Category Archives: Spoken Word

Another review from KSP

KSP published another review about me, this time in the May edition of their newsletter.

Thanks for the kind words Rosanne!

Literary dinner with Jeremy Balius

By Rosanne Dingli

It was a brilliant night of warm company, delicious food, and thought-provoking entertainment. Let me tell you about it.

It’s not easy to wean oneself off the computer screen to face the real world. A literary dinner seemed the best way to link back  to something concrete: real people, real food, a real location. It felt scary making the booking. Online social interaction is so much easier – it doesn’t matter what you wear, for a start. But look – my shiny top still fitted. I hadn’t driven through Midland for something like 8 years, and yes, they were STILL digging up the intersection with the highway.

I can’t say it was like I had never been away – lots of changes occurred since I worked at KSP. The first I noticed was the office – what a miraculous transformation from the old shed where we’d hide the keys under a pot of rat poison! The library was another transformation that blew me right away. So beautiful and conducive to a nice long read… but I had dinner to eat and people to meet.

Jeremy Balius is a star: there is no other word for this youthful extremely talented writer. His abilities are legion, his eclectic forays into different genres quite illuminating, his style indicative of a more than just adequate understanding of history and literature. He read in between courses from published and more recent work, leaving the intimate audience desiring to know the origins of such intricate language.

I thought the days of having fun with words were over. I thought prose poems were dead. I thought this vast, cruel, pragmatic world had shrunk everything to 140- character meaninglessness. Not so. I was so very happy to sit back, between delicious soup and wonderful curry, and listen to Jeremy Balius read from his “Wherein? He asks of Memory”, which was a surprise, to say the least. Dense, dense, dense with all the lovely, juicy words I had missed for so long. Did he really say ekphrastic? It was magical to listen to a sculpture quiz a mountain.

There was ample opportunity to quiz the Writer-in-Residence at KSP about his writing, background, accent, and a number of other important aspects. It turns out Jeremy Balius has taken up residence in Fremantle. His fascination with the place is causing him to delve into its history, and his sojourns in Germany and his native USA are informing the way he delves. He understands Fremantle, without a doubt. But the way he writes about the port town is going to make us all look at it again, and see it differently. We might see Balius’s words next time we look at a crane.

Between curry and dessert – let me tell you, homemade chocolate cake, cream and ice cream – Jeremy read from the manuscript of his WIP: a novel which the
residency is allowing him to write in comparative ease and comfort.

I was surprised again. A literary novel, with striking words once more taking centre stage. Did he really say abecedarian? Yes, and loudly and clearly, too. A writer’s delivery, I find, is often indicative of the breadth of their potential, and what I heard that Tuesday night was wide. High. Deep.

Rosanne Dingli’s most recent novel is Camera Obscura. Available wherever good books are sold online, in paperback and eBook.

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Black Rider Podcast 06 – forward slash launch

… and then the sixth instalment of the Black Rider Podcast.

This edition takes a detour from the soundtracks we’ve been publishing to bring you a live recording of the forward slash launch at the 2012 Poetry Symposium held at Deakin University a few weeks ago. You can listen to Corey Wakeling’s launch speech, followed by Duncan Hose and Michael Farrell reading some of their poems published in the journal.

Download the the live recording from (the download link is in the lower left corner after the jump).

Read the speech transcript.

Stream the gig here:

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Corey Wakeling’s forward slash launch speech

Last Thursday forward slash was released into the stratosphere via Melbourne’s 2012 Poetry Symposium – The Political Imagination: Contemporary Postcolonial and Diasporic Poetries. Corey Wakeling’s kindness permanently abounds and he launched this li’l ole journal for us. You can read Corey’s speech below.

We’ll be podcasting the launch as well, which means you’ll be able to listen to Corey’s speech, as well as Michael Farrell and Duncan Hose reading.

