So I look where they don’t think it could be, and there it is.
In this new collection, Owen Bullock asks ‘what constitutes work for someone who must play in order to create?’ It’s a question addressed through formal contrast, aural unpredictability, and a genuine immersion of all the senses.
Bullock combines prose and lineated poems with his love of language play, poems found in the fat air of conversation, and the contrasts that memory and experience conjure. With this is a genuine love of whimsy pushed to the absurd, and pushed again into poigniancy.
From the Afterword:
At one stage I was writing prose poems about being a poet and what constitutes work for someone who must play in order to create. A number of these pieces were included in a critical/creative essay published in Axon, titled ‘Vocation. Vocation.’ Seeing this preoccupation, Shane Strange suggested putting together a book called Work & Play.
I wanted to contrast the prose poems with lineated poems, and for the second section delved into a file of work written in the couple of years before I came to Canberra (2012-2013), which contain similar themes.