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Streets of Papunya

Martha MacDonald Napaltjarri (foreground) & Mona Nangala
painting at Papunya Tjupi art centre, 2015. Photo by Helen Puckey.

An exhibition of contemporary painting and films from the daughters of the desert art movement, the Papunya Tula artists of the 1970s, is showing in Sydney at the University of NSW Gallery in Paddington. It is curated by Western Desert art expert Vivien Johnson, dedicated supporter and lifelong friend of the artists of Papunya. Links to earlier artists, from Albert Namatjira until today, are made via paintings and a long chart of an extensive 'family-tree'. There are also locally produced educational language booklets in Warlpiri, Luritja & English and two terrific films about the community's contemporary art projects - both painting and electronic (computer) work that's going on in the Papunya Tjupi Arts centre.

The accompanying detailed & brilliant book
chronicles Papunya's art history leading to the current 'reinvention'.
For information click here

Kalipinypa (2015) by Candy Nelson Nakamarra

Doris Bush Nungarrayi painting a version of Tjurrpinyi (Swimming at Haasts Bluff) in 2012

Blackwater (2015) by Martha McDonald Napaltjarri

Papunya (1982) by Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (1929-84)

The exhibition is on until November 7th
For information click here.

Warumpi & Tjupi, Honey Ant hills, Papunya
Photo by Helen Puckey

click on any of the images to enlarge them

To Adelaide:

Experimentalities: Experimental Writing: Why & Why Now?
17-18 September 2015
Symposium, Master Class with Marion Campbell & Readings
at University of Adelaide
(Napier & Ingkarni Wardli Buildings)
in conjunction with
Australian Network for Feminist Experimental Writers

Symposium on 17th & 18th September
Papers & presentations on meanings, definitions, uses & techniques, prose, poetry, drama, life writing, non-fiction, art, fiction, hypertext literatures, collaborative compositions, digital & interactive writing & poetics.

Reading on Friday 18th September
7:30pm for 8pm start
at the SA Writers Centre
187 Rundle Street, Adelaide

Readings from Gretta Mitchell, Jill Jones, Virginia Barratt
Francesca da Rimini, Amy Ireland, A.J. Carruthers
Kate Lilley, Pam Brown, Marion Campbell

For further information email 'experimentalities2015ATgmailDOTcom'
or search 'Experimentalities' on google or facebook

Volume 2015 : Another Art Books Fair was held at Artspace in Woolloomooloo Sydney last weekend. There were many independent book makers, panels on what's going on in art, books, poetry, plus a printer to make instant full colour, bound paperbacks - the Bookmachine - straight from laptop to covers, collation & staples. A totally lively event & it was great to catch up with interstate artists alongside the Sydneysiders.

Red Hand Prints from Darwin, NT at Artspace

Nick Tsoutas, PB & the P.A people at Nola Farman's launch, Artspace
(photo by Anna Gibbs)

To see some more photos click here

Send a Poem to Cordite Poetry Review

deadline sunday 8th november
for guidelines & further info click here

loungeroom readings

Way back in time, in 1978, I held a book launch and reading in my house at Rozelle for Cafe Sport, published by local independent press, Sea Cruise.

In the 1980s many poets, when visiting Adelaide, would be invited to give readings in the long front yard of Mary Christie & Michael Zerman's big communal house in Hackney. Ken Bolton, who'd moved down to South Australia from Sydney, was the instigator.

In January 1996 when Ken Bolton & John Forbes were both back on visits to Sydney, I organised a little lounge room reading in my house in Ultimo.

i Part of the audience: ii Anna Couani & Amanda Stewart:
iii Ken Bolton, Helen Grace & Ivor Indyk, Ultimo 1996

John Forbes & Amanda Stewart, Ultimo 1996

Lounge room readings are intimate, social, casual and gently intensified, kind of tangible. Recently, a group of Sydney poets met on Sunday afternoons in Nick Keys' share house and then at Sam Moginie's and Eddie Hopely & Astrid Lorange's places, to read poetry, mostly not their own work but often a selection of poets they were interested in and wanted to bring to the attention of their friends. Sometimes people might also read something they were working on. These were informal convivial readings - in fact they were fun. Elena Gomez was one of the attendees. In early 2014 she started up her own lounge room series - cell - held monthly in her flat in Kings Cross. At these gatherings, Elena invited a small, diverse group of poets to read their work.

