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 helps shape such a tenuous concept. Admittedly, the theme serves primarily as a useful frame through which to enter two starkly different works. All the same, Aitken and Allen’s books prove rewardingly immersive and surprisingly complex in the different ways in which they handle their speakers’ desire for understanding in the crowded spaces of their poetry.
David Dick reviews 'Archipelago' by Adam Aitken and 'Present' by Elizabeth Allen
by Adam Aitken
Vagabond Press, $24.95 pb, 112 pp, 9781922181947
by Elizabeth Allen
Vagabond Press, $24.95 pb, 112 pp, 9781922181848
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
David Dick has recently finished a PhD on John Ashbery's poetry at Monash University
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.