Des Cowley reviews 'Axis, Book 1' by a.j. carruthers

Des Cowley reviews 'Axis, Book 1' by a.j. carruthers

Axis, Book 1: ‘Areal’

by by a.j. carruthers

Vagabond Press, $25 pb, 204 pp, 9781922181329

With Axis, his first full-length publication, a.j. carruthers explicitly aligns himself with the lineage of the long poem. It is a bold move, if we consider that the major exponents of the form, from Ezra Pound to Anne Waldman, had invariably produced significant bodies of work prior to embarking on their poetic marathons. But ambition is fundamental to the long poem, and Axis, comprising thirty-one extended sequences and billed as ‘Book the first’, certainly outstrips Pound’s inaugural efforts – a mere sixteen Cantos issued in 1925 – by a country mile.

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Des Cowley

Des Cowley

Des Cowley is the History of the Book Manager at State Library Victoria. He is co-curator of the Library’s permanent exhibition Mirror of the World: Books and Ideas and co-author of The World of the Book, published by Melbourne University Press in 2007.
Published in March 2015, no. 369

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