Siobhan Hodge

Siobhan Hodge has a PhD in English literature. Her thesis focused on Sappho’s legacy in English translations. Born in the UK, she divides her time between Australia and Hong Kong. Her chapbook of reflections on Sappho, Picking Up the Pieces, was published in 2012 as part of the Wide Range Chapbooks series. She is currently the Reviews Editor for Writ Review and an Associate Editor for Rochford Street Review. She has had critical and creative works published in a range of places, including Westerly, Axon, Contrapasso, Peril, Plumwood Mountain.

Review Short: Vanessa Page’s Confessional Box

Confessional BoxAustralian poet Vanessa Page’s latest collection, Confessional Box, is equal parts personal and critical, examining emotional relationships with a terse, engaging style. As the title suggests, there is a strongly self-aware element to Confessional Box. The poems are relatively open, encompassing a range of points of view and personas, but these are not wholly simple reflections of human relationships. Rather, Page presents a series of evolving sections, embellishing on memories and balancing broader criticisms against more personally orientated notions of access and invitation.

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Review Short: Kit Kelen’s China Years: New and Selected Poems

China Years: New and Selected PoemsAustralian poet Christopher Kit Kelen’s most recent collection, China Years: selected and new poems, contains English and Chinese pieces, presented side by side in translation, along with original artwork. Kelen’s strong interest in translation is immediate on the front cover and throughout the collection, highlighting a focus on creating points of access. When paired with Kelen’s original ink and watercolour drawings, interspersed as breaks throughout the text, a reading approach that is both fluid and inclusive is encouraged.

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Siobhan Hodge Reviews Bonny Cassidy

Certain Fathoms Bonny Cassidy’s Certain Fathoms encourages readers to feel for the full extent of her poetic linkages, presenting a series of poems broken into two parts, inviting immediate and further reflection. The poems outwardly celebrate subtlety and linkage through their fragmentary structures, including much natural imagery and a quiet but definitive speaking voice.

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Bersyarat | Conditionals

Bersyarat Jurang pemisah membuka dan di sekitarnya retakan-retakan bumi menggigit sulur rasa dari mulut tinggal mengering, simbiosis retakan tepi merah. Perkataan perempuan itu terlepas dan berlari menertawai lainnya tak berlipat, lengan sang lelaki kokoh dan hangat bila dipegang menggerogot memompa …

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Siobhan Hodge Reviews Eileen Chong

Burning Rice
Burning Rice by Eileen Chong
Australian Poetry, 2012

Eileen Chong’s Burning Rice is steeped in images of food, family and connectivity. The poems thematically span geographical and chronological distances in order to make links between cultural and ancestral origins. Culinary references combine to create comforting images of solidarity in the face of isolation and anxiety. However, this is not a chapbook wholly steeped in nostalgia.

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Transmissions: Three Translations of Sappho

‘Transmissions’ comprises of creative translations and selective re-orderings of some fragmentary works of ancient Greek poet Sappho. These compilations emphasise the occasionally violent and manipulative nature of Sappho’s poems, the potential for multiple interpretations through lacunae, and some possible implications of imposing narratives on a poet about whom we know so little and whose works survive only in pieces.

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A Field Report from This is Not Art

It didn’t really sink in that I was going to This is Not Art (TiNA) until about halfway through the flight from Perth to Sydney. I largely did not know what to expect, having done relatively little research beforehand and being chronically distracted by PhD studies/life as I know it.

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Siobhan Hodge Reviews ‘Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia’

Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia edited by John Kinsella and Alvin Pang Ethos Books, 2008 Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia is ambitious. This anthology reads as a sample of more to come, rather than a clear …

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The Gendered Gothic: Dorothy Hewett’s Alice in Wormland

Dorothy Hewett and ‘zombies' are not generally found in the same sentence. However, Hewett liberally utilises Gothic tones and imagery in her poetry. These Gothic trappings do not serve only as motifs: they permeate the mood, conflicts and resolutions of Hewett's Alice in Wormland. This collection, published in 1987, combines pseudo-autobiographical elements with parody, mythology, and morbid images to ultimately reach a strangely optimistic resolution.

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