The Wounds of Faith

Michael Robinson is the winner of the 2009 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize and the 2023 Tom Collins Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Tom Collins Poetry Prize in 2007.

“An x-ray poet, looking beneath and beyond appearance to the reality…Powerful and disturbing…Yet atonement is here as well…This is clarion call poetry, with all its evocative and gritty language.”

– Ian Keast, Studio.

“Combines serious social concern with keen perception of both the beauty and the ugliness of the physical world, all presented in a masterfully controlled formal context.”

– Sarah Day and Tim Thorne, Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize.

“A well-crafted, tactile poem, that gallops with ‘the tides of conflict ebb and roar’; ‘And every local skirmish has its long / Significance in legends of the deep’; it speaks of ‘The ruthless sunlight’; … ‘the river’s ripples with fragile fire.’ – Pain is felt throughout this poem until it reaches a surprising, poignant end.”

– Rose Van Son, Tom Collins Poetry Prize.

“Spoke for generations…finely built, full of pathos.”

– Peter Bibby, Tom Collins Poetry Prize.

The Wounds of Faith is Michael Robinson’s third collection of poetry. His previous books are The Tiger in the Vineyard (2015) and The Music of the Streets (2017). A special issue of Studio journal devoted to his work, The Quiet Fire, was published in 2023.

Silence

The struggle with mental health. Living the Christian faith. The two should not be divorced but at the same time they do not live together comfortably.

Silence details the story of the author’s journey through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from a critical incident in a school, through dark nights of questioning and out the other side. Combining the walk of faith, with his experiences as a drama teacher and love of music, literature, movies, running the beach and dogs, this is an honest grappling account of how the author reconciled what is often seen as the defeat of PTSD with the expected victory of the Christian faith.

Teacher, Andrew Pearce, shares his spiritual journey through PTSD after rescuing a student who attempted suicide, his painful struggles, the challenges he faced, and the healing he found that helped him to move forward through the years that followed.

Through Silence, Pearce offers us such a generous and intimate reflection of a day that would change everything- and the long, dark journey through the trauma that it created. It is a devastating yet life-affirming account.

– Charlie Lowell, Jars of Clay

With varied experiences in education, psychology, counselling, drama teaching with kids on the autism spectrum and theatre directing, Andrew lives on idyllic Hindmarsh Island, South Australia with his wife Sally and one of his sons, Josh. Vocationally, he spends his time these days working as a disability counsellor. He still runs his beach when his battered feet allow and also enjoys writing, songwriting, veggie gardening and wrestling with acoustic guitar and piano. He is yet to find a dog to rival Maggie but makes it a point of introducing himself to every dog that crosses his path and listening to their story.

Terraotta Travellers and Other Stories of Life

An anthology of true life stories of the faith and religious experiences of regular people.

Terracotta Travellers is the eighth Stories of Life anthology, brimful of ordinary people’s brushes with the divine. Sometimes God reveals glimpses of his backstage machinations in the course of our daily grind. This is a collection of forty-one such instances.

The movement and transition suggested by this year’s title story and several others is part of being human. These disparate writers from all walks of life embody some of our unique journeys, whether geographically, caught in one of life’s stages, or simply learning to ride a bike. Sometimes we are on set trajectories, other times we have no clue where we may be headed, yet at any moment, our God of love may meet us. You’ll surely be refreshed, encouraged, or inspired by the true-life tales you find here.

this (2023 edition) is the eighth book in the series.

Anathematic Darkness

This poetry book written by Tom Cintula is a series of free verse poems and spoken word works that have been written to express the wonder and curiosity envisioned internally in which no one else can see more clearly than he. He discusses personal demons and existential dread that he has gone through over the course of his life in his dwelling on the downtrodden and dreariness. He also explores its reasoning and upside in the adversity shared in this effort. There is an uncertainty of light in this dive into the darkness, but rest assured that the will to look for closure and further knowledge of these pieces are certain.

 

the Teacher is not a Troll

Dai and Bear are totally ordinary kids.

