reflecting on Adelaide Writers Week, 2018

Last week was a big one for me. I was selected by Peter Goldsworthy to be one of five to represent the current state of contemporary poetry in South Australia on Day Four of Adelaide Writers Week as part of the 2018 Adelaide Festival. I was joined by a diversely talented group: Alison Flett, Rachael Mead, Nelson “Dialect” Hedditch and Manal Younus before a capacity audience of well over 1000.

Adelaide Writers Week is always an interesting time with authors and poets from all over the world, fascinating and challenging panel discussions and readings from the writers’ own mouths. But this year was even better for me, meeting and having conversations with admired writers at the launch/ meet & greet/ private and farewell parties where I got to talk to David Malouf, Michael Farris Smith, Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Dando-Collins, Mem Fox, Rebekah Clarkson and Catherine Chidgey. Thanks to my fellow poets and Peter Goldsworthy for curating the event and allowing us to present our work to a wider audience.

(Photos: Martin Christmas, Heather Taylor Johnson, Helve Doecke, Rob Walker)

with Stephen Dando-Collins and his wife Louise.

Kate Llewellyn

Alexander McCall Smith

two late

“For my late friend” was published in Short and Twisted (Celapene Press) last year.

for my late friend


i’m weary of the euphemisms

friends keep saying you’ve passed

like it was a test


meanwhile most of you went up in flames

and we’re all breathing in your molecules

on a daily basis


our conversations       and your smiles

exist only                         in my synapses.

you were always punctual


so why do they keep calling you late?

let’s face it        you’re never going

to get here





Two audio versions of My late friend:

For my late friend

rob walker: spoken word / production

music: Gurdonark


Late friend

Stefan Kartenberg – bass and beats

Admiral Bob – beats, guitar and rhodes

billraydrums – drums

Andrew Wainwright – piano, strings and horn

Aussens@iter – guitar

robwalkerpoet – spoken word

speck – production



As always, thanks fellow collaborators and



free in philadelphia

Thanks to Justin Lowe for selecting my poem Free in Philadelphia for his poetry website Bluepepper. I began this one in 2016 after splitting my eyebrow following a visit to historic Independence Hall where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Nothing like turning pain into poetry…


There’s also a musical version of the poem (my spoken word, Aussens@iter’s killer guitar) HERE



(image from Wikipedia)

to be. or not.

I’m happy to be published in Pure Slush Vol. 15. It’s a short story – set in the future and titled The Question – about a middle-aged man having a midlife crisis. Thanks to editor Matt Potter for once again selecting my work. Happy to see work by local writing friends Martin Christmas and Alex Robertson too!

(The Question was awarded ‘Commended’ in the  2016 Trudy Graham/Julie Lewis Literary Award for Prose. This is its first publication.)

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