Cassandra’s prose poetry has been widely anthologized both nationally and internationally in publications such as Best Australian Poems (Black Inc.) and Strange Cargo: Five Australian Poets (Smith|Doorstop, UK). Her prose poems have been translated into Japanese, Chinese and Korean. Cassandra has been awarded many literary prizes including the University of California Mary Schroeder award and is the recipient of national and international research grants and teaching awards including a VicArts grant and an Australian Council Grant for her work on atomic bomb poetry.
Hesiod’s Five Ages famously proides a vision of the decline of human society that has resonated for many centuries. In this anthology, five poets take Hesiod’s versions of the golden, silver, bronze, heroic and iron ages as their starting points to craft five individual ‘chapbooks’ of prose poetry – not only exploring notions from Hesiodbut also venturing into many new concepts that reconceptualise these ages.These twenty-first century poems challenge many of the archaic Greek poet’s assumptions and ideas, writing back to the ancient world with bravura while employing quintessentially contemporary inflections and preoccupations.
This latest project of ‘authorised theft’ amongst poetic friends sees them raiding the 19th century for inspiration—across a variety of artforms. But C19 here is not just a past century; it is also the terrible present moment in which we live, and in which this remarkable collaborative work has been written.
When Charity finds letters, journals and sketches in the roof of her great-aunt’s house, she uncovers a rich family history that she must piece together from fragments. Great-aunt Birdie’s letters to her lover are a compelling and revealing account of life for many women in the 1930s. Her experiences as an artist in the first decades of the century, and her earlier relationship with a young man who goes to war, also provide powerful insights into a woman who, as Charity begins to suspect, wanted more than her era would allow.
The six senses have rarely been invoked in such sustained and evocative poetical terms. Whether one wants to understand touch, taste, smell, hearing, intuition or sight, this volume provides myriad avenues enabling a rich appreciation of sensory experience.