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John Clegg, who is reading for us on 25th June, is one of only four poets this year to win an Eric Gregory Award. Our congratulations to John!


CB1 Poetry has moved down the road to The Boathouse for all remaining events through to June 2013.

Tuesday 25th June - Aidan Coleman and John Clegg

We couldn't resist the opportunity to schedule an extra event before our summer break, as it coincides with Aidan Coleman's reading tour of the UK. We will also be featuring local born young poet John Clegg. Don't miss this next event, which now really is the last of the season...

Aidan Coleman was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, in 1976 and emigrated to Australia when he was eight. His first poetry collection Avenues & Runways (Brandl & Schlesinger) was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and his poetry is featured on ABC Radio National’s Australian Poetry series, “A Pod of Poets”. His poetry was recently included in the anthology Australian Poetry Since 1788.

'Dizzying imagery, executed with utter control. Coleman's artistry puts him in the forefront of young poets anywhere.' Les Murray

Aidan lives in Adelaide, with his wife and two young children, where he writes speeches for government ministers and Shakespeare textbooks for schools. His latest collection of poems Asymmetry is published by Brandl & Schlesinger. This collection in part recounts the poet's gradual recovery from a severe stroke that initially robbed him of both movement and speech.

John Clegg was born in 1986 and grew up in Cambridge and he is studying for a PhD in Durham on the Eastern European influence in contemporary poetry. Some of his poems have been published in Succour, Magma, The Rialto and online at A selection of his poetry was included in The Salt Book of Younger Poets (2010). His debut collection Antler was published last year by Salt. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2013.

'I must have been waiting for a poet to fuse deep sincerity and irony, craft and process, the surreal and the historical, because I read this twice in one sitting, fizzing with jealousy. Clegg’s poetry is a must... His work makes me feel the way I felt when I first read the New York School, or tasted pistachio flavour ice-cream, or the house-lights dimmed.' Luke Kennard


A waking to important faces:
dazed, factual.

The smile I test
tastes weak and strange.

From somewhere
a question.

I speak an empty
comic bubble.

I try again

and now again.

Nothing but air
and the hum of the room.

The click
and dull bounce of machines.

Aidan Coleman


We feared the moss. We hollowed out
our ancestors and packed them with it,
left them smouldering in bark canoes.
On terminal moraines we blessed the moss
as herald of the thaw. Our children
got down on their knees to kiss it.
Kind moss insulated our pagodas,
bedlinened the herder on high pasture,
kindled grubby smoke for sacred visions.
We combed the moss. Our mosseries
were envied by the Emperor himself.
Spore cases, every size and colour, hung
like fireworks. We bred moss patiently,
too subtle work for human lifespans.
In the war we mulched the telegrams
demanding anaesthetic or poison moss.
Our holy valley stayed unoccupied.
Today, the only sound above a whisper
is the meal-gong. I meditate at night
on whether we are really growing moss.
Our mystics say the moss is growing us.

John Clegg