John Tranter has been taking photos and staring at them for years… longer than he has been writing poems. Not to mention mixing his own strange developers and spending hours in the darkroom. Here are some of those photos. The links below take you to millions (well, lots and lots) of photos by John Tranter, many with explanatory captions. The site will grow with time.

Australian Poet Michael Atkin reading a book
[Australian Poet Michael Atkin reading a book]

[»»] 1981, On 16 January 1981 Lyn, poet John A. Scott, Kirsten and I visited friends in the town of Katoomba, a couple of hours’ drive west of Sydney, in the Blue Mountains: John Merriman and Gaynor Lanceley and their kids. Here are some photos, taken on an Olympus XA camera with Kodak Technical Pan film, noted for its fine grain and its orthochromatic habit of making people’s lips invisible.

[»»] 1981, 26 September: Blue Mountains, 100 kilometers west of Sydney: Gaynor Lanceley, John Merriman and their children, and Trish Davies and Carl Harrison-Ford, and Kirsten Tranter, who was nine. That’s an Alfa-Romeo (silver, two-litre four-door sedan) you can see in the background of one photo: great car.

[»»] 1984: dinner at Nigel Roberts’ house in Rozelle: the late Billy Marshall Stoneking, NZ poet Lauris Edmond, Rae Desmond Jones, Lyn Tranter, Rudi Kraussman, Nigel Roberts himself (ex-Auckland, resident in Australia for many decades).

[»»] These six photographs of Australian poet Gig Elizabeth Ryan, poet Bruce Beaver, artist Julie Brown-Rrap, poet John A. Scott, artist Paula Dawson, and poet Susan Hampton, with accompanying short prose poems, were first published in «Republica» magazine Issue 2, ed. George Papaellenis. pp.23-35. Pymble: Angus and Robertson (HarperCollins Publishers),1995.

[»»] 2009: A cloud above Umbria. In 2009 I was lucky to be chosen to spend six weeks at the Civitella Raineri, a mediaeval castle in Italy near Perugia. Here is an Umbrian cloud that caught my fancy, and my camera’s attention.

[»»] 2009: Another cloud above Umbria. Very strange!

[»»] 2013: A dramatic cloud above Sydney. What do they mean?

[»»] 2013: Twelve strange photos taken in Adelaide in South Australia in 2013, while I was there to read my poems as part of the 2013 Adelaide Featival of Arts, invited by organiser Laura Kreutsch.

[»»] 2014, Puncher and Wattmann Christmas Party. Founded in 2005, Puncher and Wattmann is an independent Australian publisher of quality Australian writing. David Musgrave is the Publisher. They held a Xmas party in the rear function room of the Alexandria Town Hall on 6 December 2014, and lots of poets came. These are 15 photos I took at that event.…

[»»] 2014: Vagabond Press Christmas Party. Vagabond Press is an independent Australian publisher of quality Australian writing, established in 1999. Michael Brennan, Elizabeth Allen, Chris Edwards and Kay Orchison are the Publishers. See
They held a Xmas party upstairs at Gleebooks book store at 49 Glebe Point Road, Sydney, on Sunday 7 December 2014. These are 13 photos I took at that event.…

[»»] 2015, 3 January: 31 photos I took one morning on a walk around Balmain in Sydney, with my dog Kiera.

[»»] 2015, 04 July (US American Independence Day!) my twenty-fourth book of poems was launched at the Surry Hills Community Centre, part of Surry Hills Public Library (and where would we be without librarians?). A great time was had by all. Here are some photos from the launch, by me and by Trish Davies.

[»»] 2015, 15 July: Kirsten, Henry, my wife Lyn and I motored to the Jenolan Caves, west of the Blue Mountains, in the Central West of New South Wales. We saw a wombat (not a kind of bat, but a kind of native badger), an echidna (ant-eater), and a wallaby (small kangaroo) beside the road. Some photos.

[»»] 2015, 16 July: Blackheath, Blue Mountains. On Thursday 16 July 2015 my family and I travelled from Leura to Blackheath, a little higher in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, to have lunch with Trish Davies and Carl Harrison-Ford, who had lived in Blackheath for 34 years. They had invited an old friend, Denis Gallagher, and with our daughter Kirsten and her son Henry we made a party of seven, and had a lovely lunch of Lamb Shanks and other delights, with lots of excellent red wine. Some photos from the event.

[»»] 2015, 17 July. On our winter holiday in Leura, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, it snowed overnight, to our surprise and amazement, on my daughter Kirsten’s birthday, 17 July. We woke to a ‘winter wonderland’ where everything was blanketed in ethereal snow: white and wonderful. Our grandson Henry, who remembered Ithaca in upper New York State covered with several feet of snow every winter, was thrilled, as you will see. Lots of photos.

[»»] 2015, 6 October: Some photos taken by John Tranter, at the Poetry Reading at Sappho Books, Cafe and Wine Bar at 51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037, Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday evening 6 October 2015, the sixtieth anniversary of the famous Gallery Six reading in San Francisco that introduced the Beat poets to US audiences, most notoriously Allen Ginsberg and his poem ‘Howl’.

[»»] 2015, 18 July: A launch event (at the Knox Street Bar and Cafe in Chippendale) this afternoon to welcome ‘Out Of Place’, a microlit anthology of stories. A photo of a double fern and a prose poem, ‘Letitia’s lithe limbs’, and lots of photos of writers, from the launch.

[»»] I attended a lovely soirée at Bondi hosted by Luke Fischer and Dalia Nassar, with piano, violin, conversation and lots of excited attendees, on Friday evening 6 November 2015.

[»»] 2016, March: A crepe myrtle tree in Balmain, Sydney.

[»»] 2016: Poets in their Youth: As the English poet William Wordsworth wrote, ‘We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; / But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.’ Lots of photos, mainly by John Tranter, of poets and others in the bloom of youth.