Featured Post

Robbie Coburn is producing an awesome archive of poetry by Australian writers and he recently featured my work on his site!

Have a look here – there’s a range of pieces including a couple of new poems too.

The archive is always expanding and always worth a look – check out The Frequency of God from Mark William Jackson and Ivy Alvarez‘s The Farmer’s Wife or Glasshouses from Stuart Barnes to name but a few!

Thanks, Robbie 🙂

The Next Big Thing

Poet Ivy Alvarez, whose most recent book is Mortal, invited me to participate in this self-interview blog meme called The Next Big Thing, where I get to share a little more about my next big thing – between giants.

Writers participating get to answer 8-10 questions (about their book/blog/their writing), and then tag 5 other writer friends to post their own “next big thing” the following Wednesday. Ivy’s instructions were for me to post by or before Wednesday, 19 December.

I’ve maintained the re-arranged order of the questions as they appear here on Ivy’s post.Thanks again to Ivy for calling me up, and stay tuned for a list of poet’s I’ve invited!

What is the title of your book?

between giants – which actually comes from the title of a poem that didn’t end up making it into the collection!

What genre does your book fall under?

poetry, free verse

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’ll have to use a quote from Graham Nunn for this one: Capes walks a breathtaking tightrope between geographical locations and everyday miracles.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was working on collecting poetry I’d written over the last couple of years and found myself writing and including more on the idea of travel, more about a trip to Italy my wife and I took in 2011. While the whole collection isn’t focused on travel, there are a fair few that are based on experiences we had in cities like Florence and Rome.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

If I looked at the oldest poem in the collection, which might be windstorm it was written around late 2008, though the vast majority of poems were written in the last couple of years and the MS underwent a lot of drafts before I had a group of poems I was happy with.

To actually compile the group that I then worked on in terms of copy-editing, was probably a good six months.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Definitely my wife inspired me, she always does. And certainly the natural world was an inspiration, along with the idea of home and travel – specifically our trip to Italy.

It features throughout the collection – parts of Venice, the Amalfi Coast, Rome and Florence all make an appearance and in addition to the buildings and the food, the people and the landscapes, there’s also a conflicted view of tourists in the book – so the tensions between touring and seeing vs wanting to be respectful are also an inspiration.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

between giants is available right now through Ginninderra Press and was first published in December 2012.

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?

Incredibly difficult question – I hope something of William Carlos Williams comes through in my attempts to use natural language rhythms but otherwise I’m stumped!

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d love to have James Earl Jones narrate something like stillness from the collection, and Clint Eastwood would have to play himself in stubble. If I could arrange for Christopher Walken to act out a short based on stamped flat stamped that would be cool. And if anything in the collection comes remotely close to being amusing, I’d have Jennifer Coolidge play in it because she’s hilarious.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

People who enjoy haiku might see its influence on between giants and so if you like brevity and a strong sense of the visual, there ought to be enough of that in the pages to satisfy.

[Coming Soon – Two More Responses from great poets]

Graham Nunn on I, Land

Andrew Phillips on That Zero Year

Jane Williams on Days like these

The Next Big Thing & Ivy Alvarez

Ivy Alvarez was kind enough to tap me on the shoulder for a series of blog posts The Next Big Thing whereby a writer self interviews on a current work. I’m going to be asking myself about ‘between giants’ but in the meantime, here’s a link to Ivy’s responses about her forthcoming book: Disturbance.

My responses are coming soon, after which I’ll invite 5 other poets to participate on their own blogs.

page seventeen – issue 8 is out!

A big list of great pieces lurks beneath the leaves of this issue, much bigger than the one I’ve lazily copied from the web but nonetheless, inside you’ll find work by

Graham Nunn, Ivy Alvarez, David Prater, Amelia Walker, Matt Hetherington, Jane Williams, Graham Rowlands, Mark William Jackson, A. S Patric and Anna Ryan-Punch to name but a few.

It’s especially satisfying to receive this issue because, as I’ve mentioned, selecting the poetry for it was a blast, and seeing it all together is great. But better is the surprises, with the stories and competition entries, which I had yet to read, being revealed at last.

Enjoying having a good read.

Thanks again to Tiggy and to everyone who submitted!

Going Down Swinging No.29

Very simply, you should get this one.

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But glib statements aside, this is a fantastic issue. Right down to the beautiful print job – holding GDS #29 you almost get the feeling that you ought to have cotton gloves on, it’s just a wonderful finish.

And the cover by Mila Faranov is outstanding, presented beautifully by Morpheus Studios’ jacket design.

Inside it’s still great. To choose only a few favourite moments, there is Graham Nunn‘s Sentinel – where a found animal skull has “ants completing the delicate work” of cleaning it.

Oslo Davis‘ graphic novella is a perfect centrepiece, with especially effective use of perspective in the images and humour in the story of Walter, “an undercover, undercover ticket inspector [who] could be under investigation.”

And the humour continues with Simon Cox‘s Instructions for Bored Children on Long Car Trips which had me smiling ruefully with unpleasant memories.

Then you have the powerful contrasts elsewhere in the issue, where Jane’s To Do List by Ivy Alvarez is full of striking lines and a general feeling of threat and tension: “his eyes on my skin/two slugs silvering”.

It’s really nice to have a beautifully presented magazine paced well too, the running order and balance of the work inside is a testament to editors Klare Lanson & Lisa Greenaway – thanks for a great issue indeed.

Heaps more that I should mention in detail – but I’m running out of time today, so quickly; there are also great works by (among many others) Lorin Ford, (a delicate meditation on water) Matthew Hall (with a quartet of pieces dealing with light and memory) and Alec Patric‘s prose poem with its impressive construction and almost stream of conscious word choice.

Clearly, I recommend this issue – I feel quite honoured to be alongside the artists within!