ESSAYS



MATHEMATICS Editorial

MathematicsI was already quite a few years into a creative writing PhD titled ‘Generic Engineering’ and flailing around quite spectacularly in a galaxy of words when an academic friend, perhaps hoping to spare me the indignity of a completed thesis and potential employment, flipped to the middle of the 526-page book he was reading and wordlessly pointed to a single sentence. ‘Due to a predilection whose origin I will leave it up to the reader to determine,’ he read, ‘I will choose the symbol ♀ for this inscription.’

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Nighthawk, Part 1: Use of Additive Sequences for Generating a Cut-up Poem

Warren BurtIn 1973, I was a post-graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, working on my Master’s degree in music composition. My principle teacher at the time was Kenneth Gaburo, well known for his work in compositional linguistics which crossed boundaries between music, language, writing, performance, and dance.

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FOB: Fresh Off the Books

‘Only idiots and government leeches live in Western Sydney,’ Zekay said to me as he tied up his oily brown hair into a topknot. He was standing in the middle of the grass at Central Park Mall, his hairy arms spread out like he was Jesus on the cross. Zekay was a University of Technology Sydney film student who lived in Surry Hills and loved to call himself the Son of Man while scratching the wiry pubes under his arms.

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The Ocean’s Tide: Parentheses in Kamau Brathwaite’s and Nathaniel Mackey’s Decolonial Poetics

Rather than rehash reasons why mathematics and poetry are closely linked fields of intellectual practice, this essay assumes their relationship is the case and focuses on one of mathematics’s and grammar’s many functional figures, the parenthesis.

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A Poetics of a Politics

When delivering a thesis presentation based on rethinking the methodologies for reading Aboriginal Australian poetics, a fellow postgraduate student asked me, ‘Do you consider your thesis political?’ I was momentarily floored. It was a question I had expected, and yet had not been adequately prepared for. In fact, as it turned out, the question was meant sincerely.

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LAND Editorial

Images courtesy of the editors When we chose to edit an issue of Cordite Poetry Review around the theme of ‘Land’, it was with an interest in the inherent openness of the word. Similarly, we came without a strong affiliation …

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The Land as Breath: Can Poetic Forms Be Metaphors for Landscapes?

Ben WalterWe are standing in the midst of a football field doubled in size and then doubled again; a great, flat oval of water covered by streaks of green sedge that strike up from the surface like spindly grass. It’s a wetland, but one that has spent the last few years of drought as land; this year, the heavy winter rains that have filled the island’s hydro dams have tipped this landscape into living water.

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Concrete: A Shikoku Pilgrimage

A long day of road walking out of Tokushima. Twenty-five, twenty-six kilometres including five hundred metres of gravel before and after Temple 18. Rosie and I left the hotel at about 7:15am and walked along one of the main arterial roads. It was like walking from Perth to Armadale along Albany Highway during peak hour.

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World of Feelings: Ghassan Hage, Bruce O’Neill, Magic Steven and the Affective Dimensions of Globalisation

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Un(dis)closed: Reading the Poetry of Emma Lew

As with contemporaries like Claire Gaskin (Paperweight) and Kate Lilley (Versary, particularly ‘Mint in Box: A Pantoum Set’), Emma Lew has turned to fixed poetic forms like the pantoum and the villanelle. Constraint is both formally enacted and thematically explored.

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Architecture, Poetry and Impressions of a Bendigo Chinese Doctor, James Lamsey

What have architecture and poetry got to do with property? This is a core question in the poetry collection ‘signs of impression’, which explores the operation of possession in a settler colonial context. It does so through the story of James Lamsey, a Chinese doctor, prolific proprietor and philanthropist who forged a space for himself in the regional Victorian city of Bendigo in the late 19th Century.

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Possession, Landscape, the Unheimlich and Lionel Fogarty’s ‘Weather Comes’

A great many Australian poets are in an interesting and ironic state of dispossession, although perhaps only a small proportion of them actually feels that way – that proportion, let’s say, whose subjects and predispositions draw them towards the landscape, its flora and fauna, and their human experience thereof and thereupon.

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