anne elder award

On Friday 11 April I travelled to Melbourne for the FAW National Literary Awards after learning that Confessional Box had won the 2013 FAW Anne Elder Award for a first book of poetry. This is such an amazing honour and I feel very privileged to be now listed alongside other winners of the award which stretch back to 1977, including some of my poetic heroes in Jean Kent and Sarah Holland-Batt (also both Queenslanders!).

The recognition is wonderful for Confessional Box, gives it great validation and has given my other projects a sense of renewed purpose. Some thank-yous:

The Fellowship of Australian Writers, the Anne Elder Trust, the judges of the awards, Walleah Press (Ralph Wessman and Jane Williams), the judges of the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Awards (this book is comprised of the two manuscripts I entered in these awards that were bridesmaids in 2011 and 2012), Maryanne Oliver for her original cover art, Jessica Fazakarley for the graphic design and my beautiful family who give me the support and the freedom to keep on pursuing my writing.

Thanks especially to Ralph at Walleah – for having the courage to publish my work as a first book and for being so wonderful to work with along the way. I was thrilled that Ralph and Jane could come over from Hobart to the awards and to be there when the book was announced as the winner. So fitting, given Jane is a previous winner of the Anne Elder Award herself!

A new run of the books have been printed, and these include the FAW acknowledgement on the cover. Please contact me directly (or visit the Walleah Press online shop) to grab a copy.


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couplet at Brisbane Square Library

Fantastic evening at Couplet last night! I was excited to share the performance space with Scott Wings and those who came along were treated to two very different readings – well you couldn’t get much more page and stage than me and Scott!

It felt great to read a stack of new material to such a big group and blow out the cobwebs a little. I’m excited about these new poems and have been working hard on putting the new material together into a new manuscript. Watch this space.

In other news, there is some big news – and that will be revealed soon here. Suffice to say, I’ve eight copies of Confessional Box left – they are about to be reprinted with some inclusions so these remaining few are going to become a bit more collectable. So please get in touch if you’d like a copy.




Couplet at Brisbane Square Library

On Friday 4 April I’ll be sharing the Couplet limelight with Scott Sneddon, aka Scott Wings – one of our land’s premier performance talents. Scott’s just returned to Brisbane after rave reviews at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Couplet is a monthly event, hosted by David Stavanger who is the Reader in Residence at the Brisbane Square Library. Couplet is about pairing two voices together for an hour of poetry, and the pairing of very different voices is what makes this event so exciting. It’s also a little bit ‘page’ vs ‘stage’ in nature, so if you are curious about the differences between a page poet and a performance poet, then this event is definitely for you!

I’ll be reading primarily new material from a current manuscript and also from a special project that I’m working on with John Koenig.  This is my first feature reading for the year so I’m looking forward to stepping up to the mic and sharing some new work. There’ll also be copies of Confessional Box there on the night in case anyone still wants to pick up a copy.

Now, the details:

Friday 4 April 2014

Brisbane Square Library, 266 George Street Brisbane


FREE and no need to book.

More information is available on Facebook or the library website.



new poems and a review

There’s been plenty happening over the past month or so…so this blog post is a bit of a catch up.

Firstly, I was thrilled to read a third review of Confessional Box on Cordite this week. This one was by Siobhan Hodge and I really enjoyed reading about her experiences with the book, particularly her unpicking of some of the poems that have a ‘male voice’, as so much of the book is from a feminine perspective. The Harwood comparison was a real compliment, and while I hadn’t initially seen it, there is certainly a resonance between ‘In the Park’ and ‘Wife’.  You can read the full review here: http://cordite.org.au/reviews/hodge-page/

I also came across Stuart Barnes’ recent piece for Shot Glass Journal: A cento for 14 Australian poets. Stuart has kindly included me in this poem, leading off with a line from ‘Five Fifty-Three am’. I’m in some great company in this cento – so thanks Stuart! Here’s the link: http://www.musepiepress.com/shotglass/stuart_barnes2.html

My focus on chipping away with submissions has been also bearing some fruit with ‘Break-up’ published in the latest Tincture Journal, ‘Canary in the coal town’ published as Australian Poetry’s ‘poem of the fortnight’, a submission accepted for Grapple Annual, and poems in Cordite: Silence and Sotto as well as a poem forthcoming for foam:e.

