Toby Fitch

Toby Fitch (he/they) is poetry editor of Overland and a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Sydney. He is the author of eight books of poetry, including Where Only the Sky had Hung Before (2019), Sydney Spleen (2021), and, most recently, a newly expanded and full-colour edition of Object Permanence: Calligrammes (2023).

Toby Fitch Reviews Catherine Vidler

In the late Catherine Vidler’s first full-length collection of poetry Furious Triangle (2011), a brilliant book of poems using regular old words, the spores to Vidler’s entirely wordless visual poems can be found. There are experiments in the microscopic, such as through anagrammatic play and her ‘20 one-word poems,’ the latter of which highlights the contradictory and proliferative meanings within single words.

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Toby Fitch Reviews Running time by Emily Stewart

Emily Stewart is the author of numerous chapbooks, including Like and The Internet Blue. Her debut poetry collection Knocks (Vagabond Press 2016) won the inaugural Noel Rowe Poetry Award and reflected an assuredly varied approach as it experimented with multiple voices (not just in monologues but polyphonic within poems), erasure as a feminist poetics (with homage-like condensations of Lydia Davis, Helen Garner, Susan Sontag, Clarice Lispector and more), post-digital affect (extracting poetic value from online idioms in particular, though sometimes overwhelming the poetic value), all while interleaving themes of climate change, the cost of living, and more in an exploration of what it means and feels like to live in so-called Australia in the Anthropocene.

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Dust Red Dawn

Can you convince the wind to change direction? The Opera House dishes in their rack are browning again. The government wants them whitewashed by massive, shock-jock-endorsed horse-racing ads. It’s nearly summer and November’s going loopy. The sky turns ochre, orange …

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A Massage from the Vice-Chancellor

1 Dear ____ , in a nuanced way. At the shame time I am writing to you this is in addition to your with some key information regular annual crisis disruption. In adjuncting to our management ‘new normal’ you have …

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‘The amorphousness of meaning-making’: Elena Gomez Interviews Toby Fitch

I did write some poetry at school, just never with much intent.

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King Tide

we don’t always take stock of or shed our satellite stocks but a blonde woman pointing at maps became historical and the moon shone hysterically on our sector so we embraced our shelves for a large complex weather event an …

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Toby Fitch Reviews Holly Friedlander Liddicoat’s CRAVE

First books are a big occasion for poets. Their publication makes something heretofore unofficial official while announcing the poet as one committed to ‘the art of language’, as Gig Ryan describes poetry.

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Aussi / Or: Un Coup de dés and Mistranslation in the Antipodes

‘Shipwrecked on the shoals of contingency’, Australian poetry is haunted by Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem Un Coup de Dés. Its publication in Cosmopolis in Paris in 1897 struck a nerve or, rather, a vessel within Australian poetry bloodlines,

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Mangled, or Yet Another Hierarchical Official Oracle

* w e r t q i o u y f goo h j k l zx cvs b nerf , > ( 9 @ …) wtf_ # this ; & gle i is ya the h | dream o …

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Argo Notes

1 irreverence of being a baby amniotic fluid sonic bubble & blood i find you forget you the heart’s action & breathing i keep forgetting you makes spontaneous gesture possible but you remember me our conference about breastfeeding i lose …

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Feel Like I’m Somehow Related to Everyone on the Internet

I am outraged / have been as long as I can remember The sky’s a projector & the moon was brought here by aliens To keep us informed of the shitstorms going on I am outraged / been a member …

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The Left Hand of Dankness

/ facts seem to alter w/ an altered voice as one counts capital backwards / i didn’t know it was raining / dank advancing comfortably as fish to the various electric musics that echo thru the deep state / polished …

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I’ll start this off without any words, watching them pass like clouds in the sky, too busy sucking. On warm milk and laxatives I’ll walk you through heartbreak, show you the out-takes—all the dead wood from jungles and cities on …

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Poetry of the Eye: The Visual Aspects of Poetry

Image by Tim Grey Presented by Cordite Publishing Inc. and Australian Poetry, and hosted by poet Toby Fitch, this workshop at the 2016 Emerging Writers’ Festival will open your eyes to the potential of the poem on the page. By …

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After the Orgy

i is an / ugh it’s an ignoramus jamais jamais u say / or maybe nether nether its inland sequel is counting on this Eur optic allusion to echo it &/ or braise it w/ outsourcery in terror pots of …

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noon when i woke Dawn long since fallen with a plonk or was that my child on timber floors her massive booty surrounded by discarded labels from the discount sales she crashed at the top of the main drag last …

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We met as phantoms in the mountains, Unable to avoid the transnational arm of sleep Of whatever city we got raised in. I had such a beautiful dreamtime, an electric field, My only weapon against it was to escape Like …

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from Jerilderies

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Rock Bottom

after Rimbaud The first dawn of June was a dark aquarium belligerent submarines hurled themselves at my chest. The National Security Agency had trumpeted my grave and branded my ass with an ardency we couldn’t run off in the fields. …

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Your electric moon breast My black-trunked, gold-leaf slip Fall into flux Dissipate like white plumes You’re especially wild With a strange malaise for more Metallic aches, we moor Ourselves to a daisy, sit two abreast: Brush strokes of willed Grass …

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Toby Fitch Reviews Mathew Abbott

The organisational body Australian Poetry Ltd, formerly the Australian Poetry Centre, has reintroduced its ‘New Poets Series’ as a ‘new voices series’ via first books of poetry by Mathew Abbott and Eileen Chong., Both books are around 30-40 pages, and repeat the same production errors of the 2009 and 2010 series. This review focuses on the poetry of Mathew Abbott’s wild inaudible.

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The 15 Great Dog Pisses of Paris

(after Brett Whiteley)     1. Off in the distance, a twig, the syphilitic finger of Baudelaire pointing towards any number of vague symbols — his spleen? the soul? an invitation to Pigalle? It’s a mystery. 2. Trailing down in …

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Toby Fitch Reviews Michael Farrell and John Ashbery

In her review of John Ashbery’s new translation of Illuminations in The New York Times, Lydia Davis reminded us that: “When Rimbaud’s mother asked of A Season in Hell, ‘What does it mean?’ — a question still asked of Rimbaud’s poetry, and of Ashbery’s, too — Rimbaud would say only, ‘It means what it says, literally and in every sense.'”

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