Ross Donlon

Award winning Australian poet Ross Donlon lived in Norway as a young man and returned years later to enjoy residencies at Kunstnahuset Messen, in Ålvik on Hardangerfjord.

Writing on Wild Water

One hundred tanka about swimming in Hardangerfjord 

Wriiting on Wild Water is a sequence of 100 tanka, the short Japanese poem made in English as a 5 line, 31 syllable poem counting 5/7/5/7/7. I like to think of the form as ‘writing inside the box.’

The poems tell a story of a man travelling from Australia to Hardangerfjord in Western Norway to swim in the ‘wild water’ of the local fjord before returning home.

 This term has become well known among swimmers who feel the benefit, both physically and mentally, of swimming in nature in cold water. At home in Castlemaine, Australia, I swim in the local reservoir most mornings of the year, and often in the evening and at night in summer.

Coming to Messen, the artists’ house in Alvik I began swimming daily with friends Ingrid Passmans and Joanna Rotkin in all weathers. It was an exhilarating experience.

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To be continued ..

September 2022
Ross and Bjørn Otto are working a a new song together. It's coming up soon.
Song title:
Soldier Without a Gun