Strands and Ripples by David Atkinson to be launched by Colleen Keating

 

 

A great privilege to be asked to launch David Atkinson’s second book of poetry Strands and Ripples, published by Ginninderra Press.  To be launched on Sunday 11 July 2021.

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‘In this, his second collection, David Atkinson continues his themes of memory, especially of growing up on a farm in southern NSW, and the natural world, including the wildlife and people that surrounded him then and do so now. In this collection David’s scope is also wider as he extends our perspectives on the human condition. His poems are sharp in their imagery and dramatic in their language. His forms range from the traditional to the stunning use of free verse. This book is highly recommended.’ – John Egan
‘David Atkinson enables us to see things in a new light. Every theme in this collection of poetry challenges us to let him show us aspects of life from a fresh perspective. Widely published in literary journals nationally and internationally, David’s poetry always repays a careful reading. It is with enthusiasm that I welcome this new collection.’
Colleen Keating
‘David Atkinson’s latest collection is a cornucopia of the poetic spectrum; it confirms that he is one of Australia’s finest poets. David brings a deft touch to the human condition, celebrates the wonders of nature and takes a fresh look at memories. This is a worthwhile addition to any bookshelf.’ – Decima Wraxall
David Atkinson is a retired lawyer who lives in Sydney. His poems have been published widely in Australia, the USA and the UK. David’s previous collection, The Ablation of Time, was published, also by Ginninderra Press, in 2018. He is a poet of memory, the human condition and the natural world.
978 1 76109 108 7, 120pp
Now up on the web site and for sale. Highly recommended

Versions

Paperback

9781761091087
$25.00

 

Ginninderra Press sends us exciting mail

 

You have Mail

How exciting, double exciting,  to receive two emails one after the other, from the award winning publisher Stephen Matthews OAM  at Ginninderra Press regarding our poem entries for  Ginninderra Press’ new anthology Milestones. 

Michael and I are both  thrilled to have our poems:  

cherishing the moments by Colleen Keating

Reset by Michael Keating 

selected for inclusion.

Hello Michael,

Thank you for submitting a poem for inclusion in our 25th-anniversary anthology Milestones. I’m delighted to inform you that your poem has been selected for inclusion in the book. In due course, you will receive a proof to check before publication. Covid permitting, we hope to launch the book later this year.

Regards,

Stephen

Hello Colleen,

Thank you for submitting a poem for inclusion in our 25th-anniversary anthology Milestones. I’m delighted to inform you that your poem has been selected for inclusion in the book. In due course, you will receive a proof to check before publication. Covid permitting, we hope to launch the book later this year.

Regards,

Stephen

(Stephen Matthews  and yours truly at the launch of Mountain Secrets)

 

Just reflecting . . .

I have been priveleged to have a poem in each of these past Anthologies :

Michael after reading a poem at the Writers Festival in May 2018 at Varuna Writing Centre Katoomba

in the autumnal beauty of the Blue Mountains NSW

The Crow edited by Joan Fenney

 

I am thrilled to have one of my recent poems  written this last February called Australia Day chosen to be in the next  poetry journal from South Australia called The Crow. Thank you to the editor Joan Fenney for creating this space for Australian poets.  

The Crow is published  biannually – June and December. by Ginninderra Press. Another initiative of the wonderful team there. Thank you Stephen Matthews OAM 

Crow – Ginninderra Press 

Soft Gaze by Colleen & Michael Keating

 

Soft Gaze our new Picaro Press book has just been released. Thank you to  Brenda Eldridge and Stephen Matthews at Ginninderra Press.. This is our second collaborative effort and we found our poetry blended very well to create this beautiful collection.

We are proud of the cover we have titled  ‘still and still moving‘ a photograph taken by our daughter, Jessica.   As she walked on the beach , she  observed the sand designs on the ebbing tide. One needs attention and the art of  soft gazing to  see this phenomena and  once seen of course  it is never unseen. One can never walk again on the beach and not watch for  the intricate designs the sand and water makes at their edge.   Thanks Jessica.

The dedication reads:
For our children and their partners –
the role models for our grandchildren.

Michael’s poem  gives the title to the collection

Soft Gaze
by Michael Keating

On this rim of the Pacific
an alfresco café fills and empties
swirls with chatter and laughter.
I allow my thoughts to drift.

On the rumpled velvet water
a canoeist eases into view
captures centre stage
then fades out of sight.

Folded against a cloud-gripped sky
the ocean is polished, gunmetal grey.
Pale pockets quilt the surface
where the sun probes to burn through.

The horizon arcs –
a tightrope where a coal bulker crosses.
A sharp scurry of seagulls
reframes my attention.

