kangaroo grass

 

ramayana puppet
                     angled, spare

you gesture with sharp fingers
                    beckoning insistent

eloquent as a mime artist
                   nodding your body

to shadows in weak light
                   each seed head pared

you lure the breeze
                   tethering sky to earth

a binding
                   that is pure theatre

Adrienne Eberhard

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Winter' by Adrienne Eberhard
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems

Without bucket or spade we build
the sandcastle, dragging and gathering
piling and patting our little Camelot.
I excavate a moat, shape a drawbridge,
a sloping road leading to the keep,
while you look for shells to decorate
the edifice, or so I thought, the way we'd
done last holiday some months ago.
But this time you have another purpose:
instead of rendering the fort
silently intent you bury your trove
beneath the road; push fans and whorls
and spirals deep inside the solid mound,
your busy fingers smooth the surface
concealing wonder beneath the bland
façade. It is no aberration.
You run to collect more; again and again
you bury your haul deep within,
as if approaching four years old
you already know the maker's secret;
the way charged moments sink
from the world to be saved in the dark
protected as a scallop in the shell
the shell within the sandy walls.
The next stage of delight is to uncover
to see again unearthed the treasure
and recognise the prompting gift
for what it is; to clean and polish
and make new. I watch you brush away
the grit and know you have begun
the necessary long apprenticeship
that journey of perpetual discovery
and re-discovery, by which
the delicate, fragile, pilgrim self
pursues its becoming process
and graduates to be an artisan
of other castles in paint or ink or stone,
knowing they all begin and end in air.

Adrian Caesar

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  • Custom Article Title 'Shell Burial' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poems


Jen CrawfordJen Crawford's recent poetry is collected in the book Koel (Cordite Books, 2016) and the chapbook Lichen Loves Stone (Tinfish Press, 2015). Earlier works include Admissions (Five Islands Press, 2000) and Bad Appendix (Titus Books, 2008). Jen was born in Patea, Aotearoa New Zealand, and was raised in Aotearoa and in the Philippines. She moved to Australia in 1994, eventually earning a PhD in Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. She recently returned to Australia after five years in Singapore, where she was the founding coordinator of NTU's Creative Writing Program, and she now writes and teaches within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research at the University of Canberra.

State Editor's notes

'Jen Crawford is ... a colleague at the University of Canberra, though she is a recent addition to the Canberra community. Her poetry includes various experimental moves and techniques, and her gentle but incisive poems provide a sense of air and space in their phrasing and in their lineation.' writes ABR's States of Poetry - ACT State Editor Jen Webb. Read her full States of Poetry introduction here.

Jen Crawford's notes on her States of Poetry selection

The sources for 'abandoned house music' include David Quammen's 1998 essay, 'Planet of Weeds', which imagines Earth ecology into and beyond mass extinction. The poem enters this territory too, via Christmas Island, under the sign of the koel, the 'nest-thief'. 'Lopping' is made of material cut from a report. 'Reshelve' draws from language gathered around Thai floods, Singapore's 'Penguingate' controversy and the pseudactaeon fly as a fire-ant control measure. 'did, have' is a travel journal, much of which was composed from conversations heard in London, Paris, and Palmerston North. 'Abandoned house music' and 'reshelve' appear in the chapbook lichen loves stone (Tinfish Press, 2015) and the book Koel (Cordite Books, 2016). 'Did, have' was published in the chapbook Napoleon Swings (Soapbox Press, 2009).

States of Poetry

did, have

extracts from 'abandoned house music’

‘lopping’

‘reshelve’

‘umbrella’

Recording

#64 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | Extracts from 'abandoned house music' by Jen Crawford

#65 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'lopping' by Jen Crawford

#66 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'reshelve' by Jen Crawford

Further reading and links

Jen Crawford at Cordite Books

Jen Crawford at Jacket2

Jen Crawford at Tinfish Press

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  • Custom Article Title About Jen Crawford | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets


Jeanine LeaneJeanine Leane is a Wiradjuri scholar from south-west New South Wales. She currently holds a Discovery Indigenous Fellowship at the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Australian National University. In 2010, after a long career as a secondary and tertiary educator, she completed a doctoral thesis that analysed three iconic settler representations of Aboriginal Australians. Jeanine's first volume of poetry, Dark Secrets After Dreaming: AD 1887–1961 (2010) won the Scanlon Prize for Indigenous Poetry from the Australian Poets' Union. Her manuscript Purple Threads won the David Unaipon Award at the 2010 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards and was shortlisted for the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize and the 2012 Victorian Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing.

