Australian Poetry

Jennifer Maiden’s first books, Tactics (1974) and The Problem of Evil (1975), introduced a fantastically complex and enquiring poetry, with strangely fragmentary assemblages of character wrought from conflict. Both books were partly inspired by television’s gory nightly footage of the Vietnam War ...

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A few pages into this collection we read the line: ‘all of it is lies’. ‘It’ signals the irritation that motivates much of Pam Brown’s writing in click here for what we do. Memory, in these poems, is a problem. Brown’s is very much a poetry of movement: she desires to stay light and mobile, not to be detained by memory ...

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Hard Horizons by Geoff Page & The Left Hand Mirror by Ron Pretty

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June-July 2018, no. 402

I have no idea if Pitt Street Poetry is located in Pitt Street, in the centre of Sydney’s CBD, but it has certainly made itself central to poetry publishing in Australia. Its list includes such fine poets as Eileen Chong, John Foulcher, Jean Kent, and Anthony Lawrence; that reputation will be added to by these books from Geoff Page ...

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There is a shimmering, ludic intelligence to this collection of poems, Philip Mead’s first since 1984. The word ‘comeback’ is apt, with its grace note of gladness for renewed possibilities. Opening any new work, the anticipation is acute: will I be changed by reading this, and if so, how? What might I think, feel, or recognise ...

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Archipelago by Adam Aitken & Present by Elizabeth Allen

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May 2018, no. 401

Both Adam Aitken’s Archipelago and Elizabeth Allen’s Present examine the establishment and mutability of identity in the worlds of objects, histories, literature, and media in which they place their speakers. Of course, the exploration of identity is a common theme of poetry, particularly as it pertains to how the material of language ...

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Domestic Interior by Fiona Wright & The Tiny Museums by Carolyn Abbs

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May 2018, no. 401

The classic lyric preoccupation with interiority, and how internal life touches and changes the outside world, finds expression in two recent collections of poetry: Fiona Wright’s ...

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ending on a line by John Burnside

No one on the boats, just cats – thin, furtive.
There’s the blown cry of terns and the wheedling
embarkations of crows, but you will not slip

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1.
‘My new persona helped me to make money,’ says the streamer,
but cruel and petty, unhoped for ideal like a hovercraft shimmers
behind a definition of a chair ...

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Interval by Judith Bishop

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April 2018, no. 400

Judith Bishop’s Interval appears just over a decade since the publication of her first book, also using a one-word title, Event (Salt, 2007). This gap seems far too long. Certainly, there have been two chapbooks in the intervening years – Alice Missing in Wonderland and Other Poems (2008), in the Wagtail series ...

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ABR is pleased to present the shortlist for the 2021 Peter Porter Poetry Prize, which this year received a record field of 1,329 entries from thirty-three different countries. Congratulations to those who reached the shortlist: Danielle Blau, Sara M. Saleh, Jazz Money, Raisa Tolchinsky, and Y.S. Lee.

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