Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In memoriam...

Gill Scott-Heron who passed away this month.

I put two and two together...

"I am the door" John 10:9

AM I THE DOOR? / SIX POEMS SAY YES - John Forbes Stalin's Holidays

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Australian Poetry Library...

The Australian Poetry Library is up and running! Such an exciting and valuable resource with poems, bios, photographs, bibliographies etc. Very useful for lovers of poetry, poets, teachers and my PhD. From the site:

The Australian Poetry Library (APL) aims to promote a greater appreciation and understanding of Australian poetry by providing access to a wide range of poetic texts as well as to critical and contextual material relating to them, including interviews, photographs and audio/visual recordings.
This website currently contains over 42,000 poems, representing the work of more than 170 Australian poets. All the poems are fully searchable, and may be accessed and read freely on the World Wide Web. Readers wishing to download and print poems may do so for a small fee, part of which is returned to the poets via CAL, the Copyright Agency Limited. Teachers, students and readers of Australian poetry can also create personalised anthologies, which can be purchased and downloaded. Print on demand versions will be availabe from Sydney University Press in the near future.
It is hoped that the APL will encourage teachers to use more Australian material in their English classes, as well as making Australian poetry much more available to readers in remote and regional areas and overseas. It will also help Australian poets, not only by developing new audiences for their work but by allowing them to receive payment for material still in copyright, thus solving the major problem associated with making this material accessible on the Internet.
The Australian Poetry Library is a joint initiative of the University of Sydney and the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL). Begun in 2004 with a prototype site developed by leading Australian poet John Tranter, the project has been funded by a major Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC), CAL and the University of Sydney Library. A team of researchers from the University of Sydney, led by Professor Elizabeth Webby and John Tranter, in association with CAL, have developed the Australian Poetry Library as a permanent and wide-ranging Internet archive of Australian poetry resources. (About Us)

I like the idea of being able to compile your own anthologies and then have them printed. But right now I am just enjoying exploring what is on offer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The 68ers in the 00s...

I am currently working on a chapter regarding what has been written about the generation of 68 in the last decade. It is turning out to be harder than I thought, as many of the pivotal "recent" texts are from the 1990s (the vast majority of texts in the 68ers are from the 1970s and 80s). I am looking at how the 68ers have been located in the literary/ poetic tradition over the last ten years in reviews, journal articles and books etc. It is interesting to see how interpretations have changed over the years, as well as the different interpretations of where the 68ers fit in an Australian poetic tradition (which is such a difficult thing to pin down anyway). Know any good books on Australian poetry history?

I have found that John Kinsella's introduction to The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry is enlightening, as is David McCooey's chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature, but I need to find more sources that participate in the ongoing critical discussion of the generation of 68/ recent critical reception.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Brett Whitley's studio, Picasso in his studio and a garden shed studio (found here, here and here). 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Friday...

I am currently working on two chapters for the thesis and I still have transcribing to do from the interviews in Sydney and I have another interview lined with next week! I am also doing an Advanced Study Option (ASO) as part of the PhD and we are reading Pascale Casanova, James English, Pierre Bourdieu, and Franco Moretti. My desk is a mess, I am surrounded by books and photocopies, and everything seems to have a post it note on it to remind me what to do next. But I am loving it, life is good and busy at the moment.

But I am looking forward to taking a break and going to hear some poetry at Confit Bistro next week and then chilling at the Brew cafe for the June Speedpoets.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Wow, my sister is on Frankie magazine's website today! Congratulations Christina

Thursday, May 12, 2011

X17 @ Notebook Stories...

Okay, so you know I love notebooks and I have posted about various ones in the past (for example: diaries, travel moleskines and notemaker envy). But I also follow The Notebooks Stories blog, which regularly road tests notebooks and offers fellow notebook enthusiasts a place to share their obsessions.  Today I was excited to discover that Notebook Stories is having a give away at the moment. For your chance to win an X17 Notebook, go check out the Notebook Stories Review.  Good luck!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Books to eat...

Images from here

What! I missed the International Edible Book Festival  (I didn't even know there was one before today). It was on the first of April.
April 1st is the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his bookPhysiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food. April fools' day is also the perfect day to eat your words and play with them as the "books" are consumed on the day of the event. This ephemeral global banquet, in which anyone can participate, is shared by all on the internet and allows everyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments. This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Turn your back on vandalism - okay?

So if you have been around Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane lately, you have have seen this ad. When I first saw it, I thought it must be advertising for a film, or a brand or something. Surely this isn't an example of anti-graffiti advertising? Apparently it is. According to the Australian Creative website:

A CATC Design School (Commercial Arts Training College) student has won the Adshel competition held across design schools around Australia.

Olivia Vines took out the prize for a design aimed at discouraging vandalism of public transport shelters.

Don't get me wrong, it is a great image, well done to Olivia Vines, but the message isn't clear. I mean, shouldn't it say "DON'T turn your back on vandalism"? If we do "turn our backs on vandalism", doesn't that mean we would be ignoring it? How does that help? The hoodie seems to celebrate graff culture, along with this cool image, and might even encourage vandalism. What a perfect place to tag in aerosol or permanent marker. I get that the implicit message is for graff artists to turn their back on vandalism, but the message seems aimed at a more general audience. So should I turn my back on vandalism? Aside from ignoring it (like most of us do anyway), how do I turn my back on it anyway?  Am I alone in this?

A little compulsive...

All images from here

As somebody who shelves her books by their colours (I know!), and whose idea of cleaning is often more like straightening, I am loving these compulsive "Things Organized Neatly" photographs on tumbler.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Oh that wedding...

For those of you clicking over to my blog today from the link on my sister's A Little Bird Told Me blog; she is busy crafting away making a gift for my wedding in September. So yes, that amazing hexagon blanket is for me!

More details...

One of the papers I saw presented at the SHARP conference was by Caroline Hamilton from the University of Melbourne called "Bound up in the past: The future uses of books". I went along worried that it might be another round of statistics about ebooks and the death of the paperback etc etc. Instead, Caroline looked at re-purposed books and what she termed "the sourdough effect". She provided examples of up-cycled books, books being used as furniture and spoke about content vs container. The book as object and issues surrounding nostalgia and fetishism. The sour dough effect was her way of describing the move towards things like "slow" food (organic, local etc) and handmade; our changing desire that is moving away from the "star bucks" experience towards the "sour dough" experience. This is occurring in many aspects of our lives and in reflected in our lifestyle choices.

One of the questions she posed, in light of books becoming objects "ripe for recycling", was "Does this refashioning herald the abandonment of books as 'scared objects'?" A really interesting question I think. Are artists who are in countless ways cutting, folding, building (etc) with books lessening the intrinsic nature of books, or reaffirming them as objects of desire? I'd like to think it is the latter.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Catch-up time...

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday I attended a Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) conference at the University of Queensland called "The Long Twentieth Century". It was fantastic. With papers presented on a whole range of interesting topics such as: censorship, university and private presses, the future uses of books, literary cities and "book towns", the Nobel prize, aboriginal non-fiction book publishing, marginalia, and the "middlebrow". As well as papers that focused on specific texts and authors like Bobbin Up and Michael Dransfield (now out of print for the first time in thirty years).

The conference provided intellectual and PhD-related inspiration, but by Saturday night I was all but mentally exhausted. So spending a nice Sunday afternoon with a few friends and a glass of wine in hand while we watched on at the May Speedpoets event was a fine way to wind down and finish off the week.

I will now go back to watching all of the breaking news on all things bin Laden. Hope you had a great weekend; and for those in Queensland, I hope you had a great long weekend (for Labour Day).