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P O E M S  F A R  A N D  W I D E


March 2019

I am delighted to announce that leading Australian literary publisher *Puncher & Wattmann will publish my latest collection of poems, Poems Far and Wide, which will be available in bookshops - or via direct order from P&W, or via distributor NewSouth Books - on June 1, 2019. (Sorry to all those who thought it might be earlier...) See: (now listed). And: (listed June 1, 2019).

Far and Wide cover

Without being too cocky I believe this is a substantial collection, possibly my best so far, and includes many poems that have been previously published, anthologised, or have won - or shortlisted in - local and international competitions.

"This very lively collection contains a wide sweep of poems, many of them prize-winning, taking readers on a remarkable journey. Some look to the past, others to the future, but all are of their time: the reverberating now. The tone is contemporary and bold, while the poet’s sensibility tends to favour an eclectic inclusiveness. Uniformly, this wide-ranging and poetically inclusive collection demands to be enjoyed."

I hope readers enjoy Poems Far and Wide.... just as much as I enjoyed putting it together. 

Some poems date back a little, while others are very recent indeed! The tone is contemporary and bold. There are are some longer dramatic and narrative poems, and others more lyrical in essence.

There are poems very close to home, some are observations of the natural world, while others take readers to far-flung destinations around the globe. Some are dramatic, or the poetic equivalent of 'character studies', with reverberating psychological resonance. There are poems of fast-paced wit and humor, and others deadly serious. There are trance-like or dream-like poems too, and experiments in language  often contrasting with hard-nosed factual observation. I hope the wide-ranging ambition of this collection will be enjoyed.

** Poems Far and Wide includes two first-prize winners, of both an international literary award and leading Australian poetry competition; plus eleven poems that have placed or been highly commended, commended or shortlisted in major awards

Poems Far and Wide is now in production, and I will display news of publication, launches, reviews and further relevant details after June 1, 2019. 

PWlogo 26w29h

*Puncher & Wattmann is one of Australia's leading literary publishers, so I am in excellent company. To date, they have published more than 100 titles, with more on the way. They deserve support from all serious readers: 


THE GRAND READ, Warrandyte Festival, is on again, on Tuesday March 26. Upstairs, 7pm-10pm,at the Grand Hotel, 110 Yarra Street, Warrandyte. An annual local literary event, and not to be missed. I believe the wonderful Shan Shnookal will also be there, reading form her new non-fiction title on all things horsey. Delicious food included. Book ahead now:

THE ROBERT HARRIS PROJECT.  Here is a truly worthwhile project to support! Grand Parade Poets is using crowd funding to raise enough $ to publish the Selected Poems of Robert Harris, to be titled The Gang of One. Robert was a friend of many, a wonderful human being, and outstanding poet. Tragically, he died prematurely at age 42, before a Selected ever appeared. This can now be put right. I knew Robert well, and we collaborated on a number of projects, including an installation and exhibition devoted to the imaginary artist Arthur (Arty) Tantrum. The exhibition was based on ‘The Arthur Tantrum Letters’, a fiction which Robert Harris and I co-wrote in the 1970s, and published in 1975 in a very limited edition booklet, under the publishing imprint of Stitch and Time. The subsequent gallery installation was advertised as ‘an exhibition of an unknown artist’s life and work’, and titled: Arthur Tantrum: A Fictional Biography, A Biographical Fiction, and held at Central Street Gallery, 1 Central Street Sydney, in 1977 and hosted by (then gallery owner and now leading art academic) Paul McGillich. I also reviewed Robert's fifth book, Jane Interlinear and Other Poems (Paperbark Poets, 1992) in Overland magazine (No. 127, 1992). Happily, Grand Parade Poets reports that, so far to date, the crowd funding is going well. So check it out, get on board. Full steam ahead! Let's all help to get this important book finally in print! See:


FIRST PRIZE, Elyne Mitchell Short Story Competition

My story, The Girl Who Wasn't There won the Open Section of the 2018 Elyne Mitchell Award, for a story up to 2,500 words. You can read online for free at: Just click on link and scroll down a little. And if you'd like to read all shortlisted entries; a well-produced booklet is available for $15 + $3 postage. (Contact the Corryong Neighbourhood Centre on 02 6076 2176 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


2nd Prize, C. J. Dennis Short Story Competition

My story, Rosemary's Summer Harvest won second prize in the 2018 C. J. Dennis Society Short Story Competition. 


