Poetry

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 ...

'The Cambridge Companion to American Poetry Since 1945'

Alexander Howard
Thursday, 27 June 2013

The scene: a cold, bright January day in the snow-covered capital of the United States. The occasion: the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy. Up to the podium steps America’s unofficial poet laureate, eighty-six-year-old Robert Frost. Temporarily blinded by the glare of brilliant sunshine and freshly fallen snow, Frost sets aside the handwritten te ...

There are some poets whose works only seem to come alive when seen in the light of their other poems. Andrew Sant may well be one of these. A Sant poem, read on its own, can often seem thoughtful but rather lightweight; embedded in one of his books, given a context by the surrounding poems, it becomes animated by a set of consistent themes and obsessions.

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Beast Language' by Toby Davidson

Peter Kenneally
Monday, 27 May 2013

‘Poetry is a long apprenticeship,’ says Toby Davidson at the start of his first collection. He is certainly a poet who has mastered far more than the basics. Beast Language is only seventy-seven pages long, but feels far more substantial. Davidson has travelled a long way: from west coast to east, from novice to scholar ...

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In The Resistance to Poetry (2004), James Longenbach claims that ‘Distrust of poetry (its potential for inconsequence, its pretensions to consequence) is the stuff of poetry.’ The Australian poet Laurie Duggan has based a career on a creative distrust of poetry, or at least a certain kind of attitude to ...

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Confessional Box'

Peter Kenneally
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It’s simple. A young woman, her love for her partner slipping away, looks at their suburb, and him, and their relationship, and writes bronze-clad poetry about it. Then she takes to the bush, describing its towns and picking at its history with the same clear eye she uses to examine her lost love. She combines a photographic exactness with a resounding turn of phr ...