thankyou for your letter. I’m delighted to hear from you. I know your poetry. Last year I was in White Horse, in the Yukon, at the invitation of the Extreme Readers Association. I was conducting a series of workshops with young poets, and your name was mentioned frequently. Someone gave me a copy of your book Elegy, and I was transformed. It is a wistful, beautiful testament to grief and longing, and it sustained me through those long, snow-bound nights. The accompanying photographs are perfectly counterpoised to create unusual, haunting music.
I would love to meet you. Currently I am visiting various high schools throughout New South Wales, discussing Immigrant Chronicles with senior students and staff. I will be back in Sydney on Tuesday, and then I am free.
The Red K has been a nuisance. For years he has been trying to convince me to send him a manuscript, but his publishing house, Peppercorn, is going under. Everyone saw it coming. The wise ones jumped ship before the engine room flooded, and those that had submitted work were left wringing their hands on the shore.
I fear that hard times are upon us. Robert Adamson and Anthony Lawrence are at the front lines, holding things together, but cracks are appearing. I remember sitting with Anthony at the bar of a hotel in Berlin a few years ago. I asked him where he thought Australian poetry was heading. He lifted his glass of beer to the light, studied it carefully, and said “Up red creek without a ladle.”
See you at the airport.
p.s. Can you bring me some mukluks?