Hear Ye Hear Ye – Poetica is Dead

Hear Ye Hear Ye – Poetica is Dead


Tony Abbott promised there would be no cuts to the ABC.



He has cut significant funding from the ABC and hundreds of devastated staff are getting the sack as a Christmas present from the dude in the red budgy smugglers!


As a result, the ABC big boss Mark Scott had to decide what to cut #???????

Well, you may or may not know this but one of the casualties was Poetica.

Here is a message from Australian Poetry:


ABC POETICA Will Not Go Gently Into That Good Night: Australian Poetry rages against the dying of the light in Australian public broadcasting

Australian Poetry deeply regrets that Poetica, the ABC Radio National program dedicated to Poetry, has been axed as part of the cuts announced by ABC Managing Director Mark Scott on 24 November.

The loss of a dedicated poetry show from Australian airwaves is tremendously disappointing and deeply felt by all at Australian Poetry.

Australian Poetry appeals to its subscribers and supporters to do all they can to appeal this decision – write to the papers, the ABC board, the Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull MP and your local federal member.

The Poetica program has promoted and shared local and international poetry and enhanced its enjoyment since 1997.

Poetica combines the reading of poetry with interviews, music and sound to make a full-length radio feature. There is no other program like it in the world.

Poetica has been on air for 18 years, making some 900 broadcasts of Australian and international poetry, paying fees to poets both established and emerging and broadcasting their work to a weekly audience of 60,000 listeners and many thousands more on the web.

Poetica’s always engaging content reflects Australia’s national love of poetry and Mike Ladd and his colleagues have developed an invaluable legacy of readings, interviews and features.

Poetry is at the very heart of culture and Australian Poetry believes that Poetica is one of the best cultural radio programs to be broadcast by the ABC.

We urge the government and the ABC to reconsider this decision and retain this outstanding radio program.


For further information contact:

Bronwyn Lovell
Programs & Publications
Australian Poetry
(03) 9094 7826

For further background:




I could also write about the hundreds of CSIRO workers who have also got the sack because of funding cuts by the Abbott Gumnit, but this is a writing blog 😉

Visiting Poem (d)

Visiting Poem (d)

'king in vase' photo by d's other half

Here is another poem (and lovely photos of her proteas) for Day 4 of 2011 National Poetry Week kindly submitted by my ABCPOOL friend d (or dwerombi as she is now known in the POOL).

d is from Werombi, the rural inland, west of Sydney and used to be a ‘mad scientist’ and now does other stuff, including writing stories, poems and participating in the POOL community.

‘Look at me’

You sit still in the vase, and I look at your faces
As you watch humans darting from place to places.

You are proteas whose necks are gracefully curved
You are no good for sale, they think you are ‘perved’.

But we’ve rescued you and set you all free
And you live in our house now, and say ‘look at me’.

So what have you seen and heard during the week?
Some joyous announcements; some whispers more bleak.

You see human life is not much different from flowers
In the spring sunshine and during spring showers.

And you smile back at me in the sun-filled rooms,
With your round pink expressions, your crown-like blooms.

No matter if my news is bright or it’s blue,
“Here’s looking at ME, kid … I’m looking at YOU.”

photo by d's other half


Thanks d – you’re a champion 🙂 Flowers do have so much personality.

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ courting controversy

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ courting controversy

My poem ‘Why do we hate the crow?’ is on ABC Radio National (all on it’s lonesome) this Saturday at 2.35pm (I am told) after the 360 documentary.

You can also listen on the ABC website here (I have put it up before so feel free to skip if already listened to it).

It appears to be courting controversy – bwhahahaha – with an irate listener saying ‘we hate that poem’ (you can read the comment here).  They have sort of missed the whole point of the poem and think I am having a dig at the crow, which could not be further from the truth. I am a great admirer of the intelligent crow. If I am having a dig at anyone it would be your yobbo on the street who would shoot a crow quicker than reversing his monaro out the driveway. The poem is about our fear of death and the motif of the crow as messenger of death.

The commenter also notes that ‘stilted prose shuffled into verses does not make poetry.’ I agree totally, that is why poets use metaphor, imagery, metre, rhythm, sound, and other devices 🙂

But I do admire the commenter for standing up for the crow!

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ – recording from ABC Radio National

‘Why do we hate the crow?’ – recording from ABC Radio National

Photo donated by At a Glance Pty Ltd (Lee Curtis and Garrie Douglas)

As promised here is the audio of my poem ‘Why do we hate the crow?’ which was recorded for the ABC Radio National ‘Birdlands’ project.

I love the way they have done this one, even better than ‘skin deep’, especially the sound of the crows in the background.

Producer Gretchen Miller said

Why do we hate the crow by Gabrielle Bryden just had to be read in a good strong Aussie accent – Drayton Morley did the readings for us here!  Produced by Gretchen Miller with sound engineering by Russell Stapleton.

Click on the link to listen to the audio:


Here is the text of the poem:

Why do we hate the crow?

We hate the crow
every bit black bird
beady ugly eyes

stupid shuffling of wings
hop out of the way of cars
that’s arrogance

eating carrion
we don’t like birds who eat dead things
or stuff out of bins
how disgusting

hate that loud, raucous call
grating our ears
like finger nails
on a chalkboard,
they take the short cut
across the river Styx
and with their message from Hades
slip into a subliminal
sniper vantage point

bloody smart-ass birds
too smart for their own good
you can’t kill them, you know
you’ll get in trouble with the law

if only it had a splash of red
somewhere on the feathers
like the stunning
red-tailed black cockatoo

yeah but, they don’t eat dead things

so it is about dead things.

ABC Radio National audio of ‘Skin Deep’

ABC Radio National audio of ‘Skin Deep’


The Gouldian Finch

Here is the audio of my poem ‘Skin Deep’ which was recorded for the ABC Radio National ‘Birdlands’ project.

Producer Gretchen Miller said

Skin Deep by Gabrielle Bryden is short, sharp and just a little bit  funny.  I liked the disappearing crowd… Reading by Drayton Morley,  sound engineer Russell Stapleton.

Click on this link to hear the audio. Make sure you listen to the end – when the door closes – haha.

SKIN DEEP Gabrielle Brydenmp3

Here is the text of the poem.

Skin Deep

God took a prized jewel
the precious gouldian finch
polishing the paint
a sparrow was left
the crowd


I would like to thank Gretchen and everyone else involved in the recording. I so love having all the sound effects and using the voices of actors.

ps. They recorded my poem ‘Why do we hate the crow’ as well, and I will post that soon.

On the radio this Saturday (Birdland)

On the radio this Saturday (Birdland)

This Saturday, 19th March 2011, at 2pm on ABC Radio National (360 documentaries) the Birdland project, directed by Gretchen Miller, will be broadcast.

Two of my poems Skin Deep and Why do we hate the crow? have been recorded as part of this fantastic, collaborative project (using the voices of actors and musical accompaniment).

The project began on the ABC POOL website and the callout was for ‘celebratory, thoughtful, descriptive, creative works that celebrate the human/avian relationship.’ As my regular readers would know, I love birds and just had to toss my hat in the ring. The list of finalists can be found here.

You can read more about this project on the POOL website or you can download the broadcast from the 360 documentaries website, from the 19th March 2011.

I can’t wait to listen to the broadcast (I think my poems sound much better when someone else is reading them out – haha).

Ps. I found out the birdlands project is broken up into separate components, and my two poems will be in a later broadcast – I will advise of new dates when they find out (sorry about that dudes 🙂 )