John Hawke



20 Poets, a Free Anthology from Cordite Books

The geographic barriers that can, at times, hinder Australian literature are no longer relevant, and poetry communities around the world must be enlightened by the commanding, demanding and exciting trajectory of contemporary Australian poetics.

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Cultural Partnership with Monash University and North American Book Distribution

We are pleased to announce that Cordite Publishing Inc. and The School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University have entered into a major new cultural partnership. As Jaya Savige, Poetry Editor of The Australian, wrote in his …

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Running with the Pack

These lost boys translucent in the radiance of a torn shop window with its eternal alarm are ripping the side mirrors from a stationary Audi, their vandalising hands strong with slowed time: lizard eaters with tongues of rough leaves and …

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Review Short: Astrid Lorange’s How Reading is Written: a brief index to Gertrude Stein

How Reading is Written: a brief index to Gertrude Stein by Astrid Lorange Wesleyan University Press 2014 Walter Benjamin once suggested that there were two ways in which to misinterpret the writings of Kafka: either by ‘natural’ or ‘supernatural’ explanation. …

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The Sydney Launch of Harkin, Gibson, Loney and Hawke

OBJECT: Australian Design Centre, Thursday 25 June, 2015 I’m pleased to say that I was at the launch of the very first issue of Cordite Poetry Review, way back in 1997. Good heavens, is that eighteen years ago? The journal …

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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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Cordite Books

We’re pleased to tumble out into the world these first four print collections in the new Cordite Books imprint. We had considered print collections for a few years, but the tipping point to actually publish them came in late November …

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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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Justin Clemens Reviews Poetry and the Trace

Poetry and the TraceSometimes irritating, often informative, occasionally incisive and sporadically genuinely interrogatory, the thoughtfulness evinced by (many of) the writings collected in Poetry and the Trace triggers further chains of association and dissociation. This is a genuinely critical collection in various senses of that word: at once analytic, hortatory, and urgent.

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John Hawke Reviews The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture After the Avant-Garde

The Organ-Grinder’s Monkey: Culture After the Avant-GardeThe dream of a compact between revolutionary politics and a poetics of radical experimentation has haunted the avant-garde since its inception in the wake of the failed European uprisings of 1848. Rimbaud’s activation by the events of the Paris Commune, and Mallarmé’s sympathies for the Bakuninite anarchists of his day, signal an alignment between Modernist aesthetics and extremist politics (of both Left and Right) that is central to debates within twentieth century literature. The politics of the Cubo-Futurist avant guerre movements were notoriously unstable, informed by a mélange of Nietzschean and Sorelian violence, an apotheosis achieved in the cataclysmic events of the Great War.

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Destroy Kansas to Reveal Oz: from John Ashbery to Francis Webb

Frank O’Hara’s ‘To a Poet’ seems to encapsulate the New York School’s disregard for an Imagist poetics in which the natural object is always the adequate symbol: ‘when the doctor comes to / me he says, ‘No things but in ideas’’. The cornerstone edicts of Anglo-American Modernism, as contained in Pound’s ‘A Retrospect’, are seemingly casually dismissed in this phrase, along with the accepted prescriptions of Doctor Williams; a critical schism is established in Modernist poetry, with the materialism of Pound-Williams on the one hand and post-moderns such as John Ashbery placed in an alternate lineage with Wallace Stevens as adherents of a post-Symbolist Absolute.

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John Hawke Reviews Javant Biarujia and Michael Farrell

Resinations and open sesameFans of lists in Finnegans Wake will appreciate Javant Biarujia’s new book of poetry, Resinations. Many of the most amusing juxtapositions in the volume derive from the arrangement of proper names, drawn from (most) high and (very) low cultural references presented as cubistic materials in simultaneity.

Michael Farrell, on the other hand, a leading experimental poet of the next generation, is published by Giramondo – his previous volume, A Raiders Guide, was perhaps the most stylistically provocative book to have appeared with a recognised commercial publisher. Drawing on the Russian formalists’ exploration of the autonomous poem-as-machine, these radical fragmentations highlighted ‘The Word as Such’, and even ‘The Letter as Such’, in their concentration on the visual and sound properties of language.

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