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
Over the last five years, from the #Me Too Movement to same-sex marriage, from devastating bush fires to the global pandemic, the online poetry journal Not Very Quiet has dedicated itself to publishing women’s voices from across the globe. Not Very Quiet: The anthology selects poetry that has given voice to the social conscience of the community, constructions of lesbian and queer, the challenges posed to the social construction of gender, as well as the complexities and possibilities of the human condition.
In Animals with Human Voices you will find worms that dream of god, jellyfish weary of immortality, a powerless Superman, some illogical observations on aliens’, a lightning conductor tired of lightning and the truth about Elvis. In multi award-winning poet Damen O’Brien’s debut collection, his cinematic eye and love of nature deliver poems which are ciphers for the normal concerns of every human: love, life and death and what we leave behind.
What would you do if you looked up and saw that the night sky was darker than usual? That the stars had disappeared, and nobody was doing anything about it?
What do you do when a loved one tells you that their world is darker than usual? That they see no light, and don’t know what to do about it?
Errant Night is an exploration of resilience executed imperfectly. In this sequence of prose poems, Beaumont draws upon the sci-fi wonders of interstellar travel and spaceship mechanics to throw comparative light upon the realities of living with the burden of loss.
Throughout his forties and fifties Phillip found himself on a sticky wicket: the grief for his baby son and younger brothers, suicide attempts, self-harming, the premature termination of his career, and the failure of religious belief to explain or console. In and out of psychiatric care, he has been treated for PTSD, severe depression and social anxiety. There are consolations: family, companion greyhounds, Sunshine, the Western Bulldogs and Australian Football, books, the fine and performing arts but, for Phillip, this remains a time of loss and despair. This is, therefore, a collection of lamentations, achingly focused on what it is to live with poor mental health, but it is also a defiant celebration of survival and the redeeming power of familial love, sport and the arts.
Borderless presents a collection of brand new, specially commissioned poems from a wide range of contemporary poets refl ecting on feminism in its broadest sense. While it builds on the work of previous anthologies, in this one the voices of First Nations, refugee and migrant poets are a deliberate focus. These poems plunge the reader deep into the experience of life in the world, at this moment, in a woman’s body, and explore multitudinous versions of what that can mean.
Edited by Saba Vasefi, Melinda Smith and Yvette Holt
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.
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.
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
‘F-words’ is less expletive, more reconnaissance flight. In this five-year exploratory survey of territory that might include poetry, Malins forays into fables, fauna and flora, family, feminism, faraway and further. Whether in factual, fictive, fabulist or forensic form, Malins is squinting through life’s surface reflections and writing what she glimpses underneath.
Penny Drysdale invites readers into her home and her transience as her relationship begins to end. It is never easy to get on with your life. I am the glass is window into these tender invisible journeys.
‘A piercing portrait of the many ways we rebuild after loss. I am the glass is the bark stripped away.’
In April 2020, amidst the global pandemic of Covid-19, the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the peak academic body representing the discipline of Creative Writing in Australasia, sent a call for contributions to The Incompleteness Book (2020: Recent Work Press). The storytellers and poets were asked to respond to the prompt: the incompleteness of human experience. The second edition represents the impetus to capture a composite picture of what writers made of this prompt, one year on. Contributors were asked to consider what they had discarded; what they coveted more closely than ever; whether they had learned something, about themselves or more broadly. In this thought-provoking collection contributors were asked to write back and think forward. The result is a multi-focal expression of: Where to, from here?
Hyperbole, Belinda Rule’s debut full length collection, contains the poems from the 2019 Anne-Elder-commended chapbook, The Things the Mind Sees Happen, as well as a careful selection of previous work spanning the past ten years. These are tender, funny poems about family estrangement, sexual violence, ageing and death.
Stephen Gilfedder’s Way Stations features selected poems from the past 40 and more years. The chronology leads us from the contemporary to his initial fully realised work. Throughout, people – in their various guises, locations and predicaments – are the abiding concentration. An important aspect is the observation and recording of human mutability in time, place and circumstance. The personal dimension is explored across its contradictions, from commitment to uncertainty, to self-discovery and perseverance. Throughout the language is rich and rhythmic, steeped in the Australian vernacular.
‘Gilfedder’s unforced and liquid vernacular is sharpened and made memorable by his vivid and exacting imagery. These poems are moments observed from the inside and outside, narratives that are as particular as the shape of a place-name in the mouth, yet as universal as the waystations of every life.’
Based on historical, biographical and geographic research, Sometimes a Woman explores the lives of 19th-century women—prostitutes and madams—who helped settle America’s Wild West . Filled with voices that were mostly silenced in their era, these poems convey a variety of emotions, personalities and voices sometimes angry, usually feisty, and occasionally humorous. The poems, which vary in style and form, ranging from lyrical and narrative lineated poems to prose and found poems, pay tribute to and celebrate these women.
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.