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.
True to its title, the poems in O’Hagan’s second poetry collection, Anamnesis, allude to a world hovering at the edges of our minds, one that can be sensed and yet lies, teasingly, just beyond conscious reach. The arc of poems through time and distance represents a summoning up of, and immersion in, small moments which reveal themselves to be quietly momentous; a distillation of personal experience from which we feel there is something to be collectively gleaned. The recovery of memory in its various facets is explored, and the poetry that emerges is both poignant and lyrical.
Finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Award (US) (Poetry Category), 2023.
Shortlisted in the Rubery Book Award (UK) (Poetry Category), 2023’
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.
Jackson’s new collection traverses science and spirituality, philosophy and matter. Drawing from physics, systems theory, Daoism and more, it contemplates profound questions about our place within a world of being. With deft silences and fine observations, these poems explore both modern and ancient paths to knowledge, seeking to ‘fully apprehend nature, including our fellow beings, and foster a reverent respect for it’.
In these prose poem sequences, five different tastes are explored, not only with reference to food and drink,but also through their metaphorical use. There are innumerable ways of ‘tasting’ and apprehending theworld, and these poems canvass a wide range of them while also encouraging readers to consider their own diverse tastes, preferences and experiences.
Emerging authors from vast geographical regions examine the conundrum and contradiction of human experience through carefully crafted detail. The brevity of short-form writing makes it an apt vessel for capturing the haunting incompleteness of human experience. Through flash and traditional length short stories—fiction and life writing, as well as hybrid forms of storytelling—there is a compelling ebb and tow of ideas, as focalised through highly idiosyncratic voices. The authors work deftly, paying due homage to the crucial relationship between the focalising voice and sharply rendered detail—cultivating narrative features with intuitive hands and minds, fashioning abstracted realities that linger beyond the final lines of the text.
The Writing Mind: Creative Writing Responses to Images of the Living Brain includes 60 creatively enhanced, colour images of the living brain. Each image is followed by two short-form creative writing responses: prose and poetry written as ekphrastic ‘replies’ to the images. This book was conceived through a partnership between the Australasian Association of Writing Programs (AAWP), the peak academic body representing the discipline of Creative Writing in Australasia, and the Science Art Network (ScAN), affiliated with the neuroimaging department at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia. The broader context for the partnership is a Creative Writing | Neuroimaging Research Study currently being undertaken at Swinburne University’s neuroimaging facility. The study investigates the activity in participants’ brains while undertaking a creative writing workshop. While The Writing Mind focuses on creative rather than traditional research outputs, it nevertheless reflects the shared commitment of AAWP and ScAN—an abiding fidelity to transdisciplinary, open and collaborative research practices. AAWP and ScAN share an interest in the intersections between diverse disciplines—arts/science and arts/health—while considering the ways we can work together for the future for our fields and for a better world.
Utilising comprehensive research undertaken at the National Records of Scotland, On the Record takes as its starting point the death certificates of a number of Martin Dolan’s direct ancestors. Each poem imagines itself into the thoughts of its subject/speaker, developing a mosaic that gives a small sight of Scottish social history, primarily in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Get all fifteen of our new poetry collections released as they are released 2023
Featuring new work by:
April Nathan Shepherson, Sandra Renew May Ally Chua, Alvin Pang & George Szirtes June Erin Shiel, Owen Bullock July K A Nelson, Martin Dolan September Es Foong, Brendan Ryan, Thabani Tshuma October Jennifer Allen, Brent Cantwell November Jen Webb, Kerry Greer
The Sea Chest is a visceral, moving, and emotionally layered account of life in the aftermath of loss. In 2017, Kerry Greer’s husband Gabriel ended his life with horrific violence, dying on the kitchen floor of his parents’ home.
Haunting in its honesty, and underpinned by a connection to the spirituality of the natural world, The Sea Chest traces the impact of Gabriel’s death over years and continents. The collection provides a counter-narrative to ideas of grief portrayed in sympathy cards or Hollywood movies. There is no redemptive narrative arc, no going “back to normal.” But there is the old love—the indissoluble thread that is now called grief.
Imagistic and probing, The Sea Chest speaks directly into the void. In the stillness, in the grey: a ripple, an answer from the ether, asking the reader to listen, to not turn away. The Sea Chest becomes a holding space for grief—for the things which cannot be said out loud, but which need to be voiced. This is poetry as invocation, poetry as love enacted, poetry as gateway to the liminal and the sacred.
The Gospel of Unmade Creation, the debut collection by Thabani Tshuma, is about reshaping. It is an examination of the ways we are taken apart and put back together and what exists in that space before ‘rebuilding’ or ‘recovery’. This book is a truth, in the way truth can be both something made and something that already exists. It is an origin story told in non-linear vignettes. Part-testament, part-tome, part exercise in reflection, the poems in The Gospel of Unmade Creation traverse scene, theme, space, and time in search of a sense of ‘self’.