Ivy Ireland

Ivy Ireland is the author of Incidental Complications (2007), Porch Light (2015) and The Owl Inside (2020). Ivy’s literary awards include the Australian Young Poet Fellowship, the Harri Jones Memorial Prize, the Thunderbolt Prize, the Newcastle Poetry Prize local award, and she was runner-up in the UC International Poetry Prize in 2019. Ivy completed her Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle and her poetry, essays and reviews have been widely published in journals and anthologies such as The Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry, Cordite, Overland, Mascara, Going Down Swinging, The Blue Nib, Blue Dog and Plumwood Mountain.

Ivy Ireland Reviews Alice Savona’s Self ie

Reading Alice Savona’s Self ie feels a bit like taking a vacation inside a palindrome. It’s a wonderful escape, albeit sometimes fraught with all the rocking movement, backwards and forwards, until you aren’t sure what the runes and symbols that make up the words even mean anymore.

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Ivy Ireland Reviews Ali Whitelock’s and my heart crumples like a coke can

Despite the sorrow of its title, and my heart crumples like a coke can will have an utterly expansive effect on the reader’s beat-box. My little heart almost burst as I read through this collection for the first time. And then the second.

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Ivy Ireland Reviews Steve Armstrong

Steve Armstrong’s Broken Ground is an extended walking meditation cleverly disguised as a book of poetry. Inside this collection resides a determined drive towards immersion and a deliberate movement beyond text, into a numinous, continuous cadence: a secret rhythm of stride known only to those who would seek to map out earth and sky.

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Review Short: Oscar Schwartz’s The Honeymoon Stage

Confession: I should not have read Michael Farrell’s launch speech for Oscar Schwartz’s The Honeymoon Stage before attempting this short review. I had a large attack of Bloom’s anxiety of influence, but I simply couldn’t help myself because I truly appreciate Farrell’s wit and (worldly) wisdom. And now the damage is done.

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Ivy Ireland Reviews Petra White and Magdalena Ball

Approaching new work from such sharp, prolific and often dazzling poets as Magdalena Ball and Petra White is arguably no job for a quiet morning. Both White’s Reading for a Quiet Morning and Ball’s Unmaking Atoms demand (and duly reward) close attention.

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Review Short: Cassandra Atherton’s Exhumed

Dazzling, vibrant and terribly witty, Cassandra Atherton’s Exhumed does not give itself over entirely to the horribly serious, gruesome images invoked by its title. Nor of course does it travel down to the desperate depths of its epigraph’s hero, Rosetti, who (in)famously ‘recovered’ the book of poems he had buried with his wife. Yet Atherton’s collection of prose poems is nonetheless morbidly fascinating and even darkly exhilarating, with some of the more raw, emotionally-fierce poems evoking similar queasy feelings in the twenty-first century reader, perhaps, as the nineteenth-century poet might have experienced recovering writings from the grave of a loved one.

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Review Short: Judith Crispin’s The Myrhh-Bearers and Jillian Pattinson’s Babel Fish

At a first, casual reading, it is easy to see why Jillian Pattinson’s Babel Fish won the 2010 Alec Bolton Prize. Here is a polished and elegant collection, addressing not only the expected emotional and personal depths of the lyric, but also casually marrying art and science with unashamed reference to untouchable greats of literature and, dare I say it, a carefully monitored spirituality.

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Review Short: Philip Hammial’s Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a collection of life-moments; a certain ‘true expression’ splash in a muddy world puddle, some shocked morsel of life momentarily caught in the light. They aren’t easy moments, perhaps, but they are strangely beautiful, nonetheless.

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James Merrill House and Its Disembodied Transmissons

Like some piece of technicolour cover-art from a 1950s mystery novel, James Merrill’s Stonington apartment loomed in the background as I stepped out of the gutter-snow and onto the street. I was wearing a bright red coat; the apartment matched the slate-blue winter sky. From the outside, the poet’s house felt as gorgeous and twee as everything else in this tiny – dare I say quaint – fishing village.

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Porch Light

‘How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on?’ – Tom Waits 1. If you consulted your own cipher-mind (if what presents as yours could be compressed in such a lazy line), would it …

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