Alan Marshall Short Story Award, shortlisted story: I was shortlisted for the Alan Marshall Short Story Award, both in 2018 and 2017See:

Foliage of Eucalyptus CoolabahEarly 2018: Two ultra short poems were included in Coolabah Short Poem Issue (No 33, 2018), curated by Australian poet Peter Bakowski and published by the University of Barcelona. 

See following link:

Foliage of Eucalyptus Coolabah. 



The following is a sampler of recently published, performed (or short-listed) pieces, going back to around 2016. For news of larger-scale projects, go to main menu categories, above.

JJ as I wanderedMarch, 2017: Monsieur Jambon. In role and in costume, I trotted out As I Wandered by the Seine, a plaintive Parisienne lament, at the annual Warrandyte Grand Read (Grand Hotel, Warrandyte). It certainly got the reaction I was aiming for, with a local reviewer calling it "cringe worthy, in parts". Indeed, it is peppered with deliberately terrible puns, meant to send eyes rolling, and tears flowing. Yes, a bit of fun! I had previously served this popular ham dish at Collected Works Bookshop, for their December 2017 end-of-year party. Pic: Richard Mudford.


coffee image2017: My short story, Through a Latte Darkly, was published by Margaret River Press in the prize anthology, Joiner Bay & Other Stories, edited by Ellen van Neerven, 2017(A previous short story, That Summer at Manly, was published in the MRP 2013 prize anthology, Knitting and Other Stories, see:



RAF OMNI VOL142012 - 2017.  Tremendous Compendiums! The Review of Australian Fiction (RAF) now offers readers a selection of 24 Omnibus Editions, with each containing 6 issues (12 stories) from Australia’s finest writers, at $14.99 each, supplied in ePub, mobi and pdf formats across virtually all formats. My short story, Her Ladyship's Pleasure, which was shortlisted in the 2015 Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize, is included in Volume 14. See:



cont oz poetry


My cautionary poem ‘Mr Menzies Shows Me My File’ from Growing Up with Mr Menzies is included in the recent anthology titled Contemporary Australian Poetry, edited by Martin Langford, Judith Beveridge, Judy Johnson and David Musgrave; published by Puncher & Wattmann, 2016. To purchase a copy:



Chris Mann bk cover

 2016: I had the pleasure of writing the introduction to Chris Mann's thoughtful, challenging and often very funny Whistlin is Did, published by Cordite Books (2016). My intro can be read in full at the following:  And for more info on the versatile Mann, see a chapter from my 1988 compilation, 22 Contemporary Australian Composers


Nov. 2016. I judged the Melbourne Poets Union (MPU) International Poetry Competition that year. An extract from my judge's report was published in the MPU news bulletin, Poam (No. 358, Feb./March 2017).

Nov. 2016. It was a pleasure to launch Debbi Hamilton's collection of poems, The Sly Night Creatures of Desire (Hybrid Publishers 2016). My launch speech can be read at Rochford Street Review:

pink shells

2015/16 My The Beach of Pink Shells, a scifi/fantasy short story, was shortlisted in the competition held bthe The International SciFi Film Festival, held in 2015 in Paramatta, NSW, and published on the Festival's website, here:



princess by night2015. It was a privilege to launch Jeltje Fanoy's Princess by Night (Island Press Cooperative) at Collected Works Bookshop, Melbourne. My launch speech can be found at Rochford Street Review:



sweptaway thumb

 2015. I had four song lyrics included in Swept Away, a collection published by the Canberra School of Music Poets: Occasional Pamphlets No. 5. Swept Away lyrics range from love songs to nostalgic recollections to passionate political critique. The collection includes notes on the musical style the poet imagined for their lyrics. See:


2014. My short story, The Red One, was shortlisted for the Cowley Literary Awards and published in The Dubbo Weekender. See:

trav tales


2002 - 2016/7 and (fingers crossed) ongoing... I adelighted that Travelers' Tales of Old Cuba, from Treasure Island to Mafia Den, ed. John Jenkins, 2002/2010/2014/2016 is still selling very well after going into several editions, the most recent in 2016. Published by Ocean Press; see the Books (non-fiction) section of this website for more details. Available to order via all good bookshops, in Australia and internationally.




My work goes back to the 1970s. For a much more comprehensive list, go to the Austlit website, at: or consult TROVE (Aust. Nat. Library database) at: or or


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