Gig Ryan

Can Poetry Be Happy?

My uncle named his retro-fitted army van after Field Marshal Erick Von … someone. I’m hesitant to Google.

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Astronomical Twilight

In a dress, in a dream your guide points out carvings, a well to kick. Sissy mountains slope to ground. His fans bay in the church of Perpetual Succour. Plane to the apron, a rook abed, to swindle and jack. …

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John Forbes’s ‘Miraculous Fluidity’

In a book on comedy, philosopher Alenka Zupančič has inadvertently discovered the key to the correlation of late twentieth century Australian poet John Forbes’s mastery of cultural imitation and his deconstruction of the mechanics of national identity so often queried in his work.

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Rob Wilson Reviews Best Australian Poems 2015

Australian poetry, and indeed poetry in Australia, always seems to be undergoing something of a personality crisis. From the bush ballad to Angry Penguins and beyond, Australians have a knack for producing poetry, and a unique language from which to create it, but it’s a cottage industry. Even ‘industry’ seems too strong a term for what Australian poetry produces, though we have (and have had) no shortage of skilled writers working at various levels of poesy and doing remarkable things.

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Interior Spaces: Reading Landscape through Jill Jones

There is a photograph I have returned to several times. It was taken during the drive from Melbourne to Perth, at the petrol station which marks the town of Nullarbor, while Lucas was filling our tank.

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1. You’re not to this world but will sleep in the depths of dream, pat news, cast chat, as tenants grind chemistry’s waved night to a flask and galaxies ping time back to tree-thrilled square, or cross the lake tomorrow …

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Cordite Book Launch: Loney, Gibson, Hawke, Harkin

Collected Works Bookstore, Wednesday 6 May, 2015 I will begin with a bit of spontaneous resentful metaphysics. I am sorry to do so, for a number of reasons, but there we are. If it can be justified at all, it …

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Fuori le mura: Seven Vicki Viidikas Poems

Vicki Viidikas’s first book Condition Red (UQP, 1973) – which most likely took its title from Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (1964) in which Condition Red means war – burst with unsettling depictions of contemporary life and the status of women, a year after Equal Pay had become law.

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Awakening Slave

‘I never much liked the pictures, starlit, gauzy, a crank hand dealing largesse it didn’t have scrunched skies and foreground sentimental dogs like my great-aunt’s china doorstops …’ Disconcerted at exchange, he returns to his vignette, and last week’s salve …

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Introduction to John Hawke’s Aurelia

Cover design by Zoë Sadokierski

John Hawke’s forensic inquiries in this book are layered with casual erudition – Diderot, Czech poet Vladimir Holan – and locate the poem as transformative state. Many of these poems conclude with a mystical ascent into nature, reminiscent of Patrick White scenes in which the division between consciousness and the universe wavers, signifying that any reconciliation is epiphanic, claimed by art or religion. Yet nature belittles human effort – ‘The path to the point is marked by a scattering / of impermanent hand-made memorials’ – that is, the poet’s endeavours are precariously, though heroically, makeshift, overlaid; but nature is also that which threatens or devours, ‘digesting light’.

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Post It

Technique whittled to a spear prongs earth as tabby night filters a soaped waterfall of recollected words jammed in a shoe, prudently It passes on a cloud and can’t fit in the photo that dissolves trusty leaves that feather bright …

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Gig Ryan Reviews Emma Lew, Bella Li, Kate Lilley, and Jennifer Maiden

Elegy intensifies around the objects that remain, those keepsakes that must signify a spent life. In Kate Lilley’s Realia, the first poem ‘GG’ is an auction listing from Greta Garbo’s estate in which the repetition of Garbo’s name intones like a docked requiem. Only things exist timeless, immutable, saleable, as shining representatives of the once-living. Life’s fraught event is reduced to its acquisitions, and transformed, satirised, into capitalism’s ultimate wearer of labels: the former consumer of commodities is now more amenably cast purely as a selection of those objects, whose value her absence increases.

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Spoon Bending: A Chapbook Curated by Kent MacCarter

There is no such thing as a good poem about nothing? What does that mean, exactly? And what’s all this about spoon bending anyways?

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Gig Ryan in Vietnamese Translation

Oppenheimer trước Ủy Ban Điều Tra Những Hoạt Động Phương Hại Mỹ Quốc Những câu hỏi của họ bắt đầu, rồi đến những giả định, tiếp tới là những giả thuyết Mỗi góc cạnh bị tránh né, bị đẩy tới. …

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Tide Edit

Encumbered, embarrassed, he turns day to irony and spikes each word onto the carpet One come-down itches another, and perpetrates its dreams of ghosts, haloed in gold that black and white day ignores The Academy turns opinion in its kiln …

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NO THEME 2 Editorial

Of the poems I’ve chosen for this theme-free issue, some are headily elusive, such as the epistolary ‘Shooting“Correspondence”Gallery’ where meanings crumple and re-form through their costly tousled language.

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Ratbag’s Polemic

In Michel Serres’s book, The Parasite, rats figure as exemplary relations. When a rat turns up in your kitchen, you are each other’s guests: just as the rat is canny at thieving morsels of bread and rind, so too is the rat canny at crafting a home from a network of theft. A rat’s interference makes you an intruder …

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Re: NO THEME II Submissions

Just a quick thanks to the 423 of you – and your accumulated snowfall of 1200+ poems – who submitted to Cordite 42: NO THEME II with poetry guest-edited by Gig Ryan. That’s quite the crush of submissions from around …

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Submissions for Cordite 42: NO THEME II Now Open

It’s summertime in Australia. Weekends officially begin on Thursday mornings. Your fridge will now gestate one bottle of Pinot Grigio, Blaufränkisch (or similar) per week until March. All public holidays go off in one seasonal barrage. We’re going to keep …

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Chair Insider: An Intimate Access in Photo Narratives

Andrew Sayers, director of the National Portrait Gallery, wrote of my work, ‘Trust is an important quality in portraiture. Trust is self evident in Juno Gemes’ photographic portraits’. The portraits published here were created in trust with literary friends.

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Gig Ryan’s New and Selected Poems

Gig Ryan asserts that, ‘Poetry is our response to the world, but it’s also the thing we poets find the most taxing, the best of engaging our brains. Ideally – like all good art – it should make us think.’ Yet, as she also acknowledges, meaning is often secondary when reading poetry. That is, it is intensified and made more complex by the poem’s sensual materiality and the affect it may evoke.

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Ross Gibson’s Blustertown

FilmThe town’s biggest fools are those who come from elsewhere and fall in love with it when they’re young. As a rule, these fools fall hard, beyond reason and recovery. I know because I fell that way. As you do when you’re twenty.

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Komninos Zervos Reviews Papertiger #3

The third CD-ROM of poetry has been released by Papertiger Media and yet again presents the work of many of Australia's finest contemporary poets. As well, the Editors have included an eclectic array of international contributors from Canada, Finland, the UK, the USA and Australasia. More interestingly it is the expanded use of the new digital format of this collection i.e. the CD-ROM.

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Pillar after pillar towers my name. Not all of these could express the life I feel flash through me. My ideas span the earth but now tours litter at my feet folding their waxy guides. Here, I watch life fall …

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