Saturday, January 30, 2010

announcing my new e-chapbook

Lars Palm has got busy publishing again through his ungovernable press. He's just published three works in pdf format (free, downloadable), including my own Passages: Annotations. This e-chapbook is an extract from something I hope one day might see the light of day in hard copy, and is a collection of writing from this blog and a number of other projects that I was engaged with over the last ten years. It is a poetry and poetics assembly. The cover photo is by Annette Willis.

Lars has set up a good reads page so, once you've had a read, you can leave a comment there or here on the blog, if you like.

The other two new ungovernable press publications are Amanda Laughtland's Take It and Felino A. Soriano's Intersecting Views of the Possible Interaction. You should check them out as well. And all the other great downloads there.

Ungovernable press now has a facebook page, if you want to join up.

I'm honoured to be part of ungovernable, and well pleased to have a digital chapbook.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

out of the box in melbourne

Announcing the February Melbourne launch of the ground-breaking anthology, Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets, edited by Michael Farrell and Jill Jones (Puncher and Wattmann).

To be launched by Christos Tsiolkas and Kathleen Fallon
Tuesday 2nd Feb, 7pm
Hares & Hyenas
63 Johnston St, Fitzroy

Readers at the launch include: Javant Biarujia, Bel Schenk, Maria Zajkowski, Terry Jaensch, Peter Rose, Michael Farrell, Jill Jones and, we hope, Susan Hawthorne.

The event is part of Midsumma, Melbourne's annual gay and lesbian festival.

Other poets in the anthology include David Malouf, Dorothy Porter, Pam Brown, Chris Edwards, Lee Cataldi, Martin Harrison, joanne burns, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Tricia Dearborn, Kate Lilley, and many others.

Out of the Box is the first contemporary Australian gay and lesbian poetry anthology. These are poems of the 21st century: sexy, sassy, innovative, and real.

Read an interview about the anthology with Michael and me, by Scott-Patrick Mitchell in OUTinPerth and another interview with Maria Zajkowski about the book and her poetry in Cherrie.

Don’t forget, there will be a Sydney launch on Friday 26th Feb at New Mardi Gras, 6pm, Seymour Centre, to be launched by The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG and intermedia academic superstar Anna Gibbs.

If you can't get to the launches or a good Australian bookshop, you can buy it online at abebooks.

do ebook readers do poetry any favours?

I've had an ongoing interest in all the discussion around e-book readers for some years now. For obvious reasons. And I'm not sure all the current flurry about the new Apple tablet and the like will be a big advance.

In other words, I've never been convinced by the slight clunkiness of e-book readers and still am not (quite), though I relented late last year and bought one. No, not a Kindle. I didn't like the idea of that enforced connectivity nor do I have endless cash to pay for it. I bought a decent little device, the Ecoreader, that works offline with all the main formats, including pdf and text files.

Mainly, I wanted something that I could use to read poetry books and manuscripts, my own for checking, and works by others. Also for the endless document files I have hanging about. Something lighter and more compact than a computer, that used epaper, that in fact saved endless printing but might also offer some pleasures of reading in a different way.

But what actually happened? I ended up using it to take on my holiday to read old books (meaning free, legal works in the public domain) partly because the price of etexts still seems too high, but mainly because I just wanted to give it a whirl as cheaply and quickly as possible. That included getting hold of a whack of poetry including Emily D, GM Hopkins, HD, Bill S, TS, WB, DHL, etc etc.

And I found a big problem which I wonder if others have overcome. Reading prose works was mostly no problem. There was the odd bit of formatting glitch but it was bearable and the reading experience was something I got used to. But, try as I might, with the various formats, I found that the poetry was either wrongly or oddly formatted as is, and if I tried to enlarge the text (OK, my eyes ain't as good as they used to be) the formatting would go skewiff at best, and beresque at worst - in other words, did not handle line breaks, indents and stanza breaks.

One solution with my own manuscript, which I was actually in the process of finalising, was to format it in a large font size then pdf it. But that really doesn't do the trick. There's a point past which you really cannot go. My screen size is that of a normal kind of book, it's not teeny tiny.

So, I am wondering if anyone has given this issue some thought and has some practical advice. Meanwhile, I will keep pressing on with my library of classic texts, which has been nice anyway.

they haven't got this one licked

As they say, postage stamps aren't what they used to be. I prefer birds on mine, but good old Aussie Post has now taken to sticking (so to speak) 'literary types' on our stamps.

And here they are: Peter Carey, Tom Keneally, David Malouf, Bryce Courtenay, Tim Winton, oh and Colleen McCollough. This article in the SMH notes, wrongly, what is wrong with this picture. It reported one of the authors saying there were no poets. David Malouf is a poet, for all that he has also written prose. But what is wrong is kind of obvious when you do look. Five blokes, one woman - only. No Indigenous writers. Ah, the 21st century and time still stands still! Another poet woulda been nice, as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

fresh stuff

Lots of fresh new things in e.ratio.