Online purchase of forward slash will be available soon. Collected Works also has copies if you’re in Melbourne.

forward slash launch speech by Corey Wakeling

The Queen, Elizabeth II, is glad this journal exists. It is sign after all that the Commonwealth is still wretchedly in effect, the colonies clearly and seamlessly in dialogue across the seemingly impassable thousands of kilometres to the North, and the North to South. “A collage of Australian and Canadian innovation” write editors Jeremy Balius and Matt Hall. It is not by accident that we then release this journal to the post-colonial subject in situ – we are after all in attendance at a conference entitled ‘The Postcolonial Imagination’. Indeed its troubles, its criminality, and its critical heritage, are herein displayed, written by seven of the finest Commonwealth poets. The British Empire has retracted, the imperial gesture disseminated, now rather laid like new broadband into the loam and concrete beneath our feet, working less like a brain now than a lymphatic system attacking satellite infidelities and acute threats.

Little does the Queen know, in all of her enamour of the exuberance and colonial specificity of the curatorship of this journal that the agents chosen by Balius and Hall happened to be double, arch and diabolical mutineers, fiends, cultural extortionists, saboteurs. In postcolonial times a sophisticated poetic of dissemination, probes of hottest imagination, devisers of transformative syntax, are perhaps a great exacerbator of the retraction of empire, methods to instantiate transcultural cross-germination, and better acknowledge the bequest of diasporic, processual traditions of nomadicism and expression under duress that have for so long sustained the fixities of national identity like that of the subject of the Commonwealth.

The postcolonial subject is neither severed from national technologies to which it is under duress, nor is it passive to identity politics in formation, in deviation, in conflict or contradiction to the national. It is compositely colonial and postcolonial. Why can’t you speak about the body and technology exhort Louis Armand, Michael Farrell, Duncan Hose, Kemeny Babineau, a.rawlings, Jay Millar, Astrid Lorange. Why can’t you speak about the body in technology beg Louis Armand, Michael Farrell, Duncan Hose, Kemeny Babineau, a.rawlings, Jay Millar, Astrid Lorange. Why can’t you speak about technology in the body, technology of the body retort Louis Armand, Michael Farrell, Duncan Hose, Kemeny Babineau, a.rawlings, Jay Millar, Astrid Lorange.

As the hypothetical philosophers of language, or the language philosophers of hypothesis, or the hypothetical linguists of philosophy, these poets in particular have an active intervention into landscape and language’s prosthetic eye on it with consequence. Louis Armand writes in ‘“EROSION MIMICS A FRAME”’:  “the sentence “is” a body…” The reciprocity between language and landscape – at once elaboration of the teasing proximity language brings to ambulations and memories of landscape and yet too elaborating the rejection of words by the landscape – produce, frankly, devastating, cosmic, and singular hallucinations in the work of these poets collected. Hallucinations because they are ecstatic, and because they see what they are thinking, and that after all is impossible. These are reliable maps in another sense, however, reliable topographies of place thought, thought indicating its setting as much by its flight and repulsion as its disseminations as probing retina.

Each poet collected appears fascinated with this limina, and if they’re anxious, then they’re performatively so. Just see a.rawlings spreadsheet poem ‘THE GREAT CANADIAN’, with its page saturating refrain: “I will not ruin the environment”. More on that cascade later. For each poet it is not remiss to surmise each poet landlubber of a psychic art turns to the criminality of the topographer-fencer, and makes a riot of his or her former small time. This is big time crime, but for that hardly less true because the landscape is making them do these terrible things. This is Whitman in the woods, but also Whitman in black.

M. Farrell: “George Clooney is walking across the A landscape. He’s what makes it.” ‘INVISIBLE AMERICA’ (10)

D. Hose: “When   did     Tasmania   get    so / German               anyway / Here we are in German Tasmania / Appeldorff,        Little Alp,      hills are randy / w/ tearful horses, / Hohenzollern barns engineer the air to chasten / horny grasses \” ‘LIQUOR’S NOT LIKE THAT’ (3)

a.rawlings: “Descend from a cliff into a forest near a field by a shore on a river that empties into a language.” ‘THE GREAT CANADIAN INJURIES’ (16)

L. Armand: “… crude ore / dark floe from the un/conscious / belies geo-strata not yet raised to perception – / intestinal montage of / red black / fossilised in its veins’ metastasis / becoming sub-specie …” ‘“EROSION MIMICS A FRAME”’(23)

