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Arc Publications

Snake Like Charms by Amanda Joy & The Herring Lass by Michelle Cahill

June-July 2017, no. 392

Michelle Cahill and Amanda Joy have produced two engaging and proficient collections of poetry. In their different ways, each revels in worlds of perception, imagination, and poetic craft.

Amanda Joy’s first full-length collection, Snake Like Charms comes out of UWAP’s new poetry series and marks the emergence of an important voice in Australian ...

Selected Poems from Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire, translated by Jan Owen

January-February 2016, no. 378

The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du mal, 1857) is the most celebrated and most influential collection of verse in the history of modern French poetry. Its author, Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), is seen as the embodiment of a sensibility we regard as 'modern'. T.S. Eliot called him 'the greatest exemplar of modern poetry in any language'.

Ba ...

Katherine Gallagher, who has lived in London since the 1970s, has now published six books of poetry, all but two of them with British or American publishers. This book selects poems from her earlier books, together with twelve new poems. As a whole, it gives the sense of a writer’s development over a period of thirty-five years, with some slight shifts of style over that time.

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Circus-Apprentice by Katherine Gallagher

May 2007, no. 291

Katherine Gallagher’s is a poetry of small spaces and objects, tiny hollows of memory that momentarily glow, incandescent, in the imagination: ‘knotted roots / reaching down into the riverbed’, ‘faces mottled in eucalyptus shade’, that place ‘beside the pond, in foaming clusters / creamy flowers of meadowsweet; / and there’s goatsbeard (‘jack-go-to-bed-at-noon’) / bird’s-foot trefoil, majoram and reeds.’ These latter lines are from the poem ‘Summer Odyssey (Railway Fields, for D.B.)’, an occasional poem for a small piece of land ‘Between Green Lane and the New River’s / four hundred-year-old waterway’. The poet spins from the ordinary and the overlooked a world of intricacy and quiet sensual power.=

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Peter Porter, in his introduction to John Kinsella’s new collection, notes that ‘we are all familiar with the surface details of American life. Kinsella does not have to footnote his poem: we recognise his instances immediately … We all speak American.’ Given that Kinsella now lives and works in the United States, Porter also identifies ‘the disillusion at seeing a great exemplar close up’ as one likely catalyst behind the poetic polemic that constitutes this book. Yet it is the surface, the broad impressionistic sweep that we in Australia have absorbed over decades of exposure to American life in our newspapers, magazines, television programmes and popular music, with which Kinsella often engages. One senses that the poet, whether up close or at a distance, would find much about the United States with which to take issue. Nevertheless, his engagement with, and rupturing of, surface in this long poem, or sequence of poems, seems apt. Kinsella smatters the text with allusions to film (ranging from the Marx brothers to Carrie), popular music (George Gershwin to Jefferson Airplane) and numerous other trappings of American life. In doing so, he takes popular culture’s immersion in artifice and turns it against itself.

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