Maria Takolander

Pyramid Scheme

Text by Maria Takolander. Photographs by David McCooey. 1. X’s parents had died, first one and then the other. There had been the usual shock and then the hell of clearing out their marital home. Fifty years, and the place …

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EARTH Editorial

Why ‘Earth’? Because we are of it, because we are destroying it, because there is nowhere else. Because to think about anything else right now feels like dissociation. The theme of this special issue isn’t radical. It’s not political. It’s …

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Submission to Cordite 94: EARTH

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

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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 …

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‘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.

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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 …

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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.

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Playing with Light and Dark: Amy Hilhorst Interviews David McCooey

I first became interested in David McCooey’s work while studying an Honours unit at the University of Western Australia, where for an assessment I responded to his essay on Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s poetry, only to learn that he too had taken the same unit some years before.

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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 …

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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 …

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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.

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Prithvi Varatharajan Interviews Maria Takolander

Takolander’s work often dwells on the self, the body, and history, each of which she de-familiarises in her poetry, making it seem strange, or revealing the strangeness that was there all along.

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Martin Langford Reviews Maria Takolander

Maria 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.

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Maria Takolander Reviews Bronwyn Lea

It 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.

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Review Short: Tracy Ryan’s Unearthed

Tracy Ryan’s seventh full-length collection of poems, Unearthed, comprises of an extraordinary series of elegies and elegiac poems. The elegiac mode here is both intimate and epic in scale. These poems commemorate the most private moments shared with lost lovers – those times ‘relished and wasted’ (12), ‘snug’ in ‘coffin-dark’ beds (32) – as well as the ways in which our inhabited environments – mountains, the plant and animal worlds, even glimpses of the moon – are ghosted by the dead.

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The Twilight Zone

Maple Street, Smalltown, Ohio. Sunday afternoon, a regular sitting room, an urgent news broadcast. Doom. And then nothing.      Electricity lingers briefly, like a soul, until there is only the grey bulge of the screen and its putrid reflection. A man …

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Ali Alizadeh Reviews Maria Takolander and Claire Potter

In his 2007 essay ‘Surviving Australian Poetry: The New Lyricism’, David McCooey identified the prevailing mode of poetry in contemporary Australia as a negotiation between experimentalism (the new) and traditional composition (lyricism). This view is apposite in describing the work of many important poets of the last couple of decades; but a number of newer Australian poets have gone beyond and broken with this conciliation.

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Dogs in Space

Somewhere in Patagonia, an old man carries an axe, and a kitten blows like tumbleweed down a street otherwise empty. The closed storefronts are vacant as dreams, and the traffic lights like absence before the raw wind. It is barely …

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