We came about this issue’s theme by dumping loved words into a shared document: nouns, verbs, phrases and onomatopoeia that stirred a shared love of intimacy with language, of play and tricksterism.
Writing Sound: Phonautography, Phonography and Marianne Moore’s Syllabics
9 April 1860, a room in Paris. Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville is singing ‘Au clair de la lune’ into his astonishing invention. For twenty seconds he sings, slowly.
Holy Water / Heart Vapours
It is tears, often, that prove a mystic to be a saint. It is tears, too, that prove a girl a heretic, too Catholic, too Pagan, simultaneously overwhelming and refusing her audience.
What Blooms Beneath a Blood-Red Sky: A Year in Aotearoa Poetry
Poetry is booming in Aotearoa, and nobody can quite say why. What’s stirring our blood in the plague years / this sixth mass extinction / our deteriorating climate of political and literal atmospheres?
Essential Gossip: Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan and U.S.-Australian Poetics
In 1985, when the bulky anthology Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania (first published in 1968) was printed in a new edition, it was advertised with the curious dust jacket recommendation: ‘hailed by the Los Angeles Times Book Review as one of the hundred most recommended American books of the last thirty-five years’.
The Email May Contain Information: Eda Gunaydin on Toby Fitch
What might it mean to acknowledge that this is the substance of the labour performed by many of us, those of us who aspire to do anything but?
Peripheral Peripheries: Robert Wood on Alvin Pang
Here there are plastic chairs, plastic tables, phone screens, tv soaps, chicken rice, and the poem’s final word, which tells us what we have always known.
Open Relations: Angela Biscotti on Lucy Van
Perhaps the moment-to-moment labour of crafting verse is not wildly dissimilar to the invisible quotidian acts of looking after those we love.
Notes on the Archive: Chi Tran after Timmah Ball
The archive is a site of both order and trouble. It could be said that the archive is where history goes to sleep.
So why bring Veronica Forrest-Thomson into a discussion of Asian Australian poetry? There are a couple of circumstantial coincidences: she was born in British Malaya (her father was a rubber planter) and found an able and sympathetic expositor in the Australian poet Martin Harrison, who gave a 1979 ABC Radio talk on Poetic Artifice.
Writing Threat and Trauma: Poetic Witnessing to Social Injustice and Crisis
This article explores creative responses to crises that are written and technologically mediated in a liminal zone between threat and trauma.
Paper-feel and Digital Play: Note-taking and Videogames
After months (years?) of stagnation in lockdown, I handle a pen with an uncertain grip. I feel a tremor as I write, now, and my script varies wildly as I adjust and readjust.
Everything I Don’t Know How to Say / sve što ne znam kako da kažem
When I left Bosnia in 2018, my cousin gave me a book of poetry, Bosansko-Hercegovačka Poezija. It’s a slim volume, bright purple with a pale lilac square on its cover.
‘to make is to risk making a botch’ —Harry Gilonis As we sit down to write this introduction it’s reaching the end of winter in Geelong (Djilang), on unceded Wadawurrung Country – close to a year since we first considered …
Portrait, Lyric, Code: Reading the Face Before and After Laura Riding Jackson’s Body’s Head
A young woman sits partially side-on. Her right hand is wrapped lightly around her left wrist.
She wears no necklace, no rings. She sits against a blue sky.
NO THEME XI Editorial
A lot happened over the months we spent working on this issue, from November when we published our playful, hyperactive call-out, to now, the beginning of winter, a date that marks a shift in the year’s trajectory. It’s time to …
On Kinds of Aunts, Dorothy Porter’s Barbaroi and the Head of a Gorgon
My youngest aunt, Irene, has a dream which she recounts to me, one unremarkable morning, when I am reading to my father over the phone.
KIN explores how kinship, our understandings of who we are and where we come from, engages with dynamic senses of Country and belonging to Country.
Stand-up Comedy: A Scene of Paradoxes
After one year, 80 gigs and countless nights worrying, I finally told my parents I did stand-up comedy.
House Style Lifestyle, Or: Same. Same. Same. Same. Same. Same.
Image by Lauren Connelly. 3920 words. 22-minute read. Welcome to the world of snackable content. Listen closely: like an ambient soundscape, its soft tides wash over you and you devour it quickly. Sometimes, it repeats an opinion you’ve already developed, …
On the Holding of Spaces for Essaying Into
It’s a putting oneself into a space of deliberate uncertainty. Stepping into the unknown. A practicing in that space. Training.
‘Seeking to be here, doing this’: Po-Essaying into Agro-ecological Thinking
I don’t eat pork. Dislike its taste and texture. Perhaps this is because my mother is a terrible cook, her meats always tough and dry.
The uneasy and subjective (this is an accurate phrase, so I’m borrowing it) process of selecting poems felt more heightened in this process because of the solitude.
Erasure Poetry As Outsourcing the Lexicon with Reference to Srikanth Reddy’s Voyager and M NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!
Certainly one of the most radical works of erasure poetry is Zong! (Wesleyan, 2008) by M NourbeSe Philip. Where many other examples choose an ample text to move through in linear fashion, producing enough material in the process to constitute the project in its entirety, Philip instead reacts to an extreme paucity of information.