Carolyn Abbs

Carolyn Abbs
Carolyn Abbs grew up in the south of England, and now lives in Fremantle, Western Australia. She has published poems in journals and anthologies such as Westerly, Cordite, Rabbit, Writ Poetry Review, The Best Australian Poems 2014, and in Axon: Creative Explorations (issue 9), a series of ten poems, with photography by her sister, Elizabeth Roberts. Her PhD is from Murdoch University, where she taught in the School of Arts (English) for a number of years. She has published an academic book Virginia Woolf: a mosaic of nonverbal arts (2010). Carolyn is currently working towards a first collection of poetry.

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Tulips in Black and White’ by Carolyn Abbs

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
Sadness overwhelms me in this circle of cutflowers; some face me, plead for help, but if I were to cradle one tulip-heavy head in my palmlike a premature baby, would its petals (that remind me of my mother's skin when she was old) fallto the floor? Others turn away in a dried blush of shame. Just a few plump bodies flaunt sheenon velvet cloaks, yet stems stoop weary. They wait in colour-oblite ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Triple Mirrors’ by Carolyn Abbs

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
After you died, Nana, I went to your room,it was dark like that place beneath the breakwaterwhere barnacles cling and children never dare hide I opened a blind, a stuck window, breeze fannedand fanned the room, light across your dressing-table, triple mirrors. Amidst perfume bottles, hairbrush, amber beads, your art deco box,walnut with inlaid mother-of-pearl; guiltilyas if invading privacy, I l ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Orphan’s Boot’ by Carolyn Abbs

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
(found in rubble beneath a church — New Norcia) Distempered walls crowd in cold at the oldschoolroom, resonant with the chant of timestables, scrape of chalk on slate; a nun mighthave leant over a child, white dust on her cuff. This afternoon, light from a slit window catchesa silver crucifix and reflects onto the domeof glass cabinet, like sunlight over water.The exhibit: a small suede boot, ... (read more)

States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘At the house where my father was born’ by Carolyn Abbs

States of Poetry Western Australia - Series One 22 February 2016
'It hurts to go through walls, it makes you sick,but it's necessary.' − Tomas Tranströmer I'd expected a labyrinth of small dark rooms, yetthe house was lit marigold         scooped out like a pumpkin for HalloweenFlames flickered and spat in a wide fireplace         a seaweedy stench had swept in    ... (read more)