- 94: EARTHSUBMIT to M Takolander 93: PEACHCOMING SOONwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
Intent on wonton destruction we fought streets combatted mortality thieved grandness from auto-tuned oysters. They sung out our numbers saucy asked and the sambal yams awaited deliverance. We forgot the steam shucked corn the color of lions drank nettle tea …
From the title of Shane Rhodes’s collection Dead White Men, we know we are in fraught if familiar territory. Those men are the subjects to be critiqued, argued with, taken down in light of today’s history.
You could be forgiven for thinking that ‘Australia’ was simply this place, rather than an imagined community. It is of course not only a phantasm or a figment that is whole, but also real and divisible.
Many live after L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E then, but few live as it. There is no comparable, or adequate, rupture precisely because there is a lack of Historical, and philosophical, work being done. Cue the misunderstanding of what to radically break with. This might be because of the paradox of university scholarship now – we live in a moment after the national mythmaking of bygone days and in one informed by the black armband view that is predominant institutionally.
The generation of Murray is not my generation. The generation of Adamson is not my generation either. Nor is it Tranter or Kinsella. My generation is a new generation in Australian poetry. In this era of the ‘contemporary’, particularly as a political proposition after the end of history, it is a dangerous endeavour to suggest there is a modernist / social realist debate. And while the actors have undoubtedly changed (as has the world and its labels) we can discern two such derivative realities in the newest generation of Australian poets. These poets are working in ‘deformed realism’ and ‘sentimental radicalism’.
i. ash loam and foot flesh farm-bones and skin maps pink, grey, graveground, form-grasses and wavetaints wellbaked and seed black ii. starlows the cropframe saltcanvas of generation, plateau waist the size of place iii. tigerhand by jokebite, and fivethink of …
I first met Alan Loney at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. I was studying there at the time and Alan had been invited as a guest of Robert Creeley at SUNY Buffalo. As part of his American tour Charles Bernstein hosted Alan at Penn, where he gave a reading at the Kelly Writers House and met with students of Charles’ experimental writing class entitled ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.
Omar Musa is something of a phenomenon. I mean that both in the demotic and the philosophical senses. Self-publisher, author of the successful novel Here Come the Dogs (longlisted for the Miles Franklin), lyricist with international hip hop outfit MoneyKat, Wikipedia subject. As demonstrated by the author photo in this book Parang, autobiographical promotional videos (‘Live and Direct from Kingsley’s Chicken’), comparisons to Junot Diaz and his sartorial style, Musa has made a career from ‘the street’.
In the North American summer of 2015 I journeyed into the heart of the MFA industrial complex. I was a fellow at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and was #workingonmynovel. I was also participating in a culture that I had only hitherto heard and read about. Indeed, my training until that point in the vast ecosystem of ‘creative writing’ institutions had occurred at the University of Pennsylvania under the scrupulous gaze of Charles Bernstein, critic of ‘official verse culture’, and to a lesser extent Kenneth Goldsmith, arch proponent of ‘uncreative writing’.
About a decade ago ‘trauma’ became an industry in the academic literary critical economy. This was due in part to the success of Cathy Caruth, but there were other theorists that mattered before and after (Freud’s ‘repetition compulsion’ and Elaine Scarry’s body in pain). Holding hands with trauma was ‘witness’. Of course, witnessing has been in the discourse for a long time as well, but there was a steady growth in its paradigmatic quality after the Holocaust industry began to develop more fully (see Norman Finkelstein).
The question what are we to do at and with the limits of language presents itself as the central question in the two books under review here. That they frame themselves as poetry means that the context in which this occurs is different from art or graphic design – two fields into which both could easily be placed. One does not ‘read’ these works but apprehends them.
It is something of a paradigm in literary criticism (poetics included) to couple West Australians with place. Of late Tim Winton and John Kinsella have occupied this ground, but it is there in thinking about Randolph Stow and Dorothy Hewett and many more besides. It was Winton, after all, who wrote – ‘we come from ‘the wrong side of the wrong continent in the wrong hemisphere”. The place, thought of quite literally as location, is simply ‘wrong’, meaning not quite right, meaning askew. This is to say nothing of the spirit here, or how, for a great number of people (some Noongars and others included), this always was and always will be the very centre of the world.