Miranda Lello’s debut collection is a deeply felt and often playful reflection on the liminal moments of contemporary life. Lello’s keen eye searches out the possibilities of new worlds as they exist in the everyday moments of work, of journeys, of love, and of living. This is a collection written on the body and mind and invested in the capacity of poetry to make us feel.
The title poem of this collection chronicles the eighteenth-century trial of Captain John Bolton for the murder of his apprentice girl, Elizabeth Rainbow, in a small village in the north of England where Paul Munden has spent most of his life. The poem’s reflection on the life writing process is complemented by other shadowings, glimpses of strange complicities and dark pastoral musings
Set in the heart of Australia, Penny Drysdale’s debut collection breaks open the prison of self to lay bare the many contradictions in contemporary Australian relationships. Love, injustice and ‘unbelonging’ weave their way through this torrid landscape like ancient creatures on a grand scale. A credit card, a mouse trap, a discarded car battery, a pile of children’s clothing all become an opportunity to examine in harsh Australian light aspects of ourselves we usually confine to the dark.
In 2015 poet Angela Gardner was invited to the print studio of artist Caren Florance to set some blocks of ‘random’ text using metal letterpress type. As a separate creative work, ‘The Future, Un-imagine’ was taking form in Gardner’s mind; there was also ambient sound in the studio, a radio playing and wide-ranging conversation taking place between the two as Gardner set the type. Her seven ‘key’ textblocks were then print-performed by Florance for over a year to produce multiple readings and visual patterns, reflecting the structured chaos that Gardner uses in her writing practice. The artist book that emerged, Working Papers, is impossible to reproduce ‘accurately’ without losing many of its material properties; this chapbook is an opportunity to remix some of its pages to form new arrangements around Gardner’s resolved poem. The result is an augmented presentation of the poem and a companion to the limited edition artist book.
From the opening poem of Maggie Shapley’s first collection Proof, we know we are in the company of a thoughtful, sometimes restless, poet. Here, in explorations of childhood and family, memory and loss, belonging and dislocation, we find every word conveying a powerful sense of lived encounters and experience. This is poetry characterised by close observation, a restrained wit and a fine precision of language.
1962. Menzies was in power, Whitlam was deputy Opposition Leader, and the cold war was in full swing. Canberra was steadily transforming froma town in a paddock to a city with a lake. This is a year in the life of the building that held all the action: Old Parliament House. One of the outcomes of a collaborative project between poet Melinda Smith and artist Caren Florance, this poetic work is an exercise in re-voicing the past and placing it in conversation with the present.
Black Tulips are symbols of mystery and elegance and are hard to grow—a bit like writing poems. There is always a sense of mystery around how a poem makes it on to the page. How it sits beneath the surface as a garden bulb does until the conditions are right for it to begin to sprout and push into being.
Paul Hetherington’s long prose poem Íkaros crafts from the myth of the same name, a unique inspiration and imagination spanning multiple layers of time and consciousness, incorporating memory and dreamscapes into an exceptionally potent exploration of a journey through to self-awareness. Central to the myth of Íkaros and to this collection is the relationship between father and son portrayed by Hetherington with exquisite honesty and tenderness, at once explorative and elegiac. His vision’s complexity is expressed in clear, honed language, its fresh imagery enabling a rare and compassionate depth of insight. This is a painterly, highly visual and visceral work with compelling underlying cadences and rhythms. Hetherington gifts the reader with “a necklace of words; utterances like waves and beach-tossed stones” and a telling capacity to listen closely and to see clearly.
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.
In The Uncommon Feast, Eileen Chong gives us a collection of poetry, essays and recipes that remark on how food has shaped her life, her way of understanding her world, and the world of connections with those around her. For Chong, food is an act of sharing and an act of generosity. Here, she shares with you a collection of her poems on food, essays that chart the meaning of food and poetry in her life, and even a secret recipe or two. Includes illustrations by Colin Cassidy.
In this debut collection, Judith Wright Poetry Prize winner, K A Nelson surveys a life lived in inland Australia. Inlandia traces the inner self, recording discoveries as she feels the place out and comes to an understanding of what ‘place’ means. Nelson’s direct poetry makes us think again about what keeps us returning, physically and in memory, to the terrains and people who occupy our shared history.
..a more attractive approach – and a truer one – is for the poet to step away and let the moment be itself. In this way, his or her moment becomes our moment. The more particular it is, the more universal it becomes. This is Martin’s way. Things that could seem insignificant become imbued with substance, the small becomes momentous, whether it be a sparrow slamming into a glass window, a sunset on a daily jog, bees, dung beetles, letters, the cutting of a garden plant, dust, a greeting card, a road in the moonlight, words themselves or children engaged in trick-or-treat. Little things are not little things. His universe knows no hierarchy.
Cavorting with Time is a series of poems about female ageing and mortality. Jacqui Malins shares them here as a work in progress, a script that will develop and mature over time, gathering notes and annotations with each new presentation. She has performed variations of it solo, with musical accompaniment, and now it performs on the page.