Kate Fagan

‘To encounter the unexpected’: Kate Fagan in Conversation with Miro Bilbrough

On 26 March 2021, in a window between lockdowns, author and filmmaker Miro Bilbrough and I met to discuss her free-wheeling memoir, In the Time of the Manaroans (Ultimo Press, 2021).

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Review Short: Philip Mead’s Zanzibar Light

For experimental poet and jazz drummer Clark Coolidge, words are never impressions. They are sonic inscriptions, vectors, movable actualities. They alter by degrees in the company of others and in time. I started with Coolidge for many reasons; first among them, his stellar understanding of improvisation.

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‘A Fable for Now’: Kate Fagan Interviews Lyn Hejinian

In July, 2014, the American poet Lyn Hejinian visited Australia to participate in two events – the ‘Women’s Writing and Environments: 2014 Contemporary Women’s Writing Association Conference’ at the State Library of Melbourne, where she headlined alongside fellow keynotes Alexis Wright, Chris Kraus and Deborah Bird Rose.

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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 a selection of paintings held in the NRAG archive.

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Reclaimed Land: Australian Urbanisation and Poetry

In the late 1850s, Charles Harpur composed the image of ‘a scanty vine,/ Trailing along some backyard wall’ (‘A Coast View’). It might be forgettable, save for its conspicuousness in Harpur’s bush-obsessed poetry. Whether purple ranges or groaning sea-cliffs, his poems cleave to a more-than-human continent. The scanty vine, however, clings to a different surface: human-made – the craft of a drystone wall, perhaps, or wire strung through posts like the twist of the poetic line – it signals domestic land division. Harpur’s vine of words trails along the vertical edifice of settlement.

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How Poems Work: Kate Fagan’s ‘Through a Glass Lightly: Cento for Beginners

We move through language, swimming on influence, arranging words into patterns that make sense for our purposes. An essay with an argument, an email trying to get the day off work, or a poem that tries to make letters do …

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Through a Glass Lightly: Cento for Beginners

The nasturtium is to itself already a memory. It opens its leaves its fire ribbed impression in the grass that forms like shadow. I see it plain as a living fretwork in the distortion of sound, press a leaf to …

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Justin Clemens Reviews Poetry and the Trace

Sometimes 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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Review Short: Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of land

As I write this review, sunlight filtered through a pall of smoke casts a dull orange glow over my kitchen bench. The Blue Mountains are burning. Sydney’s haze resembles downtown Beijing’s and it’s only October. Such an apocalyptic scene – part of the ‘Australian experience’ I am assured by our Prime Minister – provides context for the world into which Outcrop and its ‘radical poetry of land’ emerges. This is not to suggest that the anthology’s outlook is primarily environmental, but that alternative ways of examining land are sorely needed.

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Blue or White

cento for Kate Fagan the world was a little darker before it was blue brilliant as nowhere special to go you could try double blinds machines parody all future empires say goodbye to the supermarket. unbearable authority makes me dizzy …

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Ellipsis Getting Bigger

Me: Yeah, no, I write too … Person: Really, great! What do you write? Me: Poetry Person: ‘…’ Sometimes that person actually lowers their eyes, bows their head, as though I have somehow reached too far into their minds and …

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Libby Hart Reviews Kate Fagan

First Light is Kate Fagan’s long-awaited second full-length collection. It was published in March 2012, almost ten years to the day after her successful debut, A Long Moment, was released. Ten years is a mere blip in time for planet Earth, but what does it mean to a poet and her history? Ten years can bring a well of experience and an abundance of living – of living the poet’s life and the musician’s career, and of the academic’s savoir vivre. Labels such as lover, wife and new mother are also pertinent to this slow burning collection.

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Hawkesbury Elemental

for the Hillbillies     Swamp hen, I say, before we choke & throttle over the mercury to observe sublimation at work: mangrove eclipsing to argon. The tinnie curves like an outfield. Another drag puts Fred on the floor, phosphor …

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Robertson Panegyrical

Kate Fagan's The Long Moment is available from Salt Publishing.

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Single Line Poem

Kate Fagan's The Long Moment is available from Salt Publishing.

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