John Bennett

John Bennett grew up in the south of England when Red Squirrels were already becoming rare. He studied Philosophy & Sociology at university and travelled extensively before discovering Australia and settling here just over thirty years ago. He has worked at various sites including the Powerhouse Museum, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and Sydney University. He gained a PhD for ‘A New Defence of Poetry’ which attacked the myth of poetry as being above and beyond normal language use and its claims to transcend the ordinary and everyday.
He has performed around the world, transcribed his poetry for actors on ABC radio and won two of the most prestigious poetry prizes in Australia, the Newcastle and David Tribe. He was a Sydney Harbour Artist of the Year and poet in residence at the Macleay Museum.
In 2010 he moved out of Sydney to the coast and lives opposite Jagun Nature Reserve, and in the first year saw 100 species of birds in his garden and the adjacent forest. He is now an occasional teacher of ecopoetry and the Artistic Director of the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival. As well as a poet, he is a photographer and video artist — his DVD ‘Bird Lane Nettle’ (a collaborative enterprise with the musician John Laidler) was released this year.

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Pocket Diary

In National Library of Australia

Papa Osmubal

Papa Osmubal (aka Oscar Balajadia) is a poet-artist residing in Macau-SAR, China. He has an MA in English Studies from the University of Macau, where when he graduated he was awarded the highest honor (Excellence). He is also into occidental calligraphy, doing both modern and old (classical) scripts. Among his many calligraphy heroes are Joseph ‘Joe’ Vitolo and Julien ‘Kaalam’ Breton.
Papa Osmubal is a Macau resident of Filipino descent, married to a Macau local Chinese.

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

The Only True Eye

Jean Kent

Jean Kent was born in Chinchilla, Queensland, in 1951. She published her first poems in a literary magazine in 1970, while she was completing an Arts Degree (majoring in psychology) at the University of Queenslandl; her first collection, Verandahs, appeared twenty years later, in 1970.  Since then, another eight books of her poetry have been published. The most recent are The Hour of Silvered Mullet (Pitt Street Poetry, 2015) and Paris in my Pocket (PSP, 2016). 

Awards Jean has won include the Anne Elder Prize and Dame Mary Gilmore Award (both for Verandahs), the Wesley Michel Wright Prize, the Josephine Ulrick Prize and Somerset Prize. She has been a runner-up for the Newcastle Poetry Prize and winner of its Local Section, and was a judge of the prize in 2013. She has received several writing grants from the Australia Council, including Overseas Residencies in Paris in 1994 and 2011.

As well as writing poetry, fiction and (occasional) nonfiction, Jean has worked as an educational psychologist, counsellor in TAFE colleges, lecturer in Creative Writing, mentor and facilitator of poetry workshops.

With Kit Kelen, Jean was co-editor of A Slow Combusting Hymn: Poetry from and about Newcastle and the Hunter Region (ASM/Cerberus Press, Flying Island Books, 2014).

Her Flying Island pocket book is The Language of Light (2013), a selection of her poems with Chinese translations by Iris Fan Xing.

In 2020, Kit Kelen invited her to converse with him by email for his blog spot, The Daily Kit. Their conversation over six months, covering a lot of topics, including poetry, but also COVID19, the deaths of their mothers, gardening …

Jean lives at Lake Macquarie, NSW.

Links: jeankent.net

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

The Language of Light

In National Library of Australia

Translation Iris Fan Xing

The Language of Light is a selection of poems from Jean Kent’s collections, with translations into Chinese by Iris Fan Xing. The poetry ranges from memories of childhood in country towns and on a farming property in Queensland to adult experiences visiting family in Lithuania and living in Paris. Scenes from everyday life, working as a psychologist, and at home in a bushy suburb at Lake Macquarie, NSW, also feature. Included are poems which won the Josephine Ulrick National Poetry Prize and the Dorothy Porter Prize.

Judy Johnson

Judy Johnson has published five full length collections and several chapbooks. Her books have won the Victorian Premier’s Award and been shortlisted in both the NSW and WA Premier’s Awards. She’s been awarded the Wesley Michel Wright Prize 3 times. Her latest collection is ‘Dark Convicts'(UWA publishing, 2017) a poetic exploration of her African American First Fleet convict ancestors.
Her Flying Islands publication is ‘Exhibit’, 2013.

Judy Johnson is an award-winning poet with a special interest in bringing to life little known but fascinating aspects of Australia’s history. Prizes for her historical narratives include the Banjo Paterson Award, which she won three years in a row, and the Val Vallis Award. She has been the recipient of three New Work Grants from the Literature Board of the Australia Council, is currently working on another historical novel. Judy Johnson lives on the NSW Central Coast.

