Some readers choose a book based on its reputation, the author, or the publishing house. This is certainly true for me. Life is a Drama, Be Calmer by author Tom Stodulka AM, with assistance from Ocean Reeve Publishing, deliver another pocketbook poetry for life that is timely and timeless in nature.
Life is a Drama, Be Calmer takes the reader on a journey into noticing the gift of each present moment. In these precious moments, discoveries of kindness, hope, and resilience are discovered with each poem. The author’s poetry is fuel for the everyday, refreshingly honest and wise.
Tom Stodulka brings to life the everyday encounters of living in uncertain times with COVID 19, providing hope and inspiration for the reader. I highly recommend Life is a Drama, Be Calmer by author Tom Stodulka AM. This Pocketbook is 84 Pages of life-giving elixir to find hope and inspiration in uncertain times.
—Haydn Parsons, author and poet,
—Paul Hogan 2022
Our daughter Kat has chosen Love and its idiosyncrasies for her wedding. We all love it
—Jo Dahlmeier 2022
This lovely poetry book is being read in Napier, Hawkes Bay. Appreciated
—Linda Henderson 2022
Your book is beautiful, and I love the paintings of your father. Thank you. —Siegi Huttner 2022
I got your delightful book! Thanks so much. I am thoroughly enjoying your poems. Poignant, insightful snapshots of a troubled time in our recent history…..And the illustrations are so beautiful. Thank you so much.
—Julie Chalmers November 2022
I am pleased to say your book arrived yesterday. I will be making a cup of tea sitting in a cool breeze while I enjoy some pensive but hopeful reading.
Thank you again
—Maylene Mole 16 November 2022
Poetry from Thomas’ soul. I felt such compassion for us all as I read and I sensed you had a personal investment in cheering up and encouraging as many as read this lovely book. I think you are a great humanitarian Thomas. It is our pleasure to know you.
Ohhhh Tom!!!! I have received the loveliest book from you and this is so very much appreciated! Thank you ever, ever so much. I have it next to my bed and yes, it does calm me. Thank you for thinking of me. Much love sent.
So thrilled to have a copy of Life is a Drama-Be Calmer. Your writing is so important, poignant and hopeful. Thank you! Hope you keep writing.
Tom Stodulka is a fantastic poet. He is a great humanitarian whose style and themes are his own expression of our collective whole. His unbridled passion to explore and understand our mysteries and truths is truly refreshing, revealing, and reassuring. To read Tom’s poetry is like a front row seat—or even a backstage pass—to a level of grace and gratitude to the joys, difficulties and hopes we all experience.
—Justin Bergelin, poet
This companion uplifts as only the poet is able to do. It connects the reader to their soul as it illuminates the author’s. Reading it also opens a door into the hidden depths of the human psyche and offers the rare opportunity to connect with the essence of what it is to be human.
—John Dearn, author
Again, Tom creates hope from the dramas of life, with a timeless message relating to heart's reactions and distractions, natures relentless bane and beauty, and insight into Tom's loved family and people. Generational blessings in each poem to store in your heart, and take on your day ahead, to give away. Or keep.
Tom Stodulka writes his poetry from a very special place. He has lived life and travelled the world enough to know what is important and what is not so important. It reflects in the spirit of his words – sentiments of humanity, humility and hope. When you allow yourself to float calmly on the wisdom of his tide, the path in front of you will most likely contain a lot less drama! Instead, the happiness of a treasured past will merge beautifully into the brightness of a future star and you might even find yourself smiling... and it’s much to do with that special place – the one that inspires him to be hopeful and passionate and kind. The one that beats inside him as he writes his poetry. His heart...
—Rupert McCall OAM
Life is a Drama is a Pandora’s Box. Tom observes the pain of the world and yet his optimistic insistence that we can turn things around through respect, kindness, resilience, and hope is compelling.
—Jen Compton, author
Audiobook Avaliable Now
‘Love of life, places and people is the thread through this beautiful journey. A tour de force of the spirit. Take some time, listen to Tom and your own heart.’
— Ros Baxter —
‘Tom shows profound empathy with his poetic subjects. His poems highlight our vulnerability and guide us to a deeper appreciation of Australia’s diverse peoples and animals as well as their connection and interdependence with our unique weather, flora and landscapes. Life is a Dance also gives us an insight into the author’s mind as he writes about things close to his heart.’