State Editor's notes

'Jeanine Leane brings a clear eye and narrative strength to a body of work that has a strong political edge. Her poems mix irony and humour with anger to generate a powerful reminder of the impact on indigenous Australia of the invasion and settlement of this land just over two centuries ago,' writes ABR's States of Poetry - ACT State Editor Jen Webb. Read her full States of Poetry introduction here.

Jeanine Leane on what drives her poetry

The Aunties who raised me, their stories of people and Country, and the resilience of Aboriginal people inspire me. Activism and the pressing need to correct this nation's history to include and continue to include the voices and experiences of Aboriginal Australians is the driving force behind my work. I believe that all Aboriginal writing is political and that poetry is an excellent medium to express untold and repressed histories of my people.

States of Poetry

'Cardboard Incarceration'

'Colour of Massacre'

'Lady Mungo Speaks'

'On Cannibals'

'Whitefellas'

Recordings

#38 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'Lady Mungo Speaks' and 'Whitefellas' by Jeanine Leane

Further reading and links

Jeanine Leane on ‘Writing Landscapes’ on the NLA website

'Sunrise Sunset in Yangshou' in  Peril: Asian-Australian Arts and Culture, Edition 22 – Like Black on Rice (2015)

'Historyless People' in Long History Deep Time: Deepening Histories of Place, edited by Ann McGrath and Marianne Jebb, Australian National University e-Press, Canberra, 2015

'Home Talk' in Ngapartji Ngapartji:In turn in turn: Ego Histoire in Europe and Indigenous Australia, edited by Vanessa Castejon, Anna Cole, Oliver Haag and Karen Hughes, ANU Press (2014)

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  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets


Sarah RiceSarah Rice won the 2014 Ron Pretty Poetry Award and the 2014 Bruce Dawe poetry prize; co-won the 2011 Gwen Harwood; and was placed third in the 2014 FAW Shoalhaven Literary Awards. She was also shortlisted in the 2014 ACU, 2014 Axel Clark, 2013 Montreal, 2013 Tom Howard, 2013 Jean Cecily Drake-Brockman, 2011 CJ Dennis and 2011 Michael Thwaites poetry awards. Her limited-edition, art-book of poetry Those Who Travel (prints by Patsy Payne, Ampersand Duck 2010), is held in the National Gallery of Australia and other institutions and libraries. Publications include the Global Poetry Anthology 2013, Award Winning Australian Writing and Best Australian Poetry 2012, Long Glances: A Snapshot of new Australian Poetry 2013, The House is Not Quiet and the World is Not Calm: Poetry from Canberra, Island, Southerly, Contrappasso, and Australian Poetry Journal.

State Editor's notes

'Sarah Rice is a visual artist and a philosopher as well as a poet, and those other practices emerge in her poetry. Her works are filled with verve and colour, and tackle bold and complex ideas in a language that delights the ear through its playful use of words, its lists, and its dense language,' writes ABR's States of Poetry - ACT State Editor Jen Webb. Read her full States of Poetry introduction here.

Sarah Rice's notes on her States of Poetry selection

First up I want to flag my love of words – in all their roundness and edginess, their text, texture, taste, and tenor. I love that feeling of a poem as a place where words come together to meet and greet – or as Judith Wright so eloquently puts it in 'Nameless Flower': 'word and word are chosen and met.'

I am particularly interested in the saying of poetry, as in 'The Saying and the Said', which was influenced by my reading of Levinasian philosophy – the idea of expression as a reaching out towards an Other. The weight of words and the warmth of words, as well as the silences ('Song of Gratitude') are all important to me.

