (Pardalote Press), John Knight (Post Pressed), Tiggy Johnson (page seventeen) and Ralph Wessman (Famous Reporter) to discuss the state of poetry publication and distribution in Australia. This time round, I plan to talk with a number of people publishing exclusively online to get their response.

First up I spoke with Rosanna Licari, founding editor of Stylus Poetry Journal.


Why is it that poetry, an art that arguably best reflects the speed at which we absorb ideas, information and imagery, is being neglected by corporate publishing houses and distributors throughout Australia?

Publishing is an expenisve and specialised business that employs many people who have different roles, and there are huge costs associated with marketing and distribution. The big publishing houses say the market for poetry is relatively small. Put simply, poetry doesn’t make money whereas novels and cook books do.

Perhaps more formal poetry may be considered too high brow or inaccessible for mainstream readers and other forms, such as bush poetry, less worthy or even vulgar. In fact, an IT person, who shall remain nameless, said to me recently that poetry died 150 years ago!


As publisher and editor of Stylus Poetry Journal, you have embraced technology and publish exclusively online. Initially, what influenced your decision to publish the journal online and not in the more traditional print/hard copy format?

I initially began Stylus in order to offer an opportunity for emerging poets to publish poetry. It seemed near impossible to get into the big magazines (such as Heat, Quadrant, Hecate, Island, Meanjin, Southerly, Westerly and Overland) – so many fish, such a small pond. There are many talented and well-respected poets out there.


What role do you see online publications such as Stylus, playing in the future of poetry publication and distribution?

Publishing poetry online offers other benefits in that it solves the problem of distribution and there is more exposure for the poet on the Web.You can quickly see what other writers are producing creatively. The Web is a wonderful resource.

Furthermore, it is considerably cheaper to publish online compared to costs associated with print publishing. Editing is also easier. If there has been a mistake made e.g. a typo, it’s easily fixed. This cannot happen with print publishing.

Online poetry publications are being taken more seriously now. There has been resistance in the past perhaps because print publishing has been with us for quite a while and the new medium has been considered with suspicion. Let’s face it, anybody can put anything on the Web, so quality and credibility are issues.

It was the librarians who took the bull by the horns. The National Library of Australia (NLA) initially established PANDORA (Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia) in 1996. PANDORA, Australia ’s Web Archive www.pandora.nla.gov.au archives Australian online publications and web sites it considers significant and which has long-term research value. Stylus is included in this selective archive as well as other poetry ezines and this can only promote Australian poets and poetry. Presently a collaboration of ten partners contribute to PANDORA, Australia ‘s Web Archive and each institution has its own selection criteria.

Australian universities were also interested in databases that would service their teaching and research communities. During the eighties’ several universities had developed specialist literature databases and in 1999, they decided to pool these resources into a single web-based information service. AustLit is a collaboration between Australian universities, the National Library of Australia (NLA) and the Australian Research Council (ARC). Citations and information on library holdings make up the bulk of AustLit records, but a range of selected full text of both creative and critical works is available via AustLit from a variety of sources, these being PANDORA, SETIS, the Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service at the University of Sydney, and finally, links to internet publications.

On a smaller scale, but in no way invaluable for poetry publication, was a breakthrough which occurred when UQP’s The Best Australian Poetry series, a prestigious annual print anthology, began to source online poetry from selected journals and these were published in The Best Australian Poetry 2007. Stylus was one of the online journals sourced, whereas before that only Australian print journals and newspapers were considered. (The series editors are Martin Duwell and Bronwyn Lea.)
The Best Australian Poetry 2007 was edited by John Tranter who is a true and early believer of the powers of the World Wide Web. In 1997 he founded the well-respected ezine, Jacket, and most poets I know would just salivate at the thought of being published in Jacket.

As well, Peter Rose, editor of Black Inc.’s The Best Australian Poems series which is another prestigious annual print anthology, considered poetry published online for The Best Australian Poems 2008.

John Tranter has been instrumental in pushing to get Australian poetry online. He was one of the parties reponsible for the APRIL (Australian Poetry Resources Internet Library) project. The aim of the project is to build a permanent library of resources on the Internet with the focus on Australian Poetry and so increasing circulation, reading and understanding of Australian poetry nationally and internationally. In fact, Tranter started in 2004 with a prototype website. Ulitmately, the APRIL project also wants to provide print-on-demand poetry books or collections of texts or anthologies. For more information readers can go to <http://april.edu.au/2home/home.shtml>

An area of online poetry which is still marginalised in some circles is New Media poetry which is the avant-garde of online poetry. A couple of New Media poets who have been on the radar for a while are Jayne Fenton-Keane in collaboration with David Keane, and Komninos Zervos. New web software is offering more opportunities to explore and experiment with poetry but in terms of Stylus pursuing this would involve a major overhaul and financial outlay so it is not something I am considering in the near future.


What is on the horizon for Stylus?

Stylus will continue to be produced quarterly. Last year I decided to publish haiku and its related forms only twice a year, that is, in January and July, after the haiku editor, Janice Bostok, decided to pursue her own projects. Duncan Richardson is currently in that role and Pat Prime is still Reviews editor.

What readers will see is more guest editors for the contemporary poetry section so that a variety of perspectives and styles can be viewed. It’s hoped this will happen once or twice a year.

The current issue of Stylus was guest-edited by Roland Leach, a fine Western Australian poet and the publisher of Sunline Press. Last year, QLD poet and translator, Simon Patton guest-edited an issue of contemporary Chinese poets (in translation), while another QLD poet, Jena Woodhouse guest-edited an issue of Australian women poets. The July 2009 issue will also be a special issue. But I’m going to keep that a surprise!


Check out the latest issue of Stylus Poetry Journal at www.styluspoetryjournal.com


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