Andrew Burke

In 1950, Andrew Burke wrote his first poem – in chalk on a slate board. It was variations on the letter A. In 1958 he wrote a poem modeled on Milton’s sonnet on his blindness. Luckily it is lost. In 1960 he wrote a religious play about the Apostles during the time Jesus was in the tomb. It was applauded. He wrote some poems influenced by T.S. Eliot and Gerard Manley Hopkins. They caused a rift in the teachers at the Jesuit school because they were in vers libre: the old priests hated them but the young novices loved them. It was his first controversy. (The only Australian poet in his school anthologies was Dorothea Mackellor!) Around this time, Burke read the latest TIME magazine from USA. It had a lively article about the San Francisco Renaissance, quoting Lawrence Ferlinghetti who wrote: ‘Priests are but the lamb chops of God’. This appealed to Burke who became a weekend beatnik over night.

When he left school, he hitch-hiked a la Kerouac across Australia to Sydney where he worked in factories, on trucks, at a rubbish dump and moving furniture. His poems appeared in these early days in Westerly, Nimrod, Overland and the Bulletin, and he returned to Perth to regain his health and joined a circle around Merv and Dorothy Hewett. A local poet William Grono hit the nail on the head when he described them as ‘I am London Magazine and you are Evergreen Review’. Long story short, Andrew Burke has written plays, short stories, a novel, book reviews and some journalism alongside a million advertisements and TV and radio commercials. He has also taught at various universities and writing centres and gained a PhD from Edith Cowan University in 2006 when he was teaching in the backblocks of China. As a poet he has published fourteen titles, one of the most popular being a bi-lingual Pocket Book published by Flying Islands Press in 2017, THE LINE IS BUSY (translated by Iris Fan). He is retired now but still writing and lending a hand to younger poets. A small selection of poems follow.

Links: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Burke_(poet)

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

The Line is Busy

安德魯•博爾克:佔線 trans Iris Fan Xing

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Cui Yuwei 葦歡:刺

Cui Yuwei, born in 1983, is a bilingual poet and translator based in China. In 2007, she completed an MA in English Literature in Wuhan University. She has published poems in Mascara Review and Cordite Poetry Review (AU). Her works of translation appear in Off-the-Coast (US), The Sons of Camus Writers International Journal (CA) and Ajar (Vietnam). Her Chinese poems are widely seen in various literary journals and collections in China. Currently, she works as an English lecturer in Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai in China.

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Fish Bones

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Kit Kelen

Christopher (Kit) Kelen (客遠文) is a well-known Australian poet, scholar and visual artist, and Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Macau, where he taught Creative Writing and Literature for many years.

Kit Kelen’s poetry has been published and broadcast widely since the seventies, and he has won a number of prestigious awards over the years, including an ABA/ABC Bicentennial Prize in 1988; and in 1992 an Anne Elder award for his first volume of poems The Naming of the Harbour and the Trees. He has also won Westerly‘s Patricia Hackett Prize and placed second in Island’s Gwen Harwood Prize. In 2012, his poem ‘Time with the Sky’ was runner up in the Newcastle Poetry Prize, an award for which he has been frequently shortlisted. In 2017, Kit was shortlisted twice for the Montreal Poetry Prize and, for the second time, won the Local Award in the Newcastle Poetry Prize.

Volumes of Kit Kelen’s poetry have been published in Chinese, Portuguese, French, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Indonesian and Filipino. The most recent of Kelen’s dozen English language poetry books are China Years – New and Selected Poems (2012, ASM/Flying Islands) and Scavenger’s Season (2014, Puncher and Wattmann). He also has a mini-selected poems in the form of A Pocket Kit. His next collection of poetry, Poor Man’s Coat – Hardanger Poems is being published by University of Western Australia Press in 2018.

The most recent of Kelen’s ten solo painting exhibitions were Next Stop is the Stars (Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery, Macao) in 2015; in 2016, Dotze Pinturas (Estudio Nomada, Barcelona); and in 2017, Kelen’s exhibition up through branches – por árvores acima – held at the SNBA (National Society of Fine Arts) Gallery in Lisbon.

For the last decade Kelen has been facilitating the translation of Chinese poetry into English and of Australian poets into Chinese, projects which have so far produced a dozen large scale bilingual anthologies. These projects involved bringing poets and translators to Australia (notably to Bundanon, the University of Western Australia, and Kelen’s Australian home) to workshop with poets being translated. They have likewise involved hosting poets for workshops and meetings in Macao, and elsewhere in China. Apart from parallel-text anthologies Kelen has notably co-translated two volumes with the late Hong Kong poet Leung Ping Kwan (Ya Si), and four with Macao poet Yao Jing Ming (Yao Feng).

Kit Kelen has also worked with poets and translators to co-translate and publish volumes of poetry from French, Norwegian and Indonesian. A 2012 volume, Notes for the Translators, collected the work of 142 Australian and New Zealand poets, together with advice from authors on how their particular works might be translated into any language.

As an editor and anthologist more generally, Kit Kelen has published the work of hundreds of poets from around the world, but especially from China and Australia.

In 2008, he co-edited with Agnes Vong the first English-language anthology of Macao poetry, containing the work of more than 120 Macao poets, some writing in English, many translated from Chinese and Portuguese. In 2009, his critical volume City of Poets – Exploring Macao Poetry Today appeared to accompany the 2008 anthology.

In Australia, A Slow Combusting Hymn (co-edited with Jean Kent, in 2014) collected the work of more than sixty Newcastle/Hunter-region associated poets. Writing to the Wire (co-edited with Dan Disney and published by UWAP in 2016) brought Australians poets and poets in Australian immigration detention together in a sustained meditation on the question of ethos and the meaning of nation in the case of Australia.

Nation and nationalism have been an abiding interest in Kit Kelen’s own poetry and in his literary research. With Björn Sundmark, Kelen has edited two major international collections on Children’s Literature – The Nation in Children’s Literature and Where Children Rule (both with Routledge). He is currently working on a monograph (under contract with Routledge) about poetry, children and anthropomorphism.

Kelen’s published research into national anthems dates back to the 1990s and he has written many articles on this subject. This work has culminated in the publication of two monographs – Anthem Quality – National Songs: A Theoretical Survey (2014, Intellect/University of Chicago Press) and (with A. Pavkovik) Anthems and the Making of Nation States – Identity and Nationalism in the Balkans (2016, I.B.Tauris).

Kit Kelen has also published a more general monograph on poetics: Poetry, Consciousness and Community (2009, Rodopi)

Kit Kelen is Series Editor for ASM/Flying Islands books and, in this role, has cultivated a pocket poets series, publishing writers in various languages from around the world, but especially from Australia and China. Kelen is also Literary Editor for Postcolonial Text.

Since 2016, Kelen has co-ordinated Project 366 – an international on-line community of practice, involving poets and visual artists in daily postings of draft work. As a participant in this project (originally intended to run only for the duration 2016) Kit has now posted a new draft poem to the blog every day for more than 800 days.

A new on-line collaboration among poets and artists A Conversation in Poetry has recently commenced (in 2018). Participants in this project – including many of Australia’s best-known poets) respond in kind to each others’ work, without any time limits.

Kit Kelen lives and works on a five-acre block, in a valley between forests, in the Myall Lakes district of New South Wales. He writes and paints every day.

In 2017, Professor Kelen was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Malmö, in Sweden.

Links: kitkelen.com

Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications

Wake to Play: Poems in First Philosophy

trans Papa Osmubal (in National Library of Australia)

A Pocket Kit 2

In National Library of Australia

A Pocket Kit

In National Library of Australia

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