It is with sadness that we advise of the passing of Jill McKeowen, one of Flying Islands Poetry Community’s new pocket poets. She succumbed to cancer that she only learned of relatively recently. Her funeral was held on 5 May 2022 at the Pettigrew Funeral Directors’ Chapel Mayfield West NSW.
Greg McLaren (born 1967) is an Australian poet. Born in the New South Wales Hunter Region coalfields town, Kurri Kurri. He moved to Sydney in 1990 where he studied at the University of Sydney and in 2005 he was awarded a PhD in Australian Literature. His thesis was on Buddhist influences on the Australian poets Harold Stewart, Robert Gray and Judith Beveridge. As well as poetry, he has published reviews and criticism. Julieanne Lamond writes in Southerly that “McLaren attempts to find a stable connection between the Buddhist acceptance in the face of unknowing … and the anger and drama of his sense of history”. McLaren’s work has been anthologised widely. His poems appear in Noel Rowe and Vivian Smith’s Windchimes: Asia in Australian Poetry (Pandanus Press, 2006), Australian Poetry from 1788 (edited by Robert Gray and Geoffrey Lehmann), A Slow Combusting Hymn (edited by Kit Kelen and Jean Kent) and Contemporary Australian Poetry (edited by Martin Langford, Judith Beveridge, Judy Johnson and David Musgrave).
David McAleavey was born in Kansas in 1946. He has published seven poetry collections, including Sterling 403 (1971), David McAleavey’s Greatest Hits 1971-2000 (2001), and most recently Rock Taught (2016). His honors include a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the GW Award from George Washington University. He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia, and teaches English at GWU.
David updated us a little while ago ‘Greetings. My Flying Islands pocket book is titled Talk Music, and it appeared in early 2018 (copyright date Dec. 2017).
I spent the Fall 2016 semester in a faculty exchange at the University of Macau, part of a short-lived program between UM and my home university, George Washington University in Washington, DC.
I have now retired from GW, effective Fall 2020, as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic: teaching wholly online, with all its imperfections, seeming like more work than pleasure. I’m still adjusting to my new retired status; one of my strategies for exploring the rest of my life includes reducing my involvement in poetry, though I do hope to return to the endeavor, should I recover the motivation.’
I’m a poet whose work has been published almost widely. After Han Shan, my Flying Islands book, is from way back in 2012. Other books include The Kurri Kurri Book of the Dead, Australian ravens and Windfall (Puncher & Wattmann).
After Louise Crisp
The yards and droughts, they went on forever.
The hills baring themselves from our shame.
Skeletal fruit trees, their juiceless husks, tiny desiccated bats.
Topsoil sloughed and carved off, earth and its wealth found under dug up,
prised out, words slashed through the insides of houses given up on.
A small black dog in the shed outside, something jumping on its roof.
Was that me? The trees behind, between us and the moon-slick rail,