- poet -
Life, love and work intertwine with nature and a unique series of poems, in Tom’s revised edition of his successful book of poetry. No matter what the day-to-day challenges are, as life unfolds, Tom shows us—through his poetry—that life is about enjoying what we can in every single moment.
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 shows the reader how to remember, that life is a dance, not a journey.
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‘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 Stodulka in the media
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.
ALL ORIGINAL ARTWORKS FROM ZDENY STODULKA