Accessibility Tools

  • Content scaling 100%
  • Font size 100%
  • Line height 100%
  • Letter spacing 100%

Misbah Wolf

Ragged Disclosures by Paul Hetherington & Dancing with Stephen Hawking by John Foulcher

March 2023, no. 451

Paul Hetherington’s Ragged Disclosures (Recent Work Press, $19.95 pb, 112 pp) choreographs its prose poems carefully, which is unsurprising from the co-author and co-editor, respectively, of a scholarly book on prose poetry and Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (both 2020). His new collection employs a lyric-dramatic mode, which Fernando Pessoa described as ‘lyric poetry put into the mouths of different characters’. It features a ‘he’ and a ‘she’ with a ‘shared / Australian vernacular’, in a long, glancing dialogue. These appear most direct in nine ‘Ragged Disclosures’, each comprising three square poems which are bordered and interlinked. ‘Ragged Disclosures 1’ offers a clue to the text: ‘Their ragged / intersections make an unjoined, / searching rapport.’  The poems between these seem to represent this ‘searching rapport’ through shared experience in Rome, Venice, and various other locales, with pronominal shifts to ‘I,’ ‘we’, and ‘you’.

... (read more)