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.
In each of the stories in this collection, the authors examine the conundrum and contradiction of human experience through carefully crafted narrative detail. The brevity of short-form fiction makes it an apt vessel for capturing the haunting incompleteness of human experience. Memorable short stories resonate because they are attentive to specificities and particularities: to detail as it relates to a distinct focalising consciousness. The authors in this collection employ narrative detail with intuitive hands and minds, fashioning an apprehended fictional world, an abstracted reality that resonates beyond the final lines of text. Each story here is marked by the urgency of idea, captured as raw sensory data. Collectively, they are attentive to the crucial relationship between idiosyncratic voice and sharply rendered detail, creating an experiential world that ‘feels real’ to the reader.
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.
Disquieting and deeply moving, Shane Strange’s debut collection inhabits a space that is somehow both intimate, and remote. All Suspicions Have Been Confirmed is marked by precise, pared back language, and immediate, hauntingly resonant imagery: we move through the space and places, the cities, the landscapes of these poems almost as we might move through a film, or a vividly remembered dream.
Meerabai (1498-1556) was a poet, singer and dancer and a devotee of Hindu god Krishna. She is revered as one of the prominent voices of the Bhakti Movement: a movement of religious reformation which valued personal engagement with deities over traditional ritualistic practices. Rain Clouds offers fifteen of her devotional love poems in both Hindi and English, translated by multi-lingual scholar and poet Subhash Jaireth.
Lucy Alexander’s new collection is suffused with subtle observations of nature, childhood, and memory. In imagery loaded with both immediacy and resonance, each ‘stroke’of these luminous poems invokes the sense that great and shifting worlds are coiled within even the smallest of things..
Gladland is a poetic tale of what heartbreak can and can’t do to a modern woman. Set to a 1970s psychosonic soundtrack, and staged in various cities from Detroit to Rome and Perth, these poems are glamrock operettas of everyday life, well-versed in its romantic absurdities and glories.
The poems in (Un)belonging explore physical and psychological spaces, examining the consequences of a life lived on three continents, defined by separation from homelands and loved ones, shaped by departure and return, and the evolution and multiplication of identity. Throughout the collection, the setting continually moves from Australia to Ireland to the United States, making stops in England, Iceland, Greece, Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia. O’Reilly’s poetry engages with a range of concerns and obsessions, including identity, belonging, expatriation, immigration, exile, ancestry, landscape, alienation, homesickness, suburbia, fatherhood, nostalgia, death and grief … finding beauty, contentment and joy amidst an elusive quest for home.
90 poets from across the world reflect on a this marker of a time before the 24-hour news cycle, before the ubiquity of news and information that seems to haunt us through our daily lives. Through this anthology there are poems that capture that moment of nothing but piano music making up an evening news bulletin, poems that contrast this with today’s news, and personal stories grounded in the intervening years.
Zoe Anderson’s first poetry collection uses elements of fairytale and mythology to reflect on landscape, love and ecological uncertainty. Accompanied by darkly heartfelt illustrations by Helani Laisk and playful typography by Caren Florance, this is a collection full of hope, imagination and truth.
In turns unsettling and funny, Oliver Driscoll’s debut collection is a testament to the mundane resonances of contemporary life and language. Driscoll’s wry eye captures the subtle whimsy of the everyday, while exploring the capacity of its language to disturb the field of human meaning.
Story Ground is a place of story, of attentiveness and support. A place where stories are held safely and dearly, and are shared bravely—the very foundation of Community and Culture.
Story Ground: The anthology is a collection of prose writing, poetry and storytelling deriving from a series of workshops based on traditional Indigenous practices of storytelling and knowledge. The authors come from far flung places. Their writings here are breathtakingly powerful. This anthology is for the keeping and for returning to—a collection that you will find yourself reading and embracing, time and again.
‘Some Sketchy Notes on Matter came together slowly around preoccupations of safety and shelter at an individual, societal and global level. I also wanted to look at the tensions between digital and analogue reality, between the city and a natural world that exists without us, strange, compelling and precarious. At its worst these tensions become an imbalance, a violence, threatening not only the individual body but the entire planet.’