Cameron Lowe



Review Short: Ken Bolton’s London Journal / London Poem

Readers of contemporary Australian poetry will most likely need no introduction to the work of Adelaide-based Ken Bolton. In a career extending back to Four Poems (1977), Bolton has established a distinctively discursive poetry, one that weaves observations of the poet’s everyday environment with musings on art, culture, and society more generally.

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White Sauce

A stormy romance ends in the arms of another, ends with ‘too long at the bar’. Am I marrying for money? Should I hire a wig? I buy a book on ways to disappear. She licks the stranger’s face. I …

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Review Short: Laurie Duggan’s Allotments

AllotmentsIn 2012 Puncher & Wattmann published Laurie Duggan’s serial ‘Blue Hills’ poems in one collection. The ‘Blue Hills’ – a sequence that first appeared in Duggan’s The Great Divide (1985) and then reappeared intermittently through a number of subsequent books until being brought together in The Collected Blue Hills – are notational works concerned with the idiosyncrasies of place, or perhaps space, depending on one’s theoretical allegiances [if any].

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I Spy

—after a line by Fiona Hile Not yet drunk, or appreciating poetry—stuck on the highway—I offer the male glaze, you imitate the silence of Werribee. Spot any zebra? I spy— one donkey. I say: ‘the party will be over… I …

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Review Short: Cameron Lowe’s Circle Work

IntercolonialThe poems in Cameron Lowe’s Circle Work swing across each page at a strangely measured, athletic tilt. The scope is local and vast, the gaze muscular, and Lowe sweeps the vistas (from Corio to the universe) for details apprehended as preternatural. His rapture typified in the lines, ‘the body’s cruel admission// that close is never close enough’ (56), these poems skirt edges of realness without entering the domain of things. Lowe’s is a poetics of evanescence, not arrival, and Circle Work frames the contours of human habitats as noise-filled within <> of silence. This book, a ‘stage of surfaces’ (31), watches carefully the play of order: birds and cats and dogs, flower-filled gardens and houses, dark bays and intersected hills and, everywhere, sound and light tinged by season or time.

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Rise and Shine

‘What is a / poem, anyway’ —James Schuyler Morning’s kiss your kiss leaves and noisy sparrows— outside the open window guys are up to something of importance— ‘… the sewer’s not … can you get the fucking waders …’

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Review Short: Pete Spence’s Excurses


Pete Spence’s chapbook Excurses follows closely on the heels of his excellent book-length collection Perrier Fever (Grand Parade Poets, 2011). Long known as an exponent of visual poetry and mail art, Spence’s more ‘conventional’ poetry has, somewhat surprisingly given his long publishing history going back to the 1970s, slipped under the radar to some degree. One hopes these recent books will go some way to rectifying this oversight, for Spence’s work strikes a particularly distinctive note among contemporary Australian poetry.

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BAP Reps 2012

Four poems from the past three issues of Cordite Poetry Review have been included in Best Australian Poems 2012 edited by John Tranter. Congratulations go out to Josephine Rowe for Atlantic City (Cordite 37.1), Cameron Lowe for Turkey in the …

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Turkey in the Drawer

To whoever’s happy batting I rose beyond the daydream of Sydney Harbour considered as a Matisse despite not having been there (and would have ‘kissed her while she pissed’—as did Williams —only she was walking the streets of Graz) I …

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Amelia Walker Reviews David McCooey and Cameron Lowe

Graphic by David McCooey Whitmore Press, 2010 Porch Music by Cameron Lowe Whitmore Press, 2010 Though relatively young, Geelong-based Whitmore Press’ poetry series already boasts strong collections by Barry Hill, Paul Kane and Maria Takolander, amongst others. With Graphic by …

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Text and Paratext: Ern Malley and the Function of the Author

The immediate target of the Malley hoax was Max Harris and those associated with Angry Penguins, but McAuley and Stewart also had ‘bigger fish’, as it were, in mind. Herbert Read in particular, the English poet and critic—whose writings were a significant influence on Max Harris’ own poetry and aesthetics—was very much in the hoaxers’ sights.

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Requested

The bath opens a blue glass page- all night we drift, gazing at hard water, splinters of light, the moon its own decoration. In this swimsuit season skin fashions an easy audience, teasing out the noise of men. Mark the …

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