Robert Wood



Language Barriers

Many live after L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E then, but few live as it. There is no comparable, or adequate, rupture precisely because there is a lack of Historical, and philosophical, work being done. Cue the misunderstanding of what to radically break with. This might be because of the paradox of university scholarship now – we live in a moment after the national mythmaking of bygone days and in one informed by the black armband view that is predominant institutionally.

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The New Reality in Australian Poetry

The generation of Murray is not my generation. The generation of Adamson is not my generation either. Nor is it Tranter or Kinsella. My generation is a new generation in Australian poetry. In this era of the ‘contemporary’, particularly as a political proposition after the end of history, it is a dangerous endeavour to suggest there is a modernist / social realist debate. And while the actors have undoubtedly changed (as has the world and its labels) we can discern two such derivative realities in the newest generation of Australian poets. These poets are working in ‘deformed realism’ and ‘sentimental radicalism’.

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snake-well : a suite of wheatlands poems

i. ash loam and foot flesh farm-bones and skin maps pink, grey, graveground, form-grasses and wavetaints wellbaked and seed black ii. starlows the cropframe saltcanvas of generation, plateau waist the size of place iii. tigerhand by jokebite, and fivethink of …

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Robert Wood Interviews Alan Loney

I first met Alan Loney at the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. I was studying there at the time and Alan had been invited as a guest of Robert Creeley at SUNY Buffalo. As part of his American tour Charles Bernstein hosted Alan at Penn, where he gave a reading at the Kelly Writers House and met with students of Charles’ experimental writing class entitled ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’.

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Review Short: Omar Musa’s Parang

Omar Musa is something of a phenomenon. I mean that both in the demotic and the philosophical senses. Self-publisher, author of the successful novel Here Come the Dogs (longlisted for the Miles Franklin), lyricist with international hip hop outfit MoneyKat, Wikipedia subject. As demonstrated by the author photo in this book Parang, autobiographical promotional videos (‘Live and Direct from Kingsley’s Chicken’), comparisons to Junot Diaz and his sartorial style, Musa has made a career from ‘the street’.

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Cruel Buffoonery

In the North American summer of 2015 I journeyed into the heart of the MFA industrial complex. I was a fellow at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and was #workingonmynovel. I was also participating in a culture that I had only hitherto heard and read about. Indeed, my training until that point in the vast ecosystem of ‘creative writing’ institutions had occurred at the University of Pennsylvania under the scrupulous gaze of Charles Bernstein, critic of ‘official verse culture’, and to a lesser extent Kenneth Goldsmith, arch proponent of ‘uncreative writing’.

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Review Short: Daneen Wardrop’s Cyclorama and Terrence Chiusano’s on generation and corruption

About a decade ago ‘trauma’ became an industry in the academic literary critical economy. This was due in part to the success of Cathy Caruth, but there were other theorists that mattered before and after (Freud’s ‘repetition compulsion’ and Elaine Scarry’s body in pain). Holding hands with trauma was ‘witness’. Of course, witnessing has been in the discourse for a long time as well, but there was a steady growth in its paradigmatic quality after the Holocaust industry began to develop more fully (see Norman Finkelstein).

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Review Short: Amelia Dale’s Metadata and Thalia’s A Loose Thread

The question what are we to do at and with the limits of language presents itself as the central question in the two books under review here. That they frame themselves as poetry means that the context in which this occurs is different from art or graphic design – two fields into which both could easily be placed. One does not ‘read’ these works but apprehends them.

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Robert Wood in as Commissioning Editor

I am pleased to announce that Robert Wood has joined the Cordite Poetry Review masthead as a Commissioning Editor. Shortly, we’ll start a series of critical essays from Australian and international writers, about one a month. This is in addition …

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Review Short: Shane McCauley’s Trickster

It is something of a paradigm in literary criticism (poetics included) to couple West Australians with place. Of late Tim Winton and John Kinsella have occupied this ground, but it is there in thinking about Randolph Stow and Dorothy Hewett and many more besides. It was Winton, after all, who wrote – ‘we come from ‘the wrong side of the wrong continent in the wrong hemisphere”. The place, thought of quite literally as location, is simply ‘wrong’, meaning not quite right, meaning askew. This is to say nothing of the spirit here, or how, for a great number of people (some Noongars and others included), this always was and always will be the very centre of the world.

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Review Short: Ian Gibbins’s and Judy Morris’s Floribunda

How far we are from the radical days of realism. Prior to Adorno’s dismantling of Lukacs and the Stalinist led state institutionalistation of it, realism may have laid claim to being an innovative aesthetic with agreeably progressive political inclinations.

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Robert Wood Reviews Duncan Hose, Jean Kent and Alyson Miller

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