May 2016, issue no. 381

Cassandra Atherton reviews the new issue of 'Axon'

Cassandra Atherton

Axon’s commitment to publishing new research in creativity and the creative process is highlighted in this issue on poetry. Lucy Dougan, consultant editor, introduces its exploration of ‘how poetry constitutes knowledge; how it is made; how poets think about their work’, and one of the exhaustive questions in the academy: ‘how poetry may be understood ... More

Graeme Miles reviews 'The Unspeak Poems and Other Verses'

Graeme Miles

TheUnspeak Poems, Tim Thorne’s fourteenth collection, is characteristically politically engaged and international in its scope. The best of these poems make use of Thorne’s acute ear for everyday speech. ‘Gettin’ there’, for instance, sad and memorable, creates through jumpy fragments of wry observations and narrative a picture of misguided h ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'Circle Work'

Geoff Page

Just over fifty years since the death of the great American poet William Carlos Williams, it ispleasing to see so much of his spirit still alive in Cameron Lowe’s third collection, Circle Work. Williams was often short-changed by poets who, mistakenly, thought his short, ‘photographic’ poems easy to imitate. Lowe, by contrast, fully understands the impo ... More

Martin Duwell reviews Geoffrey Lehmann's 'Poems: 1957−2013'

Martin Duwell

A striking feature of this collection of Geoffrey Lehmann’s poetry of fifty-six years is how few loci of interest there are: ancient Rome, a farm in rural New South Wales, parenthood. His characteristic mode seems to be to explore these exhaustively by holding them up to the light and investigating every facet. Wallace Stevens’s ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a ... More

Anthony Lynch: tributes to Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Anthony Lynch

The title of Cassandra Atherton’s anthology, Travelling Without Gods, alludes to the particular brand of agnosticism that has run through Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s work over many decades. Journeying sans deity is evidenced strongly in the poet’s latest collection, a book which, like Atherton’s, has been published to coincide with Wallace-Crabbe’s eight ... More

Graeme Miles reviews 'Leaves of Glass'

Graeme Miles

Between 1889 and 1892, young Australian poet Bernard O’Dowd corresponded with the ageing Walt Whitman. Leaves of Glass, David Prater’s second collection, vividly imagines this long-distance relationship. This is not, however, a historical novel in verse. It refracts the correspondence through a perpetually shifting series of voices and forms, from heavily ... More

Rose Lucas reviews 'Kin'

Rose Lucas

Kin, Anne Elvey’s first full collection of poetry, brings together a wide range of poems full of light and the acuity of close attention. These poems focus on a world of inter-relationships where tree and water, creature and human, air and breathing, coexist – suggestive of an underlying philo-sophy of humility and acceptance. This is a world which envisions at least the potential of ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'Woodsmoke'

Geoff Page

Todd Turner’s first collection, Woodsmoke, evolves intriguingly. It starts in the ‘anti-pastoral’ mode founded by Philip Hodgins. Here the poet, long since relocated to the city, looks back with tellingly evocative detail but a divided sensibility on the life he (it’s normally a ‘he’) has now abandoned.

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Nathanael Pree reviews 'Sputnik's Cousin'

Nathanael Pree

Kent MacCarter’s third collection of poems comprises a patchwork of forms and phenomena, in parts influenced by and dedicated to poets of the New York School and the ‘Generation of 1968’. MacCarter’s own cosmopolitan greetings share the offbeat tones and imagery of precursors, including Frank O’Hara and John Forbes. Touches of the former’s dry humour per ... More

Geoff Page reviews 'Radiance'

Geoff Page

Andy Kissane’s fourth collection, Radiance, is a heartening answer to those who, like publisher Stephen Matthews, lament that ‘many modern poets choose to shroud their work in point-scoring obscurity at a time when clarity and accessibility might encourage more people to read poetry’. Kissane doesn’t address this issue directly, but his book is an imp ... More

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