Fisher Library not interested in small press publications?

Rochford Street Press recently published what we hope is the first chapbook in a series of exciting and stimulating chatbooks – Pete Spence’s Kynetonbury Tales or Dog Days – and like a good little publisher we sent it off to the NSW legal deposit libraries. Over the following month or so I told a few people at Sydney Uni (where I am currently studying) that a copy of the book should be in the Sydney Uni library. Imagine my surprise when I got the following letter:

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So does this mean that Fisher library does not consider small press chatbooks worthy of collection or that no one studying at the University of Sydney is likely to want to access a small press publication by a poet such as Pete Spence?

I am actually studying in the English Department and I can assure the library that there are a number of staff and students in that department who require their library to maintain a strong collection of small press Australian literary publications!

Anyway – if you need to access a copy of this fine book all I can suggest is that you buy a copy directly from the publisher http://rochfordstreetpress.wordpress.com/rochford-street-press-titles/!

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‘Kynetonbury Tales or Dog Days’ by Pete Spence launches new Rochford Street Press Chapbook Series

Rochford Street Press is proud to announce the publication of Pete Spence’s Kynetonbury Tales or Dog Days. This chapbook is the first in a new series to be published over coming months. The next chapbooks in the series will feature works by Sarah St Vincent Welch and Mark Roberts.

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spenceAbout Kynetonbury Tales or Dog Days

Chaucer’s main mistake was that he didn’t make any of his central characters a dog. Pete Spence doesn’t fall into the same trap in his small epic poem Kynetonbury Tales. Full of characters that you will recognise and poetry that will delight and surprise. This is an eagerly awaited publication.

“Pete Spence’s wonderfully eccentric poetry never sits still. Irreverently allusive, Spence’s poems revel in the play and possibilities of language and the imagination.” – Cam Lowe

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“Spence is a poet of fraternity –which includes conviviality & melancholy… No wonder his recent poem in progress is called The Kynetonbury Tales, and a delight it’s been to read via e-mail”. – Kris Hemensley, Rochford Street Review.

About Pete Spence

Pete Spence was born in  1946 and started writing in his early teens. He was first published in Makar magazine (early 70′s) then  did no writing for ten years whilst attending to numerous adventures (e.g. sapphire mining in Queensland and New South Wales).

In 1984 he began Post Neo Publications and produced a handful of great books by Australians and an American (Hannah Weiner). His own work developed in three main areas during this period: Visual Poetry, Mail Art & traditional writing. The writing split into three different styles one inspired by the New York School, one by the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E School, and an odd group of things that didn’t fit into any school. His first published book was FIVE Poems (Nosukomo 1986).

Through 1989 to 1996 he also made a number of films, some screened internationally at Oberhausen (Germany) Viper (Switzerland in a programme with Stan Brahkage) and festivals in Australia, with 2011 screenings in UK and Melbourne. His recent adventures include learning to paint (very Rothko!) and making small three-dimensional works with wood à la Louise Nevelson and Ben Nicholson. He lives in Kyneton, Victoria with his partner of many years Norma Pearse (whose provided the illustration on the cover of Kynetonbury Tales) and their son Perren.

Kynetonbury Tales or Dog Days is available for $7.50 (within Australia) at the Rochford Street Press bookshop – http://rochfordstreetpress.wordpress.com/rochford-street-press-titles/

For further information please contact Rochford Street Press at rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

Felicity Plunkett on ‘Truth in the Cage’ by Mohammad Ali Maleki

As part of her review of No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani in Australian Book Review, Felicity Plunkett says of Truth in the Cage:

Maleki tends a garden on Manus Island, yet his poems evoke images of the natural world thwarted or gone awry – ‘the autumn leaf grows green’, ‘the moon implodes’, ‘the butterfly flies back to its cocoon’. In an allegory of refoulement, everything in ‘Silence Land’ is turned back: the tree to its seed, the sea to its source, the river to its spring. In the more surreal ‘Myself’, groans swell the sky, the sea becomes stormy and fish ‘[scatter] in fear’.

The book’s first poem, ‘Dream of Death’, begins by addressing readers as ‘my dears’, and implores: ‘please, I ask you, listen’. Both Boochani and Maleki evoke the experience of there being absolutely nothing to do and the impact this has on the mind. Each writer has endured this year after year.

Although Maleki writes of blankness and weariness, in ‘Where is My Name?’, he affirms ‘I won’t neglect to report on these days’. From the ‘cursed city’ of Manus, he writes tender works of witness and consolation commemorating others people’s deaths – Hamed Shamshiripour, who died by hanging, and Aylan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian asylum seeker whose body was washed up on a Turkish beach. Yet for all their gentleness, these are steely poems, refusing silence and namelessness

The complete review of No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison can be read athttps://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online-exclusives/5072-felicity-plunkett-reviews-no-friend-but-the-mountains-writing-from-manus-prison-by-behrouz-boochani, and, in the context of contemporary Australian culture and politics, this is an important review about a very important book. It is pleasing to see Maleki’s work linked with Boochani’s.

Truth in the Cage is available from https://rochfordstreetpress.com/rochford-street-press-titles/
No Friend but the Mountain, by Behrouz Boochani, is published by Picador and is available from https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781760555382/ 

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