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Les Wicks

 

leswicks@hotmail.com

http://leswicks.tripod.com/lw.htm

 

 

ABN 80 327 486 926

 

BOOKS

 

Getting By    Not Fitting In (Island, 2016)

El Asombrado (Rochford St, 2015 in Spanish & English)

Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience) (Puncher & Wattmann, 2013)

Barking Wings (PressPress, 2012)

Shadows of the Read (Krok, 2011 in Ukrainian & English)

The Ambrosiacs (Island, 2009)

Stories of the Feet (Five Islands, 2004)

Appetites of Light (PressPress, 2002)

The Ways of Waves (SideWaLK, 2000)

Nitty Gritty (Five Islands Press, 1997)

Tickle  (Island, 1993)

Cannibals  (Rochford St Press, 1985)

The Vanguard Sleeps In (Glandular Press, 1981)

 

SOME COMMENTARY

Getting By Not Fitting In

self-aware, debonair, generous, weary, even despondent, yet never despairing. Dominique Hecq

An undercurrent of darkness without giving up, or giving in Myra King

possesses the same Wickensian kaleidoscopic concision, wit and dexterity Carol Jenkins

 

Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience)

...the mixture of prawn-on-the-barbie, stale beer and thongs suburban, with a sophisticated lyricism and openness to nature... harvesting poetic truffles; line after line seems to have arrived entire. John Watson, Southerly

... an odyssey buoyed by hope and reckless humour. Rebecca Kylie Law, Rochford St Review

is determined to take the reader on a dive beneath. It took me on a voyage which I found bracing and stimulating at the same time as it did not turn away from the discomforting reality of the costs our lives inflict on our futures. Rae Desmond Jones

Les Wicks has a capacity to invest ordinary truisms with moral and metaphysical nuances…these are tip-of-the-iceberg poems – a surface you can see and admire, but with hidden depths that are both wonderful and disturbing. David Gilbey, ABC Radio

Wicks works his ideas through images rather than argument. The poems are visceral; each shaped towards an emotional experience. John Upton, Mascara

 

Barking Wings

...cheeky, wry, slightly errant and wayward, sometimes perverse or wicked... Paul Cliff

...image piled up on image, words and sounds crashing to together and, even when we can see ‘blue sky’ for a few lines, we are always aware that another surprise is only a line break away. Mark Roberts Rochford St Review

 

The Ambrosiacs

Wicks’  The Ambrosiacs visual and tonal senses, shown through a series of relentless escapes and endscapes, create a striking depiction of the poet’s perceptions and observations. Matthew Hall Cordite

…acutely observant, bitingly satirical and as unfailingly generous as ever.  Ralph Wessman Famous Reporter

…an inspired elegy to human suffering and loss, dark and morose at times yet engaging and full of life.  Julie Waugh, Five Bells

…intense, quite relentless, often dark and pessimistic. But this of course is not the whole story, for within these pages are striking moments of grace, awareness, acceptance, restitution… joanne burns

...the poetry is firmly anchored in the recognisably here and now of the material world, craftily exploiting tensions between the natural world and the depredations of short-sighted materialism and consumerism. Cliff Forshaw

Stories of the Feet

We need a book like this once in a while to remind ourselves that poets document contemporary society in a way that social scientists never will. With Stories of the Feet, Les Wicks focuses his rearview mirror on us.  Rob Walker, Cordite

Les is your tour guide to the real Australia, a land of Emus and Kangaroos indeed, also a land of dead bodies covered in sheets, or cold nights thumbing rides along deserted highways… Another fabulous book, from a great poet. Paul Gilbert, Above Ground Testing (Can)

Wicks’ penetrating gaze does indeed illuminate his Australian landscape; it is a gaze that makes the reader realise just how much is missed in the rush and bustle of everyday living. Glenda Guest, Artlook

This is a compact collection of narrative poems which covers an immeasurable distance in places and human nature.  Ray Carmichael, Studio

