peter minter



Ekphrasis as ‘Event’: Poets Paint Words and the ‘Performance’ of Ekphrasis in Australia

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Newcastle Region Art Gallery (NRAG) in 2007, Lisa Slade and Peter Minter co-curated the exhibition Poets Paint Words. The two curators commissioned some of Australia’s best poets to write poems in response to …

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The Sydney Launch of Harkin, Gibson, Loney and Hawke

OBJECT: Australian Design Centre, Thursday 25 June, 2015 I’m pleased to say that I was at the launch of the very first issue of Cordite Poetry Review, way back in 1997. Good heavens, is that eighteen years ago? The journal …

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Cordite Book Launch: Loney, Gibson, Hawke, Harkin

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 …

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Introduction to Natalie Harkin’s Dirty Words


Cover design by Zoë Sadokierski

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Cordite Ave vs. Electric Ave

I rediscovered these images from the Cordite vault this morning. Real photographs printed on photo paper. These were taken by David Prater in the final gasps of the 1990s I believe. Although the Cordite Ave (as threaded through Melbourne’s outer …

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Spoon Bending: A Chapbook Curated by Kent MacCarter

Conjoin | Hannah Raisin and Will Heathcote | Archival pigment print | 75cm x 50cm There is No Such Thing as a Good Poem about Nothing Nicolette Stasko: Sendai Tracy Ryan: Companion Poems    from the French Elzbieta Wójcik-Leese: everything in the …

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

Speaking the Earth’s LanguagesIf 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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Proteaceae: A Chapbook Curated by Peter Minter

In January 2013 I visited the inaugural exhibition of the new Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, an eclectic and compelling collection of works curated by Gavin Wilson and entitled ‘Picturing the Great Divide: Visions from Australia’s Blue Mountains’. I stood for what seemed like an hour before John Wolseley’s wonderful ‘The Proteaceae of NSW and Argentina 1996’ – a water colour and pencil work that is part of his ongoing creative enquiry into geological and biological temporalities, and one which advances an intensely felt and thought aesthetic of deep trans-historical and trans-biological emergence.

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More Intensity: Topography of Poetry Outcrops

In April 2012 I published a Guncotton blog post, responding to a paper given by Peter Minter in Melbourne. Specifically I was interested in his proposal that Australian poetry could be viewed as an ‘archipelago’ of ‘psycho-geographic’ poetic activity. With thanks to Cordite Poetry Review for inviting me, and once again to Minter for his potent departure points, I’d like to expand on that post, particularly on seeking an alternative to national/ist and ‘monolithic’ ways of framing the poetry produced in and about this continent. By proposing an ‘archipelagic map’, Minter grants local poetry an appropriate critical framework that steers away from some problematic aspects previously encountered in reading and defining ‘Australian poetry’. In doing so, this framework negotiates a view of local poetry that is properly sensible to the actual, situated ethics of poetic practice and community.

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Vale Dorothy Porter

Peter Minter writes: “The second-last day of winter in 1997 seems so far away now, but today I remember it clearly. After her captivating late afternoon reading, Dorothy Porter and I found a corner in the dining room at the Varuna Writers' Centre, Katoomba, the daylight waning outside amidst steely dampness and the trickling departure of friends.”

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Bev Braune reviews Peter Minter and Nathan Shepherdson

blue grass by Peter Minter

Salt Publishing, 2006

Sweeping the Light Back into the Mirror by Nathan Shepherdson

University of Queensland Press, 2006

Peter Minter's latest book blue grass and Nathan Shepherdson's début collection Sweeping the Light Back into the Mirror work with extraordinary images to convey the demands made on memory for accuracy in its language. Both poets set out, deliberately, to interrogate such a language and its subsets – naming, recognition, and the calculation and politics of categories. For while as writers and readers, we have limitations on the material claims we can make to increase emotional satisfaction in our lives, we have an unlimited capacity to request answers from what appears to be immaterial – the memory of words spoken by both loved ones in absentia and barely remembered friends. We not only demand these words, but also try to challenge their immateriality with concrete language.

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Emperor Go, Godspeed

Peter Minter was a founding editor of Cordite and former poetry editor of Meanjin.

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