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications


trans Iris Fan Xing

Dan Disney

Originally from Australia, Dan Disney has lived in South Korea for the last decade, where he teaches in the English Literature Program at Sogang University, in Seoul. His collections include and then when the (John Leonard Press), either, Orpheus (UWAP), and Report from a border (Light-Trap Press). He is editor of Beyond Babel: Creative Writing in Second Language Contexts (John Benjamins), and co-edited both Writing to the Wire (UWAP, with Kit Kelen), an anthology of poems protesting the dehumanization of people seeking political asylum in Australia, and New Directions in Australian Poetry (Palgrave, with Matthew Hall), in which a number of Australian poets theorize on the ethical possibilities of creative production into the early 21st century.

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Mannequin’s Guide to Utopias

In National Library of Australia

Richard James Allen

Richard James Allen is an Australian poet, born in Kempsey, New South Wales, on the unceded lands of the Dunghutti Aboriginal People. His writing has appeared widely in journals, anthologies, and online, and he has been a popular reader at multiple reading venues, over many years. His latest volume of poetry, The short story of you and I, was published by UWA Publishing in February 2019. A suite of recent poems, Minimum Correct Dosage, commissioned by Red Room Poetry, was published in December 2019. Previous critically acclaimed books of poetry, fiction and performance texts include Fixing the Broken Nightingale (Flying Island Books), The Kamikaze Mind (Brandl & Schlesinger) and Thursday’s Fictions (Five Islands Press), shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. A new book, More Lies (Interactive Press), in print, eBook and audio book form read by him, in 2021.

Former Artistic Director of the Poets Union Inc., and director of the inaugural Australian Poetry Festival, Richard is the creator of #RichardReads (https://soundcloud.com/user-387793087), an online compendium of Global Poetry, Read Aloud, and an editor of the landmark anthology, Performing the Unnameable: An Anthology of Australian Performance Texts (Currency Press/RealTime).

Well known for his multi-award-winning career as a filmmaker and choreographer with The Physical TV Company (http://physicaltv.com.au/), and critically acclaimed as a performer in a range of media and contexts, Richard has a track record for innovative adaptations and interactions of poetry and other media, including collaborations with artists in dance, film, theatre, music and a range of digital platforms.

The recipient of numerous awards, nominations, and grants, as well as multiple opportunities for presentations, screenings and broadcasts, he graduated with First Class Honours for his B.A. at Sydney University and won the Chancellor’s Award for most outstanding PhD thesis at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Links: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_James_Allen

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Fixing the Broken Nightingale

In National Library of Australia

Nearly 40 years later his tenth book of poetry, Fixing the Broken Nightingale, from Flying Island Books, is a journey from the comical and personal to the profound and provoking. Fixing the Broken Nightingale moves through five sections of poetry plus a prologue and epilogue, each focusing on a theme and creating an overall snowball effect from the internal to the universal.

In the first section titled ‘Natural disasters’, Allen gives the reader a quirky glimpse into day-to-day life, love, and creativity. It is as if Allen has sat down with the reader in a busy coffee shop after many months distance and plunged into discussions of lost umbrellas, tattered books, street-walking drug addicts and lucky pennies.

Throughout the second section, ‘Unanswered questions’, Allen holds our hand through a lifetime of love, stopping to focus our attention on sex and suffering through visceral imagery and structure. Form becomes an important technique in poems such as ‘Cradled in the elbow of time and space’, and ‘It doesn’t take long to forget’, a prose poem of energetic run-on sentences in oppressive block-text.

Sections ‘Occasional truths’ and ‘Flickering enlightenment’ confront death, aging, and insignificance. Here Allen takes each reader’s head in his hands and gently repositions our view, looking out of ourselves and making us feel small and dark like, ‘being inside / a cathedral built / of souls’ or falling ‘between the hand and the heart… because it’s easier than answering such questions’.

Allen describes his final section, ‘A scheme for brightness’, as an affirmation of art (that ‘Behind the thin mask of art / is the nothing. Nothing.’). However, it speaks also as an affirmation of love. The reader is led to consider that throughout the previous sections’ heartache and loss, what is ultimately important is ‘the greater love that passes through us, that binds all things’.

Fixing the Broken Nightingale first comically points a finger at the reader’s chest and then directs their gaze to the dark firmament of death, doubt, and smallness above them, leaving you with a feeling of having sped through life in a mere hundred pages.

Source: writingnsw.org.au/book-review-fixing-the-broken-nightingale-by-richard-james-allen/