September 2022: Place

This is the first issue of Burrow that I worked on with Phillip Hall in order to create a provocation. I suggested to Phillip (dad) that we have an issue on mental health through the prism of place because a love of poetry about place is something that he and I share. Phillip completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts on Australian nature poetry in 2012, gathering points: AUSTRALIAN POETRY: a natural selection. Also in 2012, I enrolled in and completed an honours thesis on poetry of place, A Reconfigured Romanticism: Place-based poetry of the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands.

Place is not only important in an academic and creative sense. Mum and dad moved around New South Wales a lot when my siblings and I were young. We were all born in Dubbo and by the time I was six we’d moved to Penrith (a 4 and a half hour move). We stayed in Penrith for a couple of years and then moved three hours away, to Orange. After another couple of years, we made the final BIG move as a family. We moved four hours from Orange to Kangaroo Valley. The last move that I made with the family was only a little move up the mountain, from Kangaroo Valley to Mittagong. I’ve stayed in the Southern Highlands ever since. All of this moving means that I have strong connections to a number of places in New South Wales.

Part of what makes the connections I have to these places so strong is the continual presence of friends and family in these places. Martin Christmas’ ‘Backyard Spirits’ and Margaret Zanardo’s ‘DOUBLE DARE’ captures some of this idea about place that I am trying to communicate; that place and our relationships with it are not solitary experiences. While we each have individual experiences of place and places can impact on our mental health in different ways, we are never really completely alone in these places. Afterall, the places that we inhabit have all been inhabited by others before us. The place that I write to you from now, my home, has been owned by three people before me and sits on the unceded land of the Gundungurra people.

Margaret Bradstock’s ‘Poem for my daughter’ explores the impacts places can have on us. They can take something from us and they can give something. They can make us afraid or give us hope and a sense of renewal. Anne M Carson similarly crafts a poem about the healing qualities of connecting with place and the people we share place with in ‘Aurore on the benefits of exercise’. Other poems that explore the potential of healing, the therapeutic capability of place are Michele Fermanis-Winward’s ‘With Open Arms’ and Hazel Hall’s ‘On Driving Down North Jindalee Road’.

I have been slow on getting this issue published. This year has been the hardest yet of my teaching career. The teacher shortages and increased administrative tasks assigned to teachers has had a real impact. I’m grateful to the healing offered through the experience of place in many of the poems in this issue. I’m grateful for the community of Burrow. I have gained some sense of renewal and refreshment while on school holidays, partly through the exploration of place in these poems, partly because I have the time to sit and be, and partly through the experience of being seen. Thank you to all of the poets in this issue who have been patient and understanding. I truly felt seen and supported as I juggled full time teaching, home renovations (we had flood damage earlier in the year and are clearing a spot for dad’s granny flat), my university studies, and Burrow.

To purchase Phillip’s most recent collection travel over to:

Rhiannon Hall (managing editor)

Three Poems From TWO NOVEMBERS… by Liza Achilles

the projectionist by Geoffrey Aitken

The Graduations of Light Were Amazing by Jennifer Allen

My Life by Duane Anderson

First day falling by Susan Austin

abberation by Eugen Bacon

playing volleyball at Maryville Academy by Jan Ball

Scars by J V Birch

Space by Erina Booker

Poem for my daughter by Margaret Bradstock

Homeostasis by Devika Brendon

Overhearing happiness by Faye Brinsmead

From here to there and almost back by Owen Bullock

Haiku places by Owen Bullock

Whittling by Colleen Z Burke

Aurore on the benefits of exercise by Anne M Carson

Bain Reserve, Merlynston by Edward Caruso

Backyard Spirits by Martin Christmas

The moment of shared grief by Kristen de Kline

Renaissance Scene by Kevin Densley

Do Slowly by Jane Downing

Vernacular of the Understorey by Jane Downing

Weeds and other stray thoughts by Jill Martindale Farrar

With Open Arms by Michele Fermanis-Winward

Boadyland by Jonathan Ferrini

Wild by Nola Firth

Maze by Jane Frank

pockets of peace by Irina Frolova

FEW POEMS by Saswata Ganguly

Audrey Stays Afloat by James Gering

Shut in by Carolyn Gerrish

Self-Care / Health Care by Alec (Algo) Gourley

On Driving Down North Jindalee Road by Hazel Hall

Bin Day, or Rainy Weather by Rhiannon Hall

The Happy Place by Oz Hardwick

Nuclear by Oz Hardwick

Roost by Oz Hardwick

home by Tim Heffernan

walking at night by Tim Heffernan

Early doors day by Brett Hetherington

My Father the Magpie by Kylie A Hough

Morning-tide by Marilyn Humbert


Remembering Heinzelova by Lincoln Jaques

Sitting at Symonds Street Cemetery… by Lincoln Jaques

Tide’s Out by Kristi Johansen

Merely a signature by Adèle Ogiér Jones

remember gaia? by Leigh Jordan

The Tide of Change by Julia Kaylock

For Our Own Good by Kay Kestner

Never too late by Moira Kirkwood

Stuck in a Slippery Scene  by Allan Lake

Ghazal of Greens by Michael Leach

Sulphur Crested White Cockatoos by Mark Liston

Where I have walked by Rose Lucas

Quiet ruptures by Caterina Mastroianni

Invasion by Suzi Mezei

We’re All a Little Crazy by Rachel Miller

Wake by Jeanna Ní Ríordáin

lucy lorikeet by Jenni Nixon

Outside by Esther Ottaway

The prism of place by Lynette Reeves

Riverwood by Margaret Owen Ruckert

Blighted Dreamscape Paranoid Gore by Gerard Sarnat

Spirit of Progress by Brenda Saunders

Royal Clarence by Rachel Schaufeld


I.E. [THAT IS] by Sudeep Sen

Five Sonnets by Andrew Shillam

A Hurt Lioness And Her Lovely Loneness by Ndaba Sibanda

Holding On by Libby Sommer

Cacophony by Wendy Steel

Tractor Maintenance by Matt Stewart

Invitation by Gillian Swain

Dhubbu by Di Sylvester

Everything by Meisha Synnott

Louisa Lawson in Gulgong by Louise Wakeling

poem for: by Elizabeth Walztoni

PRICELESS by Cedar Whelan

DOUBLE DARE Margaret Zanardo

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