John McBeath reviews A Sudden Sentence in the Air in The Australian

Poet riffs on the language of jazz and its players

John McBeath from The Australian November 26, 2011 12:00AM

Canberra-based Geoff Page has published 18 collections of poetry as well as numerous novels and anthologies, and he is active in the capital’s jazz scene, running monthly concerts. His new collection, A Sudden Sentence in the Air, contains a poem entitled A Manual of Style, dedicated to stellar Sydney saxophonist Bernie McGann, and selected by Black Inc for its forthcoming Best Australian Poems 2011. It’s easy to see why the 13-line poetic description of McGann’s playing was selected: Page’s savvy observations inform his lines, taking on a kind of riffing of language, echoing and explaining the music.

Read the full review here >>>>


Launch – A Sudden Sentence In The Air

Launching 28 October

Mike Nock will launch A Sudden Sentence In The Air at Wangaratta Jazz Festival on Friday 28 October at the Wangaratta Library. All welcome – let us know you’re coming so we can make sure we’ve catered properly…

Date/time: 6-7 pm Friday 28 October
Venue: Wangaratta Library, 21 Docker Street, Wangaratta Map >>>

Geoff will read from the collection, collaborating with bass player Alex Boneham for some jazzy sounds. Refreshments will be provided. Please join us – it’s a great way to start the festival!

email us at with your RSVP.

If you want to support independent booksellers by getting your copy of A Sudden Sentence In The Air through them, you can let them know we self-distribute and the friendly and efficient Miriam can help them with consignment orders.

Call 1300 783 446 or email

Or alternatively, get your copy online here >>>>

Pics from our Macleay Bookshop reading

Well, the second (and final) gig on our ‘We’re not dead yet’ tour was a resounding success. Sorry if you missed it, but I hope we’ll be doing more of this sort of event soon! Thanks to Richard and Adrienne at Macleay Bookshop (and special thanks for the pictures, which were a combined effort, using Adrienne’s iPhone!) and to Fergus, who was also there on the night  🙂  Our readers were Lynn Hard, Nigel Roberts, Noëlle Janaczewska, Arjun von Caemmerer and Andrew Lindsay. Again, just as for the Collected Works event, a great energy in the room. It was interesting to receive feedback (again) about how much people were enjoying hearing poetry by these jazz-loving poets. Their reading is powerful yet unaffected (those are my words, consolidating multiple comments from both audiences) and we all wondered if it is the natural links between improvised music and poetry that added a very special power, rythm and vitality to the Macleay Bookshop and Collected Works Readings.

Pictured above are Miriam with Arjun von Caemmerer and also with Noëlle Janaczewska plus a picture of Andrew Lindsay mid anecdote (telling us all about Linsey Pollak making music al instruments (and music)  from all sorts of found objects) prior to reading his poem ‘The Music of All Things’ (extempore 5), and Arjun reading and explaining concrete poems, including a visual aid of Edgar’s Eyebrows (published in extempore 3). Noëlle Janaczewska read poems from extempore 3 & 5 and Lynn Hard read a poem from extempore 1. Nigel Roberts’ poetry has not appeared in extempore, but we think perhaps it should have – he read three jazz-related pieces and is an enthusiastic appreciator of jazz and improvised music!  Hopefully we’ll be able to include his work in a future publication.

Poetry Readings in Melbourne and Sydney

Kevin Brophy put it very well during last year’s National Jazz Writing Competition when he described jazz poetry like this:

‘…music as a subject matter, music as an experience, and words as both rhythmic sounds and vehicles of meaning.’

Collected Works Bookshop in Melbourne and Macleay Bookshop in Sydney are two of our favourite bookshops. They are both hosting evenings of poetry readings and refreshments this month!

After great feedback about the poetry in all five extempore issues… we figure the next best thing to a good poem in print is a poem being read – particularly when it’s in the convivial atmosphere of an independent bookshop with a glass of wine and great company.


Thursday 13 January  6-8 PM Collected Works Bookshop featuring readings by Francesca Sasnaitis, Kent MacCarter, Graeme Kinross-Smith and more (to be confirmed)See the poster here > >>>


Saturday 15 January  6-8 PM Macleay Bookshop featuring readings by Andrew Lindsay, Lynn Hard and more (to be confirmed) See the poster here > >>>

Macleay Bookshop
103 Macleay Street
Potts Point in Sydney

Collected Works Bookshop
Level 1, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Need more information? email Miriam at or call on 1300 783 446

Kent MacCarter's Poetry Picks

‘It’s all too hard and complex,’ they say, as if poetry and jazz are perceived as bizarre, unpredictable juggernauts they’d rather not touch in the way they’d not dare slink up to a dozing grizzly bear and poke it in the chops.

Kent MacCarter’s guest blogging over at and it seems he loves extempore. Which is cool, because we love Kent and his poetry.  He had three pieces published in Issue 5, and we hope to see more soon!

Read what he has to say about us here >>>>

Or see more about Issue 5 of extempore here >>>>