Wednesday, August 26, 2009

group 2


WELCOME Reader to this second edition of the online bi-monthly magazine of The Group.

As you may be aware, this magazine is created from the works of the members of The Group, a Facebook group that can be found at:

So far we have just on 400 members, and I believe the two editions we have created so far reflect the depth of literary and artistic talent that has already gathered at The Group. Although submissions are restricted to our members within Facebook, the magazine itself is sited on blogspot so that anyone online may view it.

For this edition I had suggested members consider writing a review about some small, local, struggling theatre group, the kind that rarely gets much exposure in terms of mainstream column inches. I had mentioned an amateur production of The Threepenny Opera in a community hall in Bangalow on north coast NSW that I had seen, which despite the hit and miss singing and acting, captured the spirit of Brecht and Weill’s masterwork for a memorable night in the theatre.

And I got... well, no reviews at all, not a sausage, which was perhaps surprising, but I did receive instead lots and lots of poetry submissions - which was perhaps not*. But then, pray for rain and you’ll probably get poems tumbling down onto you too. Which would actually be rather wonderful, as are the poems in this edition, including some superb use of video and cybertech by Carol Novack, Komninos Zervos and Peter Kenneally, as well as some very fine works on the page by very fine poets including Rae Desmond Jones, Jill Jones and Les Wicks. To accommodate these fresh showers of poetry I have created a special Sealed Poetry Section... well, not exactly hermetically sealed, but you'll get the idea.

Among other items you’ll find here are historic photographs by Juno Gemes of the Australian Government’s Apology to the nation’s indigenous people, and a dazzling folio of Big Sur photographs by John Branham, reflections on jazz by Virginia Lloyd and of the roaring days of Sydney’s rock and roll beer barns by Kristin Moore, and thoughts on poetry and pop by Mark Mordue. There's also vintage reportage from a vintage repast by John Birmingham, and James Bradley on science fiction great John Wyndham (without him, for instance, we should never have had The Triffids). Adair Jones takes to the road in literature, and there is new fiction by Verity Hill, cartoons by Jane Smith, and, as they say, much much more.

We are also now able to announce the dates and editors of forthcoming editions:

GROUP 3 November 2009 editor Billy Marshall Stoneking

GROUP 4 January 2010 editor Mark Mordue

GROUP 5 March 2010 editor James Bradley

GROUP 6 May 2010 editor John Birmingham

Individual editors will advise Members of due dates for submissions, and how to lodge them. We only publish members, so if you are not already please join by going to our link (above).

I hope you enjoy reading GROUP 2.

-Larry Buttrose

*Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

DHARMA bums have journeyed the pages of literature from the very first scratch, through characters and authors from Herodotus to Basho, Virgil to Dante, Sancho Panza to Sal Paradise. Adair Jones on the road.

CORMAC McCarthy's post-apocalyptic bestseller The Road is among the latest in a long line of popular books dealing with human downfall - starting presumably with Genesis. James Bradley revisits a 20th century classic, John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids, and re-evaluates it in light of criticisms of Wyndham as too cosy, even bourgie.

AUTHOR and critic Walter Benjamin once remarked: “There is no document of civilisation which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” Matt Hetheringon considers the facets and nuances of the word in his “Notes On Barbarianism”.

BLACK Saturday, February 7 2009: 173 people killed in Victoria’s worst-ever bushfires.

Melburnian Blazenka Brysha gives a personal reflection on the build-up in the days before, that terrible day, and the aftermath. Almost needless to say it, no matter how great the tragedy, the wheels of commerce grind on.

DESPITE the rise and rise of IT in modern India, traditional astrologers foresee better times ahead, according to Italian author and travel writer Marco Moretti.

AFTER the screening of the first series of Mad Men in Australia (yes, we are well aware you are up to number three in some other places) Larry Buttrose slide rules the megatonnage of its Cold War era sexual payload.

WHEN dramatist Arthur Miller remarked that he couldn’t write a character until he could hear a character, he articulated what is probably the single most important insight concerning the nature of mediumistic storytelling: that the process of discovering character - of opening yourself to a character’s inner life, and allowing your life to be opened by it - is and always has been, in essence, an aural experience. Billy Marshall Stoneking ponders character and voice in drama.

JACK Feldstein’s wonderful neon animation The Psychology of Scriptwriting asks what does make otherwise seemingly rational and sane people commit much of their lives to sitting alone in a room pounding plastic keys with their fingers to create that thing which in all likelihood most other seemingly rational and ran people will run from in terror at the mere mention of its name - a script!

Beneath Black Skies is Sandra Pires's documentary film about the turbulent history of coal mining in the Illawarra, including Australia's largest ever industrial disaster, in 1902, in which 96 men and boys were killed.

VERITY Hill’s fiction What About Windows is nothing to do with Gates and all about going out on a limb to protect home, hearth and heart.

