- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLECOMING SOON with E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones
It’s January. As I begin to write this review it’s over 40 degrees celsius outside our small non-air-conditioned house in inner suburban Sydney. I’m indoors, perspiring lightly, with a desk fan on, windows closed, blinds drawn, listening to wails of gusts of hot wind.
In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a surge in material on gender and sexuality being produced by a profusion of switched-on contemporary thinkers. In Australia, Puncher & Wattmann published the anthology Out of the Box – Contemporary Gay & Lesbian Poets almost a decade ago.
In 1915, H G Wells published Boon, a satirical novel that featured long passages pastiching the literary style of his erstwhile friend, Henry James. It kicked off an epistolary barney over what art should be about.
Lisa Samuels’s introductory essay, ‘What Do We Mean When We Say Transpacific’, begins with a quotation from Pam Brown that is particularly well-chosen for this volume. Brown claims that the ‘authentic’ pertains to someone who isn’t manipulated or being alienated from their context. There’s a good deal in this book about alienation relating to identity and culture; many of the authors have had to fight to preserve authenticity.
Poet, if you’re looking for your name in this essay, jump ahead a couple of pages. There I begin talking about poets collected in this anthology. Those of you interested in a review about contemporary Australian poetry, let’s begin here.
Just over a week later we heard the sad news that Michel Butor had died on 24 August, 2016 at the age of 89.
In the winter of Pokémon Go, I read quite a few new books of poetry. The collection Poems of Hiromi Itō, Toshiko Hirata & Takako Arai was the most cogent. These three Japanese poets are taboo-breaking women who write without reservation about ‘female experience’ in the political context of contemporary transnational capitalism.
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.
I think I was thinking of a big concept like ‘The End Times’ when I made up a theme for poems for this issue of Cordite Poetry Review. There is general consensus that the times we’re living in are endtimes.
Poetry for Cordite 53: THE END is guest-edited by Pam Brown. Read Corey Wakeling’s interview of Pam from 2012. Let me start at the very end, the dead end, the living end, at wit’s end, the end of the line. …
Collected Works Bookstore, Wednesday 6 May, 2015 I will begin with a bit of spontaneous resentful metaphysics. I am sorry to do so, for a number of reasons, but there we are. If it can be justified at all, it …
These ten tiny tomes each speak (squawk, swoon, glitch, muse, lyricise, confess) of how there is something not ticking precisely inside the reality machine. Or perhaps these books shine light onto how we’ve all gone slightly spectral within our anthropocenic phantasmagorias, lost and unmoored in an experiment that’s become dreadfully strange. Some of these books turn exclusively toward the world, others perhaps come from particular critical engagements; each serves to extend conversation both on what poets do, and what poems are for.
Cover design by Zoë Sadokierski
The works that Ross Gibson has written and edited over the past thirty years could be classed as political aesthetics. In books like Seven Versions of an Australian Badland, chronicling the wretched historical miscreants of Queensland’s Brigalow country, or 26 Views of the Starburst World: William Dawes at Sydney Cove 1788–1791, speculatively tracing English astronomer William Dawes’s scientific work and his relationship with the Indigenous Eora people of Sydney Harbour in a few late years of the eighteenth century, Ross Gibson’s method is procedural. Seven Versions and 26 Views form a compositional design that he has described as ‘fractal’, allowing unfixed multiple views and patterns. The author’s practice of creative fragmentation, applied to the poems and short prose pieces in this new collection, eschews linearity and dull chronology.
Lionel G. Fogarty is an indigenous Australian poet who is recognised for the excavation of a poetic space in which, as Michael Brennan has written, ‘his community and culture is recuperated and asserted’ whilst ‘dominant discourses, both political and poetic’ are subverted and destabilised. These qualities make Fogarty’s work difficult to review in a context in which the status of indigenous literature remains, for some institutions at least, seemingly unapproachable.
What does the street know? both of its centuries have disappeared this was a manufacturing warehouse now a fitness gym a cafe an imported fancy european bike outlet this was a corner shop the police never come here to this …
Coming back to their neck of the woods, a shout was as good as a wolf and a basket as full as a boot full of tarnished medallions and useless keys, pugnacious as costume on a moonlit patio, swilling prosecco …
The mask on the cover of ‘Beyond the Ohlala Mountains’ suggests that there’ll be some odd theatrics inside the book. It’s a plain papier-mâché mask of a slightly jowly head with a bulbous nose and a pair of puckered, pouting, full red lips. What does it express – is it a superior sneer? Is it bourgeois disdain? Is it about to say ‘oh là là’? The mask was made by Sally Rodwell, the now-deceased partner of the New Zealand poet collected here, Alan Brunton. It was made for a theatre work called Cabaret of the Unlikely that was performed three years after Brunton had died at 55, in 2002.
What does it mean to be ‘Home by Dark’? Is it a parental instruction to a potentially wayward child? Is it an expression of relief after a day of threat and uncertainty? Is it a navigational expression, a crepuscular refiguration of ‘North by North-West’? Is it a simple description of an accomplished movement, or another possibility altogether? To open this book is not to find such questions answered; it is rather to move and be moved with and by somebody who, as the epigraph from Kevin Davies has it, is prepared to ‘just keep staring into that English-language night sky.’
If there is one true love in the history of Australian verse, it’s perhaps the love of Pam Brown and Ken Bolton. As you should expect, it’s not a normal kind of love at all – or maybe it’s the only normal love, depending on how you’re predisposed to taking the word or the thing (‘normal,’ I mean), and depending whether you think you can tell the difference between the two (‘word’ and ‘thing,’ I mean).
close to mononia espinacas con garbanzos, a rich pepper. orders have been scrawled in chalk to form a form, yes, it is El Rinconcillo, the oldest tapas dishes, and 30.03 kilometres from Mononia, plates designed to be shared. so I …
One of the sequences produced by the collaborative entity, A Constructed World, renders the phrases ‘No need to be great’ and ‘Stay in Groups’ in a range of media – silk-stitch, screen print, photography and painting. One of the painted versions of the image shows a naked woman covered in yellow post-it notes overseen by a hulking, shadowy male. These figures represent the artists Jacqueline Riva and Geoff Lowe. The image appears again in the form of a photograph and the installation was staged in various places around the world – as if the only way to get the message across would be to subject it to constant repetition in as many different formats as possible. Indeed, a number of the collective’s performances and installations attest to the impossibility of communication – even as these take the form of images that can’t fail to deliver. Avant Spectacle A Micro Medicine Show, 2011, features skeleton-costumed performers inexpertly singing and playing instruments while six knee-high wooden letters – S, P, E, E, C and H – burn like small condemned buildings at front of stage.
Short on shimmy they took to the disco with a resounding whomp of white & solid silver waves of wire; a platform to berate from, a wag the dog diorama; wearing only your shadow & shouting to the stomping throng …
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 …