Ivy Ireland



Ivy Ireland Reviews Petra White and Magdalena Ball

Approaching new work from such sharp, prolific and often dazzling poets as Magdalena Ball and Petra White is arguably no job for a quiet morning. Both White’s Reading for a Quiet Morning and Ball’s Unmaking Atoms demand (and duly reward) close attention.

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Ekphrasis as ‘Event’: Poets Paint Words and the ‘Performance’ of Ekphrasis in Australia

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Newcastle Region Art Gallery (NRAG) in 2007, Lisa Slade and Peter Minter co-curated the exhibition Poets Paint Words. The two curators commissioned some of Australia’s best poets to write poems in response to …

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Review Short: Cassandra Atherton’s Exhumed

Dazzling, vibrant and terribly witty, Cassandra Atherton’s Exhumed does not give itself over entirely to the horribly serious, gruesome images invoked by its title. Nor of course does it travel down to the desperate depths of its epigraph’s hero, Rosetti, who (in)famously ‘recovered’ the book of poems he had buried with his wife. Yet Atherton’s collection of prose poems is nonetheless morbidly fascinating and even darkly exhilarating, with some of the more raw, emotionally-fierce poems evoking similar queasy feelings in the twenty-first century reader, perhaps, as the nineteenth-century poet might have experienced recovering writings from the grave of a loved one.

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Review Short: Judith Crispin’s The Myrhh-Bearers and Jillian Pattinson’s Babel Fish

At a first, casual reading, it is easy to see why Jillian Pattinson’s Babel Fish won the 2010 Alec Bolton Prize. Here is a polished and elegant collection, addressing not only the expected emotional and personal depths of the lyric, but also casually marrying art and science with unashamed reference to untouchable greats of literature and, dare I say it, a carefully monitored spirituality.

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Review Short: Ivy Ireland’s Porch Light

By way of introduction permit me to share that for some reason I keep conflating this poet’s name with the title of her latest book. The result is a hybrid of name and place, forming a vague ‘place-name’ in the utterly made-up signifier ‘Porchland.’ Working back, this topos, to my mind, alluding to a libidinous, transgressive and, above all, fertile ground, is formed out of the name of the talented poet, Ivy Ireland, and the title of her second collection of poetry, Porch Light, whose eponymous poem quotes Tom Waits in the epigraph: ‘How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on?’

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Review Short: Philip Hammial’s Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride is a collection of life-moments; a certain ‘true expression’ splash in a muddy world puddle, some shocked morsel of life momentarily caught in the light. They aren’t easy moments, perhaps, but they are strangely beautiful, nonetheless.

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James Merrill House and Its Disembodied Transmissons

Like some piece of technicolour cover-art from a 1950s mystery novel, James Merrill’s Stonington apartment loomed in the background as I stepped out of the gutter-snow and onto the street. I was wearing a bright red coat; the apartment matched the slate-blue winter sky. From the outside, the poet’s house felt as gorgeous and twee as everything else in this tiny – dare I say quaint – fishing village.

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Porch Light

‘How do the angels get to sleep when the Devil leaves the porch light on?’ – Tom Waits 1. If you consulted your own cipher-mind (if what presents as yours could be compressed in such a lazy line), would it …

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