2016 Poetry d’Amour ‘Summer of Love’ evening :-)

For those of you who live in Perth, Western Australia, or who may be in Perth on November 19th, all are welcome to an ‘evening of love poetry under the stars’, to be held in the Japanese Garden at the Perth Zoo from 7pm. My poem the sheet could be silk is a finalist for this year’s Poetry d’Amour Award, for which prizes will be given and the Summer of Love anthology launched on the night! Hope to see you there. 🙂



Details are available on the WA Poets Inc. website.


KSP Poetry Award 2015 results

Last Sunday, December 6th, the results for several writing awards were announced, including the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Poetry Award. My poem ‘Hermes Transcribed’ was among eight finalists, and received a ‘Commended’ from judge Shane McCauley, a very well known Australian poet – who has had more than a thousand poems published over his four decade writing career. Whew!

He had this to say about ‘Hermes Transcribed’ in the Judge’s Report:

“Hermes transcribed” (is) by another Western Australian poet, Joanne Mills. This is a complex poem, hard to summarise, save to say that here mythology meets and mingles with science, and the poet muses on the nature of creation and perhaps destiny as well. The images and language are luscious and mesmerising: “echoes of honeycomb, nectar, the hum of his queen/ touching the breast of life, he lays his wand inside her heart”.

It was a pleasure to attend the awards, and meet up with Kevin Gillam, a wonderful poet, who won First Prize and two Commendeds this year (I also awarded him First Prize earlier this year for the Interstellar Award for his poem ‘Napkin Man’).

The full list of place winners in the 2015 KSP Poetry Award can be found at the KSP website, along with the complete Judge’s Report. Here are Shane McCauley’s closing comments:

It is always a great thrill to read a body of Australian poetry that is so strong that it counters the claim that the genre is dead or at least moribund. Here is the proof that this is not so, and you have heard some of it today. My appreciation goes to all those at KSP involved in the complexities of organising such a competition, and I especially thank Shannon Coyle for her diligence and skill in doing the overseeing and communicating. I thank all the poets who entered, whether mentioned or not, as they help to keep the vital blood of this art form circulating. Thank you.

Congratulations to all the place-winning poets, and to all who entered, see you again next year! 🙂


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‘Hermes Transcribed’ shortlisted for award

Lovely news arrived today that my poem Hermes Transcribed has been shortlisted for the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Poetry Award for 2015.  The final results for the award will be announced at the KSP Writers’ Centre on December 6th, along with several other award categories.

I was a member of the KSP poetry group and the KSP speculative fiction group for several years, and have happy memories of both groups. If you happen to be in the Perth area and would like to come along on Dec. 6th, information can be found at the KSP website.

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Interstellar Award for Speculative Poetry open for entries until May 1st.

The Interstellar Award for Speculative Poetry will be accepting entries until May 1st, 2015, with a First Prize of $1000 and Second Prize of $300.

Please visit the Interstellar website at this link for full guidelines.


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Stanza Spot: Flying is Easy

Here we are, six days into 2015! I’ve resolved to focus this year on writing more poetry, after a slim writing year overall in 2014, with only two poems winging their way in (and out). One of them was Flying is Easy, a poem penned ‘at the last minute’ to enter in the Karen W. Treanor Poetry Award 2014, in which it was fortunate enough to place third. I got the poem to the Post Office ten minutes before the postmark deadline for the competition, which was cutting it pretty fine! Sometimes, that closing door works for me like a little key turning, and the ‘poem butterfly’ flutters through like a beam of bright light.

The award was judged by Annamaria Weldon. Here’s an extract from her report (posted at the Katharine Susannah Pritchard Writers’ Centre website):

I admired this poem for its inclusion of a complex geometric premise in a description of passion, and for the care taken with vocabulary and language. I was unfamiliar with Hinton’s tesseract or hypercubes – though the words suggested arcane mathematical terms. When I understood the juxtaposition of a visualisation of 4 dimensional geometry with the poem’s sensuous depictions of physical intimacy, the illusion of that altered state of consciousness which can sometimes attend a passionate encounter was greatly increased…this is an exceptionally assured work which is as original and heroic as Icarus in its reach.

To poets and writers, how do you catch ‘that moment’ of inspiration? Do you work best to a goal or deadline, or with relaxed, contemplative ‘spaces’….or a bit of both? Wishing you all a happy and fulfilling scribe’s year! 🙂