A6 32pp ISBN 0-978-0-9873057-0-1
$9.90 including postage
Tim Thorne has been at the forefront of poetry in Australia since the 1960s. Yeah No, his thirteenth collection, includes poems which illustrate his concerns with social and environmental issues, with history and with some of the absurdities of 21st century society.
Some of these pieces are set in Europe, which Thorne visits regularly, and some in Australia, but all belong firmly in the borderless republic of poetry.
His trademark wit is present as ever, and his tendency to approach subjects from unexpected angles gives a freshness and clarity to the perceptions which enliven the work. Thorne's is a distinctive and unforgettable voice.
All you need is an Ern Malley garden gnome
and the world’s your ostrich, or something.
Last time I strolled the promenades of Portoroz
most of the other millionaires were on rollerblades.
Now that is post-imperialism for you.
But I can’t handle anything more complex
than issues of mere style; hence the question
of garden mini-statuary. There is a factory
on the outskirts of Shanghai where
small plaster likenesses of the great hoax poet
are produced cheaply, along with those of
Ben Cousins (complete with ‘Such is Life’ tattoo),
that Spencer girl who married above her station
and died in a tunnel, Neil Bush and various other
members of the celebrity tribe.
Post-imperialism meets post-Disney
and it ‘never ceases to amaze’ me
that there are some people who still prefer
Hippy, Sleazy, Basho and whatever else
the Magnificent Seven were called,
or who are so insensitive
to inter-species issues that they pose their gnomes
by ponds with fishing rods. I mean, really,
would you pose one with a gun or a noose?
A6 32pp ISBN 0-9580367-8-0
$9.90 including postage
This new title is Tim Thorne's tenth book of poetry, and includes his stunning 'Mesopotamian Suite', a series of poems responding to the war against Iraq, which has been received well at readings in various parts of Australia. Demand for publication has been high.
Some of the other witty and trenchant poems have also been performed to acclaim. Thorne's long poetic career makes him a master of his craft. His commitment and intelligence make the political and other subjects he tackles appear new and sharp for the fan and the first time Thorne reader alike.
See Mark O'Flynn's review of Best Bitter in The Famous Reporter where he describes Thorne as a 'thinner version of Mike Moore' and the book as 'hard-hitting and unapologetic'.
You gotta have class. Only Marilyn Monroe,
Princess Di and a couple of Balkan war criminals
got their own 'Candle in the Wind'
and even Marilyn had to wait.
and the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburgs
and the Battenbergs of Hesse
used to have class. Now they have to marry it.
Should (Heaven forbid!) a barefoot yachting mishap
prove tragic, Our Mary would deserve more
than a new version of 'Candle...'
Perhaps a revamp of 'My Island Home'.
Ever since the pretty princesses were spun
at us post-depression while we forgot
the jolly game of Dukes and Nazis
in a blur of tulle and fairytales,
the little girl in all of us
has clapped hands and danced
with sibling squabbles over whose turn it was
to be Lillibet or Margaret Rose.
Celebrity needs a context. Even Paris
wasn't built in a day. There has to be
a cast: the grumpy one in jodhpurs,
the gin-soaked social climber with the dogs,
stock characters that prove
all the world's a sitcom:
the randy, the dotty, the stuttering reluctant,
even the locked-away gibberer.
Buckingham Palace and whatever it's called
are not quite Graceland or Ramsay Street
but as long as there's a princess there's hope.
Just keep the bulimia down and the details light.
Brunette is the new blonde. Plastic bags
are the new land mines. The candle, my friend,
is blowin'... but the times are unchanged.
Tim Thorne, born 1944 in Launceston, has lived in Tasmania for most of his life. Educated at various institutions, including Yolla Area School and Stanford University, he has worked as, among other things, a teacher, storeman, community arts officer, visual arts curator and newspaper columnist, and is currently managing editor of Cornford Press, a publishing enterprise he set up primarily to promote the work of Tasmanian poets.
In 1985 he inaugurated the Tasmanian Poetry Festival, which he directed until 2001 and which incorporates his invention, the Launceston Poetry Cup, a performance poetry concept now imitated all over Australia and internationally.
He has been writer-in-residence with a number of organisations, including the Miscellaneous Workers Union and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, and has worked as a poet in schools, universities and prisons.
He has been commissioned to write and perform poems for conferences of groups as varied as the Australian Fertiliser Services Association, Australian Pig Breeders and Southern Cross Television Producers. One of his poems is engraved on the wall of the public toilet block in Cressy Tasmania (with official approval).
He has read at literary festivals throughout Australia, in the UK and the USA, and has been awarded a number of prizes, including Stanford Writing Scholarship, 1971; New Poetry Award, 1973; Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship for poetry, 1978, and the Gleebooks Poetry Sprint, 1995. He has also received grants and fellowships from the Australia Council, Arts Tasmania and the Eleanor Dark Foundation.
He has had an abiding interest in creating opportunities for poets and other artists with disabilities and from 1998 to 2000 he was National Secretary of DADAA (Disability and the Arts, Disadvantage and the Arts Australia). In 1999-2000 he was writer/co-ordinator for a national project for writers with cerebral palsy, conducted through Arts 'R' Access. In 2002 he was editor of the 'Launceston Longpoem', a web-based community writing project funded through Tasmanian Regional Arts.
Tim is the only Australian contributor to the "DJ Donny Johnny" project, in which 16 poets contribute a canto each to an updated version of Byron's Don Juan, due for publication in the UK in 2014.
Married to Stephanie since 1969, he has two daughters and two granddaughters, and now divides his time between writing, travelling and gardening. His poems have appeared in 14 Australian anthologies and most major Australian journals.
Tense Mood and Voice (Lyre-Bird Writers, Sydney, 1969)
The What of Sane (Prism Books, Sydney, 1971)
New Foundations (Prism Books, Sydney, 1976)
A Nickel In My Mouth (Robin Hill Books, Flowerdale, 1979)
The Atlas (Black Lightning Press, Wentworth Falls, 1982)
(as editor) Civil War/North (Cornford Press, Launceston, 1989)
Red Dirt (Paper Bark Press, Sydney, 1990)
(as editor) I Am Here (Community Arts Network, Hobart, 1992)
(as editor) Lozenge (Cornford Press, Launceston, 1992)
The Streets Aren't for Dreamers (Shoestring Press, Nottingham, 1995)
Taking Queen Victoria to Inveresk (QVM&AG, Launceston, 1997)
(as editor) Creative Parlance (Arts 'R' Access, Launceston, 2000)
Head and Shin (Walleah Press, Hobart, 2004)
I Con: new and selected poems (Salt, 2008)
A Letter to Egon Kisch (Cornford Press, Launceston, 2007)