Poetry

Mike Ladd reviews 'Available Light'

Mike Ladd
27 January 2013

Facing the first poem in Graeme Kinross-Smith’s new book Available Light is a quote from Margaret Atwood’s Negotiating with the Dead (2002): ‘The mere act of writing splits the self in two.’ When you write, not only are you a writer, but you are your own first and very present reader. Suddenly, all alone at your desk, you have company. The firs ... More

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Prepare the Cabin for Landing'

Peter Kenneally
26 January 2013

In Alan Wearne’s new collection, his not-quite-self-appointed role as chronicler of Australian mora et tempores continues, more overtly than before. Prepare the Cabin for Landing pays homage to the Roman satirist Juvenal and his eighteenth-century heir, Samuel Johnson. Both shared what Wearne describes as ‘that combination of bemusement, annoyance, ... More

Anthony Lynch on Brook Emery's 'Collusion'

Anthony Lynch
27 November 2012

Brook Emery’s opening poem in Collusion is addressed to ‘Dear K’, an address reprised in the last, movingly lyrical poem in this his fourth collection. We might read the intervening poems as a correspondence with ‘K’, this other who halfway through the collection is referred to as ‘my interlocutor, my conscience’. Emery cleverly anticipates and ... More

Geoffrey Lehmann on 'London: A History in Verse'

Geoffrey Lehmann
24 November 2012

For the poet W.S. Graham, running away from Scotland ‘with my money belt of Northern ice’ at the age of nineteen, London was the ‘golden city’ in his poem ‘The Night City’. Graham ‘found Eliot and he said yes // And sprang into a Holmes cab. / Boswell passed me in the fog / Going to visit Whistler who / Was with John Donne …’ For other poets in thi ... More

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Autoethnographic'

Peter Kenneally
26 October 2012

Michael Brennan has looked into the future in his new poetry collection, Autoethnographic, and come to the obligatory dsytopic conclusions. There is global warming, social breakdown, closed airports and borders, and so on, and, of course, a mysteriously catalytic event – in this case it is called The Great Forgetting. It would be a mistake, though, to think ... More

Martin Duwell reviews 'Cumulus: Collected Poems'

Martin Duwell
25 October 2012

Cumulus describes itself as a ‘Collected Poems’, and though it isn’t quite that – far too many good poems from the earlier volumes have been omitted – there is a strong sense of cumulation and self-evaluation about it: it is a lot more than a set of copied contents pages sent to a publisher. And it is satisfying that the result, thanks to the high d ... More

Paul Kane reviews 'Braiding the Voices: Essays in Poetry'

Paul Kane
26 September 2012

Peter Steele once described his teaching and writing as ‘acts of celebration’. He is – and was – quite literally a celebrant: in his role as a Jesuit priest, and as a poet of praise. Those acts of celebration extend to his prose works as well, both his homilies and his literary essays, especial ... More

Geoffrey Lehmann reviews Stephen Edgar's 'New and Selected Poems'

Geoffrey Lehmann
26 September 2012

Stephen Edgar shows us the dazzling pleasures of poetrythat is ‘strictly ballroom’. Some years ago in a Greek restaurant, I was having lunch with Edgar, Martin Harrison, and Robert Gray. My fellow diners began excitedly discussing the finer technical points of a range of verse meters. Edgar said that he had written poems using sprung verse, syllabics, and regula ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'Apollo in George Street'

Geoff Page
25 September 2012

David McKee Wright is a curious figure in Australian poetry – and in New Zealand poetry, for that matter. As editor of the Bulletin’s Red Page from 1916 to 1926, he was a well-liked and -respected figure in his own time (1869–1928), but he has seriously faded since. He is thinly represented in a number of anthologies, both here and in New Zealand, and w ... More

Rose Lucas reviews 'Australian Poetry Journal Volume 2.1'

Rose Lucas
25 September 2012

Australian Poetry Journal, the biannual publication published by Australian Poetry, offers a national focus for poetry and criticism. It includes contributions from established writers and from new voices. All in all, APJ indicates a cheering and cohering centre of gravity for all things poetic in contemporary Australia.

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