Most Popular

Book of the Week

Poetry

New and Selected Poems by J.S. Harry

J.S. Harry and her lapin alter ego, Peter Henry Lepus, would assuredly have had ‘words to say’ about the war in Ukraine and its manufacture by a group of human beings. Peter, a Wittgensteinian, would have pondered hard the nature of the war ‘games’ that preceded use of arms: games in which each ‘move’ was a crafted piece of language and (dis)information, known as ‘intelligence’ or ‘diplomacy’, but where the ‘endgame’ and ‘stakes’ would involve the disposition of human flesh and blood. ‘The dead do not have a world ... / A human’s world is language: “logic” & “words”, Peter thinks’ (‘After the Fall of Baghdad’).

Interview

Interview

Interview

From the Archive

December 1988, no. 107

A Radical Life: The autobiography of Russel Ward by Russel Ward

What would you like to know? Doc Evatt’s on-the-­spot explanation of why he wrote to Molotov? Archbishop Mannix’s response to Cardinal Spellman’s claim on the papacy? The particular pleasure derived from small boys by the headmaster of Geelong Grammar Junior School? How a knowledge of Urdu maintained the Hands off Indonesia blockade? What Malcolm Ellis said to Charles Currey when the lift opened? All those delights and more tumble out of Russel Ward’s autobiography.

From the Archive

October 2012, no. 345

Selected Poems 1975–2010 by Ken Bolton & Four Poems by Ken Bolton

Ken Bolton has published twenty books of poetry in the past thirty-five years, including a verse novel, The Circus (2010), and an earlier Selected Poems (1992), as well as seven often hilarious poetic collaborations with John Jenkins. An art critic, Bolton edited the seminal magazines Magic Sam and Otis Rush; and he has been a publisher with Sea Cruise and Little Esther Books. Bolton’s poems amusingly undermine any sense of affected certainty or closure – ‘with none of the confidence / of Samuel Johnson, // with none of the élan of Frank O’Hara, / with only a guilty and apprehensive grin // because in part / I belong to the school that says // if you see a leg pull it // I begin this tour of my attitudes ...’ (‘Lecture: Untimely Meditations (Tentative Title)’). Rather, his work is buoyed by indeterminacy, in which a blithe surface both collapses and embodies intellectual enquiry, most apparent in his spacious, extended poems, but also in more descriptive ones, such as ‘Kirkman Guide to the Bars of Europe’, from Sly Mongoose (2011), and one not included here, ‘Happy Accidents’, which unravels his influences. ‘Perhaps my oeuvre in / large part represents / a slur on the poetry of my betters – / whose example / allows me to go wandering off, / by the reeds, ankle deep / in mud, / mumbling inconsequently – / somehow ‘licensed’ by them, / by their example – / though heedless of it?’ (‘Poem (Up Late)’).

From the Archive

Recent Issues