ESSAYS



To Outlive a Home: Poetics of a Crumbling Domestic 

While these pre-federation tropes of settler colonial Australia’s multifaceted and at times contradictory pastoral modes seem to recognise something of their incompatibility with Aboriginal land, they seek their resolution from burial, rather than reciprocal encounter with Aboriginal presence.

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Introduction to Cordite 89: DOMESTIC

I invited you to lean into this DOMESTIC sphere in all its homely undoing; to rupture the masquerading shape of cosy bliss; to plant seeds and haunt with your words; to unsettle and shape what survival looks and feels like – and you did.

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Kathy Acker and The Viewing Room

The last time I saw Kathy Acker was in London, in July 1997. I wasn’t sure how she felt about me at that point. I had failed to drop everything to be with her in San Francisco the year before, and I had failed to make a job materialise that would have brought her to Sydney, as she wanted.

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To Live There: on ‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’

‘Dispatch from the Future Fish’ is a visual poem that is deliberately referential, opening up conversations and foregrounding the notion of writing into certain traditions: those that are given to us and those that we choose. The first lines, I …

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The Wild Workshop: The Ghost of a Brontëan Childhood in the Life of Dorothy Hewett

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Externalising the Symptom: Radicalised Youth and The Membrane

I was radicalised in my youth. I came back from a year in Paris in ’68-69 with my parents, and went to Monash University, a ‘radical’ campus when it was new. I was not a leader; I was still too young for that, but being radical was a trend.

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On Deep Breaths and Friends Forever: Im/materiality and Mis/communication in Happy Angels Revisited

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Letter to Anne Carson: Work of Remembrance and Mourning

‘I came to think of translating,’ you write in Nox ‘… as a room, not exactly an unknown room, where one gropes for the light switch.’ I read your words and imagine you standing in a dark room, your hand thrust forward for a handshake with Catullus’s Poem 101.

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Introduction to TRANSQUEER

TransqueerWhen we put out the call for TRANSQUEER we asked poets ‘to explore trans identities not as positions to defend but as modes of becoming and thus ways of being human’ (Joy Ladin, Trans Studies Quarterly, 2016: 640) and ‘to believe that the world is QUEER, or that oneself is, or both, [and that this] is a window of doubt through which all creative possibility comes into being’ (Mark Doty, The Art of Description: World into Word).

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The Kindness of Strangers: On New Zealand’s Literary Journals

If I had to pick one word to describe the current landscape of New Zealand literary journals, it would be ‘wild’. Practitioners are free to form their own outlets where they see gaps they would like to be filled and this makes for an exciting, vibrant time.

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Introduction to DIFFICULT

DifficultWhen people say ‘difficult’ and ‘poetry’ in the same sentence they are usually referring to the experience of reading a certain type of poem.

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The Unaugmented Reality of Transgender Discrimination: ‘Do more, do better’

‘Do more, do better’ is a poem in four parts that explores transgender discrimination through a hypothetical augmented reality (AR) mobile app. The accompanying inked and embroidered art pieces reiterate key themes within the poem using a medium that could be considered an analogue to tech culture’s digital: craftivism.

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