ESSAYS



NEW CARIBBEAN Editorial

New CaribbeanThe thing for me is, firstly, while I recognise the usefulness of full publication as a rubicon for determining real writers from aspiring ones, I do think there are many things that we can miss. For instance, over the last few years, some local anthologies have been published, representing the poetic output at national levels – Jubilation which celebrated 50 years of Jamaican independence, Ste. Lisi: Poems and Art of St. Lucia, published in honour of one of St. Lucia’s elder statesmen of letters, McDonald Dixon; 100 Poems from Trinidad and Tobago and several anthologies coming out of St. Martin, under House of Nehesi publishing.

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Deconstructing Decolonisation: Victor Questel’s Collected Poems

For those unfamiliar with the Caribbean context, a pan man is a pan (‘steel drum’) player, and a mas’ man’ is a participant in the masquerade. They are key figures in the annual Trinidad Carnival: a festival which creolised the quasi-pagan, pre-Lenten festivities of the white plantation class in the slave era and Canboulay (French Trinidadian Creole for ‘cannes brulées’, or burnt cane), a celebration at least as old as emancipation (1834), in which those who had been enslaved re-enacted the rounding up of slaves that occurred when sugar cane illicitly had been burnt.

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She’ll Chew You Up: Notes on Safiya Sinclair’s Cannibal and Tiphanie Yanique’s Wife

Photo of the author by Josh Begley Writing about the novel form in her 1971 essay, ‘Novel and History, Plot and Plantation,’ Jamaican novelist and theorist Sylvia Wynter said that ‘the novel form is in essence a question mark.’ It …

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NO THEME VI Editorial

No Theme viIt was a great privilege, if a little overwhelming (I had about 1,800 poems to read), to edit this edition of Cordite Poetry Review and, as it is not themed, I had the luxury of choosing poems on various subjects. I have tried to make the issue varied but also unified by my aesthetic principles.

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Words and Spills: Disability, Sexuality and Cripping Your Poetry

What am I doing?

Writing while crip is complicated.

Not the act itself, not always. My hands work most of the time, and I have access to screen readers and dictation software. But writing crip is messy and awkward and bodied and mine, because no ‘experience of disability is universal’ (Kafer 2013, 34), no matter how much anyone wants it to be.

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Private David Jones’s In Parenthesis and The Anathemata

… it came as if a rigid beam if great weight flailed about his calves, caught from behind by ballista-baulk let fly or aft-beam slewed to clout gunnel-walker below below below. He thought it disproportionate in its violence considering the …

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Mansplaining Abortion in Alexis Lateef’s ‘Procedure’

Mel Pearce | Untitled | In response to Alexis lateef’s ‘Procedure’ Alexis Lateef’s ‘Procedure’ draws on the conventions of Confessional poetry by women in English – particularly on the influential work of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton – to make …

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Thirty-Six Views of the Parallax: Mark Young’s the eclectic world, Bandicoot habitat and lithic typology

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EKPHRASTIC Editorial: Poetry that Sees

Ekphrasis In ancient Greece ekphrasis was understood more broadly than in the contemporary world, indicating a complex genealogy for this term that encompasses so much fine poetry as well as many other forms of writing. For the ancients, the best …

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J S Harry’s ‘tunnel vision’, Vicious Sydney and The Car Story

As I began this essay on J S Harry’s poem ‘Tunnel Vision’ several years ago (2006) the radio drive shows in Sydney were full of opinions, mainly angry, concerning a report that a male teacher, in an English class, encouraging students to find as many words in ‘Australia’ as they could, had led the way by showing them how it contains the word ‘slut’, and then, when asked what that meant – it must have been a young primary-school class – had told them that it was a word used to describe women.

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Ekphrasis as ‘Event’: Poets Paint Words and the ‘Performance’ of Ekphrasis in Australia

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Newcastle Region Art Gallery (NRAG) in 2007, Lisa Slade and Peter Minter co-curated the exhibition Poets Paint Words. The two curators commissioned some of Australia’s best poets to write poems in response to …

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Is Contemporary Australian Poetry Contemporary Australian Poetry?

Poet, if you’re looking for your name in this essay, jump ahead a couple of pages. There I begin talking about poets collected in this anthology. Those of you interested in a review about contemporary Australian poetry, let’s begin here.

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