Another critical influence is the effect my parents had on my poetic sensibility as well as on my life as a whole. 'Self-reliance', 'The Saying and the Said', and 'Climbing' are all part of what I like to think of as a series called 'what my ma taught me' – i.e. lessons to live by, and the difficulties one faces in living well – for instance, the struggle over how to set one's sights – what perspective to take, how long a view, and from what angle ('Climbing'). And of course, as seen in the ode to my father ('Dad'), the many joys he passed on to me, as well as the multitudinous small activities that make a man.

To conclude, it is really to 'small things' that I owe much of my poetry – each tiny artefact in the Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG) that inspired 'Song of Gratitude', and the small daily routines and rituals expressed in 'Self-reliance' that mark each small step we take in our climb through life.

States of Poetry

'Climbing'

'Dad'

'Self-reliance'

'Song of gratitude'

'The Saying and the Said'

Recordings

#37 States of Poetry 2016 ACT Podcast | 'The Saying and The Said' and 'Dad' by Sarah Rice

Further reading and links

Sarah Rice's 'Poet of the Month' feature on the Poem and Dish blog

'Yawn' on Tuesday Poem blogspot (October 2015) selected by guest editor Jennifer Compton

'Piecemeal' on Tuesday poem blogspot (August 2015) selected by P.S. Cottier

Recorded interview and reading of 'Last Week' winner of the Bruce Dawe Poetry Prize at USQ (September 2014). See here for interview with Dr Jessica Gildersleeve and poetry reading

Reading of 'Yawn' - shortlisted in Montreal Poetry Prize

Those Who Travel, limited-edition artist-book of poetry, with prints by Patsy Payne, published independently by Ampersand Duck.

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  • Custom Article Title About Sarah Rice | States of Poetry ACT - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets


Amy BrownAmy Brown is a New Zealand poet, novelist and teacher who has lived in Melbourne for seven years. In 2012 she completed a PhD on contemporary epic poetry at the University of Melbourne. Her first collection of poetry, The Propaganda Poster Girl, was shortlisted at the 2009 New Zealand Book Awards. Her latest book, a contemporary epic poem titled The Odour of Sanctity was published in 2013. She is also the author of Pony Tales, a series of four children's novels published by HarperCollins.

States of Poetry

'Cranes'

'Experiment'

'Fear'

'Luck'

'Map'

'Snake'

Recordings

States of Poetry 2016 VIC Podcast | 'Snake' by Amy Brown

Further reading and links

Amy Brown's author page at Cordite Poetry Review

Amy Brown's Victoria University Press author page

Amy Brown's author page on NZ Poetry Shelf website

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  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2016 - Victoria | About Amy Brown
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets


Head shot 2A. Frances Johnson is a writer and artist, and a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. Her novel Eugene's Falls (Arcadia 2007) mapped the life of Australian colonial painter Eugene von Guerard. Her poetry collections are The Pallbearer's Garden (Whitmore Press 2008) and The Wind-up Birdman of Moorabool Street (Puncher and Wattmann 2012). Her awards include the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and the Griffith University Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize. A new collection, Rendition for Harp and Kalashnikov, is forthcoming (Puncher and Wattmann). An academic monograph, Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage, was published by Rodopi in late 2015.

States of Poetry

'Australian awe:white guys on life and art before 1788 '

'Diary of an Anti-elegist'

'Sea Level'

'Shrine'

'The Book of Interdictions'

Recording

#48 States of Poetry 2016 VIC Podcast | Three poems from 'The Book of Interdictions' by A. Frances Johnson

Further reading and links

A. Frances Johnson's blog

A. Frances Johnson's author page on Cordite Poetry Review

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title States of Poetry 2016 - Victoria | About A. Frances Johnson
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets

Stuart Barnes UQP smallerStuart Barnes was born in Hobart in 1977; Gwen Harwood befriended him in the late-1980s. Since 2013 he has been poetry editor for Tincture Journal. In 2014 he was named runner-up in the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and co-judged the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards: Poetry. In 2015 Glasshouses (University of Queensland Press, 2016) won the Thomas Shapcott Prize and he performed at Queensland Poetry and Brisbane Writers Festivals at the invitation of their directors. His poems have been published widely, anthologised, exhibited, and shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize 2009 and 2010.

