Anita Patel’s second collection of poetry takes us on a voyage into history, heritage, mythology and family. These poems scatter and drift through layers of time, across cultures and continents. They offer glimpses into past worlds and present realities. They pay tribute to the yearning of a migrant heart, the search for home and the tensile strength of women. This is poetry that peers through the cloudy lens of memory to examine the tattered web of relationships, language, landscapes and stories which make up a self.
Beginning in Sight is Theodore Ell’s first poetry collection. It brings together work written over more than ten years, tapping into the memories, life-stories and mirror-images that resist time and recouple bygone experience to the drifting world of today. The poems branch out from Ell’s original home of Sydney into its hinterland, the coast and the Hunter, snatching moments of respite and pleasure in troubled times, before finding new bearings in the Canberra region. Haunted by the presence of vanished lives and histories, these are poems of perseverance, endurance and a past that seems to know what is coming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Penny Drysdale invites readers into her home and her transience as her relationship begins to end. It is never easy to get on with your life. I am the glass is window into these tender invisible journeys.
‘A piercing portrait of the many ways we rebuild after loss. I am the glass is the bark stripped away.’
‘F-words’ is less expletive, more reconnaissance flight. In this five-year exploratory survey of territory that might include poetry, Malins forays into fables, fauna and flora, family, feminism, faraway and further. Whether in factual, fictive, fabulist or forensic form, Malins is squinting through life’s surface reflections and writing what she glimpses underneath.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
If we are to speak, what is it we must speak? If we are allowed to speak, what is it we must say? Who constitutes the ‘we’ that speaks? Anne Elvey’s new collection frames such questions against the contemporary world and its multiple challenges. These poems in turn explore environmental encounters, subtle and overt expressions of the political, the elisions of history, the embodiment of the world and the nature of grace, through poetry sharply attuned to its subject matter. For Elvey, poetry has an obligation not only to chart intimate moments, but also to draw those moments towards the numinous matter of our Earthy habitats.