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Sat, 09 Feb


Upstairs at Better Read Than Dead

Richard James Allen

Join Richard James Allen for the launch of his latest poetry collection, 'The short story of you and I': a beautifully crafted and disarmingly honest work that rebuilds the bridge between writer and reader.

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Richard James Allen
Richard James Allen

Time & Location

09 Feb 2019, 3:30 pm

Upstairs at Better Read Than Dead, 265 King Street, Newtown NSW, Australia


About The Event

Join Richard James Allen for the launch of his latest poetry collection,

The short story of you and I.

About the Book

With the deftness of a conjuring trick, Richard James Allen’s seemingly random new collection of poems falls into place as an emotional narrative. Is this what a verse novel looks like today? Beautifully crafted, disarmingly honest, Richard James Allen’s poems illuminate the everyday, finding profundity in the smallest things. Entwining musicality and empathy, they rebuild the bridge between writer and reader.

About the Author

Richard James Allen is an Australian born poet whose writing has appeared widely in journals, anthologies, and online over many years. Former Artistic Director of the Poets Union, Inc., he has written ten books of poetry and edited a national anthology of writing for performance. Richard is also well known for his multi-award-winning career as a filmmaker and choreographer with The Physical TV Company and as a performer in a range of media and contexts.


"Richard James Allen's ‘The short story of you and I’ is a book length meditation on time. It is a book full of hauntings, ruins, and after-effects … This is Slessor's ‘Five Bells’ as a mandala."

Melinda Smith

"Melancholy and science, the domestic and the metaphysical together on a road trip through intimacy, surreal metaphor and common sense … Allen at his curious, challenging best."

Anthony Lawrence

"Allen’s subject is Being itself, and the way our biological and mental dimensions interact, with human intelligence and love being the unifying forces for this interaction."

Adam Aitken

"Wide-ranging excursions from the physical into the metaphysical … Allen affirms life in the midst of hardship and in the mess of the quotidian uncovers epiphanies."

Luke Fischer


UWA Publishing, in its UWAP Poetry imprint, edited by Terri-ann White.


Melinda Smith is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Goodbye, Cruel (Pitt St Poetry, 2017) and Members Only, with artist Caren Florance (Recent Work Press, 2017). She won the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Drag down to unlock or place an emergency call. Her work has been widely anthologised and translated into multiple languages, and she has performed her poetry at events and writers festivals across Australia and internationally. She is based in the ACT and is a former poetry editor of The Canberra Times.

Special Guests

Jenny Leong is the Greens State Member for the Electorate of Newtown in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, which the ABC’s Election Analyst Antony Green has described as “the state's newest, smallest and funkiest electorate.” Earlier in her career, Jenny worked for a number of years with Amnesty International as a crisis coordinator and campaign manager in London, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Prior to entering parliament, Jenny was the Manager of Community Arts and Cultural Development at the Australia Council for the Arts.

Luke Fischer is a poet and philosopher. His books include the poetry collections A Personal History of Vision (UWAP Poetry, 2017) and Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013), and the monograph The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poems (Bloomsbury, 2015). For more information see his website:

Stacey Copas, author of How To Be Resilient, is Australia’s leading keynote speaker and facilitator on resilience and finding the opportunity in change and adversity. She has worked with large organisations such as Telstra, CSIRO and Holden, helping their leaders be their best in challenging times. Stacey has also been featured in national media including ABC, Financial Review and The Australian for her insights on resilience in the workplace.

Poet and satirist Tug Dumbly has performed his poems, songs and monologues on national radio (as a regular on both Triple J, and the ABC Local Network), and in schools, venues and festivals, both in Australia and abroad. He founded and ran a couple of long-lived and loved Sydney poetry nights, including the legendary Bardflys, at Glebe’s Friend in Hand Hotel. He has released two spoken word CDs through the ABC – Junk Culture Lullabies and Idiom Savant – once won the Spirit of Woodford storytelling award, twice won the Banjo Paterson Prize for comic verse, and three times won the Nimbin World Performance Poetry Cup, most recently in 2017. He hasn’t published much, having mostly focussed on live performance. His first collection of poems, Son Songs, came out through Flying Islands Press in December 2018.

Watch this space for announcements of further Special Guests!


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  • Event Ticket + Book

    Your event ticket, plus a pre-ordered copy of 'The short story of you and I'.

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