- 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C SLowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
This side of the water-line everything is beetles, on the other, the kingdoms of crabs, all else are sports, dead-end prototypes, and us. The startling dominance of it, the inevitable reordering to the type: un-shucked, re-burdened, the great evolutionary retreat …
Posted in 106: OPEN Tagged Damen O'Brien
2022 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Award Winners
Introducing the 2022 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Prize winners.
Posted in GUNCOTTON Tagged Bethany Stapleton, Damen O'Brien, Dan Hogan, Lucy Van, Sophia Walsh
2021 Queensland Poetry Val Vallis Award Winners
Rich in imagery that is both vividly real and subtly symbolic, ‘Cicadas’ is a lyrical meditation on mortality, transformation and sustenance.
Posted in GUNCOTTON Tagged Andy Jackson, Damen O'Brien, Dan Hogan, Dimitra Harvey, Sara Saleh
What is Wrong With the Date?
Go ask the white historians with their shrunken heads, grumbling in their dusty cabinets, or the great collective forgetting, go ask them, spinning in their moral outrage, go lay your hand on Endeavour’s wormy beams, that brought a freight of …
What Animal Could You Beat in a Fight?
a Twitter Found Poem I’m glad you asked. It would have to be small. Maybe an insect. Not poisonous ones. Would I be wearing body armour? Or some kind of stiffened leather? Do I have the advantage of surprise or …
Posted in 102: GAME Tagged Damen O'Brien
Egon Kisch Takes The Dictation Test 1934
I do not speak the language which condemns him. My task is to speak the language of this door, the simple words of yes or no, you may enter here, you may not. Behind me Australia branches and the door …
Posted in 97 & 98: PROPAGANDA Tagged Damen O'Brien
Help, I’ve fallen in a fatberg and I can’t get out. I have spelunked the greasy caverns of Johannesburg, I have scaled the dripping chasms under Tokyo, I have seen the tallows glowing under Texas, and now I’ve fallen in …
Posted in 95: EARTH Tagged Damen O'Brien
2019 Val Vallis Poetry Award Winner
Damen O’Brien is the winner and the runner up to the 2019 Val Vallis Poetry Award, managed by our longtime partner, Queensland Poetry Festival.
Posted in GUNCOTTON Tagged Damen O'Brien, Judith Beveridge, Tamryn Bennett, Yvette Holt
Every day a beetle has its bowl of grass. Every day a nip of mouse is pursed up in the articulated ribs of an Eastern Brown. For each breaking of a Heron’s fast: a nail of Perch headfirst gulleted and …
Ice and Glass
You will be out of reach upon a wafer shelf of ice, crabbing through dreams with bent knees, while the ice snaps and smokes like a fragile simile. But this has not happened yet. You sit with me, sketching out …
Logical Fallacies of Alien
generalisation Ripley’s first failure was one of generalisation: that one alien’s elemental viciousness could be ascribed to all. gambler’s fallacy that the late acid savagery of subsequent samples was similarly brutal proved nothing. Repeatedly. divine fallacy the Giger-counter leap at …
Posted in 91: MONSTER Tagged Damen O'Brien
What We Know About Her
Winners for the Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem 2018
Run by Queensland Poetry Festival, and named in honour of a distinguished Queensland poet, the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem is committed to encouraging poets throughout Australia. 2018 Selection panel: Alison Whittaker and Angela Gardner.
Posted in GUNCOTTON Tagged Alison Whittaker, Angela Gardner, Damen O'Brien, Zenobia Frost
The Land Becomes A Story I Can Tell
Walking home in the unsteady night fragrant with stars, we stepped through fig mush and the sand wrack of yesterday’s high tide, arguing with the beach and maybe we pierced noisily through someone’s story, webbed ragged in this Quondamooka country, …
Posted in 82: LAND Tagged Damen O'Brien
Winners for the Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem 2016
Run by Queensland Poetry Festival, and named in honour of a distinguished Queensland poet, the Arts Queensland Val Vallis Award for an Unpublished Poem is committed to encouraging poets throughout Australia. 2016 Selection panel: Chloe Wilson and Robert Sullivan Winner …
Posted in GUNCOTTON Tagged brett dionysius, Caitlin Maling, Chloe Wilson, Damen O'Brien, Miro Bilbrough, Robert Sullivan
The sand hangs in a suspended glaze in Abu Dhabi: a silicon horizon, washing down the sky in glaring white. Moted in it, the falcons spiral on dune thermals and salt thermals, and circling higher, the 737s scrape north. The …
The Trilobite’s eyes were chipped calcite marvels that had a million years of ocular dominance and then vanished in a blink. Before the plexus of nerves, there were first lapidary conjunctions of a thousand eyes, polished and re-faceted to new …
Posted in 66: OBSOLETE Tagged Damen O'Brien