Bella Li

Bella Li

About Bella Li

Bella Li is the author of Maps, Cargo (Vagabond Press, 2013), shortlisted for the Wesley Michel Wright Prize, and Argosy (Vagabond Press, 2017)—a book of poetry, photography and collage. She is a PhD candidate, managing co-editor at Five Islands Press, a co-curator and editor of Photodust, and co-editor of The Slow Canoe Live Journal and Press, as well as a recent guest editor of Cordite Poetry Review (Issue 55: Future Machines). Her work has been published in journals and anthologies including Meanjin, The Kenyon Review and Best Australian Poems.

Introduction to Pascalle Burton’s About the Author Is Dead

Pascalle Burton’s About the Author is Dead refers to, and opens with an epigraph from, Roland Barthes’s seminal essay, ‘The Death of the Author’. Inside the collection, we find not one author but many: David Byrne and Grace Jones, Miranda July and Jacques Derrida; authors who are filmmakers, authors who are poets, philosophers and musicians.

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CIRCLES (A Parable)

Let us descend into the blind world now Prologue In my thirty-third year, midway upon the course, I found, I began I entered like a curse. Through stones through rocky stars, and the pinions descending. Furiously I awoke. Sad, miserly, …

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The theme for this issue arose from a chance encounter with a flying machine and a Frenchman. The illustration above, by Jean-Marc Côté, is one of a series commissioned to be printed on cards for cigarette and cigar boxes at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris: the task of the illustrator was to imagine what life might be like in the year 2000.

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Submission to Cordite 55: FUTURE MACHINES

Image by Joshua Comyn Poetry for Cordite 55: FUTURE MACHINES is guest-edited by Bella Li. To conceive of future machines is to imagine what haunts the boundary, always fluid, always negotiated, between the possible and impossible. To figure the distance, …

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Bella Li Reviews Pascalle Burton and Nathan Shepherdson

Experimental filmmaker, choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer, writer and photographer, Maya Deren was a seminal figure in twentieth-century avant-garde art and theory. To begin with Deren’s words is to follow in the footsteps of Pascalle Burton’s and Nathan Shepherdson’s UN/SPOOL and A gram of ideas on art, form and film – twinned works that are simultaneously homages to, and dialogues with, Deren’s own work and ideas, and entirely new and original pieces of art.

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237, The Overlook

Act I Sometime during the winter. In the West Wing the caretaker stacks (neatly, with axe) 20 legs of lamb, 12 turkeys, 2 dozen pork roasts. The Adler on the table in the great white hall (lots of ideas, no …

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Review Short: James Stuart’s Anonymous Folk Songs

Anonymous Folk SongsOn the cover of James Stuart’s debut collection Anonymous Folk Songs is an image of a series of kites strung together; tethered to a darkened cityscape, they stretch away from it, curving upwards into the sky above. In any scene where the light falling upon subjects differs, the photographer must choose which part of the image to correctly expose – and therefore to highlight – the earth or sky, the kites or clouds. The photograph is Stuart’s own, and it is the sky that takes up most of the frame, that retains depth and a complexity of colour and tone. And yet the unbroken black silhouette of an urban skyline anchors the sky, just as a barely visible line of string anchors the desiring kites to ground. The same impulse that animates this image on the cover is embedded in the poems within.

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fifteen degrees scratching but not a lot you enter but not a lot the stranger looks back but not a lot toward three windows but not many slightly ajar but only short the frame becomes a house but only one …

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Somewhere in Patagonia, to the lonely panic of the pedestrian lights an old woman with a wooden axe carries a cart, vacant as dreams. At the corner shop, peeling skin with one eye, she stops three legs perched on something …

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You saw me first Isabella

~Keats: Isabella or The Pot of Basil (after Boccaccio)   You saw me first Isabella, passing beneath your window. Tongue stilled, dagger at my throat. You mistook my silence for indifference. I smiled in spite of myself. The wind filled …

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