Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tom Collins (nee Joseph Furphy) and Hattie Furphy’s Houses in Western Australia

Had a lovely stay in Swanborne, Perth at the wonderfully restored home compound of Tom Collins (Such is Life). I gave a workshop to eight enthusiastic Fellowship of Australian Writer’s Western Australia (FAWWA), members in the generous verandahed and timber lounge room, complete with leadlight French doors; met with Lesley Reece (Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre) to talk more plans for poetry in W.A; enjoyed Perth wildflowers and restaurants. Sue Woolfe, the writer in residence and I, and FAWWA hosted a cocktail party to celebrate WA writer’s on our last night at this atmospheric house.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

National Year of Reading 2012

I have accepted an invitation to be Ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012 a pleasant duty which involves promoting a reading culture to all Australians. I will also be acting as Poetry Ambassador for the State Library of NSW where poems from my book, The ABC Book of Australian Poetry will provide the basis for A-Poem-a-Day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Society of Women's Writers' Biennial Awards

Both I Love You Book (junior fiction) and The ABC Book of Australian Poetry have been shortlisted for the SWW Biennial Awards to be announced 9th November in the Dixson Room, NSW State Library.

Australian Poetry Since 1788

Attended the launch of Australian Poetry Since 1788 edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray and published by UNSW Press. The itself is a weighty tome containing over 1000 poems from 170 poets. The launch was a  glamourous affair at the NSW Art Gallery, where poets and poetry lovers enjoyed food, wine and conviviality.

And, two more poems from the ABC Book of Australian Poetry

Also from the ABC Book of Australian Poetry - Parrots by Judith Wright

From the ABC Book of Australian Poetry - Tree Australia Tree

I've been recording my poems on video for a bit of fun. Please enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Celebration Poetry

At the special poetry luncheon with the Society of Women's Writers NSW, I listened to selected members' poems and then heard an erudite address by award-winning poet Judith Beveridge on the ways in which poetry involves us, mentioning many poets:- Keats to Rilke, Neruda to Les Murray and Michael Longley, among them. I loved the way Judith talked of the way in which poets, real poets write firstly for themselves, and of the "high seriousness" of real poetry and its resistance to often degraded language of mass media - and its eventual 'soul-making' function.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poem-A-Day with the State Library

Had a great meeting at the State Library re: a poem-a-day for the National Year of Reading 2012, http://www.love2read.org.au/ , based on my book The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury of poems for young people.

The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship

Attended the launch of Poets’Corner at the Sebel Pier One which came out of Australian Poetry’s Poems-On-Pillows concept. Bought a few of the pillow slips too as they are a great gift idea. There were special readings by Emily Ballou and Tricia Dearborn and singer/poet Sally Seltmann launched it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Two great poetry readings

SH Ervin Gallery

This week I enjoyed Poets in the Pub at Glebe and DiVerse at the SH Ervin Gallery. Roberta Lowing had organised for us to hear the work of Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees from the Sydney Peace Foundation at Harold Park Pub. Rob Kennedy has organised a group of poets to respond to the artworks of Lawrence Daws at the beautiful art gallery. All in all a feast of poetry. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Byron Bay Writers’ Festival – Books and Poetry

The Royalties & Friends 

The Royalties, a collegiate group of women writers spoke at the festival on our interest and intentions with e-book publishing. The event was well attended – a tent full of interested book lovers. Dangerously Poetic  the local poetry group had a small tent of their own where I was invited to do a poetry reading, which was unexpected and pleasing. Brushes with fame include the star of the show Louis De Bernieres (Red Dog);  and Byron Bay itself starred as a glorious place to have such a festival, July being a great month for this Sydney-sider to travel north.  

