Maria Takolander

Submission to Cordite 94: EARTH

Why EARTH? Because we are of it, because we are destroying it, because there is nowhere else.

Posted in GUNCOTTON | Tagged ,

Waking in the Blue

Addressed to Robert Lowell The night attendant at the service station, garishly lit when I had thought the world extinguished, pumps $10 of fuel into our tank. My plastic moneybox looks childish in the car’s backseat, but the silver coins …

Posted in 89: DOMESTIC | Tagged

‘Geelong checks its modernist warranty’

In 1890, an American aeronaut named Millie Viola departs the Geelong showgrounds in a hot air balloon, in order to give an assembled crowd of onlookers a parachute jump display. Her ascension followed foiled attempts earlier in the week, but, according to the Geelong Advertiser’s archives, ‘Mademoiselle Viola’ at last ascends – to the gratification of ‘an increasingly dubious crowd’ – to around 5000 feet (1540 metres), and comes close to being swept into Corio Bay.

Posted in ESSAYS | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Re-visiting Chernobyl

1. Liquidation1 The earth has always been so accommodating, enfolding all kinds of calamities: the meteoric end of dinosaurs, the Neanderthals and other botched experiments, the debris of bronze and iron ages, modern battlegrounds . . . And there is …

Posted in 86: NO THEME VII | Tagged

Review Short: Chapbooks from Simon Armitage and Philip Gross

Poetry has a peculiar provenance in the public sphere. To describe the situation with egregious simplicity, some allege that poetry should speak to and for the people, while others assert that poetry should be avant-garde, testing the conventions of language and enacting nothing less than a transformation of society.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , ,

Playing with Light and Dark: Amy Hilhorst Interviews David McCooey

David McCooey is a prize-winning poet and critic. His latest book of poems, Star Struck, was published by UWA Publishing in October 2016. His previous collection of poems, Outside (2011), was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, and was a finalist for the 2012 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s ‘Best Writing Award’.

Posted in INTERVIEWS | Tagged , , , , ,


A poem addressed to Anne Carson My husband is wheeled from emergency to theatre along a hallway carpeted with silence. Escorted to a waiting room, almost fin de siècle Victorian, I survey medical books encased by glass and blighted like …

Posted in 55: FUTURE MACHINES | Tagged

Introduction to Autumn Royal’s She Woke & Rose

Cover design by Zoë Sadokierski She Woke & Rose introduces us to a poet, Autumn Royal, who is unafraid to spark light in the darkest of places. The poems in this impressive debut collection illuminate the uneasy space of the …

Posted in GUNCOTTON | Tagged , , ,

Review Short: Judith Beveridge’s Hook and Eye

Last year I heard Judith Beveridge interviewed by Bronwyn Lea at the 2014 Queensland Poetry Festival. Aside from being left with the enduring impression that Lea should have her own TV show, I was also struck by a number of Beveridge’s revelations regarding her praxis. Beveridge confessed, for instance, that she does not like listening to music. Nevertheless, she described the process of writing poetry in a way that resonated with the classical foundations of lyric verse in music. Beveridge revealed that she begins writing by mobilising rhythm, rhyme, feeling and alliteration to bring forth the words and images of her poetry. She begins, in other words, from an embodied experience of language – as the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty describes it in The Phenomenology of Language – that is essential to us all.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged , , ,

Prithvi Varatharajan Interviews Maria Takolander

Maria Takolander is an Australian poet with Finnish heritage. Takolander lives in Geelong, where she works as a Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies and Professional and Creative Writing at Deakin University. She has published a book of academic criticism, on South American magical realism, called Catching Butterflies: Bringing Magical Realism to Ground (2007); three books of poetry: Narcissism (2005), Ghostly Subjects (2009), and The End of the World (2014); and a book of short fiction, The Double (2013); a novel is forthcoming from Text.

Posted in INTERVIEWS | Tagged ,

Martin Langford Reviews Maria Takolander

The End of the WorldMaria Takolander has grouped the poems in this, her second collection, to isolate three slightly different impulses in her work. Because the central section is comprised of poems whose point of view underlies those of sections one and three, I shall deal with it first. All of its poems explore the dark and unforgiving nature of the world.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,

Maria Takolander Reviews Bronwyn Lea

The Deep NorthIt is a tribute to the quality and readability of Bronwyn Lea’s poetry that a selection of her work forms the second volume in the new George Braziller series (edited by Paul Kane), which aims to introduce contemporary Australian poets to American readers. True to lyric poetry, Lea’s poems are musical in their composition, and they can be intimate in their subject matter. However, Lea’s work is never just about crafting agreeable verse, and it is never just about her personal experience.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,