Impression by Owen Bullock

Owen Bullock, PhD on semiotics and poetry, is originally from Cornwall and lived for 25 years in Aotearoa New Zealand before migrating further to Australia in 2014. He has published 11 books and 6 chapbooks, in the genres of poetry, haiku, tanka, haibun and fiction; most recently, Uma rocha enorme que anda à roda (A big rock that turns around), translations of tanka into Portuguese by Francisco Carvalho (Temas Originais, 2021), Summer Haiku (Recent Work Press, 2019) and Work & Play (Recent Work Press, 2017). In other lifetimes, he was a juggler and a musician. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of Canberra.

Editor of Poetry In Process Journal 

Twitter @OwenTrail and the journal – @ProcessPoetry

Owen would like to thank Assa Doron, Sarah Rice, Jo Rendle-Short, Tim Brook, Sue Peachey, Shane Strange, Mark Young, Jen Crawford, members of the Prose Poetry Project and the Canberra poetry community.



the sliding door won’t get out of the way in time

promite – I thought it was some kind of rock or mineral

agentic dance

to learn and to give


words like skivvie give me the willies 
– gusset’s pretty scary

purple orchid, purple pot
a white tree grows
beside another white tree
with rust-orange, trailing leaves
climbing . . .

making an impression, 
or having a good life

a career as an artist, 
or being an artist

         across the black screen

lowered in the tackle of Barrett
looks up to the sky and points. . .
Let your true self come out to play.

                             planetary stewardship
                             constitution agreement
                             Global South
                             bottom billion

confetti of conversations
witness for the defence
dancing in drag

Praise for the Author

“I love reading Owen Bullock’s work because it makes me see possibilities; it is an affirmation of the why-not of poetry, reminding that experimentation can (and should) be fun. I might describe him as a poet’s poet, but that epithet sells short the generosity of his work and its great allure for readers.”

Aidan Coleman, poetry editor of Social Alternatives (AU). 

“Owen Bullock’s Impression is an impish labyrinth of experimentation celebrating transgressive hybridity. In fissile, fissionable and fertile moments, Impression places poetry under continual pressure, combining a variety of voices and an array of poetic forms – ‘found’ poetry, prose, free verse, and Japanese verse forms – in an unfolding, associative melange. Restless and explorative, this volume pursues ‘enchant[ment] by . . . tragedy,/ skuldugerry / [and] doohickey’.”

Cassandra Atherton, Professor of Writing and Literature, Deakin University, Melbourne. 

“Owen Bullock’s Impression is wonderfully rich and thought-provoking. This extended hybrid poem is both hypnotic and profound, a masterfully structured pointillist choral meditation.”

Melinda Smith, Winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry, Australia (2014).

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