Glittering Launch of New Library

Glittering Launch

Year 1 thankyou notes

South Coogee Primary School did their library proud this week with a super launch of the new library to the whole school, teachers and parents. There was no champagne but I was given a host of coloured balloons to cut free and fly to mark the occasion. I had the pleasure of giving the poetry competition winners (7 of them) a book prize each, and then entering the library door 'The portal to many worlds' which was suitably decorated with glittering papers. Inside I  was taken on a tour by librarians and spoke to keen and eager young writers, one of whom had already been published by Penguin! Year 1 was quick off the mat to mark the occasion with illustrations and thank-you’s, two of which I share with you above.

South Coogee students 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Author Talk at Punchbowl

Carol Keeble from the Children's Book Council of Australia and Librarian Trevor Neville organised a great afternoon at Punchbowl Primary School Library on the occasion of Children's Book Week. Susanne Gervay, Sue Whiting, Oliver Phommavanh and myself talked books, reading and the serious side of stories in poetry.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Poetry and the Smartboard

Last week I began an intensive series workshop with 18 switched-on students. I've called it The River of Life and with the genius of the Smartboard, was able to take the group as far as Iguazu Falls for poetry writing;  as well as letting them be inspired by Smetana's rousing and beautiful river music, The Moldeau. I'm new to the magic of the Smartboard and have to say it must be inspiring for teachers to have this technology at their fingertips. But of course students did come to grips with pen and paper eentually; and this week we explore the five senses out of doors in the real world in the park.  But I'm inspired for our next session indoors!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Poetry Writing & a Poet Extraordinaire


Last week I attended the Powerhouse Discovery Centre to discuss several exciting ideas for poetry writing with young people - more on this later..

This week more poetry as I begin a journey with 18 primary school students on my poetry program VIVID: The River of Life.

On a personal note, I'm reading the stunning work of Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980). She is an American Poet whose Collected Poems and I chanced upon in Berkelouws Books in Glebe and what a gift it is!

 Tell Myself 

Trust in experience. And, in the rhythms,  the deep rhythms of your experience. 

(from Overthrow of One O'clock at Night - Muriel Rukeyser)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

At Nutcote: May Gibb's House & My Writing Life

The rear of May Gibbs House - the right window on the upper level is her study window

A cold Sunday afternoon a lovely old house running down to the harbour, two comfy armchairs by the fire in the lougeroom and some twenty people gathered in May Gibb's house. What a delight to be able to talk about my own writing in the house of a writer who featured so highly in my own childhood. The creation of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie of Scotty in Gumnutland was to have an enduring effect on this writer's life brought to graphically alive by new appealing artworks. May Gibbs life long direction to the  Australian bushlands on Nutcote is a tribute to her life and work.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kevin Hart at Sydney University

Morning Knowledge (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011)

A poetry reading on Wednesday the 8th of June in the Woolley Common Room was a delight to hear Kevin talk philosophy, theory and poetry. I feel he encapsulates it all in his marvelous poems. He read from his latest collection, Morning Knowledge (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011)

To hear a podcast on ABC, click here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Fireside Talk at Nutcote

Please join me for a special afternoon at May Gibb's home

 in Neutral Bay next Sunday, the 19th, from 3- 4pm.

I'll be talking about the writing process, publishing,

new books -paper and e-books

 - as well as an intro into May Gibbs and how she influenced my writing

 5 Wallaringa Avenue, Neutral Bay

For bookings please phone (0)2 9953 445

Limited numbers so book early! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Launch of Ace Press Books

Wednesday night, May 25th at the Lane Cove Library, I launched two new books, published by Ace Books.  The event drew 60 of more members of the library to the event. Benjamin Rome Clarke (aged, 15) wrote A Definition of Magic an action packed fantasy written by a very new talent on the scene and Stuart Jackel (of indeterminate years!) wrote a gripping World War II story, told told through the eyes of a young man, Albert's Wars. Congratulations to all involved!

On another note, watch this space for news of a new writers' co-operative, entitled mysteriously, The Royalties.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Poems on Pillows at The Sydney Writers' Festival

What a writers' week and what a poetic conclusion to read my poem, Pillow Talk at a special poetry session organised by Leah Greengarten (NSW Director of Australian Poetry Ltd).  I was also interviewed by SBS Arts about - Why Poetry? You'll see snippets of this interview on SBS in the next few weeks.

