May 2015, issue no. 371

Jacinta Le Plastrier reviews 'The Weekly Poem' edited by Jordie Albiston

Jacinta Le Plastrier

Discussing the genesis of a poem, W.H. Auden told Paris Review that at any given time he had two things on his mind: ‘a theme that interests me and a problem of verbal form, meter, diction, etc. The theme looks for the right form; the form looks for the right theme. When the two come together, I am able to start writing.’ Australian poet Jordie Albiston ... More

'Waiting for the Past' by Les Murray

Stephen Edgar
My first reaction on picking up Les Murray’s new collection, Waiting for the Past, was to note how handsomely produced it is ... More

Des Cowley reviews 'After Naptime' by Chris Edwards

Des Cowley

Chris Edwards is an enigmatic presence in Australian poetry. Part of a generation of poets who came of age in the 1970s, he co-edited the short-lived Beyond Poetry (1974–76) but then abandoned publication for many years. With the onset of a new millennium, he unexpectedly re-emerged, publishing a series of chapbooks that culminated in his first full-length ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'Embracing The Razor' by John Upton

Geoff Page

Writers who move in mid-career from one literary genre to another often encounter resistance. Some turfs are well guarded. They can also misapprehend the new form they are planning to join. John Upton, who for almost thirty years has been a successful playwright and screenwriter, has made the difficult move seamlessly in this first collection of poems.

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Toby Fitch reviews 'Drones and Phantoms' by Jennifer Maiden

Toby Fitch

Jennifer Maiden’s eighteenth book of poetry bears yet another title punning on war (remember Tactics, The Problem of Evil, The Occupying Forces, The Border Loss, Acoustic Shadow, Friendly Fire). Her umbrella themes – politics, power, evil, the public and private selves, war, and the role of art – are back. The title is ... More

Des Cowley reviews 'Axis, Book 1' by a.j. carruthers

Des Cowley

With Axis, his first full-length publication, a.j. carruthers explicitly aligns himself with the lineage of the long poem. It is a bold move, if we consider that the major exponents of the form, from Ezra Pound to Anne Waldman, had invariably produced significant bodies of work prior to embarking on their poetic marathons. But ambition is fundamental to the l ... More

Paul Kane reviews 'Collected Poems' by Mark Strand

Paul Kane

It is tempting to say that when Mark Strand died last November American poetry lost one of its most distinctive voices. But it isn’t quite true. First, Strand had already retired from poetry several years earlier (before Philip Roth and Alice Munro caused a stir by doing so from fiction). Strand returned to his first career as an artist (a very talented one, accor ... More

Annamaria Pagliaro reviews 'The Selected Poetry of Pier Paolo Pasolini' edited and translated by Stephen Sartarelli

Annamaria Pagliaro

‘The singularity and importance of [Pier Paolo Pasolini’s] artistry lies largely in the protean, multimedial quality of his vision,’ Stephen Sartarelli rightly reminds us in this bilingual edition of Pasolini’s poetry. Nonetheless, to an Anglophone world Pasolini (1922–75) is best known as the rebellious and audacious director of such films as The Gospe ... More

Chris Wallace-Crabbe reviews 'Dylan Thomas' by William Christie

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

The legendary Dylan has now been dead for a century and his fumy glitter has probably faded a little. But then, how far do any poets these days really have glamour to show for themselves, no matter how hard they drink? Very few, in the Anglophone world at least: there’s nobody around like Wales’s roaring boy.

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'Sack' by John Kinsella

David McCooey

The eponymous poem in John Kinsella’s latest book recounts a group of teenagers witnessing a sack being flung from a speeding car. The sack, they discover, is filled with tortured kittens. This shocking poem of human cruelty begins a collection concerned with Kinsella’s great themes: the degradation of the environment, human violence (particularly towards animal ... More

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