Patreon Launch!

Hi everyone!

This week I’m launching a Patreon page – for folks who’re not familiar with Patreon, here’s a link a short vid explaining it, but in even shorter form: it’s a way for fans to ensure creators can make more stuff!

I’ve launched my page in order to expand my miniature publishing empire by creating audio books and graphic novels, in addition to more great fiction & poetry in ebook and print formats during 2018. I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to get started!

If you pledge you’ll get early access to new releases, along with exclusive updates, previews, images, videos, fiction and Patreon-only giveaways too 🙂

So far I’ve shared a super-early cover reveal for Never #6 and will be sharing some more from The Last Sea God and a Q&A video soon too.

Check it out right here 🙂

2006 : 2016 (a ‘least worst of’)

The ego of it, right?

Of course there’s got to be at least some involved any time I post, since the very act of sharing my stuff implies that I think it doesn’t suck.

Well, with that in mind, I’ve recently released 2006 : 2016.

In this collection, I’ve tried to cobble together 116 or so pages of poetry that I can still look at without chuckling at myself (or worse :D).

There’s also a few pieces in here that might have been previously published individually but which never made it into a collection, something small for longtime readers — otherwise you’ll find a range of free verse, haiku, haibun and senryu spanning the collections pollen and the storm right up to VI.

* * *

When I started sifting through notebooks, old files and the individual collections themselves, I thought I was taking a final step in book-ending my time as a poet. My fiction was selling and I was finding it harder to commit time to poetry, since I had a couple of ongoing series-length fiction works to keep me busy and which readers seemed keen for.

But the more I looked through my old stuff, even the rubbish, the more I missed poetry.

It wasn’t like returning to an old ‘mistress’ or any of those sorts of cliches, it was more like the cliche of returning to a neglected part of me.

Despite the frustration I’d always feel whenever I struggled with a poem, the way I always fought myself over ‘using language poetically’ while still keeping hold of the idea that poetry was ‘an act of communication that actually needed readers’, I was excited to return to poetry because that struggle was also fun. (I was so excited that I did two things, I started writing poetry again and I sought out two poets from Oz whose work I loved and offered to publish their collections, but more on that in another post!).

Now, writing poetry might seem like a rather unspectacular thing for a poet to do. Utterly regular, really.

But it wasn’t regular for me at the start of 2017, and hadn’t been for a long time. I remember looking at my bio on my website one day and asking myself, am I still a poet if I don’t even write poetry anymore? (‘Ex-poet’ doesn’t look as snappy, huh?).

The act of writing poetry had become ‘irregular’ because I’d stopped writing poetry a couple of years ago. I mean, I still tried here and there, but I went from writing anywhere from 2–5 poems most nights to 20 aborted pieces a month, and then to about 5 finished pieces for an entire year.

And I know why, but it took me a long time to figure it out.

Part of it was the fiction — that was taking off in late 2014 and it was fun, I was giving it a proper shot. But the other part of my poetry-drought came from a crash in confidence; I’d totally lost it when it came to verse.

A few years ago, one of my mentors let me down (and the poetry community here in Australia, and overseas too) in a pretty significant way and I hadn’t realised until this year, while putting together 2006 : 2016, just how deeply his mistakes had impacted me.

I’d tied too much of my self-belief to his support.

Once the depth of his plagiarism became clear, aside from the disillusionment I felt, I realised that if he thought I was good and yet he turned out to be dishonest, how could I trust his opinion of my work?

And so I slowly stopped, just kinda gave up on poetry. Stopped writing, stopped sending it in to comps and mags, stopped reading it, stopped looking for it.

And like I said above, I now see it was stupid of me to tie my confidence up that way. I should have been stronger.

But thankfully, putting this ‘least worst of’ together reminded me that I had improved over the years. When I looked at stuff from 2006 and compared it my most recent work, I saw the change. And it reminded me that once upon a time, I’d push through all kinds of flat spots, all kinds of rejections, and just keep writing. My stubbornness would fuel me; I wanted to get better and for a while I think I did get better each year.

Back in Feb, I collected all the poetry I could find and announced what would “probably be my last poetry collection” rather dramatically, I guess. It seemed the right choice at the time, since my heart wasn’t in poetry anymore— not wholly — but now it strikes me as almost childish. And I’ve since realised that poetry really is Hotel California (and that’s okay too).

