Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

States of Poetry

A. E. Houseman memorably said: I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat. It’s not an easy matter to justify one’s decisions when faced with numerous poems from which to make a limited selection. There’s no programmatic guide to what makes a poem successful although the impact of a good poem is something we all know and recognise. ...

Anne Kellas’s third collection – The White Room Poems (Walleah Press, 2015) – was shortlisted for the Margaret Scott Prize in the 2017 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary awards. Written with the support of an Australia Council grant, it also received a Blue Giraffe Press poetry award. Isolated States, supported by an Arts ...

... (read more)

Louise Nicholas photograph by Mike Taylor ABR States of PoetryLouise Nicholas is a semi-retired teacher and long-term member of the Adelaide poetry community. WomanSpeak, co-written wi ...

standing on the Puente Romano
in Cordoba
watching the rio Guadalquivir
run beneath
like time itself
I do the math
2,000 divided by 44=45
history is nothing more than this
45 times a life of error and uncertainty
the main lesson of monuments in Europe
for which you only queue twice
unless you want the audio guide too
but mostly we take ...

I wake up
in the middle of the night
in a panic

about my dead-end job
the credit card
the housing market

until poetry appears
like a window
I go through

& compose
a couple of works
of genius

by day light
they won’t be much
of course

but it’s enough
to get me
through the night.


Wednesday 28 November 2016, Adelaide

the day of the storm
I had a poetry reading
with Nathan Curnow
overland from Ballarat
to launch his collection
The Apocalypse Awards
an hour into the unprecedented
statewide blackout
I took his call

you bastard
you brought the apocalypse with you

a flock of starlings
rises like applause
from the roof
of her Majesty’s Theatre


Steve Brock published his first collection of poetry The Night is a Dying Dog (Wakefield Press) in 2007, and received a grant from Arts South Australia for the completion of ...

... (read more)

Steve Brock began writing in the shadow of the New York school, but in ‘dreaming with Ted Berrigan’ – ‘I can’t remember if he said anything’ – might be saying goodbye to those earlier cool dudes and already a ...

Taking on a transformation as an eagle and in that formation I was traveling within the cloud dust: and within the cloud dust there were small balls of lights. They were so small, as small as the smallest grain of sand. I myself was one of many divided as a matrix, scattered throughout and far reaches of the universe. We were all moving and weaving continually as if someone was making a dress o ...