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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews HEAT

HEAT 24: That’s it, for now… edited by Ivor Indyk Giramondo Publishing, 2010 This issue of HEAT being named as the magazine’s last could indicate two separate things. One is the opportunity that arises from this; with each ending a …

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Joel Scott reviews Southerly

Southerly 70.1: Golden Tongues: The Arts of Translation edited by David Brooks and Elizabeth McMahon Brandl & Schlesinger, 2010 Faced with the considerable range of work in Southerly‘s Golden Tongues: The Arts of Translation issue, I have resorted to the …

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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews Southerly

Southerly 69.3: The Poetry Issue edited by Kate Lilley Brandl & Schlesinger, 2010 The poets in this special poetry issue of Southerly stand for what is now, what is exciting/experimental and what is quality. But did Kate Lilley hand pick …

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Anna Forsyth reviews Going Down Swinging

Going Down Swinging No. 29: The Unguarded Word edited by Lisa Greenaway and Klare Lanson Going Down Swinging Inc., 2009 This was my first full dip into the reputable journal Going Down Swinging and so I started with the index. …

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Toby Davidson reviews The John Moran Corperation

TrainRide by The John Moran Corperation Puzzle Factory Sound Studio, 2009 Since renowned works such as Kenneth Slessor's ‘The Night-Ride' and Judith Wright's ‘The Trains,' trains have been natural subjects and carriers of Australian poetry. TrainRide by John Moran and …

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Sam Byfield reviews the APC New Poets Series

Canyon by Andrew Slattery
Little bit long time by Ali Cobby Eckermann
Evengelyne by Helen Hagermann
Awake During Anaesthetic by Kimberley Mann
Australian Poetry Centre, 2009

I read the four New Poets chapbooks with a high level of curiosity and expectation. Published by the Australian Poetry Centre, these collections represent the rebirth of the Five Islands Press New Poets Series, which published the first chapbooks of approximately 75 Australian poets until its cessation in 2007. The Five Islands Press series provided an important stepping stone for a number of poets who since their first collection have established themselves in the Australian poetry landscape.

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Perri Giovannucci reviews The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry

The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Kinsella

Penguin, 2009

Since the 1990s, academic discussions about literature have challenged, if not deconstructed, the project of a national canon. These discussions have centered on the notions of representation, inclusion, aesthetics, and importantly, identity. While the debates may at times seem atomising, the effects have invigorated literature, both in how it is conceptualised as a discipline and in how texts are produced. The late discussions about national literature give context to The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry, clearly a labor of love, edited by John Kinsella.

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Bridie McCarthy reviews Going Down Swinging and Indigo

Going Down Swinging No. 28: Waging the Word edited by Lisa Greenaway and Klare Lanson
Going Down Swinging Inc., 2009

Indigo: Journal of West Australian Writing Volume III edited by Donna Ward et al
Tactile Books, 2009

At the level of function, a literary journal produces a collection of writing on a periodical basis. However, a journal is also another kind of machine, an apparatus which generates a readership, presents writers, exercises its own ideological assumptions (however loosely formed or evolving), and which makes claims to a certain cultural space. At this discursive level, Going Down Swinging and Indigo are very different animals.

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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews John Foulcher

What on Earth Possessed You: Poems 1983-2008 by John Foulcher

Halstead Press, 2008

I read the first three quarters of John Foulcher's What on Earth Possessed You: Poems 1983-2008 in one sitting, without picking up my pen. So enraptured was I with these twenty-five years worth of collected poems and a handful of new ones that I ignored my call to duty as reviewer in those first fifty-one pages, avoiding even mental notes, because I didn't want to break the seamless stream of one poem to the next. Reading poetry that consistently flows is truly a rare treat. Poetry is often a complex beast dressed in radiant robes, so usually one stumbles over a jolt in rhythm or a difficult word or some obscure detail pertinent only to the poet. But Foulcher's poetry feels natural, and it feels right; hence the flow.

