2017 Goolwa Poetry Cup triumph!

The 2017 Goolwa Poetry Cup was another massive event, with 20 contestants and a near-packed house at The Distillery. The standard was extraordinarily high, supported by an appreciative audience. Congratulations to winner, Sarah-Jane Justice who collected the $1000 First Prize; Tailor Winston, Second Prize ($200); the other Finalists: Brendan De Paor-Moore, Chiara Gabrielli, Emelia Haskey, Keith MacNider, Sarah Pearce, Caroline Reid,  and  Maria Vouis ($50 prize each). Also congratulations to People’s Choice, Matcho Cassidy ($100); and the two juniors, Winner Keenan Drake ($50) and runner-up Flynn Turley ($30).

Huge thanks to organiser and MC, Nigel Ford; judges, Jude Aquilina, Clara Rosetta Santilli Ian Gibbins; guest poet, Mike Riddle; the sponsors, including the Alexandrina Council, Phillip Bonner and Nigel Ford; the venue, The Distillery; and the audience. Special thanks to photographer (and competitor), Nina Phillips.


FSP Featured Poets at Halifax Cafe: November Special Event!

This is the final FSP Featured Poets at Halifax Cafe session for 2017.

So we have a special treat for you: four fabulous poets, including two visitors from Melbourne, Peter Bakowski  and Dominique Hecq!

Wednesday 29th November, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Halifax Cafe, 187 Halifax St, Adelaide.

As usual, the Halifax Cafe will be open for food, beverages and a welcoming atmosphere, so come early, stay late!

$5 entry supports the poets.

Peter Bakowski

fell in love with the map of the world at the age of six. Peter has been writer-in-residence in Rome, Paris, Macau, Suzhou (China), Battery Point, Tasmania; Greenmount, Western Australia and at the Broken Hill Writers Festival. His poems appear in literary magazines worldwide and have been translated into Arabic, Bahasa-Indonesian, Bengali, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Polish. Editions Doucey of Paris, published a bilingual edition of his Selected Poems, Le cœur à trois heures du matin (2015). Peter’s aim as a poet is to write as clearly as possible and no matter how many books he writes in his lifetime, they’ll all be about what it’s like to be a human being.

Dominique Hecq

is a poet, fiction writer, scholar and literary translator. She grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium and now lives in Melbourne. Often experimental, her writing explores love, loss, exile, and the possibilities of language. Over the years, it has been awarded a variety of prizes, including The New England Review Prize for Poetry (2004), The Martha Richardson Medal for Poetry (2006) and the inaugural AALITRA Prize for Literary Translation from Spanish into English (2014). Hush: A Fugue (2017) is her latest book of poetry.

Steve Brock

published his first collection of poetry The Night is a Dying Dog (Wakefield Press) in 2007, and received a grant from Arts SA for the completion of Double Glaze, published by Five Islands Press in 2013. He is the co-translator with Sergio Holas and Juan Garrido-Salgado of Poetry of the Earth: Mapuche Trilingual Anthology (Interactive Press 2014). Steve completed a PhD in Australian literature at Flinders University in 2003. His work has featured in the Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.) and has been published in journals in Australia and overseas. His most recent collection is the chapbook Jardin du Luxembourg (Garron Publishing, 2016). Steve was a featured writer at Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2017.

Rachael Mead

is a poet, short story writer, arts reviewer and bookseller living in South Australia. She’worked as an archaeologist, environmental campaigner and seller of books both old and new. She has an Honours degree in Classical Archaeology, a Masters in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide. Her poetry collections include The Sixth Creek (Picaro Press 2013) and two chapbooks. Her next full length collection The Flaw in the Pattern is forthcoming from UWAP in 2018. She is currently working on a collection of short stories.

Click here for maps and info.


October Poems of the Month

Congratulations to October’s (tied) Poems of the Month, as selected by Anthology Editors, Ros Schulz and Karl Cameron-Jackson: The Handover by Sharon Foulkes and Lorne in B Flat by David Cookson.

Click here to read all this year’s Poems of the Month.


The Handover by Sharon Foulkes

Friday at sunset,
and the junction diner churns with the weekend influx.

The nearly-there-yet,
grabbing a snack for bribing the kids into silence, and
steeling themselves for the dazzle and blur that’s ahead.

The finally-away,
breathing relief at temporary escape from the concrete, and
filling the fidgeting horde in the hope that they’ll sleep.

But, at a clean corner table,
a woman sits alone.

Behind her,
headlights are streaks in the darkening glass.

Above her,
football’s a silent dance on the screen.

She stiffens and shifts in her chair,
and standing there, a man in shirt and tie
hands her a bundle of pink pyjamas
and a floral back-pack.

“Tell her you’ve had some special chips.”

Best be done with it quick –
up this close, the chasm yawns between them,
and deep within, the heat begins to roil and spit –

So the week’s events are dropped unshared
(the delight in the puddles, solo flight on the swing).
They fall soft as white ash, as he turns.

The bundle stirs and whimpers, unfurls awake.
Although she’s mothered in welcoming arms,
her heart’s too full of the grief of leaving.

Rock and soothe,
Wipe a tear,
Smooth the brow,
Mum is here –

How long before the hurt’s too deep to reach?

It’s getting cold – they have to go
(judging eyes, suspicious looks).

Her mother gathers all her things,
and takes her wavering hand –
now comfortably encumbered, guides her on.

She is the never-there-yet, the empty-away.



Lorne in B Flat  by  David Cookson

In the town curled below rain forest
street lights tint rags of mist.
I am the only patron
in a bistro narrow gutted
as an eel
where mine host
in iced-white chef’s hat
has jazz on the stereo.

A brass barnacled J
his saxophone perches in a corner
garnering candlelight
and when I guess Coltrane on the CD
he must practise Lesson 3 for me,
while from the kitchen
my cannelloni seduces with garlic.

Fork as baton, I beat time for a lullaby
blurred by false starts and apologies.
Unbidden, he pours more wine.
I surrender to pasta perfect as Bach,
as we discuss other jazz greats.

The CD stops;
distant surf a counterpoint
to the sudden quiet.
‘Ah, one day,’ he muses,
fingers already straying to the keys.
He waves away payment,
starts lesson 3 again.

I walk home, the lullaby an echo,
watch the moon chase clouds
through stringy-barks.

2017 Poems of the Month now on-line

Each month the current Anthology Editors select a Poem of the Month, chosen from those submitted at the FSP Open Mic events. The Poems of the Month for 2017, selected by Ros Schulz and Karl Cameron-Jackson, are now (mostly!) available for you to read on-line. Click here to read them all so far or click on the individual links below.


February: Dear Poem by Bruce Greenhalgh
March: A Memorable Fancy by Gordon McPherson
April: Sonnet for a Coin-Eyed Fish by Maria Vouis
May: Mother and Daughter Collect Stones by Belinda Broughton
June (a tie): A Modern Father’s Advice by Reginald Thomas / cutting by rob walker
July: Lake Albert Swoons by Karl Cameron-Jackson
August: The Body Mother Made Me by Maria Vouis
September (a tie): Vincent in Waikerie by Gordon McPherson / Welsh Love Spoon by Veronica Cookson
October (a tie): The Handover by Sharon Foulkes / Lorne in B Flat by David Cookson