Power Poetry at the Powerhouse

This week I'm talking poetry to about 70 teachers and librarians at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre and getting "down and dirty"with about 30 of them in my workshop aimed at active poetry for students - so poetry and dancing, poetry and music etc etc. This does not mean we don't do some thoughtful writing at the end of the lesson. More on this later.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Psst! Some Great Poetry & E-Book News!

Pier Poetry is off and running. Last Sunday, Mother's Day, Australian Poetry Ltd had their inaugural poetry reading at the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs on Hickson Road in Sydney's arts precinct. Pier Poetry is a series of innovative poetry events/readings/launches and is scheduled for every second Sunday of the month. Check out some of the pictures, here. 

Also, that intrepid Roberta Lowing had a poetry reading in the pub for Joanne Burns and an Open Mike section at Harold Park Pub. 

Some e-book news! I'm pleased to announce, my book of short ghost stories, Ghostly Ghastly (Pax Press, 2011) is now live on Amazon.com - ready for your Kindle or Ipad. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Women’s Work – It’s All About Poetry

Like writing poetry? Here's an open invitation to  be a part of a poetry anthology, Women's Work, focusing on the many aspects of daily work from home to office and beyond and planned to represent a wide range of cultural groups. So if you have any thoughts about women's work, pen your poem and get it to me as soon as you can. This anthology is planned to be published in early 2012. See conditions below. 

Please email your own work in the body of the email to womenspoetry@gmail.com with the subject like ‘Women’s Work’. Please do NOT send attachments. 

Terms and Conditions
1. Entries must be a single poem of no more than 30 lines.
2.  Previously published or prize-winning works will be accepted. 
3. Multiple entries are permitted  (no more than two)
4. The closing date for entries is 1st of October 2011. Late entries will not be considered.
6. Entrants must reside in Australia or be Australian citizens.
7. The Editor's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
8. Successful entries will be announced on the 7th of December 2011. 
9. Your personal information will only be used for the purpose for which you provided it. It will not be used for any other purpose without your consent. 

10. Publication planned date for 2012

11. Payment on acceptance. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Believing In Yourself

I believe that one of the hardest things to do as a young person in trying to realise your dreams, is to believe in yourself. Time and again I hear people who are grown up referring to the advice given when they were young of someone older (and maybe wiser) along the lines of- "Go for it! Give it a go! Believe in yourself! You’ll find a way!’’ and this bit of encouragement has helped them realise their dreams. 

So as an author who loves the work she is doing with kids all over the world, I’m giving it to you. "Go on- believe in yourself. You can do it! And help your dreams comes true.

I'd like to share some of the things I have learnt along the way, and in doing so, becoming that voice of encouragement. 

Please feel free to circulate this to your friends. 

Warm wishes, 


Ever dreamed of being a Children's Writer? 
Want to be apart of a publishing meeting, sip tea with Sydney's literati and learn some of the tricks of the trade? 
Well, now is your chance
Day in the Life of Libby Hathorn is a new literary program being offered to one lucky winner. This is your Golden Ticket to catch a glimpse of what it's like to be a Children's Writer
Simply tell us in 25 words of less, (on Libby’s facebook page) why you'd like to spend a day with Libby Hathorn
Good Luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A poetry reading & an interview on Life Matters

A reading of I Love You Book at Kido store in Clovelly, where my grandchildren helped me read the story in a gorgeous kid's atmosphere, complete with a bed for the children to sit on!

The poetry reading at the Harold Park Pub (Poets in The Pub, a monthly reading organised by Roberta Lowing) of poems for my upcoming poetry book, Collecting Evidence.

