Books for throwback to small epiphanies

It’s no secret that I’m a book nerd, a book geek, a book addict. I’ve been reading books — big and small — since I couldn’t remember when. There are at least three books that I could recall reading at a very early age. I read each of them when I was in my early teens at a time when censorship was big, at a place where you must choose your reading material carefully (or risk being branded a dissident), at a moment when I was questioning myself and the world around me.

The three books that made a huge impact in me when I was so much younger than today:

LOVE STORY by ERICH SEGAL — It made me believe in the power of love;

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE by ANNE RICE — It helped me understand that the world is full of magic and wonder (and, sometimes, heartache and terror); and

THE FRONT RUNNER by Patricia Nell Warren — It helped me understand who and what I was (and am).

It’s great to know these books are still around to help me memorialise the small epiphanies in my life. What book had a similar impact in yours?





A letter for when the World is Weeping… (post-Orlando reflections)

This is Joel McKerrow’s poignant but powerful call for unfolding our lives towards a better light …


Dear friends,

Let us gather. Let us wrap ourselves around the frailty of each other’s light. Hold ourselves as flames in the cold of each other’s loss and confusion. My hands have been frozen by the immensity of this. I need you. You need me. Let us gather.


This world is not an easy place to call home. It is not as friendly as we once hoped for, more broken than we were promised, it crumbles violent around the edges and I do not know what to do with this. How do you hold in your hand that which is falling apart?

Lightly. The answer is lightly. You hold it like feather. Like nest. Like only the birds know. Like parchment. A white knuckled holding to the way we demand it to be shall only schism us further. And haven’t we colonised enough already.

Let us not also colonise the…

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No hate. Just love.

The recents events in Orlando, Florida, have rattled me to the core. After wallowing in the shadows and weeping copious tears, I thought long and hard about what everyone really needs during these dark times. All I could think of is to give and share love, love and more love. It’s one of the reasons why I write about love, with an ardent hope that it provides some comfort and peace to someone. Let go of hate, bigotry, indifference and intolerance. Get love to do the work. Get love for yourself. Get and give love to every single person on the planet. It’s the only thing that matters.

if and when

Stuart Barnes’ new poem at Mascara Literary Review, and Rose Hunter

Prolific poet and editor Stuart Barnes has a new poem on Mascara Literary Review!

Stuart Barnes

Chuffed to have a poem in Mascara Literary Review, edited by Michelle Cahill.

‘The Moon and the Mason Jars’ (for my dear friend Ruth Whebell) will also be published in my first collection, Glasshouses (UQP, August 2016).

While you’re at Mascara, check out Rose Hunter’s poem ‘el edén’. I’m currently reading Rose’s chapbook descansos (dancing girl press, 2015). In her foam:e review of descansos poet and winner of the 2006 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize Angela Gardner wrote ‘[this collection] maintains its focus in a way that allows the reader’s mind to follow many paths without losing direction. The subject is serious and the gaze unflinching and honest. [Rose’s] ability to make language and image strange, ensures we look deeper.’

I’m eagerly awaiting Rose’s next book of poetry, glass (Five Islands Press, 2017).

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‘A Rendering of Genes’ – new poem on Verity La

On a day full of surprises, this certainly is one of the highlights. A brand new poem, ‘A Rendering of Genes’ has just appeared on Verity La‘s Heightened Talk. It’s a poem with various shapes and sizes, of different (and yet the same) colours. Thrilled to bits about it. Thanks, Verity La!

Check it out HERE.

(Image copyright: ‘self portrait’, Ramon Loyola)

self portrait charcoal

‘Touch me where it hurts’ poem gets a mention in a great interview

Michael H. Broder of Indolent Books and the HIV Here & Now Project singles out my poem, ‘Touch Me Where It Hurts’. Thrilled to be part of this important project. Thanks, Michael!

Check out the poems and Michael’s interview with HERE.

(HIV Here & Now Project logo courtesy of Michael H. Broder.)