Poetry

John Kinsella on 'Contemporary Asian Australian Poets'

John Kinsella
Wednesday, 27 November 2013

This is one of the more vital and significant poetry anthologies to appear in Australia. It has been compiled with a purpose as sophisticated and complex as the arguments for existence that it posits. It is an anthology not so much of ‘region’ (it is a rather massive one), as of the experience of being or having been from Asian heritages in contemporary Au ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Bowra'

Peter Kenneally
Thursday, 31 October 2013

Australia is one of the most urbanised and docile societies on earth, but its cities are hemmed in by a vast, poetry-laden hinterland. There is Kinsella in the west, Adamson on the Hawkesbury, and, in this book, the western Queensland of B.R. Dionysius. No one ever seems to be matter of fact about the landscape in Australia. It is politically charged, or Gothi ...

Steven Carroll on T.S Eliot in 'Tarantula's Web'

Steven Carroll
Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Private Eye said of Stephen Spender that he wasn’t so much famous as that he knew a lot of famous people. They might have said the same of John Hayward. His editorial and scholarly work notwithstanding, it’s doubtful that a biography of him would have been written had it not been for his close friendship with the premier poet of ...

Rose Lucas reviews 'Stone Scar Air Water' by Judy Johnson

Rose Lucas
Friday, 27 September 2013

Judy Johnson’s sixth collection of poetry brings us a strong range of closely observed, powerful poems. As the title suggests, they are all linked together by elemental themes: the apparent solidity of stone, the persistence of scar tissue, the promises of air, and the complex gifts of water. In their often very ...

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It’s not just history that is written by the victors, but the encyclopedias, too. The eighteenth-century encyclopedias, such as Diderot’s Encyclopédie, were the projects of emergent superpowers, evidence of both the Enlightenment dream of universal knowledge and burgeoning colonial impulses ...

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Some things just don’t appear to go together, unless you are good at puzzles. A fox, a goose, and a bag of beans, for instance; or maybe a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage. Then there are Australia, love, and poetry. Australians and poetry can’t be left alone together, can they, and don’t expressions of love ...

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Bronwyn Lea reviews 'Six Different Windows'

Bronwyn Lea
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Seen through one window, Paul Hetherington’s Six Different Windows appears to be a collection of poems concerned with the death of art. Such a theme is perhaps not surprising given that Hetherington, in addition to his seven books of poems, edited three volumes of Donald Friend’s diaries for the National Library of Australia, the last of which was s ...

Anthony Lynch reviews Luke Davies's 'Four Plots for Magnets'

Anthony Lynch
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

In 1982 a young Steve Kelen published a slim volume by an even younger poet by the name of Luke Davies. Four Plots for Magnets was a chapbook of thirteen poems written mostly when the poet was eighteen and nineteen. Published by Glandular Press, an outlet established by Kelen and the painter Ken Searle in 1980, this ‘sampler’ (as Kelen later calls i ...

Gig Ryan reviews 'Home by Dark' by Pam Brown

Gig Ryan
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Home by Dark is Pam Brown’s seventeenth book. She has also published ten chapbooks, including two collaborations. Brown’s poems are mostly elliptical, pithy, hewn into slight lines that imply or jest. Each poem manoeuvres and collects the everyday. It is an aesthetic of accumulation, a bricolage that ...

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Anthony Lynch on Corey Wakeling's 'Goad Omen'

Anthony Lynch
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Early in his Literary Theory: An Introduction, Terry Eagleton quotes the Russian formalist critic Roman Jakobson: ‘[literature is writing that represents] organised violence committed on ordinary speech.’ I don’t know if Corey Wakeling has been influenced by the formalists’ theories, but Goad Omen, his energetic first collection, is reple ...