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Mike Ladd

Mike Ladd

Mike Ladd lives and writes in Adelaide and is the author of ten collections of poetry and prose. He worked for ABC radio for nearly forty years and for two decades was the presenter and co-ordinating producer of Poetica on Radio National. His Now Then: New and Selected Poems is due out from Wakefield Press in 2024.

Mike Ladd reviews ‘Non-Essential Work’ by Omar Sakr

May 2024, no. 464 22 April 2024
The title of Omar Sakr’s latest collection references the Covid pandemic and comes from his prose poem ‘Diary of a Non-Essential Worker’. It also reminded me of Plato’s banning of the poets from his ideal republic, and Auden’s line that ‘poetry makes nothing happen’. Throughout Non-Essential Work, Sakr explores the limits of poetry and its function in society, questioning the value o ... (read more)

Mike Ladd reviews '1953' by Geoff Page

March 2013, no. 349 08 March 2013
Geoff Page’s 1953 is set in the town of Eurandangee, which, we learn, is about 650 kilometres north-west of Sydney. There are other locators: the river, with its governor’s name, reduced now to a string of pools, uncertain where to go; a double shine of railway line tracking in and stopping. The river proves to be the Darling and, by my calculation, Eurandangee (if it existed) would be som ... (read more)

Mike Ladd reviews 'Available Light' by Graeme Kinross-Smith

February 2013, no. 348 27 January 2013
Facing the first poem in Graeme Kinross-Smith’s new book Available Light is a quote from Margaret Atwood’s Negotiating with the Dead (2002): ‘The mere act of writing splits the self in two.’ When you write, not only are you a writer, but you are your own first and very present reader. Suddenly, all alone at your desk, you have company. The first section of Kinross-Smith’s book focuses no ... (read more)

Mike Ladd reviews 'Asymmetry' by Aidan Coleman

September 2012, no. 344 28 August 2012
In July 2007, at the age of thirty-one, Aidan Coleman suffered a stroke as a result of a brain tumour. Asymmetry is a book in two parts. The first details the poet’s survival after this near-death experience, his struggle to regain full use of his body and to speak and write again. The second part is a group of love poems for his wife, Leana. ... (read more)