All Features Great and Small: Robbie Coburn Reviews ‘Between Giants’

Fantastic review of my latest collection between giants from Victorian poet Robbie Coburn. It’s always, always a thrill to read a great review!

Rochford Street Review

Between Giants by Ashley Capes, Ginninderra Press. 2012

betweengiantswebTo read Ashley Capes’ poetry is like standing on your veranda or in your lounge room, or anywhere for that matter, and simply finding the poetry that lies in the every day. In fact, Capes acknowledges this fact in stating he will ‘keep sucking poetry from small things” (‘a table set for thousands’), a statement that sets the tone for his latest offering Between Giants nicely.

This type of work is expertly balanced and a breath of fresh air amidst the countless collections of difficult and unnecessarily thesaurus-laden modern poetry. Capes has an impressive ability to reflect on the every day and make it so much more in his lines and sentiments, sourcing beauty and food for thought in even the most mundane of things, in a voice that feels genuine, assured and intelligent. As Jane Williams states on the back cover…

View original post 625 more words

Vesuvius Sleeping

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the pillow is a grill
and the band
down the street
sings to the ocean,
fishing boats
bobbing along

her voice powering through
notes
boxing gloves on

we turn over
and it gets hotter in the hotel
varnish on the shutters
snickering
and flies batting
their drowsy heads
against the glass

tomorrow we will need
to be awake
properly for Pompeii

to see the dogs
the deep wagon-ruts
the stone brothel
and somehow
come to realise just how brutal
a volcano can be

but her voice echoes on
and our air-conditioner
has been missing

since check in
and my head is Crying
the Lot of 49
a half-finished
copy sits beside
the semi-functional phone

and you aren’t sleeping either
but neither of us
can bear to admit it

and so instead of talking
we lie there
and wait
for the mountains
to swallow up the last
of the music

scrape its bowl clean
with thunder
and hints of rain.

(first published in between giants)

Between Giants Review

Really happy to share a wonderful review of between giants from blogger and writer Aderyn Wood – it was a great thrill to read this as I really enjoyed the analysis. It’s like a gift, to see your own work through someone else’s eyes – so thank you Aderyn!

Here’s a snippet:

Over recent weeks I have picked up the book and opened to a random page.  More often than not the poems have caused me to stop and think. They compel me to consider things I normally don’t ‘see’, or to simply appreciate a mood or a feeling. Shelley famously said that “poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.” For Between Giants the poetry is a mirror that prompts you to glean some meaning about the world, but I think every reader will see something different, and it’s not necessarily “beautiful”. Don’t get me wrong though, there is certainly beauty to appreciate in this work – particularly with the simplicity yet weight of meaning within the words.

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between giants – blog launch – day five

betweengiants(web)

Welcome to the last day of my blog launch!

It’s been five days of poetry, poetry, poetry and I’m grateful to everyone who visited, commented, contacted me or ordered the book, and I’m most definitely grateful to Graham, Jane, Robbie and Mark, along with Alec Patric and also Stephen Matthews from Ginninderra Press whose fantastic work is reflected in each detail of my latest book.

I’d also like to thank my wonderful wife, Brooke, for supporting me during the launch, the composition and editing of the poetry, and for every day we have together. Thank you.

Today I’ve got two pieces to share, hope you enjoy them – one is a mixture of the performance and ‘making of’ the poem ‘through the backyard’ and the other is an audio version of ‘Vesuvius sleeping.’

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pom

blog launch prizes, deals and offers

between giants is available for $18 (postage paid in Aus) by contacting me directly, just leave a comment below and I will e-mail you. You can also order through publisher Ginninderra, click here to purchase via Paypal. I’d love your support and it would be fantastic to have you visit again and let me know what you thought of the poetry.

During launch week you can also purchase my previous titles at reduced prices, along with a ‘book pack’ option including all four of my collections for $40 postage paid (in Aus).

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) - $15

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) – $15

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) - 2for$5

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) – 2for$5

pollen and the storm (2008) - $10

pollen and the storm (2008) – $10

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There is also a ‘Giveaway’ for those of you on Goodreads, which is free to enter, all you have to do is click here!

Poetry Critique Offer

For anyone interested in getting constructive criticism on their poetry, I’m also offering to look at up to five poems free of charge, if you leave a comment or e-mail me. (I have qualifications in Editing and an Honours Degree in Writing, along with four poetry collections and in addition to this I have been editing poetry journals/publications for the last ten years – most recently working as poetry editor for page seventeen since issue eight).

