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
In this lyrical, often wry, sometimes heartbreaking and just occasionally horrifying selection of poems, internationally award-winning poet, Anne Casey invites you to step into her shoes, take a self-guided cruise through the State of Womanhood with its redacted facts and multiple travel warnings, feel the red hot sting of betrayal, and leave behind nights of secrets and dread to rise with the rage that her fine sisters gave, a scattering of blue skies and a pocketful of hope on the long walk home.
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
Imagine if six famous protagonists transcended chronological and geographical barriers to come together through a poetry group in Adelaide. Rhymes with Hyenas is an inventive narrative of emails and poetry that gives a female voice to characters originally written by men. They are Ursula from DH Lawrence’s Women in Love, Caddy from Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Melanie from Coetzee’s Disgrace, Delores from Nabokov’s Lolita, Katherina from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, and Lilith from Hebrew mythology.
In a poignant ode to literature and Adelaide, these women are whole, complex characters, sometimes up to their breasts in mothering, sometimes homesick for exiled lands. ‘They are lecturers, dog owners, art makers and carers who deal with illness, infertility, addiction and abuse. Their stories, initially limited by the masterpieces that spawned them, continue on: they are not a closed book.
In a vibrant commentary on literary patriarchy and the patriarchy beyond, this book considers the place of writing, critiquing, reading, performing and publishing poetry in a woman’s space.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.’
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
Told through a series triptychs—each with a poem, a work of essayistic prose and a photographic image—White Clouds Blue Rain captures discrete moments of life with precise yet unpredictable detail. Taking cues from artists, writers and architects, Driscoll gently binds the everyday to the abstract, moving from the dual vantage points of an apartment block in Melbourne and a former family home in North Queensland out to questions of form, shape and aesthetics as well as the act of making and our relationships with people, objects and physical space. There’s a spaciousness and glasslike stillness to this work that carefully diffuses meaning, never allowing it to settle.