Well, not totally ordinary, there is the fact that they are pages training to be knights of the Order of Pendragon one day. And their mother is a dragon-wrangler who works for the fire department. And their Dad works for the city council so he can make sure no one builds a pergola on a goblin warren. And they regularly fight monsters. Other than that they are pretty ordinary.

Oh, and they’re fairly certain their school headmaster is a troll.

There is still some doubt about the teacher though…

Catch Tilly spends every moment she can in her imagination. When forced into ‘real life’ she works as an actor, scriptwriter, carer for her autistic daughter and sparring partner for her husband, who is a professional swordsman.

As a bonus, you can find some lessons about real life sword fighting in the book. 

Say My Name

It’s Australia in the 70’s. Beach Culture is emerging. Feminism is beginning to find its voice and roar. Jenny is in a dangerous marriage. The cops come by and say, “It’s just a domestic,” and drive off. Jenny’s best friend Caroline has become a militant feminist. Marilyn carries a secret that will rock the town. All these women navigate secrets, lies and betrayals. Jenny’s Mum left home when Jenny was small. Where did she go?

This classic Australian novel is both love story and social history. A proper page turner.

Scéalta Eile

Dymphna Lonergan began creating her first book, As Gaeilge, as a learning aid for Irish language friends in South Australia and later as a way of recording some events in her life. By popular demand a second book has been added to the collection. As with the previous book, the English and Irish versions of the stories run parallel on the left and right to allow multi-lingual readers to strengthen their use of the new language.

“Lonergan presents real characters with real-life stories drawing her readers in to empathise… Even though they are short, they feel complete, as she wraps them up tidily leaving the reader needing to know more about the characters. There is a great variety in these stories and I enjoyed where each took me, mostly to places I had not anticipated.”  Tinteán magazine.

Bones and Blue Eyes and Other Stories of Life

An anthology of true life stories of the faith and religious experiences of regular people.

Bones and Blue Eyes is the seventh anthology in the Stories of Life series, true stories of ordinary people experiencing a connection with the divine in the context of their ‘ordinary’ lives. They are electricians, accountants, butchers, mothers, preachers, children; people grieving, people rejoicing, people helping and being helped. In each story we see individuals believing, however shakily, in a God who cares and comes to them. The writers are honest about pain, doubt, poor choices, unjust circumstances, fear…This is not a collection of neat stories, perfect doctrine, and pasted smiles. On the contrary, many are unfinished stories of people who simply acknowledge that, along their way, the God of love meets them. Stories of Life will encourage, refresh, challenge, entertain and inspire you.

this (2022 edition) is the seventh book in the series.

With Age Comes…

Are you striving to appreciate the older people in your life?

With Age Comes… offers insight into older people through story. From stench-spreading old farmers to nurses who never quite retire, from war veterans to matchmaking nanas, from empty nesters to centenarians – you’ll meet them and more. You may even come across someone just a bit like an older person who is part of your life.

These stories, recounted with the utmost dignity and respect, capture the heart behind each character and gently shed light on what it means to grow older. They’ll offer those who read them understanding, entertainment, optimism, and inspiration, as well as two challenges – to honour the older people in your life, and to grow older well.

Oh My Soul

For thousands of years philosophers and religious thinkers have written about the soul. Hardly surprising, for soul is what human experience is all about. Ideas have been plentiful and interesting. Historically, soul has been understood as immaterial, as spirit-like, until recently modern science and psychology joined the fray. They consider the concept of spirit outdated and soul a body manifestation. Scientifically, the phenomenon of soul is addressed in studies of the brain. Neurobiology is gaining considerable insights. The expectation is that one day brain function will reveal all.

The idea of people having a soul is readily accepted. Soul is central to a person’s consciousness and every moment of awareness involves the soul. It reflects attitude, mind and emotions and is an indicator of wellbeing. It is no surprise that the reality of soul has been commented on throughout the ages. Aristotle had distinct ideas about it, as did St Augustine and other philosophers. Novelists have dealt with the nature of soul in many varied ways. These days the fields of biology, medicine and psychology are the new frontier.

Findings will remain limited when the dynamic of spirit is excluded. This view is held by many and not only by religious people. Life feels so much larger than merely being a body manifestation. Something else must be in play and it is called spirit. But what might the idea of spirit entail?