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John Passant

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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
(0)

Sick kids and paying upfront

(0)

Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Some feedback on my poetry book Songs for the Band Unformed

Songs for the Band Unformed by [Passant, John]

 

I thought I would just reproduce what some have written about my first book of poetry, Songs for the Band Unformed.

On Facebook:

ON A TREE BREAKING WINDY NIGHT…….I met John Passant late in life, fellow travellers and peripatetic trespassers in academia, cobbling together doctorates, he a former Assistant Commissioner of Taxation (ATO) with a special responsibility for international tax reform, his academic writings on tax from a Marxist position erudite scholarly forays addressing social justice issues. Yesterday his first volume of poetry arrived in the post, ‘Songs for the Band Unformed’ (Ginninderra Press: Adelaide, 2016). Woken by the winds last night and the cracking of branches giving up the ghost, I sat down with the book, encountering a mature mix of ruminations and reflections about life and joy and relationships and meaning and ageing and political struggle and social justice, laced with wit and dark humour and political anger. Thank you John. I later slept well, the lines of ‘Oh, we can’t tax the rich’ causing me to smile as I nodded off.

A Facebook message:

Hi John, I’ve been meaning to thank you for the book, which arrived the other day. I haven’t read it properly yet, but I’ve been very taken with the poems I’ve read so far, like ‘Let there be no mourning’, which had a lyricism and power I really admired. I also very much liked your words in the preface. It’s not easy to write in a way that’s intelligent but simple and utterly non-cynical, but it looks as though you’ve done it here. All power to you – I’m really looking forward to the rest of it. Hope you’re well, cheers.

On Amazon

I bought John’s collection of poems today and haven’t put it down since. The title’s references to a ‘Band’ left me confused at first, and I thought nothing more of Bob’s “orchestra” reference than a clever pun. Having read the volume, I now understand it truly is the best way to describe it.

John’s poetry took me through a world of conflicting emotions formed by collapsing the barrier between self and society, tapping into the soul of an often cruel world. Embarking on this artistic journey placed me at the border of relating to the pain of an individual’s experience, and empathysing with society through poems which captured the essence of societal issues, before increasingly blurring the borders between the two in a subconscious effort to magnify the broader contemporary issues at the heart of our personal struggle.

And this review too on Amazon:

Not so much a band, more an orchestra. Not so much unformed, more life’s outline. Herein lies a symphony to humanity, its movements capturing the tempo of our times.

And this one:

The most thoughtful, insightful and moving poetry that I think I have ever read – and re-read and re-read…

A Facebook message:

Thank you so much dear friend. I don’t clear the letter box all that often because I get little hard copy mail. So the absolute joy to find your gift there today. I have just skimmed through the volume and I am overwhelmed. What a talented poet your are! And you even got the caring for the Palestinians with crushed wine glass in! Don’t think anyone else would know what lies behind that!! And such a beautiful tribute to Patricia.I am still reflecting on best campaign. James & Co is delighted to be associated with such a wonderful volume of poetry.

Facebook message again:

Hi John.  I’ve been meaning to thank you for the book, which arrived the other day. I haven’t read it properly yet, but I’ve been very taken with the poems I’ve read so far, like ‘Let there be no mourning’, which had a lyricism and power I really admired. I also very much liked your words in the preface. It’s not easy to write in a way that’s intelligent but simple and utterly non-cynical, but it looks as though you’ve done it here. All power to you – I’m really looking forward to the rest of it. Hope you’re well, cheers.

As has been said elsewhere:

‘John Passant has just released his first book of poetry, Songs for the Band Unformed (Ginninderra Press 2016). The poems are a mix of the personal and the political. The usual terrors of love and desire, of self-doubt, of longing, and of joy and happiness, find expression here. So too does Passant’s horror with much of the world today, with its barbarity, its wars, its monetary and spiritual poverty, and its cruelty. As Tom Griffiths from the University of Newcastle says: This is a collection of work for our times, sometimes bleak, hard, gritty, but indignant, mobilising and marching against the bombs and profits of injustice.’ The Awesome’s singer songwriter Mili Cifali calls it ”…a sublime collection of poetry, allowing us to reflect on humanity, in its nakedness, tenderness and brutality…’

You can buy signed copies from John for $20 including postage by emailing him for details at en.passant@bigpond.com

Alternatively you can buy hard copies from Ginninderra Press here and eon other book shop sites (including in France, Norway, Finland, the UK and the US.) An e-reader version is available from Kindle/Amazon and perhaps elsewhere.

If you live in Melbourne, Adelaide or Hobart, Ginninderra Press also says:

  • In Adelaide, Ginninderra Press books are available from East Avenue Books, 53 East Avenue, Clarence Park 5034.In Hobart, Ginninderra Press books are available from the Hobart Bookshop, Salamanca Place, Hobart 7000.

    In Melbourne, Ginninderra Press poetry books are available from Collected Works, Level 1, Nicholas Building, 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000.

I am discussing with some musicians putting the words to their music as a voice over, and with another music group a launch of sorts with jazzy original material with a Latin influence and a dash of funky folk in between readings. A friend in an acapella band is putting some of the poems forward to her group to consider singing.

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