- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLECOMING SOON with E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
The writer Phillip Hoare, celebrated author of The Whale and self-confessed sea obsessive, once wrote: ‘Our bodies are as unknown to us as the ocean, both familiar and strange; the sea inside ourselves.’
South Australian poet Aidan Coleman’s previous book of poetry, Asymmetry, was published in 2012. It charts Coleman’s traumatic experience of a stroke, and the resulting loss of symmetry in his body, life and writing. The book strings together revelations made startling through poetic bluntness, from the initial shock of incapacitation to the excruciation of gradual rehabilitation.
Your displeasure encircled, like descending mesh, that first occasion we called a conversation. Was I the blanched insect and you the hunter, with your barbed question-net? The gendered metaphor flutters weakly, but does not die No feminist assertion swoops down …
Stuart Barnes’s early exposure to poetry reads like a literary fantasy. As a child he attended the same Tasmanian church as Gwen Harwood. The two struck up an unlikely friendship, and Harwood encouraged him to write. That formative experience saw him move to Melbourne to study literature where, in 2005, he was handed a notebook and, once again, urged to write. Barnes’ first collection of poetry, Glasshouses, is the culmination of years of carefully honed impressions, reflections and commentary.
When casting an eye back at Antigone Kefala’s oeuvre, one finds a poet of the surreal, who has delicately combined reality, folklore, and dream state. She has expressed the trauma of migration and diaspora in hallucinatory ways; she once merged the ache of an old country’s absence with the comfort of myth, and heightened the contrast with dream-like and often disturbing symbolism.
Artistically, burnt umber is an earthy shade intensified by heat. It is a colour synonymous with this country – familiar to anyone who has trekked through Western Australia, from where Paul Hetherington originally hails. In this collection, it is also a metaphor for memory, which, through the heat of feelings in the present, attains an intensity that overwhelms the original events.
In her poem ‘The suicides’, Janet Frame writes: ‘know they died because words they had spoken/ returned always homeless to them’. Perhaps more deaths could be prevented if people were able to speak without fear of being shamed or ostracised, knowing that their words might lodge in someone’s mind or heart, and that language, if wrestled with, could offer healing.
Rachael Mead is part of a fine group of contemporary Australian poets writing about nature in nuanced and resonant ways. She brings her own slant to the genre with her first collection, The Sixth Creek, while doffing her hat to celebrated writers like Mary Oliver, Thoreau, and Judith Wright.