…use of the Australian landscape in different ways means that Wicks celebrates the Australian landscape without being a landscape poet. Wicks moves nimbly through difference in style, from the linguistically simple to the complex, with the same ease that he shifts from the creation of settings to the use of identified locations to explore the nature of the different characters who inhabit his poems. Helen Young, Philament

…full of humour and dignity in the face of sheer survival. jeltje, Five Bells

inclusive Oliver Dennis, Island

An honest and insightful attempt to see beyond subterfuge… Ralph Wessman, Famous Reporter

Appetites of Light  

Wicks lights the desires, ideas, acceptance & epiphanies of his everyday Australian protagonists in a… rich, impressionistic, resonant way. Christine Ferrari

…a fresh, strong, humanistic voice… Patricia Prime, Stylus

The Ways of Waves

...summer through a sharply focused lens, a sudden wit and quick shifts of tone and mood. ...he is chameleon, restless, full of questions, refusing to be pinned down. Happily moving here & there, amused, bemused, shaking his head in disbelief, belief, in love with it all.    Brook Emery

…a ‘passing show’ commentary on our beach culture…Helen Horton, Imago

encapsulates Australian beach culture….poems so bright you need Ray Bans. Smell the briny & the blockout; feel the salt in your hair, the sand in your socks… Mark O’Flynn, Famous Reporter

…this is very clever poetry…Gloria B Yates, Social Alternatives

Nitty Gritty

speaks out of the agora, not just from the top of Mt Parnassus Joanne Burns

varied, nimble, humane, wry & well timed  Jennifer Maiden

wit & sparkle, the clever playfulness....warmth & compassion  Tim Thorne FR

The portraits & voices of office workers, school boys & weary parents are hard & accurate. Carolyn Tetaz  Cordite

Wizard of Wastelands Bev Braune ABR

....assembles an amazing cast of people in recognisable often dark places. With fine detail, their domestic & working lives are brilliantly portrayed. Anthony Lawrence

Others

In Australia, dramatic narratives, in a variety of styles, still have a vitality that at least matches, perhaps outshines what other English poetries can show…[“Two Ghosts…”] with its oral manner, builds up an eerie tension… Christopher Pollnitz , Ulitarra

atmospheres of ratbaggery Sydney Morning Herald

grittiness  the Age

personal & engaging, accessible & immediate Warwick Wynne, Australian Book Review

irony comes alive  Pamela Brown

poetry in 3d leaving ‘grit under our fingernails.‘ Danny Gardner

Les' poetry has the romantic sneer of experience entrenched.... duck ponds & screaming traffic Grant Caldwell

marvellous humour, deft satire & the comfort of remembering  Silvana Gardner, Imago

reveals contemporary issues with a biting irony  Bruce Copping, Newcastle Herald

What was it like to live now? Read Wicks, Brown, Bolton, Henry, Caldwell, Beach, Lysenko. Kevin Brophy

Broad satire & comedy…good sleazy fun  Rae Desmond Jones

a harder voice Tom Thompson, National Times

…induces a love/hate suspension about the city        Inprint

…good poetry… pifmagazine (US)

 

POETRY PERFORMANCE

 

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDdRj77aCM0

Readings/presentations/performance of works go into the many hundreds but include: several Sydney Festivals, several Sydney Writers’ Festivals including 2013, 2011 to date member Harbour City Poets. Tasmanian Poetry Festival (2011, 1998), Qld Poetry Festival (2010, 2001), Overload (2009), Art Gallery NSW, Harold Park Hotel, Kinselas, Sydney/Macquarie/Charles Sturt Unis, Martin Place, Long Bay Gaol, Montsalvat, Parliament House (NSW), National Poetry Centre (London), NSW Writers’ Centre, Byron Bay Writers Festival, State Library NSW Literary Weekend (1998), CBC (Can), Colombia Television, Fiptr.com (Can), Radio National, 2BL, 2NC, 2UE, 2GB, 2JJJ, 2RES, 2SER, Writers' Radio, Dan O’Connell, Australian Made Poetry, Regional ABC (Riverina, Nth Coast & Broken Hill),  Australian Poetry Festival (many times), Castlemaine State Festival (2011), Noosa Long Weekend (2011), Shoalhaven Poetry Festival (2002, 2005, 2007), Contemporary Australian Fiction Festival (2007), Broken Hill Poetry Festival (2009).

