I thought that some readers might be interested in a review I wrote of Peter Doherty’s book An Insider’s Plague Year. And just in case I am right, here’s the link! The following illustration has nothing to do with the review, except that mice feature there, too. I just had to use this, so why not now?

‘The danger of eating mice’

My reviewing is picking up a lot after I made my first swag of selections for poetry at The Canberra Times, which took a great deal of thought. The straight ‘no’ is easy, as are the obvious yes poems. It’s the maybes that kill you.

Pulped Fiction

February 25, 2021

Just received my contributor’s copies of Pulped Fiction: An Anthology of Microlit edited by Cassandra Atherton. Spineless Wonders is the publisher.

It’s a real challenge to write to a strict word count. I wrote a 200 word piece about strange worms that morph into stranger butterflies, called ‘Tudes’. All of the pieces are playing with genre in some way.

March is going to be really busy; launches, readings and a huge pile of books to review. I also hope to be writing for this blog more frequently.

Tuesday poem and story

March 31, 2020

Both via link this time. One is to the Microflix festival, where my story ‘Makeover’ is one of the selected texts that someone may decide to make a film from: http://microflixfestival.com.au/2020/03/11/makeover-by-ps-cottier/ .

The other is to Not Very Quiet, where my poem ‘…scribbles, comments, glosses (annotations), critiques, doodles, or illuminations’ can be read. This one is about people standing (or sitting) at the side of history. https://not-very-quiet.com/2020/03/30/scribbles/ A recording of it may be posted too. Recordings are there in lieu of a launch, which was originally scheduled for last night, pre-virus.

artist at work

I just had a blog post put up at Overland. It was originally called Literary Competitions: Better than the pokies? and is now called An accountant of dreams, which is a phrase from the essay. A few most carefully crafted jokes have disappeared, but it’s still worth a read! Here’s the link:

https://overland.org.au/2015/05/an-accountant-of-dreams/

The essay relates to this blog in that I’m always giving links to competitions, and it occurred to me that if you entered them all, you’d be spending quite a lot.

At the same time (even on the same day; my cunning plan to invade all corners of the web and print universes at once is coming to fruition like a Napoleonic pineapple mounted on a white pony crossing the Brindabellas*) I have an essay about how I manage to write poetry published in ACTWrite, the magazine of the ACT Writers Centre. I can’t link to that one, but there are 22 points in the article. Twenty-two! That’s quite a few.

Here is my exhausted pen, sweating ink. God knows why as I wrote both pieces on this computer, but a photo is Always Nice.
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*Canberra’s hills (or mountains, as some call them). Also, I should shoot that sentence, as it is going off like Cujo after the bat.

I suppose the idea for having a year of reading no prose came to me after listening to someone say ‘nobody reads poetry anymore.’ Apart from being a tad tactless, when the person addressed is a poet, this comment made me think about the comparative weight that the novel gets in society, as opposed to the art form that places language itself at its centre.

Why not see how it would be not to read fiction or non-fiction for a year? Will too much poetry drive me mad? Will that madness be sadly obsessive, or downright Byronic? Or just moronic?

My Year of Living Poetically (thank you Mr Featherstone, novellaist extraordinaire) begins today. Let me clarify; I don’t intend to give up on news or blogs or government forms. I will read articles about poetry.

The Japanese have a form of writing called the haibun, where prose is illuminated by a haiku. I intend to have a year of poetry, illuminated by the occasional book review. Or funding application.

But no novels, no history, no theology for a year. This is my New Year’s Resolution for 2013, amongst more mundane things about haunting the gym and being more tolerant. I’ll be blogging about my efforts and experiences here. In prose, mostly.

We’ll see how this experiment in poetry goes.
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Happy New Year!