Benjamin Dodds

2023 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Award Winners

Without prior consultation, this poem rose to the top of each of our shortlists; it was unquestionably our winner.

Posted in GUNCOTTON | Tagged , , ,

Death of an Astronaut

Where lies Enos (Hebrew for Man)? Not mouldering beside the deboned body-glove of HAM’s formless flesh underneath a New Mexico museum’s carpark flagpole nor laid out in the airforce pathology lab’s specimen drawers that house the same’s beetle- scrubbed bones. …

Posted in 95: EARTH | Tagged

Eve Incurs God’s Displeasure

after Marc Chagall There she lies red and engorged taking up the scene’s bottom-third like a throbbing tiger prawn. God above is green and great and accusatory stabbing a fat cartoon finger at her shielded breast. She’s taken the hue …

Posted in 86: NO THEME VII | Tagged


It is the stork who labours to deliver baby Dumbo to his sad and silent single mother. The heft of a hundred-kilo sack had to be held aloft across the Technicolor map of Disney’s pre-war USA in search of a …

Posted in 71: TOIL | Tagged

Greg McLaren Reviews Phillip Gijindarraji Hall and Benjamin Dodds

These two debut collections cast shade and light upon one other. Both poets construct a complex, convincing and engaging sense of place, exploring belonging (or not) and being in it.

The strongest poems in Phillip Gijindarraji Hall’s Sweetened in Coals quiver and hiss with profusion, connections and abundance. These poems are firmly and specifically situated in place and in country that is constituted both ecologically and culturally. There’s a deep and rich conversation here about place and habitat. Hall’s representation and evocation of specific places is a consistently powerful presence in these poems – dynamic, in flux and abundant with the presence of animal, plant and cultural life.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Benjamin Dodds Reviews Carol Jenkins

Carol Jenkins's first collection of poetry, Fishing in the Devonian, has been identified as a body of great 'scientific' poems. Michael Sharkey's quote on the publication's back cover and Judith Beveridge's pick of the best books of 2008 in Australian Book Review both single out Jenkins's work for its strong use of science.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,


Holding the taut barbed-wire with one hand And myself with the other, I gaze at the ground As hundreds of shining grey dust droplets Roll away from the rotting fence post, Down the hill, moving like mercury. The drumming piss …

Posted in 33: PASTORAL | Tagged