Angela Gardner is the author of Parts of Speech (UQP, 2007); Views of the Hudson (2009) and The Told World (2014) both from Shearsman UK; and Thing & Unthing (Vagabond, 2014) as well as three published collaborations and a chapbook with artist Caren Florance, The future, unimagine, Recent Work Press & Ampersand Duck, Canberra, 2017. Recently her poems been published or are forthcoming in Blackbox Manifold, The Long Poem and Tears in the Fence, UK; Axon, Hecate and Rabbit and Cordite; West Branch and Yale Review USA. Her poems have been anthologised multiple times in the ‘Best Australian Poetry’ series. She has received a Churchill Fellowship, an Australia Council Literature Residency and the Thomas Shapcott Prize among other awards and commissions. Her manuscript Some Sketchy Notes on Matter was shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett Award 2018. She edits at www.foame.org.
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‘Some Sketchy Notes on Matter came together slowly around preoccupations of safety and shelter at an individual, societal and global level. I also wanted to look at the tensions between digital and analogue reality, between the city and a natural world that exists without us, strange, compelling and precarious. At its worst these tensions become an imbalance, a violence, threatening not only the individual body but the entire planet.’
In 2015 poet Angela Gardner was invited to the print studio of artist Caren Florance to set some blocks of ‘random’ text using metal letterpress type. As a separate creative work, ‘The Future, Un-imagine’ was taking form in Gardner’s mind; there was also ambient sound in the studio, a radio playing and wide-ranging conversation taking place between the two as Gardner set the type. Her seven ‘key’ textblocks were then print-performed by Florance for over a year to produce multiple readings and visual patterns, reflecting the structured chaos that Gardner uses in her writing practice. The artist book that emerged, Working Papers, is impossible to reproduce ‘accurately’ without losing many of its material properties; this chapbook is an opportunity to remix some of its pages to form new arrangements around Gardner’s resolved poem. The result is an augmented presentation of the poem and a companion to the limited edition artist book.