"The first name you gave her was always secret
as the little clump of cells grew large, as bones
hardened under the softness of growing limbs,
the curve of torso. You kept it to yourself."
Martin Dolan is a Canberra poet who has been writing and publishing for twenty-five years. Some years ago, he gave up his moonlighting as a public servant to pursue his writing. He has been one of the organisers of That Poetry Thing, Canberra’s home of poetry, since 2017. Martin is also chair of Australian Poetry, the national body for Australian poetry.
Utilising comprehensive research undertaken at the National Records of Scotland, On the Record takes as its starting point the death certificates of a number of Martin Dolan’s direct ancestors. Each poem imagines itself into the thoughts of its subject/speaker, developing a mosaic that gives a small sight of Scottish social history, primarily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Get all fifteen of our new poetry collections released as they are released 2023
Featuring new work by:
April Nathan Shepherson, Sandra Renew May Ally Chua, Alvin Pang & George Szirtes June Erin Shiel, Owen Bullock July K A Nelson, Martin Dolan September Es Foong, Brendan Ryan, Thabani Tshuma October Jennifer Allen, Brent Cantwell November Jen Webb, Kerry Greer
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.
..a more attractive approach – and a truer one – is for the poet to step away and let the moment be itself. In this way, his or her moment becomes our moment. The more particular it is, the more universal it becomes. This is Martin’s way. Things that could seem insignificant become imbued with substance, the small becomes momentous, whether it be a sparrow slamming into a glass window, a sunset on a daily jog, bees, dung beetles, letters, the cutting of a garden plant, dust, a greeting card, a road in the moonlight, words themselves or children engaged in trick-or-treat. Little things are not little things. His universe knows no hierarchy.