ESSAYS



Wrestling with Mode and Meaning: the Play of Poetry in Theatre

Sitting high in the John Golden Theatre on Broadway, the opening moments of Jeremy O Harris’s Slave Play leave me open-mouthed. A black woman, dressed simply and of another era – one might presume as a slave – enters the …

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged

Net Carries Water

She’s balancing me on her hip, her bare feet sinking in the mud and her tiny denim shorts cutting across her dimpled thighs … She’s standing in front of a striped annex in a caravan park, somewhere in Far North …

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged

Unearthing the Greek in the Australian: an Account of Owl Publishing’s History and Foundation

Poetry publishers are an essential staple of the poetry community. When their existence is challenged by funding cuts, blinkered economic rationalisation and misguided consumerism, poets rail – as we should. But when a publisher like Owl Publishing quietly states, it …

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

NO THEME IX Editorial

Amulet ‘This is not a Warning, it is a Threat! Happy new year!’ So tweeted the American President before launching a missile strike in Iran that almost began World War Three. The American President (for separate reasons) was impeached, and …

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged ,

Never Be Alone Again: Hip-Hop Sampling as a Technique in Contemporary Australian Poetry

One of those most important battles of hip-hop’s first two decades wasn’t waged between two MCs at a cypher. And it wasn’t a couple of b-boy crews popping and locking at a block party. Instead, it pitted a hip-hop clown against a puffy-sleeved Irish balladeer.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

EARTH Editorial

Why ‘Earth’? Because we are of it, because we are destroying it, because there is nowhere else. Because to think about anything else right now feels like dissociation. The theme of this special issue isn’t radical. It’s not political. It’s …

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged

When Words Have No Equals: A Response to Lisa Robertson’s Thresholds: A Prosody of Citizenship

How far, then, is it possible to move beyond the confines of official languages, to find one’s voice? Is it possible to begin again, to reinvent oneself, and therefore change interactions with others, through language? Lisa Robertson certainly thinks so.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , , ,

Colours of the Ground: How Local Pigments Seek Local Words

It was just a moment, a single moment, but it contained so much. The bubbly little Getz in front of me was definitively, synthetically red. It seemed fast too, and intent, so I got a surprise when at the end of the overtaking turn-out it stopped almost to a complete halt so that I could go by.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged

BAYT Editorial

In Arabic, ‘bayt’ means house and also a line of poetry. Welcome. I hope you enter and explore.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged

Dear White, It’s OK to be white

In October 2018, the motion ‘It’s OK to be white’ introduced in the Australian Parliament by White Supremacist Senator Pauline Hanson.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged

In Search of Living Rooms Filled With Laughter: On Belonging as a British-Lebanese in a Time of Revolution

I had my first panic attack somewhere on the Central Line between Marble Arch and Bond Street. Sitting in an empty, well-lit carriage the world darkened and tightened around me. I thought I might disappear.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged ,

The Arabic Poem that Jumped the Fence

In 1960, the Syrian Lebanese poet Adonis published his prose poem manifesto and the Lebanese poet Unsi al-Hajj published his collection Lan (Won’t) with its seminal introduction theorising for the possibilities of poetry in prose.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , , , ,