- 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith 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
The achievements of the poets who started publishing in the early 1980s in Australia have tended to be overshadowed by those of the generation immediately prior to them.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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 occasioned 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.
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.
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.
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.
plans go diligently to seed salt / pepper sky press timelapse off bring their plans to seed still functioning organs night comes on you do something to or with it print download email a thermal they’re called clouds clanging brain …
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 …
‘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.
The cover of A Whistled Bit of Bop makes use of a cool, spare design, reminiscent of 60s jazz album covers. It’s a change from the handmade look of many of Bolton’s earlier collections. The O and P of ‘BOP’ are also the record and arm of a turntable; the circular author photograph on the back cover – showing Bolton in a thumb-to-chin thinking pose – might then be the sticker in the centre of the disc about to be played.
red sky cast offs to that of a deeper, postcard moon just a flick, a screwed off lid of a jar saved from recycling remaining now as a piece of sound – the one bracketed indication of rain not as …
top knot (?) bike trajectory wires cut the blue filed somere bunched up others ride wide aberrant onescarse collisions every 30 secs the electricity fizzes m ear m dances the slowest era under the sun bump sunny concrete cracks thoracic …
seriously, come back later moss y doona raised on mari achi & sprinkler e ffects public ly more Bangladesh! tidy wheels! lousy though ap parently glazed rhythm lake! hums duplicate Kylie clock slopes r ed kitchenette lec ture & come …
'oh no! it hurts!' Richard Hell there'll be no billy ocean until we meet inside the radio on albany highway a bee once stung me on the nipple there it was classically trained in techniques of surprise / and exited …
These words came to mind when I tried to list the main concerns of this twenty-six poem sequence: light, love, perception and apperception, rapture, thought, things, stars, source, memory. The poems in Novaless I-XXVI are highly sensual, their strange disjunctive images always in the process of forming or resolving in the mind. The sequence as a whole seems to be concerned as much with the operations of thinking and sensing as with any outside objects of reference.
'The shape of sunlight cutting up your arm'. This was the line that first drew me to Luke Beesley's work. Around the same time I read a biographical note that mentioned how Beesley had written many of the poems in a light-filled studio in the middle of Brisbane. There was the suggestion that light had entered the poems in some way, and I liked the idea that poetry could do that.
'Please don't make confused noises while chanting,' a sign in a Kunming monastery read when I visited there a few years ago. Another sign, not far from a thick wad of burning incense sticks, announced 'No conflagration!' D.J. Huppatz's Book of Poem!is written with a sharp sensibility to similar glitches in translation, specifically as they're found in the spiky readymade phrases of Japanese English, or 'Engrish', in the consumer world of packaging, t-shirts and instruction manuals.