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.


‘The Light Within’ release day


The Light Within, an anthology of inspirational poems which were shortlisted in the Spiritual Writers’ Network Competition 2016, has just been released, in both print and digital editions. It’s a pleasure to have my poem ‘Heart of Light’ included in this new collection. To celebrate publication, the ebook edition will be available to download from Amazon for free until September 5th!

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If you would like a free copy, please follow one of these links, depending on where you are:

US: https://www.amazon.com/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1472674087&sr=8-1&keywords=the+light+within+collection#nav-subnav
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472647237&sr=8-2&keywords=the+light+within
AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1472647289&sr=8-12&keywords=the+light+within
CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Light-Within-Collection-Peace-Prose-ebook/dp/B01L9YQJ5U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472647266&sr=8-2&keywords=the+light+within

Congratulations to all the poets whose fine, heartfelt verses can be found in the pages of The Light Within.

‘Emu Girl, on the day before flying’ wins the Banjo Paterson Awards 2016

It’s a delight and an honour to have heard that my poem ‘Emu Girl, on the day before flying’ has won the Open Poetry section of this year’s Banjo Paterson Writing Awards, which are run annually by Central West Libraries and Orange City Council. My gratitude goes to them, and to the judges of the award.

I first entered ‘the Banjo’ in 2008, and won it with ‘Walyunga’, followed by a second win in 2010 with ‘Orpheus, in the desert’, and several poems which placed for third prize in intervening years; ‘Ledge Beach’ in 2009, ‘Crown of Stars’ in 2012, and ‘Circle of Stones’ in 2013. This Award has become particularly close to my heart, and I’ve used it as a focus-point for inspiration to write poems that have a specific Australian element to them. This has often been a response to the presence and atmosphere of this ancient land that I love deeply, sometimes with a social or cultural aspect, and the interweaving of mythology.

‘Emu Girl, on the day before flying’ is a speculative (science fiction/fantasy) poem which takes a prominent group of stars visible in the night sky from Australia – the Southern Cross and the ‘Pointer’s, Alpha  and Beta Centauri – and blends word etymology and the ancient Arabic names of the stars with the Aboriginal myth of Tchingal, the mighty Emu in the sky whose head rests in the Southern Cross and whose body stretches through the Centaurus constellation. The poem is ‘told’ from the point of view of an Alpha Centaurian ‘descendant’ on Earth, the Emu girl of the title, who recalls fragments of the invasion of her star system by smoke birds, and the battle of the two brave brothers, recounted in the Aboriginal stories as the Pointers, who fought to ward them off….until gradually the fragments weave together in the Emu girl’s awareness.

With thanks again to the judge(s), and congratulations to this year’s prize winners in all categories of the Banjo Paterson Writing Awards, of which a full list can be found here.


Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, from the Hubble telescope. Image courtesy NASA.

  Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri, from the Hubble telescope. Image courtesy NASA.

Autumn Blooms

Dear Readers, in the southwest corner of Australia we’ve been experiencing an unusually wet April. As I look out through the window now, rain softly falls, and the garden is a lush green more characteristic of May or June. Before its winter sleep, my favourite rosebush (‘Mother’s Love’) has flowered prolifically throughout the month, and I hope the photos below will bring a smile to your heart, as these blooms do to mine.

These few lines came, while I sat on a step beside this rose:


Love walks the spaces
The gaps between words
Its threads cross synapses, invisible
Uncurling between heartbeats
Love flows
Its ribbons twine life with life
In the bloom of constellations
In the touch of a finger
In an unwinding frond
Love whispers
In the spaces between


Enjoy the spirals and spaces of the rose, the golden ratio in living form …. 🙂






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Finding our Wings

It’s a pleasure to announce the publication of this year’s anthology of short stories and poems that won prizes or were shortlisted in the 2016 Spiritual Writer’s Network Writing Contest. The theme this year was ‘angels’ – which for me was irresistible! My poem ‘Awakening’ was shortlisted, and is included in the collection.

Congratulations to all the authors and poets represented in Finding Our Wings: A Collection of Angelic Stories and Poems, and warm thanks to the judges. The anthology is available in print and e-book editions at Amazon.



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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