Launch of The mathematics of love by Sonia Hunt

It was a warm last day of summer .  Perfect for a garden party.  And perfect to celebrate the launch of Sonia’s first poetry book. I felt  privileged to  say a few words and to be the one to launch this gorgeous poetry book into  the ouvré of Sydney’s 2021 poetry scene. Below is the speech I read for the occassion.

The mathematics of love by Sonia Hunt. The garden party was held in the garden of Sonia and David’s daughter’s home in Killara. Lovely to gather with a group of interested friends for this celebration.

 

 

 

 

Speech for the Launch of The mathematics of love

Thank you David.  And thank you Phillipa and Simon, Josh and Chloe for welcoming us to your home.
And Sonia today is your day.  I am privilege to say a few words to welcome your poetry book, The mathematics of love, into the ouvré of Sydney’s  2021 poetry scene. 
Firstly the covers very smart  . .looks like a team effort !!  and the feel of the book is gorgeous . You must be so proud. Even your name snuck  in could be part of a mathematical solution.
Sonia has divided the book into 10 small sections with original Sonia pithy quotes to begin each section. My favourite was in the section called Gradient of Love  a very mystical set of poems  and Sonia heads it by the words

In the quiet creek the wattle grows wild in mystery 

another one in the section headed Circumstantial 

Grace was a veil on a tree

This leads to the last few chapters of deep mystical poetry.

Sonia also includes some notes on the poems on the last pages but the very last page in honourable placing is a photo of Cleopatra the cat strolling down the lane and this is inspired by Sonia’s  daughter Sarah who is living in Geneva..  So Sarah you can feel very much included here with us today.
What is most interesting about Sonia’s poetry is the irony with its humorous sometimes called ‘tongue in cheek’ touch  which has you reading and rereading with your inner being smiling to itself.  This is especially so in the first section of five poems under the title Berry Love

eg after a mathematical treatise on the flesh of a humble berry  where two voices are cleverly interwoven   and there is irony in both voices . . that  ‘controlled humour’ that plays thru these early poems.  As I read the poem those of you who know David will hear the second  voice and relate to the way Sonia has created his voice in the poem. 

Let me read Berry love  to you pg  14  

Some of you will hear the inspiration of other poets the touch of William Carlos Williams  and  in others TS Eliot’s flight of fancy  with the cats  that feature as characters in her poetry.   As you enjoy reading you will find Sonia’s poetry is quite eclectic but that ironic sense is never far from the surface. And the sensual as in 

An Orange for you  pg 19 

Then I told you
to close your eyes
as I slipped a sliver of orange
from my mouth into yours
and you moaned slightly.
in To my Coy Mistress where she writes,
in the persona of Cleopatra the cat  she has the philosophical-challenged Cleopatra lazing back in the sun as only cats can do, saying:‘I like to practice the quietest techniques espoused by Lao-Tau/ when relaxing on the garden bench. They enable me to doze in an aura of unconditional acceptance.  

and can you see Cleopatra saying:

“A box is a perfect place to meditate on the infinite absurdity of life:  its awkward symmetry, its compactness and its sober predictability creates a feeling of the hollowness of existence”    

What humour and satire is in play here.

This poem gives honour to the 17th century metaphysical poets and to Andrew Marvelle’s poem of the same name  and Sonia has a detailed explanation on page 88.  

So you have a very interesting read ahead of you. and with the fresh images and wonderful turn of phrase and  sensuality of words it will be a treat  for you to savour. 

I’d like to share a quirky tongue in cheek poem  with  you  

Read Package  pg 49

And a poem  dear to our hearts Man of Flowers dedicated to one of our great poets who has  passed..

Read Man of Flowers pg 47

Just to finish  a stanza from one of the Leura series that Phillipa will share  and which shows a beautiful joyful side of Sonia is Swinging in the rain . The notes at the back  of the book note this as a take on Gene Kelly’s song Singing in the Rain  as he tap-danced across our screens in the 1952 movie.  

And Sonia writes      pg 33 

slowly i begin to dance
with a song in my throat
and a leopard
just dancing and swinging
in the rain.

I have come to know Sonia over the past 10 years in our evening  poetry meetings  with our convenor Norm Neill  at the NSW Writers Centre, Rozelle and over coffee and her favourite Kettle chips where we read our poetry and critique each others writings. This takes a sense of trust and courage and binds us in friendship.

And today thanks to Stephen Matthews AOM at Ginninderra Press the publication of a new book is born

Sonia graduated through three careers. Firstly as a English/History teacher in schools both in England and Sydney, then moved to Teacher-librarian  and finally becoming a School Counsellor and Psychologist. She proudly related to me that thru the three professions she is proud of the fact that she worked with young people at all stages Kindy to Year 12.   as both teacher and school counsellor.