K. Babineau: “Marri Douglas Canoe / rip A Ford Near Moscow // A Delusion of Pat Anderson, 1915-”

A. Lorange: “needle along the edge of a river such a / slab of science emptying itself on the banks” ‘GRUBS’ (36)

And J. Millar’s hallucination, or the truth of the matter: “Foot after foot atmospheric / melodies repair each one / higher than the next, a trail // of geographic outcroppings / & visual stimuli that oppose / news. What sits there remains – / millennial drones of rock // & shoreline collections of / mosquito bites, a pure pure / Canadian tropism entered into / the record books as whims.” ‘GATHERED FOR THE PURPOSE’ (39)

It seems Canadians and Australians have been dreaming the similar dreams, or at least tangoing together under shroud of oneirodynia, the disturbed sleep. Yes, these poems, all of them, are of disturbed sleep – Hose’s post-coital, pre-coital; Farrell at his most O’Hara-esque incubus-like swimming through the dreams of others, for Farrell it is Richard Roxburgh and baby boomers dreaming Hendrix; rawlings ‘The Great Canadian’ a litanical nightmare of the suffocating demands of the intra-festal obsessive compulsive declamation “I will not ruin the environment” turning at once from denial, remorse, fecklessness, pomposity, demand, imprimatur, injunction, thesis, antithesis, synthesis, transition, in the accretion of its stupid inexorability. Indeed, rawlings is the most self-interrogative, and her transformation from ‘SUBJECT’ to wolves in ‘WOLVES’ ENEMIES’, the wolves supplanting the once pathological reiterations of the ‘I’ and words’ clamour on the ‘I’s superficies, this roaming collective of wolf in plural, wolf mapping territory, wolf territorially pissing, the preposition “to” ever turned to verb-like to end on as salve to perimeters of ‘I’, its borders and fields. rawlings explains:

Shown urine from wolf on the to

the wolf or of wolves run.


But aren’t these poets big personalities too, not just big wolves? I mean, aren’t these poems big architectures? I mean aren’t these poets big ‘I’s? I mean, aren’t these poets big programmes? I mean, aren’t these poems catastrophic erosion, hangovers, lusty pinions, mouthpieces, fears, ruins? Perhaps it isn’t size at all, perhaps sprawl instead, contagiousness! Listen to Matt Hall and Jeremy Balius speak and it’s the maximalism fusillade, which might be better considered part of our poetics. This maximalist turn is delightful in forward slash, performed with dexterity and wit.

Condensation however is certainly not left to the periphery, what Ezra Pound did to the Homeric verse, what Charles Olson did to Ezra Pound doing the Homeric verse, what Duncan Hose did to what Charles Olson did to what Ezra Pound did to the Homeric verse, is part of this weird Commonwealth journal: the turbid juices of something other than style is certainly being condensed here. What Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, what Christopher Brennan did to what Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, what Michael Dransfield did to what Christopher Brennan did to what Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, what Michael Farrell does to what Michael Dransfield did to what Christopher Brennan did to what Stephane Mallarme did to syntax, is demonstrated here as part of the syntax elaboration in contemporary poetics, questions of syntactic transfiguration, interrogation, extenuation – this is entirely traditional and rabidly deterritorialising (what Farrell might call un-settling).Precision, the diamond tip of the probe: this certainly is the horizon here in the pages of an undeniably perky journal.

Jay Millar is the most cautious, and that is why he appears the most serene and delicately pensive. Duncan Hose’s agents are bleeding, goosing the temple bell; and he has had his “cup of the coward’s bouillon”. Faire du skeptique, to the sceptical, he writes: “I keep finding pearls”. Has a geologist ever found so much movement in the earth, and yet simultaneously been as conscious of the uncertainty principle, as Louis Armand? His work does not demystify the processes of geological formation nor the body’s reliance on them, rather his findings are drawn up by the ghosts of illegibility and the mirages of articulate palimpsests. Armand is the most foreshadowing of his prosthetic I/eye, Astrid Lorange the least: she is the eyeball disturbed and unsocketed, roaming wildly pontificating rather on the ear. She says:

private celebrations

of speaking (not at all like fasting)

with diagrams

full-bodied and fruit

thud missiles

rattling into the ear

making each

the first available name                                               (34-5)

And it is this, the “first available name” that Kemeny Babineau versifies and sends rustling through the capitals, proper nouns, of history as towns and towns as historical human beings, “Saul, ‘The stars are glittering in the sky’ / 1818 ‘O! Come / in the Orilia Woods // Mair Tecumseh / Lanigan Threnody / Isabella The Helot” (27). Yes the locale is but a cut-up of old Canada, and yet my boots are wet and muddy, and somehow Flanders Field got on them, John McCrae’s old war threne somewhere within “The Pomegranate Mouths / Drunk on Crutches”. Unbelievable!