You can pick up a copy of Tincture Journal here: http://tincture-journal.com/

And here is the link to AP’s poem of the fortnight: http://www.australianpoetry.org/2014/03/12/13-march/


A new poem at Cordite poetry review

I have a new poem in the latest issue of Cordite Poetry Review – the Silence issue, edited by Jan Owen.

The poem is called The Torpey Spoon and it is dedicated to my Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother (for whom the poem is named).

It came about after I rediscovered a old, metal kitchen spoon that has been passed down through the Torpey side of the family. It’s a poem that talks about generational shift  and the ‘domestic lore’ that was passed down with such implements in those days. 

Check the issue out here: http://cordite.org.au/poetry/silence/the-torpey-spoon/


Christmas goodness and a special book offer

Christmas is already well on the radar so I’ve decided to do a little promo on the copies of Confessional Box I have on hand from my last order.

Until they are sold out or until Dec 24 (whichever comes first) they’ll be just $12 (reduced from the usual price of $16) and include the beautiful Maryanne Oliver bookmark. I’ll be posting for free and donating the balance from each book ($4) to the charity I have been supporting for the last few years – Yalari.

Yalari is a QLD charity which does amazing work in giving talented young Indigenous boys and girls the opportunity to take up scholarships.

So if you want a unique and special gift for your wife, girlfriend, mum, nan, sister, aunt, niece etc (not that I’m ruling the boys out but women seem the ones who have a real affinity with the book!) or if you are just a lover of poetry and words and storytelling and want to shout yourself a Christmas present (and help a great cause) please contact me at page_ve@yahoo.com.au.

I’ll arrange a personally inscribed copy posted to anywhere in Australia in time for Christmas.

And while you’re thinking about spreading the Christmas cheer, why not check out some of the other titles in the Walleah Press bookshop? Lots of great offerings there from some fantastic Australian poets. Happy reading season!


October updates…

It has been a little while since my last blog post and I guess the poetry community has been coming to terms with and moving on from the recent poetry plagiarism scandal, which sadly embroiled two of our own Brisbane poets. I think plenty has been said about these issues so I won’t add too much other than to say that I do abhor plagiarism and would be completely devastated if anyone stole lines, stanzas or work from me. I work too hard on my poems to have an other viewpoint and I guess it is easy to borrow – but takes a little more character and skill to sit down with a blank page and start from there.

But that being said, on to other happenings!

Wooloowin SS reading

Last month’s school fete reading was very enjoyable and I was thrilled to introduce a new audience to the beauty of poetry. Copies of the book were for sale and I also donated a signed copy for the raffle and the reception was just fantastic. The highlight for me was being introduced to the stage by my 11 year old son – who did an outstanding job!


Little Albany Cafe

One of the non-negotiables of a ‘temporarily’ stay-at-home Mum with a five month old and three other children of school age to ferry around is the morning ritual of coffee! My friends at the Little Albany Cafe have helped out with this necessity of life and have not only satiated my morning school run coffee needs but have kindly placed a copy of ‘Confessional Box’ on display. A big thanks to them for their support and their excellent coffee.


Ipswich Poetry Feast

Entering the Ipswich International Poetry competition has become something of a ritual for me and I’m excited to share that I have again been successful at these awards – more on that after the awards ceremony on 18 October. I also picked up a copy of the commemorative book released by the committee which includes my poem ‘Limestone Park’ and many other great poems.

21 QLD Poets

This Saturday 12 October I will be joining 20 other local poets for an evening of poetry at the Little Price Espresso dress circle. From 7pm we will be reading poems by other Queensland poets and paying homage to our state’s great poetic history. Given recent events, this is a great opportunity for our community to come together in celebration. I will be reading poems from the amazing Jean Kent on the night – well it had to be a fellow Darling Downs poet!



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