— Jen Compton —
‘I’d be happy to be quoted as saying: ‘Thomas Stodulka writes about real people, authentic feelings, the truths of everyday life. He creates memorable pictures with words that are simultaneously accessible and remarkable. Some poetry is boring; this is not. Some poetry is elusive; this is not. Thomas is a humane poet who takes us on many a voyage and who navigates with beautiful wisdom.’
— John Marsden —
‘Tom’s poems are a beautiful blend of compassion, a search for the meaning of life, and a quest to understand love, loss, loneliness, death and rebirth. He observes the role of luck and synchronicity in the world, eloquently writes about the toughness of life on the land, and longs for rain, as we all do. He writes of the importance of making the most of each moment, of looking up and embracing life now, despite the hardships and heartache. “Try to be Kind” and “That Special Chair” brought tears to my eyes. Tom’s words shine with hard-won wisdom and inspiration.’
— Tanya Heaslip —
I commend you on capturing the essence of the Australian way of life through your writings. I particularly enjoyed reading ‘The Smile’. In these challenging times, there are days we all need that reminder.
— Adrian Schrinner, Lord Mayor —
One of the delights of a Tom Stodulka book of poetry is opening it up at a random page, to be met with another softly-spoken gem. Sometimes about roads, sometimes about flowers, sometimes about ‘life’. Always about the human experience of all of the above.
— Christiaan Willems —
Your words flow from your thoughts down and through your heart to touch us all. I deeply admire your work and the depth of your compassion and care for people.
— Susan Lett —
I love every page. The poem about kindness especially.
— Chico Wilson —
Life, love, and work intertwine with nature in a unique series of poems. No matter what the day to day challenges are, as life unfolds from youth to almost three score & 10, Tom Stodulka tries to face each day with positivity. Journey with Tom through tales of Australian life, discover local flora and fauna and learn from his experiences in his work as a mediator. Tom shares his deep appreciation of nature, his passion for his work and takes the reader on a journey through life.
Tom was born in Bathurst, NSW in 1951, in one of Australia’s post WW11 refugee camps, a huge improvement on the UN Displaced Person’s Camp in Naples where his brother Andrea was born. After some intense cross border encounters in Germany, Switzerland and Holland, his parents Zdeny and Philomena had fled Czechoslovakia in 1947 and were ordered to travel by train to Naples, where life was no picnic to say the least.
Tom’s early formative years were spent in Parramatta and after being educated at the King’s School and North Sydney Boys’ High he studied law at Sydney University, where he won an Australia-Britain Society scholarship, which took him on an overseas study tour.
In 1976 he joined the Royal Australian Navy as a naval legal officer and served in most Australian States and in the United States during the 1990-91 Gulf War, after a short stint in Pakistan and the Khyber Pass. After 20 years in the Australian Military he established a full-time career as a mediator and facilitator, practising throughout Australia, including the Northern Territory, where he was the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, before settling in Brisbane in 2002.
An early pioneer of mediation and alternative dispute resolution and mentored by the late Sir Laurence Street, he has promoted its benefits both here in Australia and overseas. Tom is accredited internationally in India, PNG, Hong Kong and NZ and has promoted mediation across Vietnam in recent years. In 2019 he was honored to receive the Australasian Mediator of the Year award.
Tom has been fortunate to have enormous support from his parents and his loving wife Janet and three children. This along with the great support from many friends and colleagues across the country has played a major role in shaping him every step of the way.
Growing up in a refugee household, where English was a second language to German, had its challenges and benefits. Assimilation was the order of the day and resilience and unimaginable strength and sacrifice shown by his parents and his grandmother created a unique background and environment. At prep school he struggled with his English essays and often his mother stepped in to help, despite her own challenges learning a new language. Being a contemporary of the author John Marsden helped to inspire Tom years later, to try his hand at writing.
Tom was always a happy child, able to keep up a positive disposition, despite the many home pressures and stresses of day to day life. His father was a successful Sydney artist and Tom played a major role in the management and promotion of the cottage industry which contributed to helping pay the prohibitive school fees. The early exposure to the arts and artistic endeavour provided a strong and enduring legacy. Finally, in 1976 whilst at sea in the Pacific Ocean with the Navy he wrote his first poem and found a way to express his own artistic creativity.
Life is a Dance is his second book of poems and incorporates his first book Storm Clouds and Silver Linings-My Journey which was launched in 2018 and had its third re-print, due to its success.