Well I feel she can now add a fourth sting to her bow . . that of poet  

with her first book of poetry mathematics of Love which iis my perfect segway to say 

The  mathematics of love by the poet Sonia Hunt  is well and truly launched..
It is time to celebrate the hard journey of writing .  Phillipa will share her thoughts and we can enjoy our friendship and the yummy spread Sonia and David  have presented for us to share  with a glass of bubbly . 

 

Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey by Colleen Keating wins two prestigious awards

 

Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey has won two awards at the Society of Women Writers NSW Biennial  Book Awards at The State Library NSW on Wednesday 10th February 2020.

SWW Poetry Book Award 2020
SWW Non-fiction Book Award  2020

In the acceptance speech  Colleen Keating said:

This is for Hildegard. This is for women.  This is for those who have been silent, lost,  or suppressed down the ages  of 2000 years and more, of women who are being rediscovered to bring a balance back into the voice of history.

This is for our environment and our earth. Hildegard called  earth our Mother and reminds us to care for her as we would our mother. Our air, our rivers our soil,  our forests must be nurtured for they nourish us as a mother does.

This is for our well being. Hildegard reminds us that  nature and music are natural spirit given healers.  Hildegard has returned 900 years aftern her death and it is no accident she is speaking to people  in this 21st century at this time all over the world. We need her wisdom more than ever.

Thank to all for this awards. Thanks to the shortlisted poets and especially Pip as runner-up.  Jan Conway, President of the SWW  and the committee.

Special thanks to Stephen Matthews AOM and Ginninderra Press for affirming my work and beliveing in Hildegard and publishing my verse novel.it

My friend and supporter,  acclaimed poet, Pip Griffin renowned for her verse novel  –  the journey of a Chinese Buddhist nun ani lin,  was runner-up and highly commended  for the SWW Poetry Book Award for her evocative  poetic journey:

                    Margaret Caro
the extraordinary life of a pioneering dentist
        New Zealand 1848-1938

as the judge, highly acclaimed poet Margaret Bradstock wrote,

“Both Hildegard of Bingen and Margaret Caro are sustained narrative collections of poems celebrating the lives of strong, single-minded and deeply religious heroines, one an anchorite, visionary and ultimately abbess during the Middle Ages, the other a New Zealand dentist at the turn of the nineteenth century.
Through judicious poetic description the writers Colleen Keating and Pip Griffith respectively, are able to enliven their stories and engage the interest of the reader. Over several hundred pages of verse, this is no mean feat.  Griffin records her protagonist’s account in first-person stanzas, as a kind of poetic ventriloquy, allowing us entry to her thoughts and feelings, italicised conversation and quotations counterpointing this perspective. By contrast, Keating as poet tells Hildegard’s story, but interpolates the anchorites’s spoken words and unspoken musings in italics.”

Congratulations Pip .

 

Colleen Keating is Winner of two SWW Book Awards

Colleen Keating is Winner of two SWW  Book Awards

Colleen Keating is the winner of two awards. Her recently published Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey, has taken out two awards at The Society of Women Writers NSW Biennial Book Awards. This was held at the State Library of NSW on Wednesday 10th February 2021.

SWW Poetry Book Award  2020
SWW Non-fiction Book Award

The judge for the Poetry section, highly acclaimed poet  Margaret Bradstock  wrote:

‘Keating plays with language, uses nouns as verbs, creative imagistic parallels to enhance emotional states. Poetic descriptions such as ,

‘The Rhineland moon/ edges the icy road or dawn-crackle of ice . . .erratic shivers of the horses/with huff of dragon smoke ‘ ,

to quote just a couple, vividly evoke the scenarios the poet wishes us to experience. . . it was Keating’ employment of figurative language, of subtle metaphor that determined Hildegard of Bingen to be the winning title. ‘

The judge for the non-fiction section,  renowned writer and editor for reviews at Women’s Ink, Judith O’Connor wrote:

How wonderful and fitting that Colleen has chosen the poetic form. Her narrative and style never miss a beat – almost racy at times, bounding along with passion and action against a backdrop of the beauty of nature as seen through Hildegard’s eyes. Lines like,

‘Her body knows what she wants
… as honey birds know
the most succulent flower
and geese
instinctively migrate (p.51)

The book speaks with the voice of a writer truely inspired, immersed, seeped in the knowledge and spiritual understanding of this far-away woman who lived to a remarkable 82 years of age. Colleen takes us on the outer, physical journey of Hildegard’s life but also the rich and spiritual inner journey. Harsh at times but always compelling.”

