Sunday 23 June 2024

Incandescence will be coming to life!

I'm thrilled to announce that Walleah Press will be publishing my third book, Incandescence, later this year or early next. It's a 12-years-in-the-making poetry collection about people and all their wonderful, messy, painful and joyous complexities. The poems illuminate parenting, relationships, poverty, illness and ways we cope, like yoga, writing, nature connection.

Fifteen of the poems have been previously published across ten journals and anthologies. One poem from the manuscript won the FAW Tasmania Poetry Prize 2023 and a further four poems were commended in competitions.

In other news, my previous two books, Undertow and Dancing with Empty Prams, are now both available on Kindle as eBooks.

Undertow is only $8.99 and is available here and Dancing with Empty Prams is a bargain for $9.99 and available here.

Both books are still available through the link on my home page or via the tab "Buy my books". There's a secure PayPal function and I have plenty of stock I can pop in the mail to you. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think nothing beats a paper copy of a book.

And just for a little taster, this poem will be in my third book, Incandescence. It was also included in the Anthology "The World According to Us" the 2023 Anthology by FAW Northwest Writers Tasmania.


Every olive counts

New Harbour, Tasmania


The wind flings my flatbread off my lap,

two olives land in the sand.

I am instructed to pick them up, wash them off.


The departing tide arranges

thousands of translucent blue bodies

and long, opaque tails on the sand.

A bluebottle invasion

shrivelling in the sun.


We skinny-dip in the creek’s

thwarted mouth.

Breaststroke around in the metre-deep fresh water

backed up behind the beach.

The top two centimetres, warmed by the sun.

Below that

very refreshing.

Paddle around, goose-bumped,

gazing at seagulls, eucalypts, clouds.

Drying off, we anticipate

a slightly less smelly night in the tent.


I am chastised

for snacking on lunch crackers

before bed.


This is the wild South-West.

Skies menace grey clouds,

cold wind whips into our bones

as we sit on the ground, puffed up

in down jackets, fleece beanies,

long pants and thick socks,

wondering where summer’s gone.


First day falling will also be in my new book and was previously published by Burrow.

First day falling


in this strange office

where half a tap offers boiling water and the other half chilled


she tries to smile and read name badges

with an imperceptible downward flick of her eyes


new colleagues bear gossip in their arms like kindling

she wants to light a fire to warm her nervous bones


instead she plies the levers on her chair

struggles for equilibrium


she logs in, opens her calendar – blank and questioning

slots pens and paperclips into a plastic caddy


slips away to the bathroom … scares herself in the mirror

with an expression like being lost in snow


or gazing into the sky at night to find God

but only managing to spot a falling star

Here is a poem from Undertow:




The sunken couch cradles him.

He grips the remote



The baby,

the pot plant,

her gloss lipstick

                         all study him.


Doctors riddle him with diagnoses

but it is war

that goes on interviewing him each night.


He asks alcohol to counsel him

but all each bottle does

is prescribe another.


And just to even it out, here are two poems from Dancing with Empty Prams:


Pudgy legs


Have you ever noticed

how many cute babies there are

in airports?


As we wait at our gate,

I watch the ones around me.


A toddler in the row facing me

wears a mock miniskirt

attached to a blue stripy top.

The outfit hovers above pudgy legs.

She stands, wobbling, on the seat,

grips the backrest,

gurgles back at the adoring adults.


On the plane

I chew envy-salted peanuts.

I even long to be

the parent


                              the screaming baby

                                                            up the back.


Smile formation


At the end of every day,

a needle.


Before bed –

the routine jabbing, stabbing.


It seems like half a year of needles

but it’s only been two months.

Seventeen per month.


Secret red pinpricks decorate

my belly, below my navel,

in a smile formation.


This is where a little extra fat is an advantage.

An indisputable excuse for Burger Rings.


Don't forget to follow me on Facebook!  Susan Austin Poet


  1. Congratulations on the new book Susan! I look forward to reading it.
    Your poetry gives me goosebumps. You have a deep insight into the human condition and a well of solidarity.
    I’m glad I’m not on your wrong side however: chastised indeed 😊!

    1. Hi Graham, thanks so much for your response! Glad you enjoy my poetry. And yes, make sure you stay on a writer's good side for sure!