- 84: UNPRINTABLEwith J R Carpenter and Benjamin Laird (submit away!) 83: MATHEMATICSwith Fiona Hile (submit away!) 82: LANDwith James Stuart and Jane Gibian(coming soon!) 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith Vladimir Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith Judith Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith Keri Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with Dan Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with Fiona Wright and Omar Sakr 53.0: THE END with Pam Brown 52.0: TOIL with Carol Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with Luke Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with Bonny Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with John Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with Matthew Hall and Sophie Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with Tracy Ryan 48.1: CANADA with Kent MacCarter and Shane Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with Corey Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with Louis Armand and Helen Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with Michael Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with Felicity Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with Jan Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with Derek Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with Kent MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with Ann Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with Gig Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with Duncan Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with Josephine Rowe and Michael Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with Kent MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with Libby Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with Sarah Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with Sam Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with Astrid Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with Sean Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with Alan Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with Jill Jones
- Review Short: Susan Fealy’s Flute of Milk
- Review Short: Brook Emery’s Have Been and Are
- NEW CARIBBEAN Editorial
- Deconstructing Decolonisation: Victor Questel’s Collected Poems
- She’ll Chew You Up: Notes on Safiya Sinclair’s Cannibal and Tiphanie Yanique’s Wife
- Selections from ‘The Face: a feeling’: 8 Portraits by Kwesi Abbensetts
- Delicious Pick
- How to Exhale
- Tony’s Taxi Service
- After Olive Senior, ‘Flying’
- Messages to Bush Children – Building
- Stormy Night
- Beyond the River Road
- Crystal Chandeliers
- Exorcism / Freeport
- College Degree in Tourism and Service
- Under the Tamarind
- Norene’s Laugh
- “We the Dirt”
- Finishing Your Work
- The Day He Got It
- Poem for a Gunman
- Mama River
It was a great privilege, if a little overwhelming (I had about 1,800 poems to read), to edit this edition of Cordite Poetry Review and, as it is not themed, I had the luxury of choosing poems on various subjects. I have tried to make the issue varied but also unified by my aesthetic principles.
Poet, if you’re looking for your name in this essay, jump ahead a couple of pages. There I begin talking about poets collected in this anthology. Those of you interested in a review about contemporary Australian poetry, let’s begin here.
Omar Sakr’s These Wild Houses is a complex exploration of identity, an identity exposed in clear yet layered language, a language that takes us to the core of what he has experienced as a ‘queer Muslim Arab Australian from Western Sydney, from a broke and broken family.’
Poetry for Cordite 80: NO THEME VI is guest-edited by Judith Beveridge. Here’s what I’m looking for: poems of fewer than 100 lines, on any theme or style. So that’s about as succinct as you can get. Judith worked Cordite …
Sunset here is the distant roar of motorbikes, and down Pacific Street, I hear the enormous rage that fills the mosquito’s head. Flies still circle the day’s unalterable groove. A gull pierces the distance like a sail needle. Summer’s already …
We’d often see Rory outside the shed trying to classify the clouds coming in on the evening wind — clouds he thought were the farm’s clip of fine-grained wool. On clear blue days he’d strike match after match and try …
Throughout 2014, Judith Beveridge selected one poem per month to spotlight in Cordite Poetry Review, and she delivered excellent choices … writing a bit to each selection. We have compiled them all here in one article. Enjoy!
Last year I heard Judith Beveridge interviewed by Bronwyn Lea at the 2014 Queensland Poetry Festival. Aside from being left with the enduring impression that Lea should have her own TV show, I was also struck by a number of Beveridge’s revelations regarding her praxis. Beveridge confessed, for instance, that she does not like listening to music. Nevertheless, she described the process of writing poetry in a way that resonated with the classical foundations of lyric verse in music. Beveridge revealed that she begins writing by mobilising rhythm, rhyme, feeling and alliteration to bring forth the words and images of her poetry. She begins, in other words, from an embodied experience of language – as the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty describes it in The Phenomenology of Language – that is essential to us all.
Being in and of one’s time (in favour of it, in fact) means producing work that is sensitive to the discursive furies of the day – the atmosphere of mutating code that the poet must stick to poems in new and strange forms. All else is nostalgia and denial. No-one knows what it means that Australia’s imperial republic, whose god has finally been revealed as cosmopolitan capitalism, is, in the history of colonies, still in its infancy yet so impressively seems to be approaching an end of days. If you’ve got burnt chaps and a warm six-shooter (cowgirl), these are exciting times.
I forget who it was who said that the writer needs to be ‘holy in small things’, but I think there is a great deal of truth in that. That’s one reason why I’m attracted by Todd Turner’s poem ‘At Willabah’. Here, the poet guides us through the details of the landscape in a not dissimilar way to the deep engagement with particulars in such poems as Seamus Heaney’s ‘Death of a Naturalist’ or Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘At the Fishhouses’.
I read somewhere that the words ‘ekphrasis’ and ‘ekphrastic’ had at one stage a reference only in the Oxford dictionary, but nowadays these words are very much part of poets’ vocabularies and practices and most poets at some stage write …
John Kinsella is an Australian poet with a high profile and a long record of achievement, including winning the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. He is also an assiduous anthologiser. Most notably, he edited The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2008), one of the more successful of recent attempts to establish an indicative canon of Australian poetry (although this was not, perhaps, Kinsella’s avowed intention with that book).