On Sunday afternoon the cell crowd met at Elena & Rory Dufficy's house on the tranquil little Cooks River for a reading by newly-arrived citizen of Sydney, Emily Stewart, and Andy Carruthers and Kate Fagan. Each poet read mostly new work. Emily read from her recent bulky news chapbook LIKE, as well as some recent poems. Andy read a kind of summary of method to introduce his poetic approach & then enlisted Amelia Dale & myself to read a polyvocal piece 'Axis 38' - part of a continuation of his ongoing long poem, the beginning of which can be found in his book AXIS : Areal I. He went on to read a new experimental bent-narrative - a charged-up poetic prose piece. It was a bit autobiographical & touched on a developing critique of the christian faith. Kate made a test run of several new poems in a sample of new work and other material including a long poem and one of her favourite forms - the cento. There is a series of cento in her book First Light.

I think I took too many photos (new camera syndrome) - but here are a few, for the record.

Emily Stewart

A.J.Carruthers (with Amelia Dale & Kate Fagan)

Kate Fagan

Elena Gomez

genial co-host Rory Dufficy

reminder - click on images to enlarge


VLAK magazine launch in Sydney

Wednesday 12th August at 6:00 pm

Common Room
John Woolley Building
Science Road
University of Sydney

Readings by Louis Armand & local contributors

Not conforming with a recent Aussie trend to one-size-fits-all-A4 magazine formats (with minor fractional differences, according to two of the editors of the aforesaid large format matte-glossies), the square format bulky magazine VLAK : Contemporary Poetics & The Arts has published its fifth annual issue. Founded by Louis Armand & based in Prague in the Czech Republic, the magazine has a twelve member editorial committee (including myself) comprising several countries in both hemispheres. Issue 5 has 167 contributors & is 663 pages in length. If it matters (it does to me) it can definitely claim 'experimentation' as an editorial tag. See the contributor list on the back cover. (Click on the images to enlarge them). An issue of VLAK costs just under twice as much as an average Aussie A4-ish quarterly but it is an annual & its diversity is extraordinary. In a quick comparison with several A4-ish mags, there is four times as much content per issue of VLAK with photos, drawings, & collage by filmmakers, artists & photographers, & essays, interviews, anecdotes & poems by political-aesthetic critics, film writers, philosophers, novelists & poets. In my opinion it's worth the cover price &, prospectively, has a lengthy magazine-rack or shelf life.

If you can't come the launch
(where it will be offered at a discounted price)
VLAK costs 20 euros ($29 aud) & can be ordered here

Louis Armand is currently visiting Australia and there will be a launch party in Melbourne with readings from local contributors :

VLAK - Launch in Melbourne:

Wednesday 29th July at 6:00 pm

Collected Works Bookshop
Nicholas Building Level 1
37 Swanston Street

What Rachel Blau DuPlessis did next ...

Having spent just over a quarter of a century working through a poetic grid, last year Rachel Blau DuPlessis published a book of optimistic yet judicious or canny poems that, as a way to 'unbegin', seemed to emerge from spaces in-between the frames of a grid. It was called Interstices (read my review here). Now she has made GRAPHIC NOVELLA - a big American Quarto sized book of collaged found texts (often news reports), images and poems.

Canadian poet and translator Erin Moure says : In GRAPHIC NOVELLA, Rachel Blau Duplessis goes further than any poet in working with how the brain actually thinks, borrows language as scraps, does not then read them from left to right but upwards or sideways, using language as pictures, words as cartilege, pictures as linguistic ligaments and sinews. And she works always in and through a compelling modesty: it is a novella, not a novel; it is a little theatre, not the internet. It is the street and sign and tree and head. Blau Duplessis, in this latest form and affect, finds a new way to reflect, to let language think us, stare back at its reader, blink. The book is sustenance, a survival manual "acknowledging unpresentable facts," "so naked it was empathy." As she says early on, “this whole book is a detective story on how to write."

GRAPHIC NOVELLA is published by Xexoxial Editions
Visit Rachel Blau DuPlessis' website here

Saturday 13th June

at 55
55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville Sydney

For information & directions click here

A night dedicated to
the ego-less ethic of poet and artist Jackson Mac Low.

There will be reading
reading through,
reading before
reading after
reading with
reading to
reading on
reading at
reading by

Andrew Brooks
+ Emilia Batchelor
+ Pam Brown
+ A J Carruthers
+ Benjamin Forster
+ Brian Fuata
+ Elena Gomez
+ Astrid Lorange
+ Rhiannon Newton
+ Kailana Sommer
+ more
+ you
= us