 

Tours:              -   2016 Vilenica Int Lit Fest, Kosovo Int. Poe. Fest., Bellingen R&W Fest.

                        -   2015 Festival de Poesia de Nicaragua & Istanbul International Poetry Festival

                        -   2014 World Poetry Festival Delhi, Austin International Poetry Festival,

                            Beyond Baroque (LA) & Struga Poetry Evenings.        

                        -   2013 International Poetry Festival Medellin    

                        -   2011 International Literary Festival, Lviv, Ukraine

                        -   2009 12000km book programme Adelaïde, Perth, Newcastle, West NSW

                                        & Melbourne

                        -    Festival International de la Poesie 2006 Quebec

                        -    South Coast WC workshopping project 2005

                        -    Book tour – Melb., Wagga, Tumbarumba, Broken Hill 2004

                        -    Litlink Tour - SW & Central West NSW 2000

                        -    Poets on Wheels  - Nth NSW 2000

Writer in Residence:    -     FAWWA Established W-I-R 2009

                                    -     Tasmania Writers’ Centre, 2002

-          Broken Hill, December 2000 & August/September 2001

-          Booranga Writers Centre, Charles Sturt University, 2000

 

Commitment: professionalism, treat the audience with respect.

 

TUITION \ WORKSHOPS

 

Includes Australian Poetry, State Library NSW, Dover Heights TAFE, Sydney Festival, Long Bay Gaol, schools, NSW Writers' Centre, Booranga Writers Centre, CSU – Bathurst & Wagga, ECU, SCU, Nth RiversWC, Broken Hill Regional WC, Tas WC, SCWC, SAWC, Words out West, FAWWA, Australian Poetry.

 

Offers workshops featuring a no frills, practical guide to getting published in the context of a supportive group environment. This template has worked most effectively. Workshops are usually followed up by an issue of Australian Poetry Collaboration http://meusepress.tripod.com/apc.htm. This enjoys sustained hit statistics, publicises both the host & the writers participating.

 

PRIZES

 

(rarely enters competitions)

Nominated -    1980 Pushcart Press: Best of the Little Presses (US), 

Finalist –         -2015 Overland NUW prize

                        - 2011 War Poetry Competition (US)

                        -  Newcastle Poetry Prize 1999

Highly Commended     - 2007 Broken Hill Poetry competition

                                     - 2005 Vera Newsom Poetry Award

                                    -  1998 Poetry Book Club of Australia

Winner -          2014 Struga International Festival Wine Competition

                        1997 Lake Pedder Competition         

                        1984 University of Sydney Union Literary Competition

Judge:  2016 C. Europe Vilenica Cristall

            2014, 2007 Shoalhaven Literary Award

            2012 UNSWeetened Prize, Open your mind competition      

            2011, 2008 chair NSW Premier’s (Kenneth Slessor) Poetry Prize, 2001 judge Slessor Prize

            & chair Community Affairs Commission Prize.

            2010 Blake Poetry Prize

            2010 Tom Collins Poetry Prize

            2001 Leichhardt Performance Poetry Prize

1995-1999 Sports/Olympic Poetry Competition

 

EDITED/ORGANISED

 

Includes: Guide to Sydney Rivers, 2015 ambassador 1 over the 8th (India), AU/UA: Contemporary Poetry of Ukraine and Australia (Krok, 2011), From this Broken Hill (Meuse, 2010), Guide to Sydney Beaches (Meuse, 2009). 2000 -2008 co-organiser Poets on Wheels. 2002 Heritage Light including publishing a poem on the surface of a river. 1998-2003  Written in Sand Project. 1999-2000 temporary editor of Hobo. 1993 to date director of Island Press. 1992-1999 Artransit Project. 1985 Musicians Union Band Guide. 1984-1997 to Sen Industrial Officer Musicians Union & MEAA. 1990-93 Sec. NSWALP Communications & Leisure Policy Committee. 1977-1981 Meuse Magazine, supplements & anthologies. Part of Poets Union (NSW) original steering committee, Jnt Sec./Treas. (1979-80), Fed Secretary 1983.

