In 2012 poet and writer Joel Deane suffered a stroke. Suddenly he was a poet without language. The music and imagery of poetry, for so long the impetus of all his writing, would not come. Year of the Wasp charts Deane’s journey to rediscover his poetic voice.
From these deeply personal origins Deane’s third poetry collection rises to confront the realities of politics and culture, language and love in contemporary Australia. It is a journey of poetic transfiguration that produces a work of unrivalled power, emotional intensity, and insight.
Eileen Chong’s new collection continues her exploration of the contemplative and the personal within subtly shifting contexts of food, love, history and culture. Lovers of her poetry will find much that is familiar and much that is new. Over the three volumes of work represented on this page the reader can map a transition from a precocious apprenticeship to a mature voice, through moments of light and happiness mixed with hints of grief and foreboding....
Antigone Kefala is highly regarded for the intensity of her vision, and her minimalism. Fragments is her first collection of poems in almost twenty years, since the publication of New and Selected Poems in 1998. It follows her 2008 memoir Sydney Journals, of which one critic wrote, ‘Kefala can render the music of the moment so perfectly, she leaves one almost singing with the pleasure of it’. This skill in capturing the moment is just as evident in Fragments, with its linguistic precision, its heightened perception and sense of drama.
In his latest collection, Liam Ferney focuses on the deep contradictions at the heart of modern life. This is fast-paced poetry that is explosive, critical, and engaged.
Ferney uses the argot of politics and the internet to tackle religion, war, love, and late capitalism. Content is a hand grenade tossed into the middle of polite society. He charts and parodies a hypertextual world, engrossed in media while passionately critical of their effects.
'Headwaters marries an extraordinary gift for observation of the natural world and an exquisite appreciation of human creatureliness with marvellous linguistic precision to create a singular, life-affirming music.' John Burnside
Jakob Zigura’s poetry is born out of that high style of address where intellect and scholarship meet demanding form and produce feeling. He moves through both time and space, from the ancient philosophers through to contemporary observation. He is an elegant and authoritative poet. ‘What will suffice’ begins one poem, quoting Wallace Stevens, ‘will, finally, not suffice; unless a puddle with a petrol spill / suffice to read the gestures of the wind.’ These gestures involve a straight back and firm steps. The halls resound, the petrol spills, and, as Emily Dickinson put it, ‘a formal feeling...
Time and motion are undercurrents in these new poems by Sarah Day. Her subjects encompass the commonplace in the Australian landscape: the remnant beak of a raven, tree shadows in urban streets, industrial cranes and mowing-machines, as well as the exotic or peculiar: the world seed bank in Norway, artefacts in Pompeii, Graeco-Egyptian funeral portraits, the landscape paintings of John Glover, the Earth as seen from elsewhere in the Milky Way. These poems, individually and collectively, invite questions about the enigmatic nature of past, present and future.
A children’s game in an overgrown garden is the first hint of a troubling presence in the old house ‘Eldershaw’. But is the haunting a memory of the past inscribed in the stonework or a discord the occupants have brought with them?
Eldershaw is a brilliant piece of ‘uncanny’ fiction… alive and convincing at every point, crackling with engagement and intensity.
Martin Duwell, Australian Poetry Review
[A] wonderful love poem and elegy… [of] almost unbearable poignancy. The final dateless narrative, ‘The Pool’, is a high point of Australian poetry.
Geoffrey Lehmann, The Weekend Australian
1953 is a unique verse narrative composed of monologues and verse portraits. Together, these build towards the story of an Australian town, Eurandangee, and its people on a particular summer’s day in the 1950s. The poems reflect the perspective of a number of the town’s residents. Rumbling beneath this is the broader examination of a developing post-war Australia, with issues of the lingering effects of war and violence and an accumulation of cultural change....