John Mateer

John Mateer's books include Emptiness: Asian Poems 1998-2012, Unbelievers, or 'The Moor', Southern Barbarians and The West: Australian Poems 1989-2009. In 2011 he was invited to read at PEN's Free the Word festival at London's Southbank Centre. Currently he is working on an art project investigating the early history of the Malays of the Cocos-Keeling Islands.

Sonnet from João of iGoli

Sublime, as the cliché would have that aria, at breakfast in a Brisbane cafe. Which? João can’t remember the opera, though he does, well, the Singaporean poet Cyril, the singer. Years later João would read, when young, he had been …

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I.M. Tomaž Šalamun (4 July 1941- 27 December 2014)

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The War Hero and His Poem

Photo by Kent MacCarter On the weekend after Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, announced that the Australian Defence Force would be assisting the US forces in attacking ISIS, the war hero Ben Roberts-Smith was featured in the magazine section …

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E is for Errand (East Coast of Africa)

Introduction ‘E is for Errand’ is an extract from the draft of a libretto named The Bones of the Epic. As it stands, it is a work from regress – not in progress. Regress because the current text is a …

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David Shook Interviews John Mateer

I first met John Mateer in London, at a reading at PEN International’s Free the Word! festival, where the international outlook of his poetry intrigued me. We corresponded regularly by email from that point forward, both of us often on the road, discussing poetry, translation, and travel.

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Nativism and the Interlocutor

He couldn’t remember having read the Lorca poem before, but he must have as the parallel between the two poems was too great to be coincidental, besides, he had certainly read the book years ago.

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Towards Wilpena Pound, South Australia

When salt- and bluebush country gives way to the small yellow constellations of wattle, the mind enters existence.Then native pines stand, where rabbits had cleared the undergrowth and where they themselves were wiped out by an island virus, echoing plantations. …

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On the Train to Geelong

The train pulls us along. Who knows the difference between travelling and waiting. The window has a flat tawny landscape. Einstein has the clock. Factories muddy with rust and pastures fenced by threads of sunlight tear past our eyes. The …

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The Norm

But when I saw her ‘my first fuck’ in the supermarket both of us doing our weekly chore the place polished by fluoro-green was not so much a maze as a gallery of itemized lust. Here’s a black pen, draw …

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