Anders Villani

Anders Villani

Anders Villani holds an MFA from the University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where he received the Delbanco Prize for poetry. His first full-length collection, Aril Wire, was released in 2018 by Five Islands Press. A PhD candidate at Monash University, he lives in Melbourne.

Anders Villani reviews 'Pyre' by Maureen Alsop

August 2022, no. 445 28 July 2022
Anders Villani reviews 'Pyre' by Maureen Alsop
‘Every sacred language,’ writes Octavio Paz, ‘is secret. And conversely: every secret language … borders on the sacred.’ In the liminal Pyre, poet Maureen Alsop traverses – and erodes – this secret/sacred border, which is also the border of life and death, ‘the valley between our language’ (‘North Channel’). Each of the book’s section titles is a variation on ‘Selenomancy ... (read more)

Anders Villani reviews 'Running time' by Emily Stewart and 'Inheritance' by Nellie Le Beau

June 2022, no. 443 25 May 2022
Anders Villani reviews 'Running time' by Emily Stewart and 'Inheritance' by Nellie Le Beau
The lyric subject, literature’s most intimate ‘I’, has vexed critics for centuries. Is it the poet? Is it a fiction, a device? Or is the relation between author and speaker, as Jonathan Culler suggests, ‘indeterminate’, such that ‘any model … that attempts to fix or prescribe that relationship will be inadequate’? Two new award-winning Australian poetry collections offer fine-grain ... (read more)

'Deer Knife', a poem by Anders Villani

April 2022, no. 441 23 March 2022
When life hides behind the mulch     of what lives, can they expect more                    than this refusal to hold each other in the open? Lemongrass floss between molars,     you wish for foxes. You tell me you don’t wish for them    &nbs ... (read more)

Anders Villani reviews 'How to Make a Basket' by Jazz Money, 'Bees Do Bother: An Antagonist’s Carepack' by Ann Vickery, and 'The Open' by Lucy Van

November 2021, no. 437 25 October 2021
Good poetry uncovers the secret in the manifest, and the manifest in the secret. Three new collections throw this paradox into vibrant, unsettling relief. Each book deserves a broad readership. Each beats back the lethargic thinking that has invaded society under the cover of the pandemic. How to Make A Basket by Jazz Money University of Queensland Press, $24.99 pb, 136 pp Two poems in Jazz Mone ... (read more)

Anders Villani reviews 'Prose Poetry: An introduction' by Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton

May 2021, no. 431 26 April 2021
Anders Villani reviews 'Prose Poetry: An introduction' by Paul Hetherington and Cassandra Atherton
It speaks volumes that almost a century and a half after Baudelaire’s Paris Spleen announced the modern prose poem, James Longenbach influentially defined poetry as ‘the sound of language organized in lines’. An otherness, bordering on illegitimacy, pervades what Cassandra Atherton and Paul Hetherington argue is ‘the most important new poetic form to emerge in English-language poetry since ... (read more)

'Marlin', a new poem by Anders Villani

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
A boy appears at school earlyto lick the flagpole and speak different.Scratch the ‘g’ from ‘listening’ like the girl he watcheshang her beaded bagfrom the hook with all the grace he doesn’t know he heaps upon her.At recess, the boy eats a golden delicious,seed and stem. Each instant a northswept southerner in Nonna’s stories, losing dialect.Kids jigsaw around him; he stays stillfast ... (read more)

Anders Villani reviews 'Cadaver Dog' by Luke Best, 'Thorn' by Todd Turner, and 'Some Sketchy Notes on Matter' by Angela Gardner

December 2020, no. 427 25 November 2020
In 1795, Friedrich Schiller wrote: ‘So long as we were mere children of nature, we were both happy and perfect; we have become free, and have lost both.’ For Schiller, it was the poet’s task to ‘lead mankind … onward’ to a reunification with nature, and thereby with the self. Central to Romantic thought, reimaginings like Schiller’s of Christian allegory, in which (European) humans ... (read more)

Anders Villani reviews 'Tilt' by Kate Lilley

October 2020, no. 425 24 September 2020
Anders Villani reviews 'Tilt' by Kate Lilley
‘Even if truth be drawn from the work,’ writes Maurice Blanchot, ‘the work overruns it, takes it back into itself to bury and hide it.’ This strange, poetic movement to conceal what is manifest brings to mind another statement, by the psychiatrist and author Judith Herman: ‘The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic ... (read more)