Gig Ryan

Gig Ryan is author of New and Selected Poems, Giramondo 2011 and Selected Poems, Bloodaxe Books 2012.

Astronomical Twilight

In a dress, in a dream your guide points out carvings, a well to kick. Sissy mountains slope to ground. His fans bay in the church of Perpetual Succour. Plane to the apron, a rook abed, to swindle and jack. …

Posted in 74: NO THEME V | Tagged


1. You’re not to this world but will sleep in the depths of dream, pat news, cast chat, as tenants grind chemistry’s waved night to a flask and galaxies ping time back to tree-thrilled square, or cross the lake tomorrow …

Posted in 70: UMAMI | Tagged

Fuori le mura: Seven Vicki Viidikas Poems

Vicki Viidikas’s first book Condition Red (UQP, 1973) – which most likely took its title from Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (1964) in which Condition Red means war – burst with unsettling depictions of contemporary life and the status of women, a year after Equal Pay had become law.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged ,

Awakening Slave

‘I never much liked the pictures, starlit, gauzy, a crank hand dealing largesse it didn’t have scrunched skies and foreground sentimental dogs like my great-aunt’s china doorstops …’ Disconcerted at exchange, he returns to his vignette, and last week’s salve …

Posted in 68: NO THEME IV | Tagged

Introduction to John Hawke’s Aurelia

Cover design by Zoë Sadokierski

John Hawke’s forensic inquiries in this book are layered with casual erudition – Diderot, Czech poet Vladimir Holan – and locate the poem as transformative state. Many of these poems conclude with a mystical ascent into nature, reminiscent of Patrick White scenes in which the division between consciousness and the universe wavers, signifying that any reconciliation is epiphanic, claimed by art or religion. Yet nature belittles human effort – ‘The path to the point is marked by a scattering / of impermanent hand-made memorials’ – that is, the poet’s endeavours are precariously, though heroically, makeshift, overlaid; but nature is also that which threatens or devours, ‘digesting light’.

Posted in INTRODUCTIONS | Tagged , , ,

Post It

Technique whittled to a spear prongs earth as tabby night filters a soaped waterfall of recollected words jammed in a shoe, prudently It passes on a cloud and can’t fit in the photo that dissolves trusty leaves that feather bright …

Posted in 64: CONSTRAINT | Tagged

Gig Ryan Reviews Emma Lew, Bella Li, Kate Lilley, and Jennifer Maiden

Elegy intensifies around the objects that remain, those keepsakes that must signify a spent life. In Kate Lilley’s Realia, the first poem ‘GG’ is an auction listing from Greta Garbo’s estate in which the repetition of Garbo’s name intones like a docked requiem. Only things exist timeless, immutable, saleable, as shining representatives of the once-living. Life’s fraught event is reduced to its acquisitions, and transformed, satirised, into capitalism’s ultimate wearer of labels: the former consumer of commodities is now more amenably cast purely as a selection of those objects, whose value her absence increases.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , , , ,

Tide Edit

Encumbered, embarrassed, he turns day to irony and spikes each word onto the carpet One come-down itches another, and perpetrates its dreams of ghosts, haloed in gold that black and white day ignores The Academy turns opinion in its kiln …

Posted in SPOONBENDING | Tagged

NO THEME 2 Editorial

Of the poems I’ve chosen for this theme-free issue, some are headily elusive, such as the epistolary ‘Shooting“Correspondence”Gallery’ where meanings crumple and re-form through their costly tousled language.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged


Pillar after pillar towers my name. Not all of these could express the life I feel flash through me. My ideas span the earth but now tours litter at my feet folding their waxy guides. Here, I watch life fall …

Posted in 04: UNTHEMED | Tagged