Caitlin Maling

Caitlin Maling is a Western Australian poet whose first collection Conversations I've Never Had was released in 2015 and shortlisted in the Dame Mary Gilmore Award and the Western Australian Premier's Awards. A follow-up collection, Border Crossing is due out in February 2017.


i) Walking in white socks, you watch the black dots jump and stick, trying to feel their way to where the blood is easier. Somehow they don’t sting and pinching them doesn’t crack, instead your blood is there on your …

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Diego’s Head

‘when[ever] I draw or sculpt or paint a head from memory it always turns out to be more or less Diego’s…’ Giacometti etd in. James Lord, A Giacometti Portrait (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, circa 1964), p. 24. …

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I watch people gain weight. Not in the way a man on the internet pays a woman in another state to eat red velvet cake over a webcam does. But in the way of tides and sandbanks, or tulips emerging …

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Caitlin Maling Reviews Ellen van Neerven

Poems about food, such as those comprising Ellen van Neerven’s first collection Comfort Food, are often framed in terms of ideas of connection, community, and commonality. Van Neerven engages directly with these ideas, but emphasises their fault lines as much as their strengths. The poem I keep returning to appears early in the second of the book’s six loose sections.

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The Falling

I want the building that stretches up past the top of the white like driving up a summer road into heat-haze that ends, might end, here with low gray and I never noticed the sky. Why fear what’s out of …

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Recommendations for a Western Australian Coastal Pastoral

I am thinking about limits. The gaps between limits. Liminal, littoral spaces. The most fundamental part of ‘human’ consciousness is defined by lack of limits. Unless it is limited by life and death which are themselves littoral rather than literal …

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Caitlin Maling Reviews Alison Whittaker

Gomeroi poet Alison Whittaker’s debut collection Lemons in the Chicken Wire is a necessary addition to contemporary poetry. Deftly handled at both the level of the poem and the book, Whittaker’s work introduces us to the worlds of queer Aboriginal women living on the rural fringe of New South Wales.

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Review Short: Alex Skovron’s Towards the Equator: New & Selected Poems

Towards the Equator: New & Selected Poems by Alex Skovron Puncher & Wattmann, 2014 While I was walking in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston with my cousin, I found myself discussing the conversations I seem doomed to repeat, the …

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Karinjini by way of Kataby, Geraldton, Dongara, Carnarvon, Exmouth; by way of the Brand; by way of driving out at midnight, by way of fences and flametrees and bardi; by way of moonlight and the dog-star, the cross and Corona …

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Eurydice Speaks

(after Edward Hirsch) I You didn’t know how I hid my head in darkness, a child in the oak avoiding moonlight. How I could touch with only closed curtains, snuffed candle lingering in hair, in breath. How your skin burnt …

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Planting Roots: A Survey of Introductions to Ecopoetry and Ecocriticism

This year the most comprehensive attempt at anthologising American ecopoetry was released in the form of The Ecopoetry Anthology (Fisher-Wirth & Gray-Street). This work comes in the wake of increased ecoconsciouness in political, social, personal, academic and poetic spheres. This is the year that President Obama announced ‘global warming is real’ and all of America was forced, finally, to listen. Critical work addressing the ecological context of poetry, specifically ecocriticsm, has existed since Scigaj’s Four Eco-Poets (1999) and was expanded in Bryson’s Ecopoetry: A Critical Introduction (2002); yet, while these works do a lot to initiate the conversation over what could be considered ecopoetry, it was not until The Ecopoetry Anthology that an attempt to gather and present the poetry itself was made in earnest.

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Caitlin Maling Reviews Randolph Stow

StowIn his masterful and extensive introduction to The Land’s Meaning: New Selected Poems John Kinsella, who edited the volume, writes that much of Randolph Stow’s work is metaphoric, weaving things together in a way that promises narrative but actually reveals very little. Reading through this new selected poems, I was struck by the tension of poetry as public utterance of private speech, which characterizes Stow’s work. Whether dealing with myth, landscape, colonialism or love, these are poems that are selective in what they choose to reveal and particular in the techniques they use to reveal.

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