Dennis will be talking to the Shakespeare Club of WA at 2.15 on Saturday 17 June, 2017 about the importance of Elizabethan and Jacobean poetry to contemporary poets and about differences between their situations and ours.
Dennis Haskell will be one of the featured poets at the Perth Poetry Festival for 2017. For Festival details see: https://wapoets.wordpress.com/perth-poetry-festival/2017-festival-poets-biographies/
Amongst other activities Dennis will conduct a workshop on “The Possibilities of Rhyme”:
The Possibilities of Rhyme
This workshop follows my talk for the 2016 Poetry Festival and looks at the possibilities of rhyme for contemporary poets. Rhyme over the last one hundred years has had a checkered career; it was abjured during the Modernist period and afterwards, beginning with T S Eliot and Ezra Pound’s call for a revolution in the writing of verse. Eliot wrote, “it is possible that excessive devotion to rhyme has thickened the English ear” and that “When the comforting echo of rhyme is removed, success or failure in the choice of words, in the sentence structure, in the order, is at once more apparent”. Eliot and Pound later tried to turn back the tide but couldn’t, so that free verse has been the dominant form of English poetry for over a century.
This has been less true in English verse than in American and Australian, suggesting that social conditions have an effect on the usability of rhyme. We live in an age of pop music and advertising slogans, which help make strong rhymes jingle in our ears. Rhyme is prominent in rap and in slam poetry but this workshop is concerned with poetry written principally to be read on the page. Rhyme is part of the music of language and has possibilities beyond strong rhyme, in part-rhyme, internal rhyme and assonance that can add significantly to the power of a contemporary poem.
The workshop will begin with consideration of what some recent and contemporary poets have done with rhyme, and then consider participants’ work. You are asked to submit (beforehand if possible) one short poem that does not rhyme and/or one short poem that does.
Dennis will be reading from Ahead of Us at Fremantle Council’s Big Morning Tea on Thursday 25 May at 10.45am in King’s Square, Fremantle (or the Library if the weather is bad). The Morning Tea raises money for cancer research.
Dennis will also be speaking at Fremantle Council’s Book Club on Saturday 27 May, from 1.00-2.30pm.
Dennis and a number of other acclaimed Western Australian poets will be joining John Kinsella on Thursday, April 20, to celebrate his work and the influence it has had on the poetry and politics of place in this region.
The event will be held at the Orient Hotel in Fremantle, opposite New Edition bookstore.
In the first part of the evening, Dr Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, author of the magnificent newly released study of the literature of the WA wheatbelt, Like Nothing on this Earth, will launch some of John’s books that have been released in the recent past. These include, Firebreaks: Poems (W. W. Norton), Graphology: Poems 1955-2015 (Five Islands Press), Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems (Picador), The Fremantle Press Anthology of Western Australian Poetry(edited with Tracy Ryan), Old Growth (Transit Lounge), and Polysituatedness (Manchester University Press). John will read a selection of poems and passages from these publications.
In the second part of the evening, some of WA’s most acclaimed poets will join together with John to read selections of their work from the new Fremantle press anthology. Poets include Tracy Ryan, Lucy Dougan, Kim Scott, Dennis Haskell, Wendy Jenkins, James Quinton, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, and Siobhan Hodge.
This is a unique and free event which is not to be missed. For further details, and to register, please visit the Eventbrite booking page.
Books will be available for sale from a Crow Books/New Edition Stall.
Dennis will be reading at two events in February.
The first will be held on Valentine’s Day, when former editors of Poetry d’Amour will read their work under the stars at Mattie Furphy House in Swanbourne. The latest anthology ‘Poetry d’Amour 2016: Love Poems selected by Amanda Joy‘ will also be available. BYO picnic and drinks.
Further details are available at the WritingWA website.
On the 27th Dennis will be reading at the Monday Supper Club in Fremantle. Bookings are essential for this regular not-for-profit event. The evening will include food, music and poetry. BYO drinks.
On the 5th of June, at the 2016 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival, Dennis Haskell spoke with Radio National’s Michael Cathcart about his most recent collection of poetry.
The conversation was broadcast on RN’s Books and Arts on Thursday, July 21:
Dennis Haskell’s latest collection of verse is called Ahead of Us. At its heart is a very painful, personal experience; in 2006 his wife Rhonda was diagnosed with cancer.
Five years later, after enduring the ordeals of surgery and chemotherapy, Rhonda died.
The first half of the book features poems written before Rhonda’s diagnosis.
In the second half, Dennis Haskell takes the reader into what he calls ‘that other country’ – the domain of cancer where Rhonda and he became unwilling travellers.
You can now download or stream the subsequent podcast. All reports confirm there was barely a dry eye in the packed auditorium at session’s end.