Cross-cultural complexities abound in the first chapter of Amana Ibrahim, Anne Tsoulis's novel-in-progress set in Australia and Palestine.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


The SPEAKER (Hon. Harry Jenkins) took the chair at 9 am and read prayers.


Mr RUDD (Griffith—Prime Minister) (9.00 am)—I move:

That today we honour the Indigenous peoples of this land, the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

We reflect on their past mistreatment.

We reflect in particular on the mistreatment of those who were Stolen Generations—this blemished

chapter in our nation’s history.

A lifetime of chronicling the struggles of Aboriginal Australians culminated in Juno Gemes being one of the ten photographers invited to document the National Apology for the Stolen Generations in Canberra in 2008.

This link also contains the text of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Apology.


All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling Oscar Wilde No poems can please for long or live that are written by water drinkers Horace Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing Sylvia Plath A poet's work is to name the unnameable to point at frauds to take sides start arguments shape the world and stop it going to sleep Salman Rushdie Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world Percy Bysshe Shelley Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history Plato Poetry is as precise as geometry Gustave Flaubert Always be a poet even in prose Charles Baudelaire A poem is never finished only abandoned Paul Valery


Poetry is what gets lost in translation Robert Frost There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing John Cage Poetry the best words in the best order Samuel Taylor Coleridge Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks Plutarch To see clearly is poetry prophecy and religion all in one John Ruskin There's no money in poetry but then there's no poetry in money either Robert Graves I talk to God but the sky is empty Sylvia Plath Forever is composed of nows Emily Dickinson A poet can survive everything but a misplint Oscar Wilde


GETTING turned on to poetry isn't only a matter of what you might read on the page, but also what might be on your turntable, says MARK Mordue.

WHENCE the Hard Ons of yesteryear? Kristin Moore revisits the sweaty beer barns of Sydney - the Hopetoun, the Annandale, and of course the Sydney Trade Union Club - heat-seeking the (SE)X Factor that made rock music such a turn-on.

VIRGINIA Lloyd attends a panel session on jazz music and jazz criticism in Harlem to discuss questions such as "the role of race and cultural background in the relations between musicians and jazz critics, the present state of jazz journalism, and whether or not musicians and critics share a similar vision for the future of jazz”. She bemoans the fact that “jazz is routinely ignored by publications that claim to cover the arts; and when it is written about, it is often done so in a shamefully generic or even ignorant manner”. Not here![Region]=

PUNK gastronome John Birmingham bubble and squeaks a classic crit of a monster nosh in a nosherie of legend.

MEDIUM rare footage of comedian George Smilovici performing his hit I'M TUFF!! Smilovici really must be TUFF - otherwise he'd be a Smile-oh-Vicky instead of a Smell-a-Vitch!

JANE SMITH is not only a global spiritual mistress to the beckoning middle classes, but a writer and cartoonist with an eye for vegies that are literally larger than life.

KEROUAC might have helped make Big Sur hip. Richard Brautigan's A Confederate General from Big Sur pushed it along too. But craggy old Big Sur on the Californian coast was cool long before human beings happened along, as this folio of beautiful photographs by John Branham shows.

A delectable rose of summer in The Regent’s Park, London, as seen through the lens of petal and plinth enthusiast Sharon Clews.


Brave New Whirl... the fashions of Now as predicted in the 1930s.

YES! PRECISELY! Who needs money anyway!!

(Thanks to Geoffrey Gifford's Culture Now for this link)

Learn to edit, but somewhere nice.


John Birmingham is an old fashioned author.

He will write anything for anyone whose cheques don't bounce.

James Bradley is the author of three novels, Wrack, The Deep Field and The Resurrectionist.

Pic: Bronwyn Rennex

I'm an AAPNA certified master of photography, two time consecutive image of the year award winner. When shooting my goal is to shoot what I see in my mind before I put the camera to my eye. I like images that are full of emotion and dynamics. I still really enjoy hearing what people think of my work good or bad. It helps me grow. Photography is not my first love…. My first love is making friends over good food while talking about photography….

Blazenka Brysha is a Melbourne writer, arts journalist and dance critic.

Larry Buttrose is the author of more than a dozen books. His next project is to write a new stage adaptation of Don Quixote for the Bell Shakespeare Company in the Cultural Co-Operation Program between the Spanish Ministry of Culture and Australian National University.

A lover of literary fiction and non-fiction, Sharon Clews is also a passionate amateur photographer and fervent social media addict. In previous lives she did grown-up things for a living like HR and Change Management. She has since seen the light and is living in London pursuing what makes her soul sing.

Jack Feldstein was a scriptwriter for TV, film and theatre for quite a while before he woke up one morning and began making neon animations. Since then, his award-winning neon animations have screened worldwide from Lincoln Center, New York to Rotterdam International Film Festival as well as twice being Dendy finalists at the Sydney International Film Festival in 2005 and 2007.

