PoetsvAdani image

Thanks to Stop Adani campaign for great images from last night’s Melbourne launch of hope for whole: poets speak up to Adani, a few eBook you can read more about and download here. Nearly 20 poets read their poems from a book representing over 60 poets writing in protest at big coal, concern about climate change, and vision of different world. You can read the media release here: Media Release-Launch of hope for whole-poets speak up to Adani-Melbourne2018

Thanks to Charlie, and Stop Adani campaign, for the photos, collation and graphic.

Over at Plumwood Mountain journal you can download the free eBook in support of the Stop Adani campaign, hope for whole: poets speak up to AdaniThere is a launch coming up in Melbourne on Tuesday 27 March 2018. Launches in Sydney and other cities to follow in coming months.


On Wednesday 24 January 2018, at the Wheeler Centre, I was fortunate to be part of a double launch with Jeanine Leane whose Walk Back Over is a strong work of non-fiction poetry. The launch speeches and our readings were recorded by Australian Poetry and are now available on Sound Cloud. My gratitude to Kent MacCarter, Bonny Cassidy, Jeanine Leane, Timmah Ball, Jacinta Le Plastrier, Australian Poetry and The Wheeler Centre.

At a launch there are always things that don’t get said as well as things that do. My connection with the Binnap Partners of Aboriginal Catholic Ministry Victoria was mentioned, and I commented that I am not very active with the Partners now, nor have been for some time, especially since I moved away from the inner city to Seaford. But what I needed to say is that were it not for being introduced to Aboriginal Catholic Ministry and their Binnap Partners back in 1995, White on White (Cordite Books 2018) would not have come about, and Kin (Five Islands Press 2014) would be very different.

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry is an Indigenous initiated and led organisation that, as their 1996 publication Invisible No More tells, traces its beginnings to house meetings in 1984. The ministry developed a model of partnership and invited non-Indigenous people to share this vision as Binnap partners from 1992. The Binnap, a Wurundjeri word, is a seed from the manna gum, that nourished both Indigenous and, in early colonial times, non-Indigenous people. It was chosen by the group “to symbolise the possibility of sharing and being nurtured by the same source” (ACM-Binnap Partners).

In 1995 I was invited by Marg Hill who then worked for Aboriginal Catholic Ministry to consider joining the Binnap partners, and I have been in contact with them over the intervening years, participating in meetings and meals in the early years, occasional Eucharists and events, a bit of editing assistance with Aunty Betty Pike one year, but very little (next to nothing, and I am not being humble saying that) in comparison to what I received by way of education.

In addition to  what I learnt from occasional and informal interactions with Aboriginal Catholic leaders at the Ministry, three things stand out: the first Binnap workshops I attended; the Thooami retreats in the Barmah forest; the Vigil recalling massacres in Victoria. I recollect the last of these in the poem “On All Souls’ Eve ^” ( you can read this  poem in a free ebook from Cordite: 20 Poets).

The Binnap workshops took us through a shared history, the way non-Indigenous people are confronted by the violence underpinning our being here and how it challenges our desire to see ourselves as good people, the way both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people are in ongoing grief (but differently) because of colonisation, especially both the theft of Country and ensuing dispossession, the policies of assimilation and the stolen generations (and in the last 10-11 years we can add the Intervention, first known by Government as the Northern Territory Emergency Response, NTER). I recall mentioning to a Yorta Yorta woman toward the end of one such day the word “reconciliation”; she firmly said “no, not reconciliation; solidarity”. We were not there yet, nor are we now.

The Thooami retreats were held on Yorta Yorta Country in the Barmah Forest where we spent time learning from Yorta Yorta the history of their struggle, being invited to quietly listen to the land, seeing the damage to the soil from cattle, and sitting round camp fires  in the evening being told ghost and other tall stories. That quality of attentiveness to Country combined with political action, and personal interaction, helped inform my writing in Claimed by Country, Kin, and White on White.

In her poem “Whitefellas” which you can hear in the recording above, Jeanine Leane writes “Truth is, Australia doesn’t work / without Aborigines!” My own work in biblical and ecotheological research and poetry would have taken a very different track but for those interactions (unquantifiable and unrepayable) with Aboriginal Catholic Ministry and the Binnap Partners, especially in the second half of the 1990s. I offer my thanks and hope that my writing is a small, necessarily inadequate, contribution to the possibility of a different future together.

 Leane & Elvey covers

On Thursday 7 December 2017, two books I coedited with Keith Dyer and Deborah Guess were launched by Deborah Storie and Bruce Duncan at Whitley College Library. Here is a photo from the launch, featuring the editors, some of the contributors and the two launchers. Thanks to Steve Lyall and Whitley College for the photo:


and here are the books:


Plumwood Mountain

Poets Speaking up to Adani Proposed eBookJoin 43 poets who spoke up against Adani in Plumwood Mountain‘s online Day of Action on 30 October 2017 in being part of a free eBook resource of poetry for the Stop Adani campaign. You can also view the call for submissions here: Poets Speaking up to Adani Proposed eBook (Poems may be previously published. Please include publication details where relevant).

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Source: Coming up from 8.00am AEDT today: Poets speaking up to Adani


Officially published January 2018, pre-publication copies are available now from Cordite Books. The launch together with Jeanine Leane’s Walk Back Over is on 24 January 2018. I am so grateful to Kent MacCarter and the Cordite Books team for their wonderful work on the book.

My review of Peter Larkin’s extraordinary work. I understand his next book is out recently also from Shearsman. Source: Anne Elvey reviews Give Forest Its Next Portent by Peter Larkin


Cordite Books is giving away a free e-anthology with samples of work from poets published or forthcoming in Cordite’s first two book series, including my White on White.  You can read about and download the anthology via this link.

The second half of 2017 has seen a number of book projects come to fruition:

IMG20171003173449Two edited collections of essays on Ecological Aspects of War, religious and biblical perspectives were published recently. We are looking toward a launch in November:

Ecological Aspects of War: Engagements with Biblical Texts, co-edited with Keith Dyer with assistance from Deborah Guess. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017. Preview on Google Books.

Ecological Aspects of War: Religious and Theological Perspectives from Australia, co-edited with Deborah Guess and Keith Dyer. A Forum for Theology in the World 3, no. 2. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2016

In poetry, White on White from Cordite Books is available for order and will launch with Jeanine Leane’s Walk Back Over at the Wheeler Centre on 24 January 2018; and

Intatto. Intact: Ecopoesia. Ecopoetry, co-authored with Massimo D’Arcangelo and Helen Moore, Italian translations by Francesco Cosi, Alessandra Repossi, English translations by Todd Portnowitz, with a preface by Serenelli Iovino translated by Helen Farrell is due out soon from La Vita Felice.

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