Two Gigs in One Night – How did that happen?

This is the first, at 6pm Wednesday 26th August 2015 at the Halifax Cafe with cycling partner and writer extraordinaire, Heather Taylor Johnson:


and the second, starting 90 minutes later, just up the road from the Halifax Cafe, in James Place (off Rundle Mall) at the Coffee Pot, where, along with 12 other poets, I’ll be channelling Kate Bush.

Book Review: “Times Long Ruin” by Stephen Orr


Time’s Long Ruin
by Stephen Orr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

How can you make a story “gripping” when the outcome is well known? Somehow Stephen Orr manages to achieve this. Many Australians, especially Adelaideans, know about the Beaumont children. This book is loosely based on their story, with some significant changes, the most obvious being names and exact locations. Nevertheless, the incident on which the story is based is unmistakable to most Australians over the age of 40.

Orr recasts the story, from the point of view of the next door neighbour and best friend of the children, who is now adult, looking back on his childhood. The boy’s father also happens to be a police detective, which allows Orr to provide a full picture of the police investigation.

The book beautifully re-creates a suburban community in the 1960s. This is its strength really, and you learn as much about life in that small part of Adelaide as you do about the children themselves.

There are parallel threads running through the book: the family lives of the boy, of his neighbours, of the railway crossing operator, of the local chiropractor. Orr paints their lives with great warmth and insight.

It’s a very good book indeed: both as a gripping page turner, but also as a historical perspective on what may have been a turning point in Australian society – the point at which trust and community began to disappear.

My only criticism is that perhaps the book is a bit long. Then again, I was never tempted to skip over sections.

Highly recommended

View all my reviews

Gig at Cafe Non-Fiction

Thanks to Rob de Kok, who has invited me to appear at his Cafe non-Fiction gig next Wednesday night, 27th November 2013.

He’s given me an interesting brief:

“I prefer non-fiction work/true life poetry but from what i remember that’s what you do anyway. You can develop a theme if you like.”

True life poetry eh? I had hoped people thought I made it all up.

Rob runs Co-West, which is, he says:

“… Coworking space, the new way to make sure you have a space for your creative drive. Co-West is there so you have a reason to get up in the morning, shake the cat off your lap, put on some real clothes and go in to work. It’s where your art becomes a job. Coworking spaces are where people work independently together- sort of like having a fully-equipped office but no boss. They are places where you can write that draft, plan that project, tease out that article, sculpt that collection and finally wrap a routine around your craft.”

– Cafe Non-Fiction 2 –

W e d n e s d a y , N o v e m b e r  2 7

6 . 3 0 for 7

Settle back for another great night of published prose, poetry readings, gentle live music, a little drama and your personally chosen non-fiction moment.

THIS MONTH: Bring your favourite non-fiction book and read one crucial page to us!

As usual we’ll stir the pot with our (now patented!) unique version of ‘Two-way Q+A’, and provide lovely food and a few vinyl tunes to fill the gaps.

= Wine, coffee and soft drinks available by donation =

$15 / $10 members/concession

== In the Salon at Co-West: 6.30 / 7pm kick-off ==

PLEASE NOTE::: Last month was awesome but a little crowded. Book early!
Reserve your place on faceook or by email: 

Poem a Day 2013 #3: Counting

Poem number 3. I recently had my nineteen year old niece from England, and her best friend, staying with me for two weeks. They left last week.


I wake at five a.m.

Slip on one pair of shorts, a shirt.

Brush thirty teeth

(thirty two minus two wisdom).

Wake my niece (one of five) and her best friend.

drive them twelve kilometres to the airport

at sixty kilometres an hour

to catch the seven a.m flight (VA 417)

from Adelaide to Sydney

(seven hundred and twenty four miles)

marking the end of fourteen days

spent  with two nineteen year olds

of driving them tens of kilometres

around the numerous sights of Adelaide,

of doing multiple twenty minute trips

into the four square city on the 861 bus.

The occupancy of my house

reverts from three to one.

I count each hour

since they jumped out

of my Mazda 2

and said goodbye.

Copyright Mike Hopkins 2013

Mr. Versatility. That’s me.

Only a week or two after having my poem “Adelaide is…” featured in an ABC radio doco on “the seedy side of the Adelaide literary scene”:

I received confirmation that my poem “Caution: This Office May Damage Your Health”, was published in the international “Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal”:

Just goes to show, there’s only the width of a cigarette paper between the gutter and the office.