Now, I’m happy to say that I’m ready to push myself once more in 2018 and there’s gonna be fiction and poetry this time 🙂

‘Magpie Tales’ by SB Wright + ‘The Frequency of God’ by Mark William Jackson

Close-Up Books is very proud to announce the release of two new poetry collections by Australian Poets Mark William Jackson and SB Wright 🙂

Working with both Sean and Mark has been really rewarding for us; to get so close to the works within has been pretty exciting and so we’re thrilled to release two great collections into the world today!  It’s been a busy few months for everyone in the lead up to publication and we’d like to thank both Mark and Sean for working so hard.

Please visit the Close-Up Books website to read and hear sample poems from both collections and see what we’ve enjoyed so much about The Frequency of God and Magpie Tales!

Ashley & Brooke




In Magpie Tales Australian poet SB Wright reveals a keen eye for capturing both people and places, his deft imagery transports the reader effortlessly from rural Australia and beyond. The pieces within explore a changing inner landscape too, where the contested terrain of small town identities and national issues are played out in clear, lyrical verse.

Sample the collection here




In The Frequency of God, Australian poet Mark William Jackson is by turns reflective and rallying, as he explores closeness and distance, love and change, and perfectly articulates the hostile coopting of social space by technology.

Sample the collection here









New Poetry Releases + Exciting News

Hi everyone, sharing some poetry news today!

First up: the previously announced reissue of my 2009 collection Stepping Over Seasons, which has been expanded, is finally available as both print and ebook.

Second, I’ve also compiled a ‘least worst of’ (2006:2016) which draws from all my collections and hopefully presents some highlights along with stuff that I was keen to include. While (at the moment) 2006:2016  is only available as a print edition, both it and the new SOS feature previously uncollected/unpublished work too (SOS also includes a short author’s note on the selection process etc).

(SOS cover by Vivid Covers)


Both books are available at most retailers, like Amazon    B&N    Fishpond    Angus & Robertson Bookworld    Book Depository etc if you wanted to check them out 🙂


AND now onto the big news! Close-Up Books will soon be publishing two new poetry collections 🙂

We’re very proud to be releasing Magpie Tales by SB Wright and The Frequency of God by Mark William Jackson! Both collections are due to launch officially this Thursday (but you might be able to find some retailers selling it early) so stay tuned for more info, including samples and purchase links 🙂






The Yellow Butterfly & Other Stories – Out Now!

Long time no post here, but I’m back today to share a new release 🙂

The Yellow Butterfly & Other Stories is a collection of short fiction that brings together some of my previously published and unpublished stories from the last 5 years or so. Here’s the blurb:


Leap into worlds like and unlike our own

A creepy restaurant stalks its customers, steampunk slaves find a new home in the Australian desert, storybook characters come alive to make deals with the Roman God of Sleep and in the future, a synthetic society suffers dark consequences of endless augmentation… all these stories and more lurk within.

A collection of short fiction featuring steampunk, cyberpunk, fantasy and even a little horror!


It’s currently available across a wide range of retailers as an ebook for $2.99 and as a paperback for around $15-$20 or you can enter a Goodreads Giveaway for a chance to win a print copy right here 🙂


vi – preview


Here’s a little sample of the poetry to be featured in IV 🙂

Looking back, I realise that it’s been at least four years since my last poetry collection featuring new work (between giants, 2012) was released and so around Feb 1st 2017 there will finally be more poetry available!  (I also hope to announce another haiku collection with Ginninderra Press in the near future too).





if you’re somewhere beyond
that keyhole
Alice-like maybe
or sleeping so soundly that
the thunder of
my chest collapsing
does not stir you
and if your pin-cushion veins
are the first things to
I want to see it
beyond the rustle of bed sheets
and quiet green bleeps
of equipment
so empty of love that they
have never been sad,
which isn’t to say you haven’t made me
happy – Christ no
it means only that their electricity
cannot grow lonely
and that it is never going to be a match for your lungs

and if you don’t wake
for many hours yet
I’ll be listening from the kitchen,
my hands like dull spiders
on the cutlery and pots and dials
and I’ll be listening
for the moment you stir
so I can smile as you wake
try to be strong
as you have been strong
for me
stronger than the pain
like a wretched ghost, wrings out
its song in the whisper
of your bones,
but a ghost you will nevertheless tear into a million shreds
and then release,
each one now thin enough
for the clouds to swallow.





up the back
and not quite hidden by the menu
his voice is an idling engine
until he orders again, broken crockery for lips
as he grinds words out
for the girl at the counter
who’s waiting for a tip
with miniature scarecrows for her hair
and an expressionless distaste
that rattles mugs, catches in the fan
then falls across us
with the feathery touch of a sigh.




