Nicholas Jose

Introduction to Ken Bolton’s A Pirate Life

The author’s playfulness is to the fore in this strange, charming book. It is a game which invites the reader to roll the dice, take a card from the deck, gain points, lose a turn, and, one way or another, advance around a notional game board: a pirate’s world of exotic ports, risky encounters, escapades, wonders and the routine of shipboard life, always in the presence of the moody, changeable sea.

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Nicholas Jose Reviews Speaking the Earth’s Languages: A Theory for Australian-Chilean Postcolonial Poetics

If poetry registers ‘internal difference, Where the Meanings, are’, in Emily Dickinson’s deep phrase, then indigenous poetry creates meanings that are more different still. Growing from an alternative poetics that questions conventional procedures and challenges what we know, indigenous poetry gives us a chance to change. That is true whoever or wherever we are, Indigenous, indigenous or invited in. It may be more broadly true, across other art forms too, but to start from poetry, if poetic language is speech at its most highly charged, then in indigenous poetry there’s a glimpse of a potential for overturning and renewal. Dominant practice has its own built-in obsolescence. Paradoxically, given its acknowledgement of the timelessly old and absent, indigenous poetry suggests a new way forward.

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