My debut collection of poetry We Will Disappear now has a cover image, a thickness (8mm!) and – an ISBN! I’m dizzy. The cover (left) was taken by yours truly back in 2000 – read more about the background to this picture and the author shot (taken by Sean M Whelan) here. The book will be launched at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August, and the Queensland Poetry Festival in September, 2007. More on that as it comes to hand but the exciting news is that the book now exists, if only for a short time, and copies of it (as well as both Barry Hill and Margie Cronin’s books) have arrived at the soi3/papertiger office in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Below are the full publication details, or ‘specs’, as I like to call them. It doesn’t get any more official than this.
While you may rest assured that I won’t be producing an intricate online annotated version of the contents of We Will Disappear (OR AT LEAST, NOT YET!), I can at last reveal the track listing or, as we say in the industry ‘table of contents’.
The final order the poems was arrived at after some serious editorial intervention from Paul Hardacre, whom I cannot thank enough for his patience, intuitive widsom and sensitivity.
I look forward to making further announcements as to the book’s release date, where to buy said book and, finally, details of the launch, which will (of course) be huge.
We Will Disappear
In a Dim Sea Nation
We Will Disappear
(On the Tomb of) Victor Bruce
Northern Rivers Pastoral
While Your Children Are Small
In Heaven It’s Always Raining
When We Were in the Wild
Lovers / Lateness
Japanese Bush Poet
The Happy Farang
Tintin & the Plain of Jars
The Chao Le
Ich Bin Ein Tourist
We Miss You!
A Veteran of the Club Scene
There’s a Wild Jack Russell in the Moon
The Bloody Hollys
Let’s Fight the Pop-Ups!
Machines for Living In
Search Poem #9
Betty Conquers All
Silver Rocket II
Wounded or Sound: The Death March of Johnny McQueen
She Finds Her Speed
The Rise & Fall of Davey Dreamnation
(On the Tomb of) The Unknown Waitress
We Are Living
5 Haiku SMS
In the spirit of all things pertaining to rolling thunder, increasing expectations and maximising tension, I’m happy to report that my debut poetry collection We Will Disappear, to be published by soi 3, an imprint of papertiger media, is edging closer to reality. The text is currently with a proofreader and the cover artwork is also being finalised, and I’m hoping that the book will be out by May this year. Having been on the other side of the publisher-author relationship for most of my adult life, it’s been a steep learning curve for me this time. All of a sudden it’s my work and my image that will be heading out into the bibliosphere, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just as picky and obsessive as any other author.
Well it’s been over ten years in the making so I’m overjoyed and relieved to inform you that my debut poetry collection We Will Disappear will be released this year through soi3, an imprint of papertiger media. The book will feature between fifty and one hundred poems, including some that have already been published, both online and in print, and others no one even knew existed. While a cover image for the book hasn’t been decided upon yet, I’m kind of partial to this one below, which was taken seven years ago in a carpark above a warehouse where, coincidentally (or not), I first came up with the character of Davey Dreamnation.
My chapbook Abendland (pictured left, details) has been reviewed by Philly poet Adam Fieled on his excellent blog. Check out the review here. As far as I can tell, this is the first time my work has ever been reviewed, anywhere. I only have a couple of copies of the book left, but I hope to make an announcement soon as to a possible re-release, along the lines of Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted. For those who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, Pavement’s debut full length album circulated unofficially as a cassette tape in the early 1990s, with the consequence that it was well known “underground” before being released, erm, “overground”. So, if you’d like to possess a copy of the original chapbook, and would like to be able to tell your grandkids that you got in there first, before the Abendland project went mainstream, contact me via email. Like, today.
In other spellbinding news, sure to get Stung seething, I’ve finally bitten the bullet and re-registered the www.daveydreamnation.com domain, which is now up and running, albeit sans content. Regular (oh come, all ye faithful) readers will recall the jitch-up that occurred about three years ago, when I first registered the domain, and then a year later forgot to renew the registration, with the result that the site was taken over by a cyber-porn-squatter. Luckily for me, the squatter lost interest and didn’t renew the registration him or herself. So, here we are again. I’ll be slowly migrating this blog, plus a few other ones, to the new domain over the next few weeks.
