Gig Ryan

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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