JUNO GEMES is one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary photographers. In words and images she has spent 40 years documenting the changing social landscape of Australia, and in particular the lives and struggles of Aboriginal


Matt Hetherington is a writer, musician, lover, father, humble self-promoter, sky-digger, vegetarian bludger, DJ, frustrated housewife, connoisseur of fine scents and dog-biscuits, twin brother, old-school soccer nut, poverty-stricken aristocrat, and Bodhisattva wannabe. His most recent poetry collection is I Think We Have.

Verity Hill: “I have hardly evolved beyond birchbark and animal blood. I live near enough to Toronto to call it home.”

Originally from New York, Adair Jones is an author, blogger, and reviewer now living and writing in Brisbane.

Jill Jones won the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize for 'Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems'. Her work has recently appeared in 'The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry' and the 'Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature'.

Rae Desmond Jones is a very old man who would remember the battle of Borodino, except that he is getting severe memory loss. As a result, his poetry is loaded with messages of great social, political & spiritual significance, which are often delicately placed there by the astute reader.

Peter Kenneally is English, transplanted, a poet, reviewer and writer and editor for hire. He blogs at Mrs Slocombe Regrets

Virginia Lloyd is the author of The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement, issued this month in paperback. She is immediate Past President of Sydney PEN and a former Vice-President of the Sydney Improvised Music Association. She is currently working on a book about women and the piano.

Billy Marshall Stoneking is an Australian/American poet/playwright, filmmaker, script consultant, teacher and author of seven books, including the modern-day classic, Singing the Snake : Poems from the Western Desert. His poem, Seasons of Fire, was recently selected by Les Murray and re-printed in The Reader (University of Liverpool, UK) as one of the 10 best Australian poems ever written.

Deb Matthews-Zott is an Adelaide poet, reviewer and freelance editor. Her published works include Shadow Selves (2003) and Slow Notes (2008), Ginninderra Press. She works as a librarian and her favourite pastime is photography.

Carly-Jay Metcalfe is now studying creative writing at QUT. A double-lung transplant recipient, she has a role with Queenslanders Donate, talking to school students, families, and nurses to try to encourage people to donate.

Mark Mordue is a writer, journalist and editor living in Sydney's inner west. He is the author of Dastgah: Diary of a Headtrip. He is currently completing a novel for his MA in Writing at UTS.

Pic: Ingvar Kenne

Marco Moretti is an Italian author, travel writer and photographer. He has published 15 books, and contributes to several newspapers, magazines and websites. He has been travelling for 30 years all over the world visiting 110 countries, and has spent a lot of time in Australia. His photos are distributed worldwide by Anzenberger.

Kristin Moore is currently a criminologist, freelance researcher and book editor who has recently embraced social networking and online publications with glee. In a previous incarnation, she worked in the Australian music industry doing publicity, tour managing, booking bands and venues and various other 'jobs', she also wrote for long defunct publications such as Ram, Juke and On the Street. She has yet to work out how to “act her age”, but suspects she is not alone!

The author of three books of poetry, Tasmanian-born Rosemary Nissen-Wade lived many years in Melbourne where she was involved in initiating the Poets Union, prison poetry workshops, poetry theatre and performance poetry in general, and was an independent publisher of Australian poets, some of whose books featured in major national awards. Now in far northern NSW, she works as a copy editor, and a facilitator of writers’ groups including online haiku and tanka groups.

Carol Novack is a New York poet and erstwhile Australian Arts Council writing grant recipient with no talent for two-sentence bios. Read all about her at her journal Mad Hatters' Review and buy her forthcoming book Giraffes in Hiding (Crossing Chaos, 2010).

Sandra Pires is a documentary film maker who is interested in cross cultural projects, heritage, the environment and mental health awareness.

George Smilovici is one of Australia's most intimately and desperately loved comedians.

Jane Smith is the author of the fictional self-help book Finding The Shelf Within: Spiritual Development through Home Improvement, being released in the US in October.

pic: John Webber

Anne Tsoulis is a screenwriter and script editor. Amana Ibrahim was awarded an Arts SA literature grant, and is close to completion.

LES WICKS has toured widely and seen publication in over 200 magazines, anthologies & newspapers across 12 countries in 7 languages. His 8th, most recent book of poetry is The Ambrosiacs (Island, 2009). komninos is a performance poet and cyberpoet

pic: Susan Adams

komninos is a performance poet and cyberpoet


Editor this edition: Larry Buttrose

Founding editors: John Birmingham, James Bradley, Larry Buttrose,

Billy Marshall Stoneking and Mark Mordue

GROUP 3 will be up online here in November.

To join The Group and contribute to this magazine, join Facebook and then go to:

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