Shortlisted for the 2022 ACU Poetry Prize

It’s oldish news…but still exciting – my poem ‘A Vigil’ has been shortlisted for the 2022 ACU Poetry Prize, with the outcomes to be announced on 1 September. This is the third time I’ve shortlisted for the prize, and it is always a great honour – shortlisted poems are included in the annual anthology and I’m looking forward to my words finding their way into another! The shortlist is 95 poems which respond to this year’s theme of ‘Hope’, to be judged by final competition judge MTC Cronin.



An absolute highlight of this year was Poets @ Yuulong, organised by the Calanthe Collective and featuring Brisbane literary icon David Malouf on 19 June at Mount Tamborine. As part of the Calanthe stable of poets, I was lucky enough to read at this event alongside stablemates Jena Woodhouse, Anthony Lawrence, Jane Frank and Brett Dionysius.

Along to listen and support were further luminaries of the Brisbane poetry and literary scene including Rosanna Licari, Jayne Fenton Keane, Melissa Ashley, Ross Clark and Michelle Taylor. We were also on hand to see the inaugural winners of the Calanthe Poetry Prize announced which was a great occasion! My thanks to Calanthe for its support of Brisbane and Queensland poetry in general….it is playing a vital role at the moment in providing opportunities for poets to perform through its excellent events.


Australian Poetry Anthology Vol 9

A couple of months back, my poem ‘Waitakere’ was selected for Australian Poetry Anthology, Volume 9 (edited by Lucy Dougan and Michelle Cahill). I’m only just getting around t posting this one now, but for those who already have a copy of Botanical Skin, you’ll see that it also forms part of my latest collection of poems.


a few exciting things happening at Calanthe!

Back in January Calanthe Press launched its new website and if you haven’t had a chance to explore it yet, I encourage you to take the time. The website was launched at Zamia by Louise Macrae, the partner of the late Peter Chapman and has been wonderfully designed by Meaghan Bailey who has also designed the chapbooks published by Calanthe (including mine!)

The best part is that you can read more about the wonderful poets Calanthe has published already (Jena Woodhouse, Jane Frank, Anthony Lawrence, Raymond Curtis),learn more about upcoming releases and authors (Stuart Cooke, Brett Dionysius).

The URL is https://www.calanthepress.com.au

Calanthe has also launched a new poetry competition (initiated by Jena Woodhouse), to help promote the work of unpublished poets. There are two categories – Open ($500) and Under 18 ($200). Head to the website to learn more about how to enter, but be quick as entries close on 4 April!


2021 wrap-up

I’ve realised I have not updated this blog since the launch of Botanical Skin in July 2021, but since then, my poems have been quietly finding their way into journals and anthologies.

Most recently, ‘Waitakere’ was selected by guest editors Lucy Dougan and Michelle Cahill for the Australian Poetry Journal Anthology Vol 9. It’s always brilliant to be included in these anthologies alongside so many fantastic voices.

My poem ‘Way-finding in the Tempest’ was also short-listed for the 2021 ACU Prize for Poetry. This was the third time a poem of mine has been shortlisted in this prestigious competition. It was great that the poem found its way into the Prize Anthology entitled ‘Resilience’ which was also the theme for this year’s poetry prize.

Two of my poems were selected by Julia Kaylock and Denise O’Hagan for the Poetry for the Planet (an anthology of imagined futures). ‘Menindee’ features in the section ‘country – a cautionary tale’ and ‘Silky Oak’ features in the section ‘a lens on biodiversity’. I was also very honoured to be asked to read as part of the launch event for the anthology – and Menindee was the piece that I read. I really love this anthology and particularly the many new voices I’d not read before which were included.

Other publications this year included Cordite (No Theme 10) – which featured my poem Moths and the DiBiase Poetry competition website in the States which featured my poem Silky Oak.

Of course the highlight of the year was certainly the launch of my fifth book of poems – Botanical Skin. I loved working with Calanthe Press on this book and the launch was a really special event for me. Calanthe has a new website coming soon and is set to publish more amazing Queensland poets in 2022, so stay tuned.

ACU Prize for Poetry Anthology – ‘Resilience’
ACU Prize for Poetry Anthology – ‘Way-finding in the Tempest’
Poetry for the Planet Anthology
Botanical Skin on sale at Under the Greenwood Tree Bookshop
Signing a copy of Botanical Skin in Brisbane

Botanical Skin launched!

It was a beautiful sunny day for the launch of Botanical Skin at Mt Tamborine, at the wonderful Under the Greenwood Tree bookshop on Sunday 25 July 2021. I was grateful to have Michelle Taylor launch the book and to have friends, poetry lovers and colleagues there to support me.

Here are a few images from the day. Please visit the How to Buy tab to order your signed copy.


Botanical Skin launches tomorrow!

The COVID gods have smiled upon the launch of my new book Botanical Skin, with restrictions easing just in time. This means no capped numbers at the event which will be held at Under the Greenwood Tree bookshop tomorrow, 25 July at Mount Tamborine, commencing at 2pm.

You’ll still need to wear a mask however…and bring something warm to wear!

The book will be launched by the fabulous Michelle Taylor, and I’m looking forward to catching up with some of my poetry friends – it’s been a tough period with many poetry events in hiatus due to the pandemic.

If you can’t make the launch but would like a copy – there are limited copies for sale. Email me at page_ve@yahoo.com.au for details….$15 each plus postage if you aren’t a local.

Thank you for supporting poetry, supporting the arts and supporting my work.


bookings now open….

Register to attend the launch now by emailing janene@underthegreenwoodtree.com.au


save the date! botanical skin launches next month…

It’s the home stretch now as I prepare for the launch of my fifth collection of poems ‘Botanical Skin’ which is being published by Mount Tamborine based Calanthe Press.

The launch will be at Under the Greenwood Tree bookshop in Mount Tamborine on Sunday 25 July. I’ll also be doing a full reading the following evening, Monday 26 July. Details including timing, how to book, how to pre-order a copy and the announcement of who will be launching ‘Botanical Skin’ coming soon.

For now, here’s a sneak preview of the book’s cover…featuring a stunning photograph of Mogg’s Creek in Victoria taken by my talented friend Melanie Wilson.


Moths live at Cordite

My poem Moths is now live at Cordite and is part of a selection of poems by John Kinsella and Jeanine Leane for the No Theme 10 issue.

Head there now to check it all out – the issue includes some amazing poems from some of my fellow Queensland friends and poets.

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August 2022