Ali Jane Smith

Ali Jane Smith is the author of a chapbook, Gala, published long, long ago by the Five Islands Press New Poets Program. Her poems have been published in literary journals, including Southerly, Overland, Rabbit, Plumwood Mountain and Cordite. In 2018 her poem ‘Have You Any Dirty Washing, Mother Dear?' was shortlisted for the David Harold Tribe Poetry Prize and in 2016 she was one of three writers selected for the inaugural Sydney Review of Books Emerging Critics program. In 2015 her poem ‘Another Literary Life’ was selected as Poem of the Year by Australian Poetry Journal. She was commissioned by Wollongong Art Gallery to write a series of poems on colour that were installed as part of the Chromophilia exhibition in 2018. Lately, she has been busy reading her work She’ll Be Right, Servo Food Truck Bar in Port Kembla, The Sydney Poetry Lounge in Glebe, That Poetry Thing on a Monday Night at Smith’s Alternative in Canberra and Puckey’s Night Markets, Fairy Meadow.

The Language of Flowers

The very glossy dark leaves of camellias mean ‘boredom’ the papery bougainvillea mean ‘turning out better than expected’ and the yellow and white frangipani flowers mean ‘get it while you can’. Some things are strange, but not interesting. Some biscuits …

Posted in 95: EARTH | Tagged

Poetry, Whatsoever: Blake, Blau DuPlessis, and an Expansive Definition of the Poem

William Blake pinches himself. Yes! He is alive, not in heaven or hell for all eternity, but on earth, for just as long as I need him for the purposes of this essay. In the almost two hundred years since William Blake died many things have changed.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , ,


Cut a hole through the ceiling, the insulating batts, tin sheets. Climb out that way, spacetime jelly-wobbles. I might revisit the demolished pub, say something else at the rock pool decline the offer of a garden tour, take my plate …

Posted in 78: CONFESSION | Tagged

Review Short: David Brooks’s Open House

In Open House, David Brooks makes it look easy. These poems appear to be simply set down, flawless panes of glass framing scenes from a life. For the attentive reader, however, even one who doesn’t know the extent of Brooks’s work as a poet, a novelist, an editor, a translator, a researcher and writer of books about other poets and poetries, there are clues to the years of deep thinking, constant writing and serious, engaged living that Brooks brings to his own practice.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,


after Bill Manhire My turn with the binoculars. The Honeyeater flies straight into the sliding-glass-door. My brother. My yellow t-shirt. His. My sister’s curly red hair, same as mine. My somersault into the nasturtiums. My best friend. Wendy. My hands …

Posted in 59: GONDWANALAND | Tagged


How long since he’d sliced and salted a tomato? There was almost nothing he touched: silverware and bed covers, expensive notebooks sometimes the floury crust of a gourmet burger the younger skin of a grandchild or subordinate. Somewhere, another old …

Posted in 47: NO THEME! | Tagged


It's the Saturday morning fruit and vegetable market in Berkeley, California. There are trestle tables with artichokes, bok choy, carrots, sugar cane, strawberries, looking as though they would taste sweet, and a stall selling organic sauerkraut. It's not a big …

Posted in 11: COPYLEFT | Tagged


At the SuperX there are pro riders in the demonstration events and local kids riding in the races. When we first arrive there are bobcats all over the place, they're still building the track. It's exciting just watching the bobcats …

Posted in 11: COPYLEFT | Tagged