boat or cloud

the road slithers into hills
lined with awful
plastic and paper breadcrumbs
before flinging the car
up against the ocean view,
a line of silver and blue
unbroken by any boat
or cloud

houses have been
deposited on the cliffs
like white pieces
on a mountain-range-chessboard,
each move taking years
and years to complete

on the other side is Amalfi
stuffed full of buses
and sipping at the water,
lemon cream and refrains
from the Tarantella,
the bubbles in its cafes
racing one another
up the glass.





the clothesline
in a dry wind

and the echo of our voices
down from the river
to where I stand
in yellow grass
eyes fixed
on a horizon swollen with blue

the river
where we’d swim
through the black gold of the water
gnashing teeth
and water dragons
as we give chase

how sharp the bite
of the sun
who we would
more or less
worship for the entire season
no sand too hot
no bike seat too hard
no hole too far
and nothing
even close
to lasting long enough



Poetry & Place Anthology – Official Release & Launch Week

Poetry and Place Anthology 2015 400x625

It gives us great pleasure to announce the official release of the 2015 Poetry & Place Anthology!

Print and eBook editions are now available through major online retailers and can also be ordered through bookstores. Below, you’ll find a range of purchase links and we hope you’ll be able to support us and the poets within – even sharing this post helps spread the word about the anthology.

Unlike our previous journals, Egg[Poetry] and holland1945, this anthology was always going to be a longer project, both in terms of page count and terms of release schedule. But we believe the collection is stronger for the extra care and time spent.

We’re pleased to say that over the last year and a bit, we and the anthology have survived poor health, local postage price-hikes and distribution delays among all the other minor hiccups any journal faces and we’re beaming on the other side.

Stay tuned to our blogs for launch week, spanning Monday the 2nd – Friday the 6th of May, where we’ll be featuring spoken word recordings from the poets themselves for each of the five days!

Thanks again to everyone who helped us from start to finish! ‘Place’ is such an evocative theme; one that thrills us still and one we hope will enthrall you too when you read the poems we were lucky enough to be sent.

Ashley Capes & Brooke Linford
April 2016

Purchase Links:

Amazon AU: eBook
Amazon US: Print and eBook
Amazon UK: Print and eBook

Barnes & Noble: Print
Fishpond AU: Print
Angus and Robertson Bookworld AU: Print


Edited by Ashley Capes and Brooke Linford, the anthology contains poetry by the following poets:

James Croteau ~ Alan Summers ~ Marisa Fazio ~ Judit Hollos ~ Barbara A Meier ~ Ivy Alvarez ~ Lorin Ford ~ Brenda Saunders ~ Caitlin Thomson ~ Duncan Richardson ~ Elliot Nicely ~ Sandra Simpson ~ Mark Miller ~ Fiona McIIroy ~ Carolyn Gerrish ~ Guy Traiber ~ Frank Russo ~ Irene Wilkie ~ Jacqueline Buswell ~ Colleen Z Burke ~ Sarah Rice ~ Jeff Schiff ~ jenni nixon ~ Jenny Blackford ~ Jill Jones ~ John Stokes ~ Marilynne Thomas Walton ~ Julie Storer ~ Karen Andrews ~ Vanessa Proctor ~ Kevin Gillam ~ Les Wicks ~ Mran-Maree Laing ~ Nikki Carr ~ Jan Napier ~ Rasma Haidri ~ Joyce Joslin Lorenson ~ S.E. Street ~ S. G. Larner ~ SuzAnne C. Cole ~ Tina Schumann ~ J. Todd Hawkins ~ Traudl Tan ~ Valentina Cano ~ Mark William Jackson ~ Faith de Savigné ~ Stu Hatton ~ Chris Lynch ~ Jill McKeowen ~ Stuart Barnes ~ Billy Antonio ~ Jane Downing ~ Nathanael O’Reilly ~ Ben Walter ~ Frances Olive ~ Benjamin Dodds ~ Diana Jamieson ~ Andrew Phillips ~ SB Wright ~ Ron C. Moss ~ A. S. Patric ~ Michele Seminara ~ Jonathan Hadwen ~ Joyce Parkes ~ Anne Elvey ~ Brad Frederiksen ~ Amelia Walker ~ Koraly Dimitriadis ~ Jerome Gagnon ~ Emma Rose Smith ~ Margaret Bradstock ~ Christine Burrows ~ Karen Murphy ~ Monica Carroll ~ Janis Butler Holm ~ Frances Donovan ~ Margaret Owen Ruckert ~ Wes Lee ~ Nina Longfield ~ John Upton ~ Veronica Lake ~ Gabrielle Rowe ~ Robyn Sykes ~ Alison Miller ~ Katarina Boudreaux ~ Alice Allan ~ Nicola Scholes ~ Penny Gibson ~ Jane Williams ~ Simon Hanson