 

Thank to all for this awards. Thanks to the shortlisted poets and especially Pip as runner-up.  Jan Conway, President of the SWW  and the committee.

Special thanks to Stephen Matthews AOM and Ginninderra Press for affirming my work and beliveing in Hildegard and publishing my verse novel.it

 

The waterfall today after the three days of rain

Waterfall in the remnant of forest  in easy walking from home. This is my air pocket in this city of 4 million people.

If you click the IMG below you will get an amazing 13 seconds of refreshing beauty.

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through the trees i glimpse a waterfall
and marvel to think it has always been here
carving musically into the heart of the earth
it has sung its song for aeons   (from new bush track)

I felt very energised after my walk .My first time to put up a video. It is only 13 seconds but amazing . I am so thrill to have this so close I can walk there and be in another world .

A poem that I wrote when i first found this place and it was published in Fire on Water 2016 publ. Ginninderra Press

new bush track

moving house means searching
for new wilderness
like a miner after an elusive air pocket

following a green area on a map
hidden by development
encroached to the edge
behind an old scout hall

a brambly track
winds me down
through a sandstone escarpment
the dawn-sun plays into the hands
of eucalypts stretched
to seek the light
yet their search for meaning
being found more in their roots
symbiotically curled around sturdy rock

here dew tipped casuarinas sparkle<
here grass trees verdantly splurge<
as if their whole purpose is to shine

self important palms push upwards
screaming rock stars

honey birds swing on rusty-gold banksia
magpies warble
in the whip-cracked air

this is the Australian bush
how it pulls me in

through the trees i glimpse a waterfall
and marvel to think it has always been here
carving musically into the heart of the earth
it has sung its song for aeons
it is the human in me that delights

nature just is
in its own world
whole unto itself
it doesn’t even know I’m here
there is a loneliness in this
yet lost from the world
i am found
and to the cadence of nature
i dance 

Mood Indigo by Pip Griffin and Colleen Keating

.. You are the music while the music lasts. T.S. Eliot 

Mood Indigo, This is a collaboration of poetry by Pip Griffin and Colleen Keating,

A Picaro Poets chapbook,  it is published under the umbrella of Ginninderra Press. It is composed of 24 succinct and lyrical poems which are perfect for the reader wanting to retreat into a pocket-sized poetry book with an inner covenant of peace.

Colleen and Pip’s poetry, an eclectic collection of lyrical poetry

transports the reader

to Alice Springs
The land’s a vast Kngwarreye
black, brown, green, ochre, painted on infinity.

to Lake Ainsworth
ducks’ wave-rippling wakes
break the spell

pleads for an end to war
what if we all bow low
to quench our parched throats
and what if we drink
from the same waterhole

and finds renewed hope
in the return of a single red wattle bird
I thought you had deserted us
but your presence
this spring morning
gives me hope.

Chapbook. $5  Order your copy online from www.ginninderrapress.com.au

Thanks to Brenda Eldridge Series editor: from Gininnderra Press.
and John Griffin for cover image

Leura Gardens 

While travelling by train to this place we visited so often

a reservoir of tears presses against my ribs

i do not want this pain to fill

the hollow of your absence

images of our time together explode behind my eyes

‘The Lark Ascending’ plays to my inner ear

cherry trees in blossom line the streets

like flower girls at a wedding 

the gardens flaunt their colours

i wear the striped jumper we bought here

under the spent wisteria at the Waldorf Gardens Resort

a jazz group plays ‘Mood Indigo’.

©Pip Griffin 4/10/18

 

my Tao poem 

when you find the Tao
others will find you
they will hear the still silence
in your voice
see the peacefulness
shine from your eyes
sense the path in your movement
feel the all is well hope in your being recognise you
by laughter and tears danced in your soul and they will be near you
to find their way home 

Colleen Keating

You are the music while the music lasts. T.S. Eliot

Pip and I enjoying Christmas celebration luncheon
at the Society of Women Writers, December 2019

I Protest! Poems of Dissent selected by Stephen Matthews

 

So exciting to receive in the mail our complimentary copies of Ginninderra Press’ new Anthology.

I Protest! Poems of Dissent. 

Congratulations to Stephen Matthews on a superb publication  and so timely.

Both Michael and I are  very proud to each have a poem   chosen for the Anthology.

Michael’s poem is called Disconnect  and is a poem about the precious commodity we have
in water which has its own fragility and he writes how we can be lulled into forgetfulness
‘The fragility of our country  and the worry about the aquifers’

My poem rock-a bye-baby  speaks of the earth is in pain and yet how easy we can be lulled into sleep, into silence.

I  like to think I end hopefully
‘like green shoots from black stumps
will rise   poems of possibility’

There is 20% off all books at Ginninderra Press till the end May.