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Michael Aiken

Dead cetacean sunk so deep

no shark will eat it,

carcass slipped to the abyss where giant isopods

– pillbugs half a metre long –

feast for decades on oil and ambergris,


amongst ghostly hagfish and the treachery of Bobbit worms

feeding through the corpse…

Closeup of a Black Dog

Michael Aiken is a grateful four-time recipient of a unique & delightful child.

He is a graduate of the University of Wollongong's undergraduate program in Writing and also completed honours in English Literature at UNE, with a thesis investigating interactions between built and organic environments in the poetry of contemporary US poet August Kleinzahler.

He is neurodiverse and has successfully applied that strength to a 13 year career in the NSW security industry, before switching to strategic communications in health and education.

Since 2019 he has been the owner and manager of Garden Lounge Creative Space, a specialist poetry bookstore and licenced cafe in Newtown, Sydney.

He is the author of two collections of poetry - A Vicious Example (GPP 2014), which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Kenneth Slessor Prize for poetry, and The Little Book of Sunlight and Maggots (UWA 2019). In 2016 he was awarded the inaugural Australian Book Review Laureate's Fellowship in order to write his verse novel Satan Repentant (UWA 2018), under the mentorship of David Malouf.

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