A6 36pp ISBN 987-0-9873057-3-2
$9.90 including postage
Tommy Ruff is a fresh catch of pointed poems from the deep south of Australia, by a poet well known for not fitting in to available categories. The poems date from 1968 to 1984, including previously unpublished and newly polished work, as well as forgotten favourites from four collections. Sensationally, ‘A Shoebox Full of Grasshoppers’ is illustrated with a diagram of the sexual relationships which inspired the story. Three typewriter poems hint at the direction which Tipping would take, becoming internationally recognised for his visual poetry and textual objects. Other poems range from the political to the poignant. At their heart is an appreciation of home ground.
Richard Kelly Tipping is an original Adelaidean born in the year of the Chinese Communist revolution who lived in the city for thirty years before moving to the east coast. While in Adelaide he co-edited Mok, the first of a wave of small press poetry magazines which redefined Australian poetry in the late 1960s; graduated in humanities from Flinders University; helped start the on-going Friendly Street poetry readings in 1975; and held his first solo exhibition of word sculpture The Everlasting Stone at the Adelaide Festival Centre. Tommy Ruff is his umpteenth book. Read a short review by Rob Walker here.
“There is, here, no mystery except the everyday. The charm of Tipping is his elegant simplicity, humour and self-acceptance.”
Rosemary O’Grady in the Adelaide Advertiser
“His descriptions of the Adelaide he knows well, its parks, cafes and nearby beaches, show the closely connecting threads of mood, time and place.”
Mandy Lynch, in the Canberra Times
“There are impressions of seedy suburbs and eerie landscapes.”
Limitlessness at Ruby's Cafe
we live in the mind
ahead of time
past that is always
at ruby’s café
there are thousand of poets
running on a single spot
within the brain.
the brain includes the foot
and goes strolling:
thought that feeds on itself –
the smell of old people frying eggs –
one word on the brain’s bright surface
pushing another off
within the moment’s
avalanche - the only way to hold the moment
would be to die in it –
we’re living like tommy ruffs
nibbling when we dine, pulled out of music
on a single taut line. don’t get ahead.
even a few years in this situation is
instantaneous in archaeological time.
swirling ancient memory fabric
dust on an empty road.
how can such a safe life
be so precarious?
and how solitary to forget
Some other work by Richard Tipping
Love Cuts (with Chris Mansell) Well Sprung Productions, 2013
Off the Page & back again (visual poems and sculptures), Writers Forum, London, 2010
Signed (22 postcards as a book), Artpoem, Sydney, 2010
Subvert I Sing (visual poems and graphics), Red Fox Press, Ireland, 2008
Notes towards Employment (poetry), Picaro Press, Warners Bay NSW, 2006
Five O’Clock Shadows (poetry), Thorny Devil Press, Newcastle, 1989
Nearer by Far (poetry, hardback), University of Queensland Press, 1986
Headlines to the Heart (poetry, with drawings by Maize Turner), Pothole Press, London, 1985
Diverse Voice (visual poetry), The International Poetry Archive, Oxford, 1985
Signs of Australia (photographs), Penguin Books Australia, 1982
Domestic Hardcore (poetry), University of Queensland Press, 1975
Soft Riots (poetry), University of Queensland Press, 1972
Hearth Australian Galleries, Sydney, 2008
Roadsigned (postcard pack) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2005
Public Works Thorny Devil Press with the School of Design, Communication and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, 2002
City Rubbings Thorny Devil Press, Newcastle, Australia, 2002
Hear the Art Thorny Devil Press, Newcastle, Australia, 1997
Multiple Pleasures Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1996
Artist books / print folios
The Sydney Morning I-IV (50 screenprint and letterpress prints in four folios),Thorny Devil Press, Newcastle,1989-1994
Word Works: Airpoet (editioned print folio, 11 sets, 11 prints), 1979
Word as Art, special issue of Artlink Vol 27 No.1, 2007
The Friendly Street Poetry Reader, Adelaide University Press, 1977
Mok magazine, 5 issues 1968-1969
Richard Tipping’s poetry has been included in over sixty anthologies including:
The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry, edited by Phillip Mead and John Tranter, the New Oxford Book of Australian Verse, edited by Les Murray and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Kinsella.