Hear the way these poets use moonlight. According to a delicious detail in Jill Jones’s thirteenth full-length collection, Wild Curious Air (Recent Work Press, $19.95, 76 pp), ‘The moon’s light takes just over a second to reach our faces.’ In the context of meaning, note the length of the sound in the word ‘faces’. Jones affectingly contrasts this second with the light that left a star, centuries ago: ‘Always a past touches us, as this hot January forgets us.’... (read more)
Jennifer Maiden is a great experimenter – in a specific sense. In a 2006 interview in The Age she said: ‘I have always found poetry a useful tool for tactical and ethical problem-solving … I suppose it’s a laboratory for testing out ideas.’ Maiden works from an ethical stance, but not, as some critics and readers have assumed, a facile leftist one (whatever ‘left’ means in the twenty-first century). The poems in this latest book are mainly discursive, and many address political situations, issues and, more specifically, public figures and personae.... (read more)
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 ...... (read more)
This is a playful, intelligent, unsettling series of stories, fourteen of them, collected from publications going back a few decades from 1987 until 2012 as well as, presumably, unpublished work. Due in part to this long span, the book traces back and forth through time. There is even a Sydney pre-Opera House (just) ...... (read more)
The poetic epigraphs that introduce all three sections in Brink, Jill Jones’s tenth full-length poetry collection, are collaged fragments from the poems proper. Moodily, they skirt the edges of what’s to come: ‘I am to proliferate.’ The poems then, in all their multiplicity, evoke and explore being on the brink – of knowing, feeling ...... (read more)
To celebrate the best books of 2017 Australian Book Review invited nearly forty contributors to nominate their favourite titles. Contributors include Michelle de Kretser, Susan Wyndham, James Ley, Geordie Williamson, Jane Sullivan, Tom Griffiths, Mark Edele, and Brenda Niall.... (read more)
Jennifer Maiden’s latest book, The Metronome, is essentially part of a series that could be dated to the appearance of Friendly Fire in 2005 ...... (read more)
Miracles are not like tempests.
Furlongs are not like hedgerows
though they come close ...
Poetry is, usually, shorter, and, in many but not all cases, the lines turn. I've become less attached to prose, especially prose that pretends to 'the poetic'. I'd rather read a book that's prosaic, in the true sense, than a 'poetic' novel. Some prose is poetry, of course, but not because it's poetic. I won't even start on hybrid works.... (read more)
States of Poetry 2016 SA Podcast | 'Memory Lapses and Clues, or Don't Forget to Remember' and 'Bent' by Jill JonesMonday, 16 May 2016
In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Jill Jones reads two poems, 'Memory Lapses and Clues, or Don't Forget to Remember' and 'Bent', which both feature in the 2016 South Australian anthology.... (read more)