Monday, 29 April 2019

Les Murray, 1938-2019

Very sad to hear of the death of the great Australian poet, Les Murray over the weekend.

I've probably mentioned on here before, but back in the late 80s and early 90s, he was one of the first contemporary poets I read. That was because this poem, The Widower In The Country, was one of the inspirations for the song New Year's Greetings, by The Triffids (and if you're a regular visitor here, you'll know that they're one of my favourite bands of all time). Loving the song, I was curious enough to seek out the poem, then couldn't get enough of Murray's work.

I also recently read his book Killing The Black Dog, which is excellent – unstintingly honest, and yet warm and generous. He'll be very sadly missed.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

The Ugly Australian

Superb article here by Jarrod Kimber, on the ongoing fallout from 'Sandpapergate'. He makes some very good points, not least about the tendency of Aussie cricketers to claim persecution as soon as someone reacts to their sledging, or mental disintegration, as they prefer to call it.

Also interesting that he points out that Australia have always been the most successful Test Cricket side, even in the days when they weren't known for such antics.

I'm not claiming that any other team in world cricket is made up of angels, but the Aussies do seem to have got away with things ludicrously easily. David Warner had, I suspect, been ball tampering for at least a couple of years, and the extent to which it all happened at the instigation of the coaching team also seems to have been underplayed.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Saboteur Awards

Voting is open now in this year's Saboteur Awards – you can see the nominees and cast your vote here.

In the Best Reviewer of Literature category, one of the nominees is Maria Taylor, Reviews Editor of Under The Radar at Nine Arches Press. She's posted a very interesting blog piece about reviewing here.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Coming & Going: Poems for Journeys

This arrived in the post yesterday, the latest book from the wonderful HappenStance Press. Coming & Going is about exactly that – journeys of all sorts – and features work from over 100 HappenStance poets.

Once I've had time to read it, I'll post something much fuller on here, but at the moment it's just a delight to be reminded that I'm a HappenStance poet – my offering here is Cure, from my first chapbook, Making The Most Of The Light. It's an even greater delight to be reminded of the company that I'm in – James Wood, JO Morgan, DA Prince, Matthew Stewart, Michael Mackmin, Maria Taylor, Jon Stone, Chrissy Williams, Alison Brackenbury, Frances Corkey Thompson, Gill McEvoy, Andrew Philip, Kirsten Irving, Gerry Cambridge, Alan Buckley, Clare Best, Rob A Mackenzie, Gregory Leadbetter and Marilyn Ricci to name but a few. Oh, and not forgetting Helena Nelson, who IS HappenStance Press, a very fine poet, and an inspiration to boot.

It's £12, and you can buy it here.