From the author of the David Unaipon award winning novel Dancing Home.
Paul Collis’ first collection of poetry is a book of difficult truths and profound connections. It charts a life lived on the streets, on country, in the deep time of tradition, of relationships to land and family. This book mourns those who have passed, and the current state of places and people held close in the heart and in the kinds of knowledge inseparable from self that might be called ‘being’, but is always much more than that. It is also a poetry of hope in the hopeless, of beauty in small moments, and the overwhelming ‘now’ that is memory.
In his teens, Ross Donlon had poems published in The Bulletin, Australia’s iconic journal, and in 1965, the literary editor predicted ‘an exciting future’ for the young poet. Donlon’s next poem was published thirty-three years later. In a ‘second budding’ he has had many poems published across Australia and overseas and read at festivals both at home and in Europe. For the Record charts his journey as a poet over five decades, including the Bulletin poems, and the later dark and comic poems for which he has become well-known.
These poems move freely in time from the 1950s to the present day, from the contemporary to memoir, from gender politics to bushfires and floods. They show you jeeps, trucks, girlfriends and cane-cutters, widgies, Singer sewing machines, tattoos and rats and class grudges.
Sandra Renew uses a range of traditional poetry forms to lay bare some of the gaping fault-lines of gender relations especially as they are experienced by LGBTIQ communities.
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.
Dominique Hecq’s latest collection is an autobiographical journey into the real and imaginary of Australia. With her ‘faux-Romantic’ preconceptions, Hecq arrives in Australia from Europe in 1985, after a long fascination with the literature of a country she would eventually call home. Spanning thirty years, Tracks fictionalises this journey of uncovering the complex layers of a foreign land and of discovering its people, places and prejudices.
These poems emerged slowly, and through aleatory conversations between Shé and Jen, in which they identified points of connection in and beyond poetry. Both poets are interested in experiment, and in women poets’ voices; both have lived in Western Australia and been captivated by the light, the space, and the vastness of that state; and both poets have spent a fair bit of time in mourning and in responding to the loss of loved ones. They are also interested in movement in creative and scholarly terms. For Shé, the elemental world is a motivating force; for Jen, it’s travel—hence the title of this joint publication.
The Incompleteness Book is the result of a call for contributions to the theme: the incompleteness of human experience. The call was distributed in April 2020, amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19. The collection takes an interest in the relationship between the haunting incompleteness of human experience and short form writing. This, together with the unforeseen challenges of COVID-19, as well as the lure of coming together as writers, is the impetus for the book. The submissions are aimed at capturing our individual and collective experience as a composite picture. The contributions were collected in just nine days.
The latest collection from Benjamin Dodds interprets the bizarre true story of Lucy, a chimpanzee raised as the ‘daughter’ of Oklahoma psychotherapist Dr Maurice Temerlin during the 1960s and 70s. With deep empathy and an eye for subtle, telling moments, Dodds oﬀers a complex reimagination of Lucy’s fraught hybrid life through unﬂinching poems that fascinate and unsettle in equal measure.
From the author of the award-winning Things I’ve thought to tell you since I saw you last comes a new collection of poems steeped in a sense of dark foreboding. Jumping from the global to the everyday, many of the poems in Nigh chime with the mood that all is not right with the world. Even in the seemingly mundane, or overtly beautiful, Layland finds some uncomfortable truths waiting to be unpicked. Nigh displays the confidence of a poet looking and thinking deeply about the world and offering it up in language as crisp as it is beguiling.
Doggerland is the name of a once fertile and populated land mass, now submerged under the North Sea, that once connected the British Isles with Europe. In the winter of 2017/18, Doggerland was clearly visible once again from the coast near the town where Moya Pacey was born and raised. In Pacey’s hands, this phenomenon works as a metaphor for how memory brings to the surface images, glimpses, stories, people and places appearing and disappearing, in no set order, around the space of this collection of poems.
Doggerland revisits a time of post World War II northern England, replete with traditional norms and values, and darknesses waiting to emerge above the water of everyday life.
This Cathedral Grief responds to the death of Adrian Caesar’s sister, Karen, from pancreatic cancer in 2012-13. This book explores various dimensions of faith—secular, artistic and spiritual—in an attempt to wrest meaning from the blank of loss. Without supporting any single position or belief, these poems are provisional statements, charting the impossibility of celebrating or memorialising someone successfully, much less recovering that person through language.
Care Stop is Sarah Rice’s poetic and photographic reflection on the vagaries of homelessness and the topography of empathy. The book begins with the poem ‘Care Stop’ and is followed by a series of altered images featuring the iconic ACT bus stop shelter. Care Stop is produced in a limited edition, and is proudly supported by artsACT.
Wild Curious Air is a conversation, a series of readings or observances, full of shiftings: of ideas, words and bodies; through breath and breathlessness; intimacies and desires; ecstatic and dreaming states; and continuous retrievals of memory. It is a book of play and pleasure that acknowledges the global emergencies of the 21st century, as a calling to and a calling up of things, big and small, close and distant, made in language, made while moving among and through the world.
Man-handled, Melinda Smith’s seventh poetry collection, includes the found-text chapbook Listen, bitch plus new work from the last three years. Its central concern is gendered violence, both verbal and physical. These poems also extend their gaze to violences perpetrated in the names of colonialism, nationalism and capitalism. While this is Smith’s angriest book, it still takes time to celebrate moments of connection and wonder.