‘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(at the moment) 2006:2016  is only available as a print edition, both it and the new SOS feature previously uncollected/unpublished work too (SOS also includes a short author’s note on the selection process etc).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 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

fourW 25 & Writ. Poetry Review

Recently I’ve had a couple of poems appear in two great Australian publications – fourW and Writ. Poetry Review, both jam-packed full of great poetry!

writ-logof-95pxh

You can read my poem destined for mud in issue 2 of Writ. Poetry Review, who have what I feel is hands down the best presented online poetry publication I’ve come across in ages. Check it out and see if you agree, I really like the ’tiles’ page. In the issue too, is a heap of other great poets, many of whom I’m proud to call friends (or at the very least co-conspirators in poetry), check out poems by Mark William Jackson, Stuart Barnes, Michele Seminara, Robbie Coburn and Stu Hatton to name but a few!

Subs are open right now for the next issue – you can check out the details right here.

fourW-25-Cover-Image

fourW is celebrating their 25th issue, which is an awesome milestone in and of itself, but it’s also another fantastic one aside from that and I’m particularly happy to be in the journal again this year (check out Tiggy Johnson’s awesome piece in it!)

In fact, I’m especially honoured because editor David Gilbey and the selection panel published each pale song which is a long poem – something rare for me – and what makes their choice of a long poem noteworthy is that for me to have each pale song in the issue, you could say I effectively block two other (single page) poems from appearing in fourW. And I’ve no doubt the editors would have had more great material than they could fit in to #25.

So to publish my three page poem is a great vote of confidence and I really appreciate it!

 

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 🙂

Writing Process Blog Chain

Really happy to be tagged by Devin Madson in the current ‘writing process’ blog chain – if you like stories of vengeance in a Japanese-influenced setting then you’ll love her books, check ‘em out here and visit her blog here, to see her response to the process chain.

I also interviewed Devin on my fiction blog, where she talks about her work and her experiences with crowd-funding.

So, here are my responses, hope you enjoy!

old stone - haiku (first)
Q. What am I working on?

I’m currently working on a haiku, haibun & senryu collection (working title: old stone) and tinkering with a follow-up to my last collection of free verse between giants. I’ve been obsessed with haiku now for a little over ten years – the form is just rife with possibility and I love the challenge of compressing language down to such a small amount of syllables.

In old stone I also want to include senryu and haibun and as travel is traditionally a big part of haibun, I’ve included a lot of work I wrote in Italy or soon after my trip there in 2011.

You can see me drafting cover art for old stone here if you’re curious.

Q. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Tough question. I’ve been told that my free verse background makes my haibun a little different and that my haiku background influences my free verse, so I hope that’s true!

In terms of my work and its place in the poetry world, I’m a proponent of being direct with my poetry. Writing is a communicative act, and I don’t like to put too many barriers between writer and reader. At the same time, I don’t want to be over prescriptive. There has to be room for the reader. It’s a fine line but I hope I walk it well.

Q. Why do I write what I do?

I think one of my main obsessions as a poet is with objects and places, with the meaning they take on for us. We instil so much of ourselves in them and for me, there’s no limit to where that can take me as a writer. The material never dries up.

Well, there is a limit, I guess, and that’s my execution from poem to poem.

Q. How does my writing process work?

I keep my eyes open. Wherever I am. There’s a certain amount of reflection that goes on before I write a poem, whether conscious or not. Sometimes a phrase comes to mind when I see something – like a wildflowers in a ditch – I had half a haiku as I drove by. The other half I finished when I got home that night.

Other times it’s a much longer process. Earlier this year I was walking to Collected Works in Melbourne and noticed that I was walking a lot faster than I would at home and the obvious thought came to me, that the city (any city) has its own pulse. It almost changes your blood. Everything is faster. Everyone needs to be somewhere quickly. Time felt shorter for me in that moment.

That poem I actually haven’t finished yet and I had that moment back in January.

After I get a first draft, usually completed at night, I leave the poem alone until at least the next day. Then I come back and refine. I might do this for days, or weeks. Sometimes, if I’m very lucky, the poem feels close to ready after draft two (generally only if it’s a short poem.)

Then I begin the long process of sending it out for publication – or post it here!

Q. Who will you meet next week?

I’m happy to send you to two fantastic Australian poets whom I count as friends. Both Robbie and Mark have supported my writing for years now and I’m hoping you’ll visit, check out their answers and their poetry!

Robbie Coburn
Mark William Jackson

The Blue Hour & Acceptance Speech (get ready for some links)

Sharing more poetry!

Recently my work has appeared in a few great places, one being Robbie Coburn’s blog here. Acceptance Speech has a reference to one of my fav 90s sitcoms – see if you can guess which one 🙂

On The Blue Hour I was lucky enough to have three very new pieces featured, have a look around and check out their submission guidelines too. Thanks to Miguel Jacq for accepting my work – you can check out his own poetry right here.

I’ve also just received my copy of Sacred/Profane produced by Gemma White, which I plan to dig into tonight – sharing the pages with many great writers but it’s especially exciting to see two names, Stuart Barnes and Mark William Jackson!

 

 

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.