From the author of the David Unaipon award winning novel Dancing Home.
Paul Collis’ first collection of poetry is a book of difficult truths and profound connections. It charts a life lived on the streets, on country, in the deep time of tradition, of relationships to land and family. This book mourns those who have passed, and the current state of places and people held close in the heart and in the kinds of knowledge inseparable from self that might be called ‘being’, but is always much more than that. It is also a poetry of hope in the hopeless, of beauty in small moments, and the overwhelming ‘now’ that is memory.
If we are to speak, what is it we must speak? If we are allowed to speak, what is it we must say? Who constitutes the ‘we’ that speaks? Anne Elvey’s new collection frames such questions against the contemporary world and its multiple challenges. These poems in turn explore environmental encounters, subtle and overt expressions of the political, the elisions of history, the embodiment of the world and the nature of grace, through poetry sharply attuned to its subject matter. For Elvey, poetry has an obligation not only to chart intimate moments, but also to draw those moments towards the numinous matter of our Earthy habitats.
In Our Tongues Are Songs, Rico Craig pursues the intimate, the voices people use as they speak to their private fears. Craig brings his unique ear for lyricism, his eye for human need, to bear on the promises people make to themselves as they attempt to find solace, companionship and meaning. His haunting use of image fills the day-to-day world with the uncanny — bats are comforted by children, old women weep tattoos, the earth burns, television stars comfort teenagers as they struggle with anorexia, encroaching sands spill the dead into an unnamed city. This book spans voices, generations and countries; it sides with the young and old as they try to carve their humanity from the swirls of despair.
‘These poems of bone, sky, night and earth pulse with danger and exaltation. Selves spectral, imagined and embodied dissolve the solitary ‘I’ to imagine flocks of selves, dancing with knives in their hands, standing on rooftops, never forgetting what it is to be at our wildest. They overflow with loosened energy, yet their crafting is meticulous, brilliant and exact.’ Felicity Plunkett
Intellectually ambitious and culturally engaged, these poems speak of Sartre, Zola and Jackson Pollock, of Western Australia’s firewatch trees and Dubbo’s gibbons, of the poet-batsman Stevie Smith, of youth and age. Ranging in form, James Lucas’s poems ask to be reread rather than assented to, and are written in the belief that poetry is both solvent and fresh lick of paint.
‘James Lucas’s poems explode with brilliance, warmth and music’— Stuart Barnes
From the epic of Gilgamesh to the laws of thermodynamics, from Rimbaud in Paris to unheard voices of literature, Sleeping Dogs is a visceral and often acerbic collection marked by Martin Dolan’s taut, undeniable lines and precise, crystalline language.
Follow one poem’s journey through word, song, and visual art. How does the form of the poem trans-form across different media? What aspects of texture, tone, colour, shape, and line remain? This full colour book marks the culmination of the Text/ure project, a tribute to the collaborations and creative processes involved. With original poem ‘If I Could Have Given You A Note‘, full composers’ statements, interview excerpts, visual art, drawing statements, and all six concluding poems, it is a feast for eye and ear alike.
The Incompleteness Book is the result of a call for contributions to the theme: the incompleteness of human experience. The call was distributed in April 2020, amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19. The collection takes an interest in the relationship between the haunting incompleteness of human experience and short form writing. This, together with the unforeseen challenges of COVID-19, as well as the lure of coming together as writers, is the impetus for the book. The submissions are aimed at capturing our individual and collective experience as a composite picture. The contributions were collected in just nine days.
the moment, taken is Jennifer Compton’s eleventh book of poetry. At this late stage she has yielded to the absolute lure of eidectic memory. That is – ‘relating to or denoting images having unusual vividness and detail as if actually visible.’ And there is the pleasure in poetry for her. The damage, the drama, the tableau, the tall tale and true. It must be knocked out of true. There are rules.
This Cathedral Grief responds to the death of Adrian Caesar’s sister, Karen, from pancreatic cancer in 2012-13. This book explores various dimensions of faith—secular, artistic and spiritual—in an attempt to wrest meaning from the blank of loss. Without supporting any single position or belief, these poems are provisional statements, charting the impossibility of celebrating or memorialising someone successfully, much less recovering that person through language.
Dominique Hecq’s latest collection is an autobiographical journey into the real and imaginary of Australia. With her ‘faux-Romantic’ preconceptions, Hecq arrives in Australia from Europe in 1985, after a long fascination with the literature of a country she would eventually call home. Spanning thirty years, Tracks fictionalises this journey of uncovering the complex layers of a foreign land and of discovering its people, places and prejudices.
What We Carry brings together the voices of more than 60 contemporary Australian poets to provide accounts of childbearing that are both lyrical and embodied. Featuring diverse voices and perspectives on experiences of infertility, conception, termination, loss, pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum period, this collection illuminates the endlessly different ways the potential to carry life is experienced. The poems invite you to share incredibly personal stories – some humourous, some sincere, some full of elation and love, others frustration or despair. They provide powerful insights into the potential for childbearing experiences to shape us, change the trajectories of our lives, and teach us about what it means to be human. For after all, all of us were carried, at the beginning.
Edited by Ella Kurz, Simone King and Claire Delahunty
Wild Curious Air is a conversation, a series of readings or observances, full of shiftings: of ideas, words and bodies; through breath and breathlessness; intimacies and desires; ecstatic and dreaming states; and continuous retrievals of memory. It is a book of play and pleasure that acknowledges the global emergencies of the 21st century, as a calling to and a calling up of things, big and small, close and distant, made in language, made while moving among and through the world.
Poet Melinda Smith and artist Caren Florance are back with another excursion into the linguistic and visual pleasures of found text, a joint practice which brought us 2017’s Members Only. With this book, Listen, bitch, they turn their attention to misogynist language, working with a corpus of several decades’ worth of statements by powerful Australian public figures (and other blokes with big platforms). By listening very closely to the snarlings of what Kate Manne calls the law enforcement branch of the patriarchy, these poems attempt to map the lines women are still not supposed to cross in contemporary Australia, and to document the consequences suffered when they do. The results are sometimes harrowing, sometimes ridiculous, and always thought-provoking.
Owen Bullock shows that haiku is a form that can deliver us worlds with deft subtlety and cutting precision. Each of these poems builds on the last to deliver a strong sense of place and of people. Urban Haiku has an eye for the absurdities of contemporary life, as well as its quieter, less noticed moments.
The poems in Alyson Miller’s debut collection are an exploration of the taboo and violence of human nature. From sexuality to the threatening and deadly, these prose poems off new perspectives on the unspeakable, shadowy places of human experience.
This first book of poetry by Niloofar Fanaiyan is about transit as both a physical and conceptual suspension of time and space. It touches on the intersections of people, place, culture and history experienced by travellers: the feeling of being stuck on the periphery while life continues elsewhere; and the possibilities inherent in every journey.