Alexis Lateef

Review Short: Aidan Coleman’s Cartoon Snow

South Australian poet Aidan Coleman’s previous book of poetry, Asymmetry, was published in 2012. It charts Coleman’s traumatic experience of a stroke, and the resulting loss of symmetry in his body, life and writing. The book strings together revelations made startling through poetic bluntness, from the initial shock of incapacitation to the excruciation of gradual rehabilitation.

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Mansplaining Abortion in Alexis Lateef’s ‘Procedure’

In stanzas 1 to 3 the speaker begins in conversations experienced as attack, with a metaphor of a hunter trapping an insect, and the speaker expressing herself as insect under threat of being devoured.

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Your displeasure encircled, like descending mesh, that first occasion we called a conversation. Was I the blanched insect and you the hunter, with your barbed question-net? The gendered metaphor flutters weakly, but does not die No feminist assertion swoops down …

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Alexis Lateef Reviews Stuart Barnes

Stuart Barnes’s early exposure to poetry reads like a literary fantasy. As a child he attended the same Tasmanian church as Gwen Harwood. The two struck up an unlikely friendship, and Harwood encouraged him to write. That formative experience saw him move to Melbourne to study literature where, in 2005, he was handed a notebook and, once again, urged to write. Barnes’ first collection of poetry, Glasshouses, is the culmination of years of carefully honed impressions, reflections and commentary.

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Review Short: Antigone Kefala’s Fragments

Fragments by Antigone Kefala Giramondo Publishing, 2016 When casting an eye back at Antigone Kefala’s oeuvre, one finds a poet of the surreal, who has delicately combined reality, folklore, and dream state. She has expressed the trauma of migration and …

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Alexis Lateef Reviews Paul Hetherington

Artistically, burnt umber is an earthy shade intensified by heat. It is a colour synonymous with this country – familiar to anyone who has trekked through Western Australia, from where Paul Hetherington originally hails. In this collection, it is also a metaphor for memory, which, through the heat of feelings in the present, attains an intensity that overwhelms the original events.

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Review Short: Sandy Jeffs’s Chiaroscuro

In her poem ‘The suicides’, Janet Frame writes: ‘know they died because words they had spoken/ returned always homeless to them’. Perhaps more deaths could be prevented if people were able to speak without fear of being shamed or ostracised, knowing that their words might lodge in someone’s mind or heart, and that language, if wrestled with, could offer healing.

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Review Short: Rachael Mead’s The Sixth Creek

Rachael Mead is part of a fine group of contemporary Australian poets writing about nature in nuanced and resonant ways. She brings her own slant to the genre with her first collection, The Sixth Creek, while doffing her hat to celebrated writers like Mary Oliver, Thoreau, and Judith Wright.

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