- 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
East Wind The gate is locked. A woman exits the house, and we enter. My grandmother takes her seat at the table: her braceleted arms intersect the others’ as they churn the tiles ceaselessly, dry seas breaking over papered felt. …
Posted in 109: NO THEME 12 Tagged Eileen Chong
Write how quiet it is. ‘Starvation Camp Near Jaslo’, Wislawa Szymborska The lines stretch out like a child’s drawing, wavering, circling the block. These are people; they clutch envelopes, papers, proof of lack. They are hungry, they are afraid of …
Posted in 107: LIMINAL Tagged Eileen Chong
Pantoum for My Parents
My mother listened to my poem, and it filled her with shame. My father asked me to explain it. I was both sorry and afraid, and it filled me with shame. My poem is about racism—and how I was sorry …
Posted in 100: BROWNFACE Tagged Eileen Chong
And yet there are new shoots growing from the bamboo in the spring sunshine and the cat is warming himself on the pavers. The violets are ankle-deep and three snails have left their silver trails across the path where they …
Posted in 93: PEACH Tagged Eileen Chong
5 Translated Eileen Chong Poems
Image courtesy of The Planthunter / Red Room Company. Mid-Autumn Mooncakes It’s nearly mid-autumn. I spy the tins at the Asian grocer—gaudy red peonies unchanged for forty years. Of course I buy the mooncakes with double yolks: here in Australia, …
Posted in TRANSLATIONS Tagged Annie Drahos, Eileen Chong, Grace Feng, Isabelle Li, Jiana Zhu, Jill Chang Chien, Jinghai Chao, Ke Zhang, Steven Langsford, Weihui He
… I must go in. Memory’s fog is rising. Selected Letters, Emily Dickinson In the corners mould is blooming like grey and black snowflakes. Next to the window, white paint blisters; water swells its skin. On winter mornings moisture ghosts …
Posted in 80: NO THEME VI Tagged Eileen Chong
Review Short: Eileen Chong’s Painting Red Orchids
In his short story ‘A Little Ramble’, champion of the anti-heroic Robert Walser says, ‘We don’t need to see anything out of the ordinary. We already see so much’. In her third collection, Painting Red Orchids, Singaporean Australian Eileen Chong testifies to ordinary experience as the sensory and emotional kaleidoscope of the individual.
Posted in BOOK REVIEWS Tagged Eileen Chong, Ling Toong
Review Short: Adam Aitken’s One Hundred Letters Home
It has taken me more than a hundred days to read Adam Aitken’s One Hundred Letters Home. The book arrived in my letterbox in Sydney at the beginning of May. Autumn turned into winter, and the fragments of Aitken’s palimpsest-memoir started to unfold themselves to me.
Posted in BOOK REVIEWS Tagged Adam Aitken, Eileen Chong
Kim Cheng Boey Reviews Eileen Chong
In a suite of three poems praising the legendary beauty, Consort Yang Guifei, the Tang poet Li Bai draws on the virtues of the peony, a flower that with its luxuriant petals and luminous colours embodies feminine beauty and allure.
Posted in BOOK REVIEWS Tagged Eileen Chong, Kim Cheng Boey, Li-Young Lee
DAS GEDICHT + Cordite = Deutsch Poems of Campbell, Chong, Fischer, Leber, Skovron, Vickery and Wright
Cordite Poetry Review has teamed up with venerable German literary magazine, DAS GEDICHT, to publish translations of Australian works into German. These translations are directly aimed for German readership (this is to say that the English originals are not on …
Posted in GUNCOTTON Tagged Alex Skovron, Eileen Chong, Luke Fischer
‘Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.’ ‘Wild Geese’, Mary Oliver Over the empty distance between continents we transmit facsimiles of affection. Your daughter, the elder, has learnt to count. She can list the things I …
Posted in 61: NO THEME III Tagged Eileen Chong
Siobhan Hodge Reviews Eileen Chong
Eileen Chong’s Burning Rice is steeped in images of food, family and connectivity. The poems thematically span geographical and chronological distances in order to make links between cultural and ancestral origins. Culinary references combine to create comforting images of solidarity in the face of isolation and anxiety. However, this is not a chapbook wholly steeped in nostalgia.
Posted in BOOK REVIEWS Tagged Eileen Chong, Siobhan Hodge
Asian Australian Diasporic Poets: A Commentary
This essay provides a survey of the poetry of some Asian Australian poets, and does not attempt to be definitive. Diasporic poetics raise more questions than they answer and are just as much about dis-placement as about place, just as much about a ‘poetics of uncertainty’ as about certainties of style/nation/identity.