to the website and blog of Joanna Preston,
Tasmanaut poet, editor, and freelance creative writing tutor.


Ah, winter! Season of frost, hot chocolate, and plenty of evening to spend reading lots of poetry! Here are three poems from The Summer King for you to enjoy.

The Valley Farmers

This is the slow unfolding of night,
the road homewards in thickening shadow,
a spill of light glinting like copper wire
as the sun slips from the last smudge of cloud.

Farm-wives will be calling their ducks,
feeding the dogs, setting flame to kindling
before closing their doors on dusk.
There will be meat, and bread, and ease
for tired men with soil in their skin.

And then night: the last light doused,
pale bodies unclothed, and a low bed
where we too can unmake ourselves.


The gleam of light
from the edge of the cold
curved blade of Grandpa’s sickle
hung like a harvested moon
in the darkest corner of the barn.

It followed the tines
of the garden fork,
splayed like his fingers,
probing the vast earth
for constellations
of Kipfler potatoes.

When he died, I saw it leave him,
watched the glaze of shadow
spread, like a bruise
in the lee of his
sharp bones.

from Venery:
vi. A Superfluity of Nuns 

What could Christ want
with so many wives?

Cloistered women
in their dark habits

of obedience, shut up
at night like hens in a run?

A sanctified harem of
shrouded flesh, pale

as loaves of new-risen
bread, the mute tongues

of their patellae worn flat.
Ranks and rows of women

the Armada of God,
wimples set like spinnakers

tacking bravely across the storm.


Other People’s Poems – Close Readings, Analyses and Poem Commentaries

To paraphrase Owen Marshall: if you want to know the time, look at the clock’s face. If you want to know how a clock works, you have to take the back off. And that’s what close reading is – taking the time to try and work out what a poem is doing, and how. Drinking it in. Learnings its secrets. Wandering around the poem’s rooms and rumaging through its drawers.

Continue reading “Commentaries”


Welcome to The Poetry Class

Since 2010 I’ve been running poetry workshops as a freelance creative writing tutor. Below is a basic outline of what to expect in each type of workshop – a sample of the things I regularly offer. Join the Poetry Class mailing list, and be first to hear when new classes open.

To see what classes are currently being offered, click here.
To enrol in a current class, click here.
To be added to the Poetry Class mailing list, click here.
To learn more about the sorts of poetry classes I offer in general, read on.

I am available to run poetry or general creative writing classes for writers’ groups, festivals, and private individuals, and can tailor a workshop to your specific needs.
Continue reading “Workshops”