I would like to propose to launch forward slash, but then to me it appears it has launched itself, perhaps one of the most exciting new poetry journals since Vlak.

Instead, may it live long.


Filed under Australia, Black Rider Press, Poetry, Published, Spoken Word

Black Rider says thanks for the 25,000 listens

After putting out the recently brilliant BRP podcast 05, a live recording of Marcus Roloff’s German spoken word with the swooningly bright-eyed sounds played by Christian Löffler, and while I was setting up to record Corey Wakeling all lofi over the phone for BRP podcast 06, a quick tally showed:

The Sound of the Black Rider has had over 25,000 downloads and streams. (It’s closer to 27,000 but I rounded down.)

Ok, so, it’s irrelevant that compared with internet standards and stories of trillions of views on YouTube, this is a miniscule amount. We’re talking about lofi recordings of authors and poets reading their work. It’s poetry and fiction, you guys!

Also, we’re a micropress from Fremantle, Western Australia – publishing like thieves in the night. 25,000? 25,000!

For that, I say thank you.

To all of you who are reading, streaming, downloading, buying, and telling your friends about the Black Rider, thank you.

You’re the sweethearts who keep this all going. Thank you for having Black Rider in your life. Your kindness abounds.

The Sound of the Black Rider is made up of the Black Rider podcast, the Lyrics audio book series, the Garage Sessions and poets and authors reading their work at and PoetrySpeaks.

Look homeward, angels!

The Black Rider

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KSP reviews Black Rider

KSP posted some reviews in their April 2012 newsletter. Thanks Rose and Mardi – your kindness abounds.

Meet the Poet

By Rose van Son

On Monday, 12th March, 2012, KSP audience members were treated to a spellbinding session of performance poetry and discussion by Emerging Writer-in-Residence, Jeremy Balius. Although born in the US and spending much of his formative years in Germany and Los Angeles, Balius has lived in Fremantle for the past seven years. He is caretaker of Black Rider Press.

An excellent communicator, Balius held the audience in awe with his strong poetry, crystallised performance readings and insightful philosophies and perceptions of his poetry and what poetry could be. His connection with the audience and their questions was at once thoughtprovoking and confronting. His background information and incredible research for his poems were informative and humbling.

Balius’ passions for language and philosophy are evident in his poetry, his readings and his art. He understands the balance of words and symbols – where they go and what they do to excite, cast shadow, reveal. His poetry leaves much scope for the reader to add meaning and to wonder poetry’s power and resonance.

Balius’ publication wherein? he asks of memory by Knives Forks and Spoons Press, UK, is both an aural and visual feast. He is unafraid to use language, and not just the English language, bilaterally, to at once tie, separate and propel the text.

Balius will soon be published in the Fremantle Press Performance Poets series publication to be accompanied by a CD.

As he writes in a line from Of the fifth consideration: ‘Explanations are never sufficient’ – the audience that sultry Monday afternoon, was left, having gained so much, wanting more.

(Rose van Son’s collection of poetry (Labyrinth) has recently been published in Sandfire by Sunline Press, Jan, 2012)


The Power of Place

By Mardi May

Jeremy Balius, our Emerging Writer-in-Residence, knows the importance of place or setting in a story, and how this influences the lives of people and characters.

American by birth and raised in Germany, Jeremy met an Aussie girl and Fremantle has claimed him for the last seven years.

Currently working on a novel set in Fremantle, Jeremy is also a poet of some standing in the Perth poetry community. Influenced by the American experience and the expressiveness of the German language, his poetic style flows into the prose of his novel.

As our guest at Past Tense, he read excerpts from his current work and we discussed areas relevant to our own writing projects. In his demonstration of the power of performance, we learned much about presentation and will endeavour to convey this in our readings on Open Day.

Thank you, Jeremy, from Past Tense, for your generosity in sharing your time and knowledge with us.


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Black Rider down at the Poetry Club this Saturday

This Saturday I’m going to read some words down at the Poetry Club.