At the ABC studio - photo by Tracey Trompf

In an interview on Life Matters for I Love You Book I say the story is a homage to the paper book, it is celebrating the sensory aspects of it with Heath McKenzies lively artwork. I made sure it is not a denial of the place of technology in kid's lives today with an illustration of a kid's bedroom complete with TV and computer. The essential message is cuddle up with a book and let your imagination go.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An exciting week for poetry and books!

It's been an exciting week for poetry and books. Early on in the week, I did a reading at Lesley McKay's bookshop in Woollahra with a live fairy performing actions for, I Love You Book.

I gave a talk last night at the launch of Australian Poetry Ltd, where 150 people turned up at the Australia Council building in Surry Hills. Brendan Cowell MC'd the event and Bob Adamson gave a couple of poetry readings. I spoke about the importance of poetry in education and how it can help your children think more creatively.

A message from Ben Lee in Los Angeles 

Ben Lee, Brendan Cowell and Kylie Farmer were announced as Cultural Ambassadors for Australian Poetry.

And,  a student of mine, Ambrose McNamara read her fine poem.

Leah Greengarten the NSW Director organised a stunning event!

Here are some more images from the big night...

In between these events, I dined at the Hughendon Hotel in Woollahra and met Lucy Christopher of the novel, Stolen, fame. It was great to hear of the work she is doing in the UK and Wales. And, I hope to visit her when I am in England next.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Love You Book on YouTube.

Just another day in the office..

I Love You Book on YouTube.

Creative Spaces

I’ve always wanted a serene writing environment with the ‘accoutrements’ of writing around me creating a space both physical and emotional but always inspiring. I work in a book-lined study at a large-ish desk. If I look up from my desk I see the garden and it’s a good place to let the eye rest and the mind wander. Often I collect things to do with the book in progress, so gum leaves whilst writing Thunderwith, pictures of The Hanging Gardens of Babylon whilst writing Zahara’s Rose, many, many poetry books whilst compiling The ABC Book of Australian Poetry. But other things like my crocodile pen, greeting cards, postcards, or photos end up scattered here for a while because they constitute something ‘sparky’ to me...It ‘s a changing place though, depending on the work in progress.

The bust of child- my muse a gift from my husband John when we were in Normandy
Notebooks- filled with anything and everything from scraps of novels to lists of chapter heads or title names, the odd poem.
Folders without labels that say something to me e.g. Indian cloth-bound folder always means the book I’m working on now.
The composers- two small bust of Verdi and Puccini whose music, along with Ella Fitzgerald’s is always inspirational
Teapot for the necessary 101 cups of tea whilst work is in progress
Flowers-whatever is in season
Latest book at pages stage I Love You Book with the fantastical illustrations of Heath McKenzie.

St Mary's Primary School & a visit to Armidale

This week I read to the beautiful children of St Mary's Primary School at Waterloo Library. I shared I Love You Book and Zahara's Rose and the ABC Book of Poetry. Last week, I also visited Armidale where I went to the bookshop, Reader's Companion who were enthusiastic about I Love You Book.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Love You Book Launch at St Catherine's School

I had a great launch last week at Eastern Suburbs school St Catherine's. Here are some images and an article from the Wentworth Courier. Children dressed up as book characters and performed in front of the whole school and many parents. They did a superb job! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brisbane Launch of I LOVE YOU BOOK

Publisher, David Reiter & Myself 

Brisbane was looking almost recovered and was welcoming for the launch of my latest picture book, I Love You Book (IP Kidz); a reading in Paddington and the launch at a studio in Cooperoo. We also had time to see the amazing art gallery GOMA.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I Love You Book

This month I will enjoy the launches of my latest picture book ‘I Love You Book’ (published by, IPKidz) in both Brisbane and Sydney (with the enchanting illustrations of Health McKenzie). 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tram to Bondi On the Rails Again!

I spoke at the 150th Anniversary of Rail in Australia at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre last weekend. I read The Tram to Bondi Beach, which has been in print continuously for 30 years. A rarity in Australian publishing.

Over 100 people turned up to the session, where I also read from my latest poetry book, The ABC book of Australian Poetry to set the scene.