- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHCOMING SOON with M Takolaner 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith 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
The first indication that the contents of this special issue hovers in the Venn overlap of art and poetry lies in its ‘curation’, not ‘edit’. Spence’s project was to ‘sample from a mass of work … to (make) a small but intense window’ (p. 5), and he does this by being true to the materiality of Vleeskens’s visual output. The nostalgic production values of the journal itself – photocopied in black and white on A4 paper, stapled, and with no frilly bits – is a perfect match for Spence’s vision and Vleeskens’s visual practice, which was firmly embedded in the intersections of text and image.
As I write this review, sunlight filtered through a pall of smoke casts a dull orange glow over my kitchen bench. The Blue Mountains are burning. Sydney’s haze resembles downtown Beijing’s and it’s only October. Such an apocalyptic scene – part of the ‘Australian experience’ I am assured by our Prime Minister – provides context for the world into which Outcrop and its ‘radical poetry of land’ emerges. This is not to suggest that the anthology’s outlook is primarily environmental, but that alternative ways of examining land are sorely needed.
Pete Spence’s chapbook Excurses follows closely on the heels of his excellent book-length collection Perrier Fever (Grand Parade Poets, 2011). Long known as an exponent of visual poetry and mail art, Spence’s more ‘conventional’ poetry has, somewhat surprisingly given his long publishing history going back to the 1970s, slipped under the radar to some degree. One hopes these recent books will go some way to rectifying this oversight, for Spence’s work strikes a particularly distinctive note among contemporary Australian poetry.