In the days to come there will be new performances and surprises from my ‘vault’ so stick around, there’s still more poetry to come in a big last day!

between giants – blog launch – day four

Next up is a double hit of audio, on the second last day of the blog launch, with ‘Stillness’ performed by Robbie Coburn and ‘St Mark’s Square’ read by Mark William Jackson.

Check them out below

Poet and performer Robbie’s first poetry collection, Human Batteries, both eloquent and experimental, was released just last year and features the fantastic ‘Love Poem,’ which you can check out here and then why not read up on what’s behind the chapbook in my interview with Robbie.

Mark is a Sydney poet whose work has appeared in leading journals and anthologies such as Going Down Swinging, Cordite and Best Australian Poems – he’s also a fantastic spoken word artist – check out these two – and gave me a real thrill when he took between giants all the way to Saint Mark’s Square in Venice while on holiday! Thanks to both Mark and Robbie, I definitely owe you both!

Reading Ashley Capes in Piazza San Marco, Venice

blog launch prizes, deals and offers

between giants is available for $18 (postage paid in Aus) by contacting me directly, just leave a comment below and I will e-mail you. You can also order through publisher Ginninderra, click here to purchase via Paypal. I’d love your support and it would be fantastic to have you visit again and let me know what you thought of the poetry.

During launch week you can also purchase my previous titles at reduced prices, along with a ‘book pack’ option including all four of my collections for $40 postage paid (in Aus).

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) - $15

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) – $15

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) - 2for$5

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) – 2for$5

pollen and the storm (2008) - $10

pollen and the storm (2008) – $10

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There is also a ‘Giveaway’ for those of you on Goodreads, which is free to enter, all you have to do is click here!

Poetry Critique Offer

For anyone interested in getting constructive criticism on their poetry, I’m also offering to look at up to five poems free of charge, if you leave a comment or e-mail me. (I have qualifications in Editing and an Honours Degree in Writing, along with four poetry collections and in addition to this I have been editing poetry journals/publications for the last ten years – most recently working as poetry editor for page seventeen since issue eight).

In the days to come there will be new performances and surprises from my ‘vault’ so stick around, there’s still more poetry to come in a big last day!

between giants – blog launch – day three

The next performance from between giants is of ‘Now in the Night,’ by Tasmanian poet Jane Williams.

Jane is the author of five poetry volumes and a short story collection, her latest being City of Possibilities, which is an exciting mix of verse and haibun, but here’s one of my favourite pieces from an earlier collection (The Last Tourist) – ‘How the heart works.’ I’m in Jane’s debt for her wonderful performance and I have no hesitation recommending her for when you’re next browsing for poetry.

blog launch prizes, deals and offers

between giants is available for $18 (postage paid in Aus) by contacting me directly, just leave a comment below and I will e-mail you. You can also order through publisher Ginninderra, click here to purchase via Paypal. I’d love your support and it would be fantastic to have you visit again and let me know what you thought of the poetry.

During launch week you can also purchase my previous titles at reduced prices, along with a ‘book pack’ option including all four of my collections for $40 postage paid (in Aus).

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) - $15

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) – $15

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) - 2for$5

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) – 2for$5

pollen and the storm (2008) - $10

pollen and the storm (2008) – $10

.

.

 

 

 

 

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There is also a ‘Giveaway’ for those of you on Goodreads, which is free to enter, all you have to do is click here!

Poetry Critique Offer

For anyone interested in getting constructive criticism on their poetry, I’m also offering to look at up to five poems free of charge, if you leave a comment or e-mail me. (I have qualifications in Editing and an Honours Degree in Writing, along with four poetry collections and in addition to this I have been editing poetry journals/publications for the last ten years – most recently working as poetry editor for page seventeen since issue eight).

In the days to come there will be performances from, Robbie Coburn, Mark William Jackson and myself, along with some surprises, so stick around, more poetry tomorrow!

between giants – blog launch – day two

To open the launch, I’m thrilled to have Graham Nunn reading ‘Man About Town’ from between giants for the first performance.

Click below to listen

Graham is the author of six books of poetry, including one of my absolute favourites, Ocean Hearted and his latest, the beautiful The First 30 and Other Poems which details the first thirty days with his newborn son. I’d like to thank Graham for his support and his wonderful reading here and urge you to support his work, if you’re a poetry fan you will not be disappointed.

blog launch prizes, deals and offers

between giants is available for $18 (postage paid in Aus) by contacting me directly, just leave a comment below and I will e-mail you. You can also order through publisher Ginninderra, click here to purchase via Paypal. I’d love your support and it would be fantastic to have you visit again and let me know what you thought of the poetry.