 

PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS ETC.

 

1 over the 8th (In), &, Above Ground Testing (Ca), Absinthe Literary Review (US), Access, Afternoon (US), the Age, Alcubi Journal (US), Animist, Antipodean SF, Antipodes (US), Arena (Vic), Arena (Mac. Uni), Ars Poetica, Artlook, Artransit, Artshub, Artsrush, Ascent (Ca), Australian, Australian Latino Press, Australian Poetry Journal, Australian Reader, Australian Schools English Competition, The Australian’s Review of Books, Australia Times, Avant Garde Times (Can), Bardflies, Barnwood (US), Benzine (US), Big Bang, Big Bridge (US), Blast, Blowback, Blue & Yellow Dog (US), Blue Dog, Blue Giraffe, Blue Pepper, Bonfire (UK), Broadkill Review (US), Bukker Tillibul, Bumf, Canberra Times, Catalyst (NZ), Centoria, Cha (HKSAR), Chaos Theory (US), Cherry Bleeds (US), Communion, Compass, Coffee Connection (UK), Colours (US), Communion (US), Concelebratory Shoehorn Review (US), Conspire (US), Contemporary Literary Review (Ind), Contrapasso, Coppertales, Cordite, Cottonmouth, Crack the Spine (US), Crosslines, Crux, Divan, Dot Dot Dash, Eclecticism, Ecopoetics (US), Elves, Enchanting Verses (Ind), Essential Poetry, Eureka St, Eye Socket Journal (US), Eye to the Telescope 2 (US), Famous Reporter, festivaldepoesiademedellin.org (Co), $5 Freedom, Five Bells, foam:e, Four W,  Free Xpression, Fulcrum (US), Full of Crow (US), Funny Poets, Gangway(Austria), Gargouille, Going Down Swinging, Grapple, Gravity (US), Great Works (UK), Grepoetry (US), Grey Sparrow (US), Hatbox, Heartland, Heritage Light, Hermes, Hobo,  Holland 1945, Homebrew, Hotchpotch, Idiom 23, Image, Imago, the Implosion (US), Indigo Rising (UK), Inklings, Inprint, Inquirer (Ph), InsomAniac, Island,  Ixion (UK), Jack (US), Jacket, Juked (US), Kangaroo, Ken*again (US), Killing the Angel (US), Kurungabaa, Landscapes, Leaves, Les Reves des Notre Ours (US), Linq, Last Taxi Review, loop (US), Lifted Brow, Lip service Journal (US), Lone Star Magazine (US), Lost &Found Quarterly (US), m.a.g. (US), Makar, Make Your Mark, Mandible (US), Mannequin House (US), Mary, Mascara, Mattoid,  Meanjin, Meatloaf (US), Meniscus, Meuse, Melaleuca, Melic Review (US), Meniscus, Micropress Yates, Midwest Coast Review (US), Misfits Miscellany (US), Moria (US), Moveable Type, Narrator, Nepean Review, New England Review, Newcastle Herald, Newswrite, Nod (Can), Northern Perspectives, nthposition (UK), Numbat, Offset, onepoem.org (Ukr), Other Terrains, Otoliths, Over the Bridge, Overland, Overlandexpress, OZpoet, P76, Page 17,  Panic Attack (Can), Pash Capsule, Passing Show, Peepshow (UK), Perspective (US), Petrichor Review (US), Picton Grange ¼ Review, Pifmagazine (US),  Perfect Diary, Petrichor Review (US), Pixel Papers, Plumwood Mountain, Poem & Dish, Poem Box (US), Poem Niederngasse (Sw), Poesia, Poetas Siglo (Sp), Poetry Book Club of Australia, Poetry Downunder, Poetryespresso, PoetryMagazine.com (US), Poetry Matters, Poetry Monash, Poetry Pacific (Ca), Polestar, Pool, Positive Words, Post Colonial Text (Fr), Predator of the Marvellous, Pressed, Pretty Owl (US), Private (It), Prospect,  psychic meatloaf (US), Quadrant, Queen Anne’s Revenge (US), Quill & Ink (Ind),  Real 8 View (US), Reality X (US), Red Room, Redoubt, Regime, Remixt (US), Revue Brèves Littéraire (Ca), Right Hand Pointing, Right Now, Ripples, Riverrun, Road of Shadows (US), Rochford St Review, Rust & Moth (US), Salt Lick Quarterly, Scarp, SCOPP, Shades & Reflections (US), Shampoo (US), Short & Twisted, Sidewalk, Silenced Press (US), Six Seasons Review (BD), Sketch, Slipstream (US), Small Packages, Smorgasbord (US), Snorkel (NZ), Social Alternatives, Softblow (Si), Something Else, Southerly,  Southern Ocean Review (NZ), Spindrift, Springfield Gazette, Squidink, Stone Path Review (US), Stylus, Sugar Mule (US), Swyntax, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Mosaic, Tam Tam (Italy, in translation), Tamba, Tears in the Fence (UK), Text, Tharunka, The Disappearing, The Last Real Poetry, The Stone Hobo (US), The Tablet, The Write Angle, Theory of Everything, Thirst, Thunkbook (Tw), Thylazine, Tincture, Tweed, Typehouse (US), Uluslararasi (Tk), Union Recorder, Unusual Work, Vehicle, Vernacular, verb-ate-him, Verity La, Verse Land, Verso, Voice (US), Vsesvit Review of World Literature(Ukr), Wandering Dog (UK), Westerly, Wild(US), Windmills, Winning Writers (US), Wonder Book, Woorilla, Word is Out, Word Salad (US), Write Angle, Written in Sand, Your Friendly Fascist, yuryzavadsky (Ukr, in trans).