I’m not usually one to go for publicity, prferring instead to slave anonymously over my poetry, honing my arcane craft in the desloate silence of my eyrie, but when I got a call from uber-poet and drop-dead spunk alicia sometimes asking if I’d like to come and talk to her writing students at Chisholm TAFE today, I spied a self-promotional opportunity. All of yesterday was spent formatting documents, photocopying images and wrestling with staplers and yes, it was a tricky thing but I did manage to put together ten copies of my chapbook Abendland, my first since The Happy Farang way back in 2000. The chabook contains poems I wrote during a two month holiday in Europe and the US last year. You can read all of the poems online here, but I should mention that these are early drafts of the poems, some of which have changed radically since being written. Plus, I mean, a chapbook is a pretty cool thing to have with you when you’re on the tram, or hanging with your poetry peeps. alicia’s students seemed to have the same idea, almost completely clearing me out of stock! If you’d like to purchase a copy for the princely sum of $5, email me and we can arrange something. Otherwise, I’m open to swaps, even if all you’ve got is a dubbed cassette version of Rattle and Hum. It takes all sorts.
covers: poems by nick whittock
(Cordite On Demand, 2004)
COD’s second book, by cricket tragic and librarian Nick Whittock, was a lot of fun to make. Nick wanted the book to be shaped like the old Footrot Flats comics. Once we got this in our minds, everything else flowed naturally and what you get for your buck is a strange, experimental and brave collection of poems about cricket and cricketers, including poem-title-of-the-century nominee, “Doosra Locomotion”.
However, as with Tom See’s book, the publishing experience was also full of ‘learnings’. Anyone who has published a book or launched something similar (eg a CD, an art exhibition etc) would know of the dreaded-worst-nightmare-situation when the thing to be launched does not show up on time. Unfortunately for Nick, this fate befell the first launch of his book, which was conducted sans product.
This was more than made up for, however, by a launch in Nick’s home town of Candelo in southern NSW, where we packed out the local cafe and had a great time.
OI: poewemz bii tom see
(Cordite On Demand, 2004)
Earlier this year, deciding that my life wasn’t nearly as busy as it could be, I set up an imprint for Cordite Press, known as COD, or Cordite On Demand. Its aims were pretty ambitious – basically a complete shake-up of the Australian publishing industry. While this is obviously still light years away and despite COD’s all-too-brief lifespan, we did manage to publish two books, the first of which was written by Melbourne-based poet and cricketer Tom Clark, under the pseudonym tom see.
The book was designed with the dimensions of a vinyl record single cover in mind, and the book was also notable for its great cover illustration (by Charles Lake) and its listing of the table of contents on the book’s reverse. We printed 250 copies, and I’ve got a few left. As this was my first attempt at publishing a book, I obviously learnt a good many lessons the hard way. The launch was great, though!
Nevertheless the process of publication was really fascinating and interesting for me – not least because we used the services of BPA, a Melbourne-based printer who offer digital printing, at a lower price than traditional offset printing. While I have my reservations about the pros and cons of POD as opposed to offset printing, this first book proved to me that it is possible to produce a good-looking book according to your own design specifications, and that it won’t necessarily cost the earth to get it printed.
Now that the embargo has ended on mentioning UQP’s Best Australian Poetry of 2003, I can breathe a sigh of relief and inform you, in all openness, that I am in it. Or at least, a poem of mine is in it. “In A Dim Sea Nation” was first published in papertiger #2 last year. That it’s been picked up by UQP (through editor Martin Duwell) is a great thrill. I’m sitting there alongside Peter Porter, Les Murray, Clive James (why?) and a whole bunch of other luminaries. Yippee! Of course, there’s been a lot of talk around the poetry traps about the pros and cons of anthologies, especially the ones that purport to be “The best” (see last entry). I tend to agree – though subjectivity is always present when speaking of poetry one likes. Apparently there’s a rival anthology coming out, featuring the same number of poems and edited by Peter Craven. I’m told that it’s a “Best Poets” anthology, as opposed to the more scientifically selected best poems. Whatever!