During launch week you can also purchase my previous titles at reduced prices, along with a ‘book pack’ option including all four of my collections for $40 postage paid (in Aus).

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) - $15

Stepping Over Seasons (2009) – $15

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) - 2for$5

Orion Tips the Saucepan (2010) – 2for$5

pollen and the storm (2008) - $10

pollen and the storm (2008) – $10

 

 

 

 

 

.

.

There is also a ‘Giveaway’ for those of you on Goodreads, which is free to enter, all you have to do is click here!

Poetry Critique Offer

For anyone interested in getting constructive criticism on their poetry, I’m also offering to look at up to five poems free of charge, if you leave a comment or e-mail me. (I have qualifications in Editing and an Honours Degree in Writing, along with four poetry collections and in addition to this I have been editing poetry journals/publications for the last ten years – most recently working as poetry editor for page seventeen since issue eight).

In the days to come there will be performances from Jane Williams, Robbie Coburn, Mark William Jackson and myself, so stick around, lots more poetry to come!

between giants – blog launch – day one

between giants is launched!

To help me celebrate, each day this week I’ll be posting performances of work from the collection by myself, Robbie Coburn, Mark William Jackson, Jane Williams and Graham Nunn, in addition to giveaways, competitions and offers – where you can win a copy of between giants over at Goodreads – or if you’re a poet looking for some feedback, a critique on your work (details tbc).

I’m also offering deals on my back catalogue and free postage on between giants (in Australia) along with a few surprises, including an interview by A S Patric, so stay tuned!

 betweengiants(web)

between giants is published by Ginninderra Press and is available through paypal here or by contacting me directly in the comments below for $18 (postage paid in Aus). Here’s a part of a mini review by Mark and a short poem from inside.

Mark William Jackson Ashley Capes has come through again with another brilliant collection. Moving on from “Stepping Over Seasons”, this time Capes takes inspiration from further ports and knits them seamlessly with domestic visions, melding Italian scenes with Australian ordinariness, but I mean “ordinary” in that Capes, as I’ve written before’ has a remarkable ability to draw poetic beauty out of seemingly “ordinary” moments and objects. For example, in “Archaeological Moment” Capes writes of a simple penny “a penny has come thousands of miles / to hibernate in the dirt // it’s not worth much / but neither is it worth nothing”.

And the poem Mark quotes from, archaeological moment as featured in Best Australian Poems 2012:

archaeological moment

a penny has come thousands of miles
to hibernate in the dirt

it’s not worth much
but neither is it worth nothing

once we clean it in a glass of coke
and the royal head has a nose again

we take it inside, though the first one
to tire of it reaches for the Sega

later on I don’t know which one of us
will take it to the front shed

where the Nissan lords it over dead flies
that gather in the window sill,

and hide the penny behind a landscape
mum and dad haven’t unpacked

years later when moving house
and neither one goes back for it

the penny can close its tiny eyes
to wait for a more archaeological moment.

Word of Mouth – a backlog

So! Confession time – the picture below represents two thirds of the reading I’ve had on my shelf since late 2011, when I actually purchased a lot of the titles within.

2013-04-10 12.57.52

It’s angered me. I hate being kept from reading, but a variety of things (not just my Honours studies in 2012 or my own writing this year) got in the way. And I shouldn’t have let them but here I am with an idea.

Word of mouth. It’s a powerful tool for writers and readers, and I think that I ought to try and use it more, obviously in a digital manner on the blog, but face to face too for that matter. So, starting after the blog launch for between giants (which is next week!) I’m going to do concise posts on what I’ve read and enjoyed, both as a symbolic step toward keep myself reading, and more importantly, to spread the word about some great poetry that’s out there – and there’s a lot.

Anyone else behind on their reading?

(And for a real challenge, can anyone identify any of the titles without spines showing?)

between giants – a blog launch! (april 15th – 19th)

Today I’m most happy to announce the launch of my latest poetry collection between giants, which will be hosted right here on the blog!

betweengiants(web)

Long overdue, this launch is going to be a bit of a party (hence my fantastic hat below) with giveaways, poetry deals, interviews and performances from myself and other poets, to give you a chance to get a closer look at the new collection.

bloglaunch

Everything kicks off on April 15th, hope you enjoy it!