The website bills it as:

On 18 February at Perth Poetry Club you can hear the distinctive spoken sound of Cottonmouth favourite and underground publisher JEREMY BALIUS, plus the premiere feature of a new voice, CRAIG ROGERS. 2-4pm at The Moon, with open mike and professional sound as always.

Jeremy Balius was Dallas Texas born, Gießen Germany raised, Los Angeles California educated, and has lived in Fremantle Western Australia for the last seven years. He looks after Black Rider Press and hangs out with the Cottonmouth kids. wherein? he asks of memory is forthcoming from Knives Forks and Spoons Press (UK). He’s a Katherine Susannah Prichard 2012 Emerging Writer in Residence.

Craig Rogers grew up in Perth after emigrating from the UK in 1994. Before that he lived all over England and Scotland, including the Shetland islands, home-schooled for most of that time with his younger sister. He has had an on-again-off-again relationship with writing since childhood; but this has developed into more of an inward instinct than an external interest, particularly over recent years. He has been reading in the open mike at Perth Poetry Club for just over a year.

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Black Rider celebrates 17,000 listens

Dear friends of the Black Rider,

Thank you.

We knew people were reading all the stuff we put out, but to now know that everything coming out through The Sound of the Black Rider has been listened to, downloaded and/or streamed 17,000 times by you sweethearts boggles our li’l minds!

The Sound of the Black Rider includes the Black Rider Podcast, the Garage Sessions, spoken word audio books, and Black Rider authors and poets reading their work on Poetry Speaks and on the Black Rider Official FM channel.

Thank you for all your continued support as we publish like thieves in the night. Your kindness abounds.

Until soon,

The Black Rider

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The Garage Sessions #3 – tomorrow’s machine today #1 by Emma Davidson

When I’m not doing so hot, I usually wind up in an art gallery.

I was at PICA yesterday and ran into Anna Dunnill who works there. Turns out the cool kids from Perth Zine Distro have a residency at PICA at the moment and I scored T.Fid’s new graphic novel about G.Taw and the Zine Wolf (which I’ve already read three times – it’s the best – “Teen Wolf will teach you about life in an hour and a half.” – best quote ever – we once hung it up on the wall at a Cottonmouth gig and not a single person said anything, except for Li’l Leonie, who knows with me that all things T.Fid and G.Taw are transcendent), a couple chapbooks from Mar Bucknell (who I think basically owns over all of us put together – he really is the real deal) and a stack of other DIY stuff, like Emma Davidson’s Nearly Healthy zine and both of her tomorrow’s machine today zines.

tomorrow’s machine today rules, my friends. This is exactly the kind of sweetheart stuff we need in our lives at the moment.

Emma said:

The idea initially was to pick a song or musical encounter that has influenced her in some way and to write about that, but as this is the first issue it remains to be seen whether it will continue in that vein. This issue’s about hearing songs by US punk bands like DKs and Black Flag for the first time via the unexpected educational portals of Dolly and Girlfriend magazines.

You can order it from Emma & Tim’s zine distro Take Care Zines. It costs 50 cents.

Ok, so I hope Emma doesn’t get super bummed at me, but I was so bowled over by it that I recorded an audio zine of it for the Garage Sessions series.

You can download me reading tomorrow’s machine today #1 (by Emma Davidson) or stream it below.


Filed under Spoken Word, The Garage Sessions

The Sound of the Black Rider presents Matthew Hall reading ‘Royal Jelly’

On a freezing winter night somewhere deep within the UWA campus, Matthew Hall recorded a reading of his new collection of poetry out soon through the Black Rider Press Lyrics series.

You need to hear this – it’s the bee’s knees.

Get a sneak peek before the book is available and download or stream the album at The Sound of the Black Rider.

You name the price.

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The Sound of the Black Rider: Chris Arnold

Photo by Danny Khoo

Chris Arnold recently mixed the Black Rider Podcast 02 under his Alice & Bob moniker.

It’s a mix of emotive exuberance, bookended by two of Chris’ poems. If you haven’t checked the mix, you’re missing out on a soundtrack to your nightly reading or morning train ride.

Here now are the poems on their own as part of the sound of the Black Rider for download or stream.

Download Chris Arnold – Unloading

Stream it:

Download Chris Arnold – 17

Stream it:

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