New! — ‘The Party of Life’ — come celebrate the launch

Party of Life invite glebe 2015-sm

And if you can’t make the Sydney launch and you’re on the Central Coast – send me a message for the address and come along for a small launch-drinks at my house in Terrigal on Thursday 19th November at 6 for 6.30pm. If you’d like to know about any Melbourne event — just send a message and I’ll keep you informed. (And also let me know if you have any venue suggestions for Melbourne in December!)

And if you can’t make either launch and would like a copy — you can order one here. Limited numbers at the moment, so grab a copy if you want one, only $10 plus $2 for post and packing.

If you’re on FaceBook, the event invite is here for Sydney, and here for Central Coast. Feel free to invite yourself, and to share it with anyone you think might be interested. 

This is a bilingual (English and Chinese) new and selected poems, published by ASM/Flying Islands for the Pocket Book translation series, edited by Kit Kelen. Big thanks to my translator Ruby Chen and to Iris Fan for additional translations, and to Snow Li and Maria Wong for reading in Mandarin at the launches. (It will be the first time I’ve heard the poems read aloud in Chinese and I’m looking forward to this.)

And thank you to those who will be helping out at at the Sydney launch — Bernard Cohen for launching it, Pam Brown and Snow Li for reading poems, and Claudia Taranto for being contributing MC.

If you would like a review copy, let me know. And if you know any teachers of Chinese who might like a PDF copy, I’m happy to send them one. 

Feeling very lucky to have another book out and another excuse for a party (it’s almost exactly a year since I launched Vagabondage) — hope to see you there!


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The Dismissal 40 years on: Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser and the age of right wing political entitlement

Lest we forget what ‘entitlement’ really means with regard to the Right in Australia.

Here’s Gough Whitlam’s famous words on the steps of Parliament House 40 years ago — after the scheming and illegal actions of his opponents manipulated parliament and the electorate to get the Libs back in the ruling position again, as if 23 years in a row of LNP rule wasn’t enough.

This happened two days before I was to sit my HSC Social Studies (ie Politics) exam.

I remember a frantic phone call from my teacher telling us to just carry on and refer to ‘the former Whitlam government’ and ‘the Caretaker Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser’ as if really that was all that had happened – just a simple change.

My education at Croydon High (for fifth and sixth form, after 4 years at a Tech school) was pretty basic, and even though I knew this was an outrage, I don’t think I really understood then how significant it was. Or maybe I was just in that HSC exams bubble… and surrounded by Liberal voters. I don’t remember having any discussions about it.

I guess there was no-one around me to discuss it with.


What the newspapers on November 11th 1995 should have looked like:

What the newpaper should have said on that day. (artist/author unknown)

Thank you to Daryl Dellora from FilmArtMedia for creating this gem. (By the way, Daryl’s film, Mr Neal is Entitled to Be an Agitator, about Lionel Murphy – a key member of the Whitlam government – is also well worth checking out.)


Jenny Hocking, Professor of Politics at Monash University and Gough Whitlam’s biographer,  has a new book just out called The Dismissal Dossier: Everything you were never meant to know about November 1975 –

jenny cover

For those in Sydney, Jenny Hocking will be  in conversation with John Faulkner – Thursday 19 November 6pm for 6.30pm,  Gleebooks. Bookings via or 02 9660 2333.

Thank you Gough, Lionel and so many others in that amazing ALP government that changed so many things that needed changing in such a short space of time (including, of course, making it possible for me to go to Uni and meet interesting people who I could discuss these things with – forever grateful).

And thank you to writers like Jenny Hocking and filmmakers like Daryl Dellora for educating us about our political legacy and history, and thus helping us to imagine and create a better future.

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Thank you to Perth bookclub who read and raised a glass to Vagabondage!

A big thank you to a bookclub in WA who chose Vagabondage for their book to read this month and sent me a photo!

Daphne bookgroup 2015

 “Thumbs up and bottoms up from our bookclub! A great discussion starter, with particular mention of ‘Forgetting’ (most impact and resonance) and ‘Lost Woman Looks for Herself’ (group choice – most amusing).”

While I’m at it — yay to bookclubs everywhere who support Australian authors! 

Did you know you can get a discount for 6 copies or more of Vagabondage direct from UWAP – or from me – with free postage? Ebook (kindle and ePub/Kobo) also available.

And you can get free booknotes and discussion starter questions for Vagabondage here .

By the way, that discount for six or more copies applies to *all* UWA Publishing books – with free postage too. Check them out:

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