‘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.
When 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).
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.
When people say ‘difficult’ and ‘poetry’ in the same sentence they are usually referring to the experience of reading a certain type of poem.
‘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.
Language poetry and conceptual poetry have both been enormously important movements in the development of contemporary experimental American poetry. They continue to be influential, however they are now both historical moments. This has led to some contemporary poets positioning themselves as post-language or post-conceptual.
Growing up in Australia, I learned to associate the word ‘calligraphy’ with what is beautiful, perfect, virtuosic handwriting. However, there are other ways to interpret calli – the beauty – of handwriting. Punk calligraphy is my term for unhindered explorations of handwriting.
It’s mid January in Edinburgh. Patches of yesterday’s snow make florescent patterns on the future flowerbeds of the new old folks home across the road. It’s a home specifically for people with dementia. From the living room I can see that all of the rooms are, as yet, empty, but at night the lights are on and the lit stairwell and empty rooms have a waiting quality about them. The place actually looks quite nice.
When I reflect on the last decade of my engagement with poetry, I hear a presence shadowing many of my encounters. ‘Hear’ is an apt verb, because this presence is aural. What has so insistently stalked my encounters with poetry is the medium of radio, which acted as a bridge to poetry, catalysing my absorption of the form at a formative time.
Four years ago, writing an essay on David Malouf, I learned that Hawthorn Library held a copy of his first poetry collection, Bicycle and Other Poems (1970). I borrowed it, and, sadly, I returned it, too. Today, I rang the library to find the book.
Wherever there is a need for translation there is discomfort – a chasm that must be scaffolded, or connected by branch, bond or bridge. There is almost a desperation in the need to both enlighten and to be understood.
What can the original concepts underpinning psychogeography lend to a discussion of the relation between poetry and place in contemporary Australian poetics? Can the Paris-based wanderings of Guy Debord and the Situationist Internationale (SI) bring to the fore new meanings of being and creating in urban Australia? To delve into these questions this essay conducts a psychogeographic reading of Carmine Frascarelli’s 2016 book, Sydney Road Poems (Rabbit Poets Series), using key concepts put forth by Debord and the SI.