Thursday 29 June 2023

Dancing with Empty Prams makes its way out into the world!

Dancing with Empty Prams has been launched! It was so lovely to celebrate its release in Brisbane on the 17th June 2023, surrounded by family and friends. My long-term friend Sally Lingard gave a beautiful launch speech and I spoke about the reasons for writing it, followed by a short reading. Here are some photos from the event, held at Chermside library. 

I'm excited about the upcoming Hobart launches. Bookings are steadily flowing in for the two Hobart events. If you haven't already, you can book tickets here.

I've also updated my website so you can now buy copies directly from me, using the secure PayPal button on the front page or the 'Buy my books' tab. 

Here are the ways you can buy my book, in order of what works best for me:

1. Pick up a copy at the launches in Hobart on 7th or 8th July or other upcoming events (Oasis Women Poets, Seasonal Poets or the Fullers poetry and conversation event on 10th August)

2. If you live locally, deposit the money in my bank account (message me for the details) and I can give you a copy when I see you next or drop it into your letterbox

3. Buy it via my website and I will post it to you

4. Grab it from Fullers Bookshop or The Hobart Bookshop

Thanks so much!!

Friday 2 June 2023

Winter book launches and catch up on publication news

In two weeks I will be in Brisbane, in my home state of Queensland, launching my book Dancing with Empty Prams on the 17th June at the Chermside library. This book has been a long time in the making and I’m excited that soon you will be able to read it! My mum read it for the first time last week and said that it was “beautiful and poignant”. If you come along you can hear me talk about why I wrote it and listen to some of the poems. Here’s the Facebook event with more info.

And in five weeks I’m thrilled to be teaming up with the wonderful Esther Ottaway to do joint book launches in Hobart. I’ll launch Esther's masterful new poetry collection She Doesn't Seem Autistic and Esther will launch my verse novel Dancing with Empty Prams. There’s a choice of attending the Friday evening event at 6pm on the 7th July, or the Saturday afternoon event on the 8th July at 1pm, both at Mathers House in the Upstairs Hall, 108-110  Bathurst St, Hobart. Esther and I will speak about our new books and the issues raised in them and give poetry readings. All events are free entry and there’ll be complimentary refreshments. A special price will be available at the launch: both books for $45. Card payments only at the launch.

Join us! Book your spot here.

We will also be doing online launches later in July (Sunday 16th July) for those who live interstate. Email me at for more info.

In other good news, two of the poems from my soon-to-be-released verse novel Dancing with Empty Prams were chosen by the editors for publication in the Australian Poetry Antholgy Volume 10. These poems, submitted under the title The intimacy of needles; the poise of liquid nitrogen, were Commended in the Woorilla Poetry Prize 2021 so it’s great that they’ll now reach a national readership.

I’m also honoured to contribute to the first issue of Folk Ku Journal, published by King River Press, alongside so many heartfelt haiku by talented writers. I enjoyed reading this first edition. Here are two of mine that have been included:

apples from the neighbours’ tree

kids pick the best ones

for their teachers


now the kids are seven and nine

I gaze

at the view

Read the whole collection here.


I also made it into the January edition of Echidna Tracks, with a little family dinner-time angst that turned into a haiku:

fried rice
with extra ingredients—
kids go hungry

Susan Austin

I also had a haiku chosen for the next issue of Echidna Tracks, which I will share when it comes out.

In December last year I found out that two of my poems, Calcium, horses and other dreams and Ode to a park bench were Commended in the FAW Tasmania Norma and Colin Knight Poetry Award.

My poem First day falling was published in Burrow’s September 2022 issue, which was on the theme of mental health through the prism of Place.

My poem Mask up was published in the Poetry in the Hospital publication edited by Tony Brennan in August last year. With a Covid wave happening again here in Tassie, it might be time to pull the masks out again when I go into the crowded stores or on public transport.  


Mask up
the Covid bogeyman hasn’t yet found the exit
like an uninvited guest at a party
telling too many tedious tales
get intimate with your own expired air
the garlic memory of your lunchtime focaccia
the quickening heat of your unsettled breaths

Mask up
it’s a new way of life
maintaining life is the purpose
although it seems like all they do is interrupt
the facial expressions and connections that enrich it
don’t turn to touch to compensate
or we’ll all have to sanitise again

Mask up
it’s the new fashion
choose your mask to match your outfit
and don’t forget which one is clean
which was yesterday’s that needs a wash
is there any point to make-up
or toothpicks anymore?

Mask up
even if it scares the kids
feels like we’re in a new apocalypse
these cloth and paper defences
promise to keep your germs out
and my germs in
let’s share other things instead
like hopes and fears
and all the fragile hesitations in between

I was thrilled when Happy accidents, a long poem from my verse novel Dancing with Empty Prams, was published in the Australian Poetry Journal 12.1, the theme of which was “divergence, relevance”.

And I’ll leave you with a photo of a haiku that was published in the Haiku Down Under 2022 Anthology, Poetry From The Edge.

It’s the reason why I devote some of my time to co-ordinate the Climate Action Hobart activist group. Poetry can change the world, but it’s not enough on its own, in this critical decade, grassroots action and campaigns are needed too.