The MLS and the Coronavirus

Having just returned from a family visit in the U.S., I realise I haven’t posted here for some time. In addition, circumstances have shifted dramatically underfoot in recent months. The advent of the coronavirus has made the suspension of all our sessions a sad necessity. I have cancelled all scheduled MLS sessions until 3 June. That date is a bare guess as to when we might expect to be able to resume.

Really it means ‘until further notice’. I will give advance notification via all the usual channels when I judge it safe for us to resume. I am now self-quarantining: no sign that I have the virus, but no way of telling, either. And Ross House is shutting down for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for all your support! We will return, sooner or later. In the meantime, please do all you can to keep yourselves out of harm’s way, and I hope to see you, safe and well, as soon as it can be managed

All the best,


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A Happy Task!

On Wednesday 20 November, I’ve been asked to help launch a new book by my friend, colleague and publisher Christine Mathieu, the proprietor of Littlefox Press, which is publishing her extraordinary book on the teaching of French to anglophone students, Voyages Syntastiques. In addition to her nuanced and fascinating takes on teaching, Christine leads her reader through a passionate and revealing series of meditations on the role of language in how we see and shape the world around us. Voyages Syntastiques journeys to the very heart of what language is and does, in ways that few scholarly works have achieved with such style and grace.

5.30-7.30 Wednesday, 20 November

Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School

57 Miles Street, South Bank 3006

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The Launch of Engelboc

Only a week to go till the launch of Engelboc.

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The Weathers of Our Time

A large-ish poem of mine, in several sections, has just been published by Eureka Street, under the title ‘Brinksmanship’, as well as another long piece called ‘Meteorology’. These are edgy times, by anyone’s measure, with uncertain weathers gathering in several quarters . . . See the link below.

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Engelboc Launch

Hope you can make it!

My new book of poems, Engelboc, published by Littlefox Press, will be launched at Readings Carlton (as per the flyer below) on Thursday 25 July, from 6.30-8.00 pm.

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Newly Published on the Internet

My first commissioned piece, on trees and their long dance in the human imagination, beautifully presented by

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My Latest Arena Magazine Contribution

‘The Lookout Man (It’s All in Your ‘Ead)’ is a response to Iain McGilchrist’s stunning literary and neurological (he’s got form in both fields) reconsideration of the bicameral brain, The Emperor and His Emissary.

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A New Book

My next book, and the first of my own poetry, will be published some time this year by Little Fox Press. Its title will be Engelboc (you’ll have to wait to see why), and here’s a mock-up of the sort of cover design I’m hoping for.

All will be revealed . . .

Brilliant cover design by my son Jon DiNapoli. Not quite finalised, but near enough as makes no never-mind.


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A New Year in the Melbourne Literature Seminars

Happy new year, everyone. I hope the holiday season passed both pleasantly and peacefully for you all.

Just some quick tidings about what’s coming up in the MLS. Not a lot, I’m afraid, at least not at first. I am stuck into a number of writing and getting-published projects that will demand a lot of my attention still. This may be a big year for me that way, but there’s heaps to do.

That said, I want, as I was saying last year, to keep the Refectory sessions going. The ongoing session will meet, as it has been, at 1pm on Wednesdays, beginning Wednesday 23 January. The first two sessions (23 and 30 January) will meet in fourth-floor Rm 4.2. After that we’ll be meeting in first floor 1.2 (from 6 February). The Refectory Sessions, for those of you who don’t know, are one-hour sessions in which we discuss poetry (modern Australian, at this point) which I provide each week in a handout. Each session costs $10.

A little later in the year, I’m thinking of using my backlog of Refectory handouts to start up a second session that will work through the texts the first session has already looked at. I’m open to suggestion but thinking of making that a Friday 1-2pm session. If you think you’d like to come and would be able (no commitment necessary, just an expression of interest), could you let me know in reply to this email? I know there were a number of individuals who wanted to attend but couldn’t make the Wednesday sessions. If I have a rough idea of how many might come on Fridays, I can (soon!) think about an appropriate Ross-House room to book.

All the best for the year to come!


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By The Pricking of My Thumbs

An attempt to explore the deep psychology of the Trump phenomenon, by way of Harold Bloom’s notion of the American sublime. Not exactly happy reading, but I didn’t feel I had much choice. Published in Arena Magazine no. 157 (December 2018). All comments welcome

Ahab points to (what else?) a gold doubloon. Remind you of anyone?

By the Pricking of My Thumbs

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