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Moya Pacey reviews P. S. Cottier

The Glass Violin by P. S. Cottier Ginninderra Press, 2008 This debut collection by Canberra poet, P.S. Cottier, is striking in its eclecticism. Nothing much escapes this poet’s perceptive eye; her world is crowded and busy, and her poems reflect …

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Seamus Barker reviews Kate Middleton

Fire Season: New Poems by Kate Middleton

Giramondo Publishing, 2009

Fire Season is Kate Middleton's first book of poetry, after numerous publications in journals and newspapers in Australia, England and the US. Middleton has trained as a librettist, and we see a classical influence permeating this book, with narrative voices discovered for literary figures from Penelope, to Leda, Desdemona, and even the Minotaur's previously undiscovered, equally bullish, sister. Middleton's technique of inhabiting specifically located moments of time and place extends from classical to popular culture, including poems written 'with' Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, and Judy Garland.

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Alice Allan reviews Ten Years of Things That Didn’t Kill Us

Ten Years of Things That Didn't Kill Us edited by Daniel Watson et al Paroxysm Press, 2008 When Paroxysm Press sent out their call for submissions in March last year for an anthology titled Ten Years of Things That Didn't …

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Angela Costi reviews Poetry Without Borders

Poetry Without Borders edited by Michelle Cahill Picaro Press, 2008 There is a deep sigh of relief when we come across Poetry Without Borders, an anthology willing to cross unknown terrain to bring us the voices of poets rarely heard. …

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Jill Bamforth reviews John Jenkins

Growing Up with Mr Menzies by John Jenkins John Leonard Press, 2008 John Jenkins' narrative verse, Growing Up with Mr Menzies, begins with an imagined visit by the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, to the Elwood home of the infant …

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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews Ouyang Yu

Reality Dreams by Ouyang Yu Picaro Press, 2008 The Kingsbury Tales by Ouyang Yu Brandl & Schlesinger, 2008 While we awaited the arrival of Ouyang Yu's The Kingsbury Tales, a small treat came in the form of Reality Dreams. It …

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Bridie McCarthy reviews Yvette Holt, Javant Biarujia and Martin Harrison

Anonymous Premonition by Yvette Holt University of Queensland Press, 2008 pointcounterpoint: New and Selected Poems by Javant Biarujia Salt Publishing, 2007 Wild Bees: New and Selected Poems by Martin Harrison University of Western Australia Press, 2008 To read these three …

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Lisa Bower reviews Kerry Scuffins

Litmus by Kerry Scuffins Five Islands Press, 2006 Litmus measures the world's volatile climate and shows the reader the cracks beneath the surface of society. The tongue-in-cheek title of this poetry collection acknowledges the binaries of society and then smashes …

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Peter Mitchell reviews Connie Barber

Between Headlands by Connie Barber Five Islands Press, 2006 According to AUSTLIT: The Australian Literature Resource, Connie Barber's fourth collection of poetry, Between Headlands, has only been reviewed on one occasion by any print or on-line journal in this country …

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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews Mike Ladd

Transit by Mike Ladd Five Islands Press, 2007 I find it a rare and lovely treat when a poet can become androgynous, or cross over discretely from a masculine voice to one that is feminine. While some of my favourite …

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Briohny Doyle reviews Five Islands New Poets 12

Five Islands Press New Poets Series 12 by Ella Holcombe, Angela Costi, Sarah French, Craig Billingham, Nandi Chinna and Adrian Robinson Five Islands Press, 2007 There are about 75 poets in Australia today whose first collection was published as part …

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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews Jordie Albiston

Vertigo: a cantata by Jordie Albiston John Leonard Press, 2007 One might think a collection devoted entirely to a break-up could become tedious or lamentably repetitive, but Jordie Albiston ensures that each poem in Vertigo: a cantata has a unique …

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Moses Iten reviews Paul Hardacre, Terry Jaensch and Cyril Wong

Love in the place of rats by Paul Hardacre transit lounge, 2007 Excess Baggage and Claim by Terry Jaensch and Cyril Wong transit lounge, 2007 Although Love in the place of rats and Excess Baggage and Claim – both published …

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Nicholas Manning reviews Eileen Tabios

The Light Sang As It Left Your Eyes by Eileen Tabios Marsh Hawk Press, 2007 In this new century, the writing and rewritings of the poetic self seem to be at the crux of a burgeoning genre; a genre in …

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Heather Taylor Johnson reviews The Best Australian Poetry 2007

The Best Australian Poetry 2007 edited by John Tranter University of Queensland Press, 2007 Anthologies which wrap up the year's 'best' are always greatly anticipated. We want to be reacquainted with our favourite poets, see what sort of spin they've …

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