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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This bilingual Homings and Departures anthology presents the absorbing and compelling poetry of 41 outstanding Australian poets in both English and Mandarin. The anthology is the result of a collaboration between poets, scholars and translators from the China Australia Writing Centre at Curtin University, Western Australia; the International Poetry Studies group at the University of Canberra; and Fudan University in Shanghai. Edited by Lucy Dougan and Paul Hetherington, it reflects the importance of international literary and cultural connections as a way of extending our conceptions of ‘home’ and ‘elsewhere’.
2021 is the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, author of the long narrative poetic trilogy, The Divine Comedy. In a time of global pandemic, Dante’s exploration of the relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds and humankind’s responsibilities to each other seems particularly relevant, and to commemorate Dante’s anniversary we invited 70 poets from around the world to respond to Dante’s famous work, assisted by a team of seven contributing editors: Paul Munden (UK), Nessa O’Mahony (Ireland), Paul Hetherington (Australia), Alvin Pang (Singapore), Priya Sarukkai Chabria (India), Moira Egan (Italy) and David Fenza (US).
Edited by Paul Munden and Nessa O’Mahony.
The free online version of Divining Dante is now available here.
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.
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
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.
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
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.