Friday, June 24, 2011

Call for Submissions

The snows have come and the trees are stripped bare, and as always with the dramatic change of season, I am in the mood for poetry. So I am putting the call out for submissions of no more than three poems or short prose pieces. Check the submissions guidelines in the right toolbar for the complete lowdown.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

40 Days of Poetry

Visit any of the City of Sydney Libraries during August and September to find your poetic voice during the 40 Days of Poetry.
Clubs and Socs Website

Find your poetic voice in the library

When: August 1st to September 9th

What: Each day, a poem and a writing exercise from our Poems to Share box set will be featured in each City of Sydney library branch. Library-goers are encouraged to respond to the exercise, and submit a poem to the Poetry Mailbox in the library, or via email. The best poems will be featured on the Stacks website, as well as having the opportunity to be published in the Sun-Herald.

This event is part of the Stacks project, which culminates in a screening of 'The Analogue Crusader', an animation about the sweet but sad life of a man who made his living selling poems.

Who: Participating libraries are: Ultimo, Customs House, Surry Hills, Waterloo, Glebe, Kings Cross, Newtown, Paddington and Haymarket
All library visitors and staff are welcome to submit their poems.
Red Room Company Website
The Red Room Company publishes new poetry by Australian writers, in unusual ways.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alison and Leopold

To some it is a literary masterpiece, cluttered and idiosyncratic as the city it chronicles. To others it is the world’s longest obituary, but whatever your view, one thing is clear, and that is that 107 years after poor Paddy Dignam was finally laid to rest, James Joyce’s Ulysses remains the only book in the Anglo sphere (apart from the Bible) to have its own day.

He is gone from mortal haunts: O’Dignam, sun of our morning. Fleet was his foot on the bracken: Patrick of the beamy brow. Wail, Banba, with your wind: and wail, o ocean, with your whirlwind.

So settles the cloud of tobacco, stout and grief between Bob Doran and Alf as they spy Leopold Bloom hovering outside the chemist shop on an errand for his wife, Marion of the bountiful bosoms. Bloom, the eternal outsider, child of Abraham in an Apostolic nation, and bookish to boot.

I declare to my antimacassar if you took up a straw from the bloody floor and if you said to Bloom: Look at, Bloom. Do you see that straw? That’s a straw. Declare to my aunt he’d talk about it for an hour so he would and talk steady.

As any of my legion of drinking buddies both past and present would blearily attest, I identify strongly with Leopold Bloom.

But there is another reason Bloomsday sounds a particular note for me each June. For it was on the evening of June 16, 1996 that my good friend and drinking buddy, Alison Gooch, was run down and killed by a drunk driver on the sweeping bend of King street just south of Newtown bridge. Fifteen years and I can still hear her laugh.

Vale “Bootsie”, and your lovely mother, Robin, who passed away last year.