- 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
Justice for Romeo, as a title, will seem both accurate and misleading for most readers; this is a book decidedly concerned with justice, and Siobhan Hodge’s sense of ethical responsibility pervades the poems. Hodge’s book includes as epigraph the exchange between Romeo and a servant in Act I, Scene ii of the most famous love story of all time; the servant asks, ‘I pray, can you read any thing you see?’, to which Romeo replies, ‘Ay, if I know the letters and the language.’
Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry presents a compelling cross-section of feminist voices, experiences and engagements in Australia, picking up from where Kate Jenning’s 1975 feminist anthology Mother, I’m Rooted: An Anthology of Australian Women Poets left off.
David Gilbey’s long-standing connections with Japan take centre stage in Pachinko Sunset, a collection that embraces simple, direct form to explore a layered series of issues linked with this relationship. The titular ‘pachinko’ refers to a popular Japanese game akin to pinball, in which a cascade of small metal balls are released to strike pins and be channelled off into different locations, with different prize implications for each. This image is a fair comparison for the text as a whole, as Pachinko Sunset delivers a sequence of poems in constant activity, heading in numerous directions at once, yet intrinsically caught up in the anxieties and ironies of travelling, translating, and relating Australia to Japan.
Gina Mercer’s latest collection, weaving nests with smoke and stone, is a delicate assembly of sights and sounds, visually rich and focused on the natural. Mercer’s repetition of the word ‘fossick’ throughout the collection aptly summarises the poetic processes involved. This is a collection of quick, searching movements. Lyrically deft, musical and richly preoccupied with natural elements, the poems construct meeting points for nature and humanity, ceding more and more with each piece along the way.
Dr Shari Kocher’s The Non-Sequitur of Snow is her first full-length publication, following nearly two decades of feature poems in a range of Australian and international journals. There is an airy sense of activity throughout this volume. Kocher’s poetic settings range freely between the material and the imagined, forging connections across generations, yet coming through with surprising steel in some pieces. Structurally the collection is diverse, flowing, and occasionally more experimental.
South Australian poet Rob Walker’s latest collection, Tropeland, is exceptionally playful. Puns and wry twists in language are balanced with humour and a self-conscious sense of otherness, the speakers always slightly displaced from their subjects. Walker is not pessimistic in this process however; there is a consistently optimistic tone throughout Tropeland, as well as a canny awareness of failings and ironies in life.
To read poetry in translation, no matter how ‘close’ the rendering is to the original text, is to necessarily involve another figure in the reading and interpreting process. Readers of translations are not only receiving the work of the original …
Susan Bradley Smith’s newest collection, Beds For All Who Come, is a delicate investigation into the lives of multiple historical figures, transitioning between the public and the personal. The collection is an excellent example of écriture féminine in that a range of individual female voices write to one another, but also acknowledge a fringe of male figures, assessing imagined and historical feelings and experiences, while also exposing some potential issues with this model.
Each horse in this frieze is unique in temperament and personality. No horse is a duplicate of any other; the arrangement of head, neck, body, and limbs differs in each, even if only slightly… – “Horse Care as Depicted on …
When in transit and upon receipt, to whom does a postcard and its contents belong? This is one of the questions at the forefront of Speaking Geographies, a collaborative poetry collection by Siobhan Hodge and Rosalind McFarlane. This collection, composed …
Each step is measured in potential thrust rivets twist and divide all strain banks curve away, harshness of lines ascend from hours lung squeeze we span miles all centred floats ghosting ferryways shift territory we revise borders steel shanked and …
How should we perform this act of – connection – ? Belief and bridges: ( a journey of suspension but the supports ) are a dissipating concave into this dragon harbour. Can we cantilever ^ this ^ uprising? Or perhaps …
Australian poet Vanessa Page’s latest collection, Confessional Box, is equal parts personal and critical, examining emotional relationships with a terse, engaging style. As the title suggests, there is a strongly self-aware element to Confessional Box. The poems are relatively open, encompassing a range of points of view and personas, but these are not wholly simple reflections of human relationships. Rather, Page presents a series of evolving sections, embellishing on memories and balancing broader criticisms against more personally orientated notions of access and invitation.
Australian poet Christopher Kit Kelen’s most recent collection, China Years: selected and new poems, contains English and Chinese pieces, presented side by side in translation, along with original artwork. Kelen’s strong interest in translation is immediate on the front cover and throughout the collection, highlighting a focus on creating points of access. When paired with Kelen’s original ink and watercolour drawings, interspersed as breaks throughout the text, a reading approach that is both fluid and inclusive is encouraged.
Picking Up the Pieces is a compact debut of eight poems from West Australian poet Siobhan Hodge. Its publisher, Wide Range Chapbooks, is a Cambridge based small press run by John Kinsella. Wide Range publishes poets such as Redell Olson, Rob Mengham and Drew Milne mixed in alongside young and emerging local poets, many of them students like Hodge (who in 2012 undertook a research residency in Cambridge). The collegial spirit of Wide Range and the relatively modest production values – Hodge’s book comes stapled in a photocopied card cover – suggests a publishing model that favours immediacy and ease of circulation, in a town where poetry and thinking are a constant activity.
Bonny Cassidy’s Certain Fathoms encourages readers to feel for the full extent of her poetic linkages, presenting a series of poems broken into two parts, inviting immediate and further reflection. The poems outwardly celebrate subtlety and linkage through their fragmentary structures, including much natural imagery and a quiet but definitive speaking voice.
Bersyarat Jurang pemisah membuka dan di sekitarnya retakan-retakan bumi menggigit sulur rasa dari mulut tinggal mengering, simbiosis retakan tepi merah. Perkataan perempuan itu terlepas dan berlari menertawai lainnya tak berlipat, lengan sang lelaki kokoh dan hangat bila dipegang menggerogot memompa …
Eileen Chong’s Burning Rice is steeped in images of food, family and connectivity. The poems thematically span geographical and chronological distances in order to make links between cultural and ancestral origins. Culinary references combine to create comforting images of solidarity in the face of isolation and anxiety. However, this is not a chapbook wholly steeped in nostalgia.
‘Transmissions’ comprises of creative translations and selective re-orderings of some fragmentary works of ancient Greek poet Sappho. These compilations emphasise the occasionally violent and manipulative nature of Sappho’s poems, the potential for multiple interpretations through lacunae, and some possible implications of imposing narratives on a poet about whom we know so little and whose works survive only in pieces.
Over There: Poems from Singapore and Australia is ambitious. This anthology reads as a sample of more to come, rather than a clear achievement of the sizable task that it sets out in its introduction. Over There is not, as the title might initially suggest, a collection of travel poems, nor is it a comparison of different postcolonial reflections arising from Singapore and Australia.
Dorothy Hewett and zombies' are not generally found in the same sentence. However, Hewett liberally utilises Gothic tones and imagery in her poetry. These Gothic trappings do not serve only as motifs: they permeate the mood, conflicts and resolutions of Hewett's Alice in Wormland. This collection, published in 1987, combines pseudo-autobiographical elements with parody, mythology, and morbid images to ultimately reach a strangely optimistic resolution.