China – one poem at a time.

I’ve gone dark for a few weeks. We are taking 6 weeks in China & Japan. I didn’t realise that Facebook, Gmail and Google would all be blocked in China… Meanwhile I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of writing a poem every day. There’s plenty to reflect on…

Cycling the city walls, Xi’an

Squirrel, Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Archaeologist inspecting his terracotta troops

Terracotta Army, Lintong via Xi’ an.


Tower fortress, Great Wall, Badaling


Buddha’s Angels, Great Wild Goose Pagoda, 7th C.

Giant Panda Research Base, Chengdu



defying gravity

The other Fringe event I was involved with last month was Defying Gravity, a free afternoon of comedy, poetry and music organised by Margaret Clark and sponsored by Salisbury Council.I sang ‘If I were a subjunctive clause’ on guitar, ‘Livin’ in the Sunlight’ on uke and ‘Whispering Grass’ with John Brydon and performed the poems Ode to the Penis, speech of parts, an accident waiting to happen, bucket list and Tommy Ruff. Thanks to all the other performers: Margaret Clark, Fred Willet, Bruce Greenhalg, Leanne, Jill Wherry, Gordon McPherson, Nigel Ford, Joanne Baker and the musical group Creation!



I was part of two Festival Fringe events in February. The first was the launch of Amelia’s Dreamday collection, a project done in collaboration with Campbelltown ArtHouse. It was a fun and unique day which combined the opening of an art exhibition with the book launch. You can see more photos and read my launch speech on the Rochford Street Review website HERE. (Photos courtesy of Asbjorn Kanck.)

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