Mark Roberts Reviews ‘The Best Australian Poems 2011’

The Best Australian Poems 2011The Best Australian Poems 2011
John Tranter, ed. Collingwood: Black Inc., 2011

I am old enough to remember the K-Tel LP records (vinyl) of the 1970’s – 20 Hits of Summer, 20 Sizzling Hits of 1976 and so on. They were relatively cheap and covered a large range of pop music styles, from Slade to Kiki Dee and back to Deep Purple. The task of deciding what to include in each release must have been relatively simple – each song had to have been on high rotation on the major AM pop/rock radio stations – and the aim was to get teenagers to spend their pocket money on a cheap album rather that a number of singles. Judging by the number of K-Tel collections my friends had, it was a successful strategy.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Michael Farrell Reviews ‘Fremantle Poets 1: New Poets’

Fremantle Poets 1: New PoetsFremantle Poets 1: New Poets (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2010)

There is an apt awkwardness and uncertainty in all three poets – Emma Rooksby, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, J.P. Quinton – here: in the expression of sentiment (‘Preparations’, Rooksby), in the use of syntax (Mitchell) and archaisms like ‘verily’ (Quinton). All three are skilled poets, but they are new, and there is a sense that they are still trying things out. As editor Tracy Ryan writes, the three are ‘extremely diverse in tone and approach’ and this diversity is pronounced in a way that would be tempered were there more poets in the book. Ryan’s selected poets represent three modes, rather than merely variety itself. This is not a sampler, however, but three books in one, and perhaps not designed to be read sequentially.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , , , , ,

Adam Ford Reviews Thirty Australian Poets

Thirty Australian PoetsThirty Australian Poets (University of Queensland Press, 2011)

Thirty Australian Poets is a new anthology out of UQP that focuses on the work of poets born after 1968. It’s an intriguing conceit that invites comparison with the work of the Generation of ’68 without actually issuing a challenge per se, but at least prompting a ‘look where we are now’ conversation. Since this constraint naturally excludes both poets who make up Australia’s vibrant live poetry scene (who tend not to be as widely published on the page) and also talented poets whose work may not have yet been collected, the poetry on offer does tend toward the formal.”

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Heather Taylor Johnson Reviews Young Poets: An Australian Anthology

Young Poets: An Australian AnthologyYoung Poets: An Australian Anthology (John Leonard Press, 2011)

“I’ve respected John Leonard Press since its beginnings in 2006, and over the years a theme has formed across its publications. Leonard’s poets have a lot in common. There is nothing slapdash about any of them. These are poets clearly enticed by language and by the theories of life. Don’t expect rhyming. Don’t expect clichés. And do not, above all, expect anything simple.”

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The Electronic Literature Collection V2

‘Electronic Literature’ could refer to quite different things: a novel written in the form of emails, a poem in Cordite (poetry is code!), a piece of musique concrète, an interactive installation in a gallery, a thread of You Tube comments, the Wikileaks cables . . . Understood broadly it would include any piece of literature that makes use of an electronic technology – e.g. Microsoft Word – somewhere along the line. ‘What literature today isn’t electronic?’ might be a more productive question to start with.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Jal Nicholl Reviews Best Australian Poems 2010

Best Australian Poems 2010 edited by Robert Adamson Black Inc., 2010 It’s hard to write about a collection as diverse as this. It has no theme really except what Adamson mentions in his introduction, quoting Baudelaire’s poem ‘Correspondances’, a poem, …

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,

Ryan Scott Reviews ‘The Return of Král Majáles’

The Return of Král Majáles: Prague’s Literary Renaissance 1990-2010 an Anthology edited by Louis Armand Litteraria Pragensia Books, 2010 This book positively brims. With words, with pictures, with experiments and experiences. At eight hundred pages plus, it is as a …

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Zoe Deleuil reviews Indigo

Indigo: Journal of West Australian Writing Volume V edited by Caroline Caddy et al Tactile Books, 2010 In the interview with Tim Winton in this issue of Indigo, the acclaimed author provides a valuable reminder: it’s all very well to …

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Siobhan Hodge Reviews ‘Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia’

Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia edited by John Kinsella and Alvin Pang Ethos Books, 2008 Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia is ambitious. This anthology reads as a sample of more to come, rather than a clear …

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , , ,

Ryan Scott reviews The Best Australian Poetry 2009 and The Best Australian Poems 2009

The Best Australian Poetry 2009 edited by Alan Wearne University of Queensland Press, 2009 The Best Australian Poems 2009 edited by Robert Adamson Black Inc., 2009 If we seek a division in Australian poetry, we will not find it represented …

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Ryan Scott reviews Nicholson Baker

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker Simon and Schuster, 2009 Paul Chowder, poet and narrator of Nicholson Baker's novel The Anthologist, is trying to write an introduction to his forthcoming anthology of poetry Only Rhyme. Unfortunately, he is unable to say …

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,

Perri Giovannucci reviews The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry

The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Kinsella

Penguin, 2009

Since the 1990s, academic discussions about literature have challenged, if not deconstructed, the project of a national canon. These discussions have centered on the notions of representation, inclusion, aesthetics, and importantly, identity. While the debates may at times seem atomising, the effects have invigorated literature, both in how it is conceptualised as a discipline and in how texts are produced. The late discussions about national literature give context to The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry, clearly a labor of love, edited by John Kinsella.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,