Tim Wright



Review Short: Stephanie Christie’s Carbon Shapes and Dark Matter

In Stephanie Christie’s first collection, Luce Cannon (2007, as Will Christie), language is a fissile material, words are rendered particulate, unstable, always threatening to devolve into their component parts. And while its subject matter is, often, not what you would call exactly bright, its tone is also not sombre, language tumbles along with a kind of free fall intelligence.

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Tim Wright Reviews Lê Văn Tài, Nguyễn Tôn Hiệt & Phan Quỳnh Trâm, Edited by Nguyễn Hưng Quốc and Nhã Thuyên

The academic Michael Jacklin who launched the present collection, has written that there is ‘ongoing neglect of literature produced in Australia in languages other than English,’ citing as one example the Australian-based, international journal of Vietnamese writing Tien Ve, which appears to be little known in Australian poetry circles.

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Tim Wright Reviews Caitlin Maling

Few writers seem to get the viciousness of Perth. John Mateer’s early poems do, and some of Deborah Robertson’s short stories. There’s also Laurie Duggan’s one-liner, ‘you can see why all the really savage punk bands came from here’ (‘Things to Do in Perth’), and for the encyclopaedic and lyrical, John Kinsella’s wonderful, aptly sprawling ‘Perth Poem’.

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Graeme Miles Reviews Tim Wright and Rob Wilson

For all their contemporaneity, both of these books work with themes, or better, anxieties, that have always been at the heart of lyric poetry. In different ways, they are concerned with avoiding easy comfort in language and shying away from time and mortality.

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Review Short: Martin Edmond’s Eternities

Eternities In this collection of prose pieces, memory and daydreaming are powerful forces, determinants rather than second-order effects. Its theme I take to be the transactions of past and present as they are occassioned by the spaces of a city (in this case, Sydney) or, to use another approach, Sydney’s ghosts. The title of almost every piece is or was an actual place in Sydney. The sites Edmond’s imagination gravitates towards might be seen as typical: the legendary once-sharehouse (‘The Caledonian’), soggy-carpeted nightclub (‘The Manzil Room’), harbour’s edge (‘Blackwattle Bay’). While the pieces mostly derive from Edmond’s personal experiences of the city, some are effected by the work of archival research, amplifying the double vision of the past being tangible in the present.

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Wandering through the Universal Archive

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.

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Dromes 1 & 2

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Tim Wright Reviews Keri Glastonbury

grit salute
Keri Glastonbury’s first full-length collection, grit salute, gathers together work written since her 1999 Five Islands Press chapbook Hygienic Lily. Glastonbury’s published poems date from the late 1980s, and as such – and, it has to be said, because of publisher delays – this volume has been much anticipated by admirers of her poetry. Glastonbury is known in the Sydney and Newcastle scenes as a teacher of poetry and cultural studies, and as a champion and enthusiast of new critical and creative writing, particularly by younger writers; one example of the latter being her revival, with others, of the important 1980s Sydney imprint, Local Consumption Publications.

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The Lee Marvin Readings: An Evening with Edmund Gwenn

The Lee Marvin Readings has run, off and on, since the 1990s. Its venue has changed a number of times – from Adelaide nightclubs like Supermild, to the Iris Cinema, to the charmingly Zurich-1917, bo-ho De La Catessan and the more robustly hard-drinking and confrontational Dark Horsey bookshop at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, where it now takes place. The sessions have been organised, run, staffed and emceed by poet and art critic Ken Bolton.

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From Here On

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Trick Light

regard jusqu’à set posture to be admired for le something the empty place where succulents were where wallpaper was intentional ly harbouring we go build le quelquething ubud harbour alarm has a plume held a signal climbs slides against across …

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The Electronic Literature Collection V2

‘Electronic Literature’ could refer to quite different things: a novel written in the form of emails, a poem in Cordite (poetry is code!), a piece of musique concrète, an interactive installation in a gallery, a thread of You Tube comments, the Wikileaks cables . . . Understood broadly it would include any piece of literature that makes use of an electronic technology – e.g. Microsoft Word – somewhere along the line. ‘What literature today isn’t electronic?’ might be a more productive question to start with.

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