Anthologies:  A Poet’s Journey into Spin, Anthology of the Illawarra, Antipodes, Australian Love Poems, Australian Poetry Anthology, AU/UA Contemporary Poetry of Ukraine & Australia (Ua & Au), Best Australian Poems, Billabong (Pol), Can I tell you a Secret?, Capitals (In), Contemporary Australian Poetry, Desde Hong Kong, Earth Against Heaven ,  Extraterrestrial Life (Ro), Falling angels (Cordite),  First Australian Haiku Anthology, from this Broken Hill, Golden Wings (In), Great American Poetry Show Vol2 (US), Guide to Sydney Beaches, Guide to Sydney Rivers, Hidden Hands, Light on Don Bank, Lviv International Literature Festival Almanac (Ukr), Metabolism, Mood Lightning,  Moving Out Moving On, Notes for Translators (Ch), Ocarina Anthology (India), One Minute To Midnight, Open Boat - Barbed Wire, Other Voices International Project (US), Notes for the Translator, Poems in Perspex: Max Harris Poetry Award 2007, Poetry & Place, Poetry from 5 Continents (Mk),  Poets Choice (several years), Poets in the  Forest, Revista de Poesia Prometeo (Co), Sand in our Souls – the Beach in Australian Culture & History, Semaphore Dancing (PITP, 2009), Social Images 1891-1991, Sunlines,  Ten Years Live, Teratoid, The Argument from Desire, The Attitude of Cups, The Greenhouse, The Selected Your Friendly Fascist, The Stars Like Sand, Thylazine, Australian Poets for Peace, Turnstiles Review (US), 25 Australian Poets (Ca), UN Dialogue Among Civilisations Through Poetry, Vilenica Almanac (Sl), Version (Ru), Tree Stone Sky Stream (Ch), Wombats of Bundanon – 20 Australian Poets (Ch), Work by Australian Poets, World English Poetry (Bd), Writing the Pacific (Fi), Writing to the Wire.

 

 

Last update December 2016

 

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