Melbourne’s TS Bookshop situation: an important update

The last day of trading of the iconic and unique TS Bookshop is this coming Friday. It’s a travesty. You can read more about it in the online petition (linked later) and in my previous posts:

Saving Melbourne’s Theosophical Society Bookshop and Library. RRR SmartArts interview reveals some interesting information about the impending closure.

Help save the iconic TS Bookshop and Library. Both now to close August 13th. Urgent help needed!

Help save the iconic TS Bookshop in Melbourne!

However, while the Theosophical Society has finally confirmed (after weeks of unclear communication) that it is making all staff redundant and planning to merge the TS Library and Bookshop, it’s still not too late to let the board know you’re unhappy about this. This merger will be the end of the bookshop as we know it.

Bookshops and libraries are significant places of learning, knowledge, culture and socialising. The TS Bookshop is a very specialised shop and has the best range of esoteric books and spiritual items in Australia. It has been around for a century, which is an amazing achievement in itself. Even if you’re not from Melbourne, or Australia, please sign. You can read the latest update as well as sign and share the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/save-melbourne-s-iconic-t-s-bookshop/u/30807467

You can also write to the President of the Theosophical Society at the following email address, and let them know you are unhappy with the merger and staff redundancies here:

sheela@melbournetheosophy.org and info@melbournetheosophy.org

Thank you for your support.

Saving Melbourne’s Theosophical Society Bookshop and Library. RRR SmartArts interview reveals some interesting information about the impending closure.

Following on from my recent posts urging you all to sign the petition to save Melbourne’s iconic TS Bookshop, I’m sharing an interview with two of the bookshop’s biggest supporters and aficionados of books and culture: Mary Dalmau and Ann Taket, who spoke with Richard Watts on RRR FM earlier today. They discuss how important book and literary culture is in Melbourne and how significant the TS Bookshop and library are, having been around for 100 years. Ann also discusses some of the odd maneuvres that seem to be happening at the board level of the Theosophical Society and some of the financial reports and income from recent years. This is all publicly available information as the Theosophical Society is a registered charity. It’s worth a listen and please share this information widely with your friends and anyone anywhere who loves books and learning.

The interview is here: https://www.rrr.org.au/shared/broadcast-episode/21329/3797000/4657000

The petition can be signed here: https://www.change.org/p/save-melbourne-s-iconic-t-s-bookshop

Please share this widely on social media and email it to your friends. Time is running out. The book shop and library could close on the 13th August without our help. Let’s see what we can do to ensure that doesn’t happen!

You can also email the President of the Theosophical Society in Melbourne to express your objection to the bookshop and library closing: robert@melbournetheosophy.org

Help save the iconic TS Bookshop in Melbourne!

Melbournians and lovers of the esoteric all across Australia (and hopefully globally too!) will know of the iconic TS Bookshop, which was situated in its previous location on Russell Street, Melbourne, for an impressive 46 years. The store recently relocated, weathering Melbourne’s multiple lockdowns for COVID-19, and is now in fabulous Flinders Lane, opposite the City Library and near Degraves Street. It’s a beautiful, calm, light-filled store and a place I love to visit often when I’m in the city. The store has a great range of specialist books (including second hand books and tarot decks), a huge range of tarot decks, crystals, CDs and vinyl, and all things esoteric. It’s a light-filled, gorgeous space and has the most friendly and helpful staff.

I was devastated and horrified to receive notice that the board of the Theosophical Society has decided to shut down the bookshop after a consultant recommended they do so. This book shop is a rare gem and offers some very specialised books and esoteric items. I was quite outraged to receive this email, the justification being that these days, book shops are supposedly irrelevant. It’s an inaccurate opinion, as anyone who loves browsing a book store (rather than simply buying online) will agree.

I disagree wholeheartedly with this decision, as do around 1000 others, who have already signed a petition to stop the store’s closure on change.org. I would encourage you all to please do so too, even if you don’t know the shop, as a gesture of solidarity and to support one of Melbourne’s most interesting and best-loved specialty book stores. Please sign this petition and pass the link on to any friends who may be interested. Reblog this post on your own WordPress site if you can.

The TS Bookshop website is a great resource for all things esoteric. Please visit and check out their offerings. Hopefully our voices will be heard and we can keep the bookstore afloat!

Taking a break

Dear followers, I’m going to be taking a short break. I work very hard here writing, making spoken word videos, and publishing and promoting everything. It takes up a lot of my time, and I need a break from the constant pressure to produce and perform (largely driven by the the dreaded algorithms that be). I had covid in April, and some other health problems have been ongoing since January. I need time out to address these and get my mind more enthusiastic about poetry and writing again. It won’t take too long, I’m just a bit burnt out. During this period, I’ll publish some older pieces, just to keep the blog going. See you soon, once I’m feeling refreshed!

As the World Burns, a new anthology from Indieblu(e) Publishing

This is me with my copy of As the World Burns by Indie Blu(e) Publishing, which arrived, somewhat miraculously for these times, in only a week from the UK. I’m so proud! I have three poems in this awesome anthology. You can buy a copy at Amazon or Book Depository. Please support indie writers, publishers and artists and purchase a copy of this important historical document of these challenging times.

New Anthology: As the World Burns

It has been an absolutely chaotic and challenging year, from the bushfires in Australia through to a terrifying and deadly global pandemic and ongoing political unrest and upheaval in the United States. Indie Blu(e) Publishing has produced an amazing anthology for these times. As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad brings together the work of 114 writers and artists reflecting on these intensely chaotic times.

It is both a story of survival and an act of resistance. “We speak with many voices, to the damage wrought in these violent, fevered months. Let us never forget or turn away, from what is just, what is necessary, to keep light alive in this world.”

(As the World Burns amazon.com product description)

Three of my poems have been published in this anthology. To read them, alongside the work of 113 other gifted writers and artists, please purchase a copy at Book Depository, or at Amazon.

iamb wave four

Photos of twenty poets featured in iamb wave four

iamb is the brainchild of poet Mark Antony Owen and is, in his own words, “part library of poets, part quarterly journal[…] ‘iamb’ is where established and emerging talents are showcased side by side. Not just their words, but their readings of them.”

November 1 saw the launch of iamb wave four, a collection of 60 poems by 20 living poets. The poems appear in both written form and as audio recordings, alongside profiles of each poet.

I was lucky enough to be included in iamb’s fourth wave, along with some very qualified, published and awarded poets. As a fledgling, self-taught poet, I feel particularly honoured to be part of wave four of iamb.

To read and listen to the recordings of my three poems and view my iamb profile, click here. You can check out the rest of wave four here, and while you’re at iamb, please do explore the previous waves of poets featured there. Mark also has a dedicated section on his SoundCloud channel of all the iamb audio recordings, if you prefer to listen to your poetry.

iamb is a wonderful poetry project and repository, and has been beautifully curated, styled and presented by Mark Antony Owen. Please do take the time to visit it.
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(iamb image courtesy of Mark Antony Owen – used with permission)