Libby Hart

Libby Hart is the author of Fresh News from the Arctic, This Floating World and Wild. Fresh News from the Arctic won the Anne Elder Award and was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize. This Floating World was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and The Age Book of the Year Awards, and longlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. This Floating World was also devised for stage and received the Shelton Lea Award. Wild was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and it was named one of the Books of the Year for the Australian Book Review, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.


Most paintings portray you as a placid woman bearing a salver, as if you were offering cupcakes, rather than the two breasts that were sheared from your body. If there is anguish, it’s half-hearted. If there is blood, it’s a …

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I placed my hand against heart to quench the spark. Yet once I let you kiss me with the kisses of your mouth. I drank each word you wrote on my tongue. I swigged until I was fire. Wick and …

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Review Short: Robert Adamson’s Net Needle

Net Needle begins with the thoughtful interlacing of seven poems. The first poem, ‘Listening to Cuckoos’, highlights the bird’s ‘two unchanging notes’ during the start of spring. Then, ‘Summer’, with its ‘pallid cuckoo call’ through the poet’s garden threads into ‘Garden Poem’ and how sunlight spans the course of a day until ‘patches of moonlight’ travel into the next poem, ‘Dorothy Wordsworth’. Here, we find the Romantic poet’s sister ruminating near a window where the moon moves ‘across the star-decked dark’.

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Libby Hart Reviews Kate Newmann, Robyn Rowland and Jessica Traynor

Labels are funny things. A lot of the time they can feel unnecessary – especially to an individual being labelled – but there are instances where such an exercise can prove useful. Writing about the Ireland is a good example of this. On one level we must consider Ireland as one entity, but we must also acknowledge that modern Ireland is not made of one but two territories. This statement shouldn’t be interpreted as overly simplistic. The complexities surrounding the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland extend beyond politics and are deeply ingrained in the language and identity of people from both sides of the border.

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When you died there was death in every room. I had to place my grieving in a box. Three years round I found myself weeping in a darkened cinema as I listened to George Harrison sing, Here Comes the Sun. …

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Libby Hart Reviews Kate Middleton

Ephemeral Waters

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Review Short: Danijela Kambaskovic’s Internal monologues: (a romance)

Internal monologues: (a romance)Internal monologues: (a romance) is Danijela Kambaskovic’s first poetry collection in English. Her two previous collections, Atlantis and Journey, were written in Serbian. Each monologue is voiced with relative simplicity, but don’t underestimate Kambaskovic. She uses English most vibrantly, which sets her apart from the native speaker. Her choice of words and ‘word play’ seems entirely alive and vibrant, as if she was approaching English in new and exciting ways.

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Before you do anything else today, I want you to stop and listen. I want you to close your eyes and listen to your surroundings. What is it that you can hear? Birdsong? Is it the sound of passing cars? The wind whispering?

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Libby Hart Reviews Kate Fagan

First LightFirst Light (Giramondo Publishing, 2012)

First Light is Kate Fagan’s long-awaited second full-length collection. It was published in March 2012, almost ten years to the day after her successful debut, A Long Moment, was released. Ten years is a mere blip in time for planet Earth, but what does it mean to a poet and her history? Ten years can bring a well of experience and an abundance of living – of living the poet’s life and the musician’s career, and of the academic’s savoir vivre. Labels such as lover, wife and new mother are also pertinent to this slow burning collection.

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Submissions for INTERLOCUTOR Now Open!

Beginning with this issue of Cordite, we will accept up to four poems per submission. This includes text, sound, image, video and other digital forms of poetry. INTERLOCUTOR will include features, interviews, updates and more from just about every angle …

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Libby Hart Reviews Rosanna Licari

An Absence of Saints by Rosanna Licari University of Queensland Press, 2010 An Absence of Saints is one of those poetry collections you pick up and immediately sense all the effort and dedication that has gone into making it, the …

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Libby Hart Reviews Andrew Taylor

The Unhaunting by Andrew Taylor Salt Publishing, 2009 The Unhaunting is Andrew Taylor’s seventeenth book of poetry and comprises work written between 2003 and 2008. The collection is divided into five parts. The first, ‘The Importance of Waiting’, acts as …

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Libby Hart Reviews Catherine Bateson

Marriage for Beginners by Catherine Bateson John Leonard Press, 2009 Marriage for Beginners is Catherine Bateson's fifth collection of poetry. As the title suggests, marriage, or more precisely the breakdown of the poet's first marriage, is a key component of …

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Libby Hart Reviews Angela Gardner

Views of the Hudson: A New York Book of Psalms by Angela Gardner Shearsman Books, 2009 Angela Gardner's first collection of poetry, Parts of Speech, won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an unpublished manuscript in 2006 and …

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These curtains, how they fluttered like wings.

These curtains, how they fluttered like wings. The singer, however, was no ugly eagle or aeroplane egg, the camera zoomed in of its own accord It’s like a postcard holiday home. Not present. Misrepresented. Waving hello – or the silent …

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Libby Hart reviews Dorothy Porter

The Bee Hut by Dorothy Porter

Black Inc., 2009

The Bee Hut is Dorothy Porter's posthumous volume of poetry and her seventh collection to date, although her agent has indicated there are more books to come. Most poems assembled here were written in the last five years of her life and the final poem, ‘View from 417' was written only two weeks before her death from complications associated with breast cancer. In many ways The Bee Hut is a celebration of vitality and inquisitiveness. It brings us a lucid and intimate portrait of a life well lived.

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from ‘This Floating World’

These curtains, how they fluttered like wings.

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Libby Hart reviews Judith Beveridge

Storm and Honey by Judith Beveridge

Giramondo Publishing, 2009

Throughout Judith Beveridge's career we have seen her take an element from one volume of poetry and expand on it in her next book. Take for example her first collection, The Domesticity of Giraffes (1987) where she wrote of 'Hannibal on the Alps'. This theme was then redeveloped to become 'Hannibal Speaks to his Elephants' in Accidental Grace (1996). Again and again the subjects of these poems breathe new life into Beveridge's subsequent work, whether it be poems about India, birds and animals, Buddha or the water life of Sydney and beyond. With this as a guide, it is perhaps no coincidence that the three fishermen we were first introduced to in Wolf Notes (2003) reappear in Beveridge's new collection, Storm and Honey, in a series of thirty fictitious poems called 'Driftgrounds: Three Fishermen'.

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