Nicholas Birns



Unbidden: Settler Poetry in the Presence of Indigenous Sovereignty

Influenced and shaped by some fifty years of Indigenous poetry in English, the last couple of decades of Australian settler poetry have advanced prolific attempts to ‘write (oneself) into the country’ (Van Teeseling 209): producing varied and sometimes radical poetries of regionality, topography, climate, and the histories, narratives and landmarks running through and over them. I contend that such contemporary work by settler poets presents a continuum – varyingly compelling attempts to write in the presence not only of Indigenous poetry, but also colonisation’s ongoing effects and of un-ceded Indigenous sovereignty.

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Bonny Cassidy Reviews Contemporary Australian Literature: A World Not Yet Dead

As Feature Reviews Editor and sometime reviewer for Cordite Poetry Review it is an unusual (and therefore fun) privilege to consider a title in which poetry is critically addressed in the company of other forms. Too often it is it either quarantined within poetry-only criticism, or mentioned as an embarrassing aside to discussions of prose.

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Nicholas Birns Reviews Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World

This anthology’s editors are forthright about its flaws; in their introduction, Catherine Barnett and Tiphanie Yanique admit that their partition of the Anglophone world (excluding the US and UK) into seven parts is ‘woefully inadequate,’ (xiii) and that their decision to concentrate on Ghana, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Caribbean, and India left out many other regions and nations where English was natively spoken (much of this is simply reflecting the dominant biases of postcolonial study in genera).

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Nicholas Birns Reviews Contemporary Russian Poetry: An Anthology

Contemporary Russian Poetry: An AnthologyDalkey Archive Press has long been known as a premier publisher of cutting-edge international fiction; here the Illinois-based firm continues its venture into poetry. This massive book, including forty-four poets, all with English translations facing their Russian originals, and supervised by both an ‘editor’ and a ‘translation editor’, is an anthology of Russian poetry written by living poets, or those born late enough to still be plausibly alive today. It is not, in other words, just inclusive of the latest generation, or those explicitly linked to postmodern or experimental practices; or those coming to prominence only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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