Rare and Limited First Edition
Autographed and Numbered Copies
Printed by Griffin Press
Since the release of HATBOX, in 2010, Joe Dolce has had over fifty poems selected for major Australian poetry journals such as QUADRANT, MEANJIN, OVERLAND, CORDITE, ETCHINGS, VINE LEAVES, CARMENTA and ANTIPODES in the US. LES MURRAY, Australia's most internationally distinguished poet and poetry editor, has personally picked forty pieces including eighteen new songlyrics for publication.
In this rare first collection of stand-alone poetry, Joe Dolce explores the themes of death of parents, loss of childhood and early love, solitude, spiritual enquiry and changing eroticism. Tempered with humourous reflections on blowflies, baldness and Bob Dylan, these fifty poems introduce a major new poetic voice.
JOE DOLCE continues to hold the record for the most successful Australian produced single recording in Australian music history, Shaddap You Face, thirty-two years straight! He has also had a diverse range of his award-winning songs including Gift from One Iraqi Child, Marching With Martin Luther King Jr, Hill of Death, and My Home Ain’t in the Hall of Fame, recorded by over fifty international artists. Since 1969, he has transformed more than 100 poems into songs, including works by Sappho, Sylvia Plath, CP Cafavy, Langston Hughes, Judith Wright, and Dylan Thomas. He is the co-creator with writer, Lin Van Hek, of the unique literary performance group, DifficultWomen.
In 2010, he was the winner of the 25th Launceston Poetry Cup in Tasmania.
'Very moving poems about the past and family.' Adrienne Eberhard
‘This is poetry at play. Play in style and form and a wicked - sometimes self-pointilist - humour. Whitman, Shakespeare and Stein will never sound the same again.’ Susan Hawthorne
‘Beautiful poems. I particularly liked Bogong Moth - a lean-back-in-your-chair-after-reading-it poem.’
‘Wry and wicked, Joe Dolce’s Hatbox is a magician’s box of poetic tricks.He can charm like an Italianate C. J. Dennis, then, as in his poem Bogong Moth, poetically “seize fire” yet “continue to swoop.”’ Jen Jewel Brown
‘Lyrics that an eminent poet would be proud to have written.’ Chris Boyd, HERALD-SUN
‘One of the country’s premier songwriters. His lyrical compositions are delightful to listen to, the words fit together like a perfect puzzle . . . ’ Eva Roberts, RHYTHMS
“He begins strumming on his polished steel guitar. . . it’s a setting of a work [In The Monotonous Village] by the Greek poet, Constantine Cavafy, about a man living in a dull town, who escapes his humdrum life through sexual fantasy. There’s a yearning, folkish sound to the simple guitar part, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell; his eyes close as he sings, absorbed in the tune. It’s beautiful.” David Fickling, THE GUARDIAN, UK
“. . . the highlight is the barely orchestrated tribute to the Greek poetess Sappho whose legendary work remains only in brief fragments. Dolce sings Fragment 64 accompanied by viola (da gamba) in a moment of unlikely beauty, not a million miles from William Orbit’s Pieces in a Modern Style.”
Peter Best, THE SUNDAY HERALD
“His song, Death of Bach, is a masterpiece.” Judy Small
“Hill Of Death written and composed by the prolific Joe Dolce won Best Folk Gospel Song at the Australian Gospel Song Awards. Joe put the music to the words of Louisa Lawson (mother of Henry) in a rare but wonderful arrangement crossing the generations with a timeless message. Sheer brilliance.” HARDRUSHMUSIC
“Maybe you recall Shaddap You Face as just a novelty song of 1980, but Dolce’s hugely successful singalong was more than that. It summed up the change in Australia when multiculturalism displaced the derogatory label New Australian, when colourful Immigration minister Al Grassby regularly graced the national stage, and SBS was about to take to the air. It caught a social current and gave voice to it in about three minutes.”
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“He has carved out a place in Australian music like no other.” Vincent O’Donnell, ARTS ALIVE ABC
HATBOX - $18.00 (plus gst & $9.00 postage & handling)
Samples of some of the 50 poems in the volume
J EFFEN K
A Bogong moth
darts out of darkness
to seize fire -
it’s burned away its tarsi,
yet continues to swoop,
kiss, careen, sizzle,
fluttering and candle-banging
like fawn-crazed Nijinski.
I look up from my book
accepting the immortal,
of life and light,
like Icarus’s father
resigned to watch
his flying boy
hurl against brilliance.
When you were a baby
often the only way
to pacify you
was to bundle you
in your satin blanket
and walk along
The percussion of traffic noise,
street lamps, flashing head
and tail lights,
opened your brown eyes wide.
You were intoxicated
and I soon lost you to sleep . . .
O my little son, cocooned there
in that middle-aged man
who hasn’t spoken to me
for years –
what flickering galaxies
do you fling yourself against now
far beyond my reach?
$18.00 (plus gst & $9.00 postage & handling)