INTRODUCTIONS

Introduction to Teena McCarthy’s Bush Mary

When Teena McCarthy told me she had constructed this book from poems, lines, phrases and images that she had written on odd-sized pieces of paper and had gathered them until they formed a manuscript, I immediately thought of Emily Dickinson, who also wrote many of her poems on the backs of envelopes and scraps that had been used as shopping lists.

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Introduction to Alex Selenitsch’s Look!

BUY YOUR COPY HERE To situate the work contained in Look!, it is worth recalling the rich but neglected Concrete Poetry tradition. Even in the twenty-first century, its challenge to the transparency of the word as a medium of communication …

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Introduction to Catherine Vidler’s Wings

BUY YOUR COPY HERE Catherine Vidler’s Wings are in your hands: here’s 66 of them from a series of 100. At the beginning of this book is a black-and-white image of what appears to be an insect with six, or …

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Introduction to Ella O’Keefe’s Slowlier

Since 1972, satellites have circled the earth, collecting images of it and sending them back to be catalogued and examined. Conventionally these satellites are called landsats, sometimes EarthHawks.

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Introduction to Lucy Van’s The Open

All doors are open in Lucy Van’s poetry. Ingress and egress are multiple, even coincident. We’ve just touched what’s here, or are about to touch it, when apprehension is quickly unsettled, halted or reconfigured.

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Introduction to Em König’s Breathing Plural

Will we miss nature, asks Em König in Breathing Plural? In ‘dreams of stale breath’, maybe. Or ‘in another life, on another planet … maybe’ (echoing The Only Ones’ only hit). Glenn Albrecht says in Earth Emotions, ‘It [nature] effectively no longer exists’.

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Introduction to Prithvi Varatharajan’s Entries

I’ve noticed that Prithvi Varatharajan thinks carefully about offering a true gesture, word or position in every social exchange. I sense that, for him, all communication is an art defined by authenticity rather than decadence. His reflective nature is continuous with the character of the poetics in Entries.

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Introduction to John Mukky Burke’s Late Murrumbidgee Poems

John Mukky Burke – one of my favourite philosophers – is the most underrated poet in Australia. His usual lacerating intelligence and empathy are here in this sensational collection, but ‘exuberance’ is the word that keeps occurring to me as I read. Burke is a poet who, in maturity, has shed many masks and is the better for it.

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Introduction to Astrid Lorange’s Labour and Other Poems

This book is titled Labour and Other Poems. Just as Astrid Lorange speaks of building a poetics – intensive and intentional – as a way of perceiving the world of relations in their shadow, every poem here requests an attentiveness to the multiple relations of our lives, to the entwining of senses and references.

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Introduction to Caren Florance’s Lost in Case

BUY YOUR COPY HERE Caren Florance works in the Venn overlaps of text art, visual poetry and creative publishing. Her work is hard to pin down, principally because the artist herself is not interested in a static outcome. Much of …

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Introduction to Zenobia Frost’s After the Demolition

BUY YOUR COPY HERE Philosophical questions of reality and duality underpin many of the poems in Zenobia Frost’s After the Demolition, leading to a sense of rebuilding and remembrance in the aftermath of abodes. The potency of houses is a …

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Introduction to Charmaine Papertalk Green’s Nganajungu Yagu

Since Charmaine Papertalk Green’s poetry was first published in The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets in 1986, her voice on the page has been consistent: eloquently powerful, respectfully challenging and true to her role in life as a Yamaji Nyarlu.

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Introduction to Louise Crisp’s Yuiquimbiang

Read. This is poetry. Both a praise and a lament for Country. Read. There is little like it. Australia struggles with an embrace of the past, but Louise Crisp does not flinch from the intimacy of fact.

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Introduction to Marjon Mossammaparast’s That Sight

Photo by Gen Ackland. BUY YOUR COPY HERE Marjon Mossammaparast’s That Sight offers us a wide-ranging series of viewpoints, taking the reader through various locations and histories. It zooms out to cosmological heights, and even beyond to God (or the …

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Introduction to Elena Gomez’s Body of Work

There’s a difference between occupying a seemingly unceasing parade of subject positions through a kind of colonising, thieving, dissipatory borderlessness … and inhabiting them as a form of aesthetic and political revolt.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Helen Lambert’s Echoland

Helen Lambert’s work is as new to me as it will be to others – she has been operating away from Australian poetry for some time, with long periods in Ireland and, lately, Russia. One approaches a new poet warily. Yet the inventive and capable intelligence behind the poems here is immediately apparent. It is wonderful to be able to drop one’s guard, to forget it – and to enter a wonderful world.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Siobhan Hodge’s Justice for Romeo

Justice for Romeo, as a title, will seem both accurate and misleading for most readers; this is a book decidedly concerned with justice, and Siobhan Hodge’s sense of ethical responsibility pervades the poems. Hodge’s book includes as epigraph the exchange between Romeo and a servant in Act I, Scene ii of the most famous love story of all time; the servant asks, ‘I pray, can you read any thing you see?’, to which Romeo replies, ‘Ay, if I know the letters and the language.’

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Lindsay Tuggle’s Calenture

Lindsay Tuggle’s poetry is uncomfortable to read: the discomforts one feels in reading her work are the very thing that make it memorable. At once immensely personal, ornate, and unapologetically embedded in female experience, it is a style unconcerned with irony or terseness. It is a verse informed by the still-alive alternative histories of the American South and haunted by the Southern Gothic literature that these histories inform.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Pascalle Burton’s About the Author Is Dead

Pascalle Burton’s About the Author is Dead refers to, and opens with an epigraph from, Roland Barthes’s seminal essay, ‘The Death of the Author’. Inside the collection, we find not one author but many: David Byrne and Grace Jones, Miranda July and Jacques Derrida; authors who are filmmakers, authors who are poets, philosophers and musicians.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Jeanine Leane’s Walk Back Over

In Walk Back Over, Wiradjuri woman – read: poet, academic, historian, teacher – Jeanine Leane takes off our wallpaper to reveal the personal and political layers of a nuanced history.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Anne Elvey’s White on White

What is happening in these poems? Or do I mean what happens to us, the readers? But which ‘us’? And what reader? I am not really talking about feeling, although who couldn’t, wouldn’t, feel when ‘School Days’ – a poem that records every detail of white skin and soul, sun-warmed government-issue school milk and British ritual in one colonial Australian home – has another child, likely an Indigenous Australian child, stolen ‘while waiting for a train’.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Tanya Thaweeskulchai’s A Salivating Monstrous Plant

The greatest thing, writes Aristotle in the Poetics, is the command of metaphor, an eye for resemblances. The first overt metaphor in Tanya Thaweeskulchai’s A Salivating Monstrous Plant appears in its second sentence: ‘These noises conglomerate, building like a nest of waking vipers’.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Broede Carmody’s Flat Exit

A first book of poems needs no introduction, being its own forerunner. As a consequence, this note merely states the obvious: that Broede Carmody is a young writer with a great lyrical talent.

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Cordite Poetry Review

Introduction to Matthew Hall’s False Fruits

Fruit is the apogee of the pastoral. It’s what the work, the waiting, the ritual and the thanks are for. But the making of fruit is costly and even the ‘natural’ cycle of things will be managed so some factors are privileged over others. In this cycle of post-lyrical poems, Hall questions the form and circumstances of these factors. What are they?

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