States of Poetry

'Black Cockatoos'

'Deep Sea Love'

'Fingal Valley'

'Horus and Set'

'Moon–

Further reading and links

Stuart Barnes's website

Matt Hetherington interviews Stuart Barnes for Mascara Literary Review

Stuart Barnes's poetry at Seizure Online

Stuart Barnes's poetry at Cordite Poetry Review

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  • Custom Article Title About Stuart Barnes | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets
  • Custom Highlight Text Stuart Barnes was born in Hobart in 1977. Since 2013 he has been poetry editor for Tincture Journal.

Holland-Batt author photo 2014 smaller

Sarah Holland-Batt was born in Southport, Queensland, and grew up in Australia and the United States. She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, the W.G. Walker Memorial Fulbright Scholarship, and an Australia Council Literature Residency at the B.R. Whiting Studio in Rome, among other honours. Her first book, Aria, received several literary prizes, including the Anne Elder Award, the Arts ACT Judith Wright Poetry Prize and the Thomas Shapcott Prize, and was shortlisted in both the New South Wales and Queensland Premiers' Literary Awards. Her second book, The Hazards, was published by the University of Queensland Press in May 2015. She presently lives in Brisbane, where she is a Senior Lecturer at QUT, and the poetry editor of Island magazine.

States of Poetry

'February Snow'

'Lapis Lazuli'

'Mackerel'

'Quetzalcoatl'

'Treecreeper'

Recordings

#40 States of Poetry 2016 QLD Podcast | 'Quetzalcoatl' by Sarah Holland-Batt

Further reading and links

Sarah Holland-Batt's website

Recording of poem 'O California' on the New Yorker website

Cassandra Atherton reviews The Hazards by Sarah Holland-Batt in the October 2015 issue of Australian Book Review

Sarah Holland-Batt's poems and reviews at Cordite Poetry Review

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title About Sarah Holland-Batt | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets
  • Custom Highlight Text Sarah Holland-Batt was born in Southport, Queensland, and grew up in Australia and the United States. She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell colonies, the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, the W.G. Walker Memorial Fulbright Scholarship, and an Australia Council Literature Residency at the B.R. Whiting Studio in Rome, among other honours.

MTC 8FEB07 143 smaller

MTC Cronin has published twenty books (poetry, prose poems, and essays) including a collection jointly written with the Australian poet, Peter Boyle. Her work has won and been shortlisted for many major literary awards, both internationally and in her native Australia. Several of her books have appeared in translation: The Ridiculous Shape of Longing (Macedonian) and her 2001 book, Talking to Neruda's Questions, which has been translated into Spanish, Italian, and Swedish. A French translation by Anne Ortiz Talvaz of her 2001 book, Bestseller (Vagabond Press, Sydney), will be published in France in 2019 (Editions de l'Amandier, Paris). Recent collections include In Possession of Loss (Shearsman Books, 2014) and The Law of Poetry (Puncher & Wattmann, 2015), the latter of which was written over two decades.

States of Poetry

'Little Track'

'The Grass is Full'

'The Correct Way'

'Above Us'

' The World's yard'

Recordings

#50 States of Poetry 2016 QLD Podcast | 'Little Track', 'The Grass is Full', and 'The Correct Way' by MTC Cronin

#51 States of Poetry 2016 QLD Podcast | 'Above Us' and 'The Worlds Yard' by MTC Cronin

Further reading and links

Peter Kenneally reviews The Law of Poetry in the December 2015 issue of Australian Book Review

MTC Cronin interview on ABC Radio National's Earshot program

Author page on Red Room Company website

Author page on Poetry Library website

Additional Info

  • Free Article Yes
  • Custom Article Title About MTC Cronin | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One
  • Contents Category States of Poetry - Poets
  • Custom Highlight Text MTC Cronin has published twenty books (poetry, prose poems, and essays) including a collection jointly written with the Australian poet, Peter Boyle. Her work has won and been shortlisted for many major literary awards, both internationally and in her native Australia.