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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Feeding the Ghost : 1 : Criticism on Contemporary Australian Poetry
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'This book is aimed at providing criticism on contemporary Australian poetry in a form that is accessible to general readers. It is intended to be the first in a series which will grapple with the bewildering diversity of the contemporary poetry scene. Australian poetry deserves a criticism that accompanies the astonishing momentum and luminosity that has developed, which both elucidates the scale of poetic achievement and is also not afraid to evaluate that achievement through a rigorous and disinterested critical lens. Australian poets have been feeding the ghost with extraordinary energy and acumen over the last quarter of a century; it is now time for Australian poetry criticism to catch up.' (Introduction)

Exhibitions

17459935
17457142

Contents

* Contents derived from the Waratah, Waratah - Shortland area, Newcastle, Newcastle - Hunter Valley area, New South Wales,:Puncher and Wattmann , 2018 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
'Seeing What the Hunger Is' : Current Criticism on Australian Poetry, Andy Kissane , David Musgrave , Carolyn Rickett , single work criticism

'This book is aimed at providing criticism of contemporary Australian poetry in a form that is accessible to general readers of poetry. It is intended to be the first in a series which will grapple with the bewildering diversity of the contemporary poetry scene. Part of the need for this scholarly collection is remedial; as we will argue, poetry review culture often lacks critical bite and the exigencies of academic research often bypass critical evaluation. The recent publication of Contemporary Australian Poetry (2016) highlighted the strength and vitality of the art form in Australia over the last quarter of a century. Feeding the Ghost I: Criticism on Contemporary Australian Poetry is intended to complement that body of work which has surprised so many readers with its vigour and depth. ' (Introduction)
 

(p. 7-15)
'Bypassed Years; : TimeSpace and the Stasis in Gorton's 'Press Release' Sequences, Cassandra Atherton , single work criticism

'The compression of time and space, coined "TimeSpace" by Wallerstein' (1991) in his modern world-systems analysis, aims to eliminate dualisms and highlight the interdependency or indissolubility of time and space in human geography. Buildingon Fernand Braudel's (1980) identification of three social times, Wallerstein argues, "time and space are not two separate categories but one, which I shall call TimeSpace" (139). Indeed, moving from Structural TimeSpace to a melding of geographical concepts and metaphors with conceptualisations of time play, Jon May and Nigel Thrift suggest that removing the space or hyphen between these two words is an attempt to eliminate any possible prioritization of one over the other, to focus instead on the ways in which "time and space are inextricably interwoven" (2). Their interdisciplinary edited collection of essays, TimeSpace Geographies of Temporality (2001), highlights the relevance of TimeSpace to Geography, (2001)., Sociology Gender Studies, International Studies and English Literature (2). This essay is an analysis of the relevance of TimeSpace to Poetry specifically an examination of imaginative geographies in Gorton's poetry...' (Introduction)
 

(p. 16-35)
Mez Breeze Between the Centuries, A.J. Carruthers , single work criticism

For well over two decades now, since the middle 1990s, Mez Breeze (born Mary-Anne Breeze), has remained at the forefront of digital and electronic poetics over a period of time in which its basic functions morphed or were variously updated. A full `cyberbibliography' of her career, from older work with `net.art narratives, through what she has thought of as the "Golden Phase of Mezangelle," to her work on games like #PRISOM (2013), will turn up a vast and evolving ouevre with recurrent strands. Her most well-known invention is the generative language of "Mezangelle," which uses code, MUD (Multi-User-Domain), online chatlogs, avatars, JavaScript and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) as procedural, linguistic and textural means, and ends, for poetics. The result is an absorptive and playful reworking of these into poems and, as I will pay special attention to here, sequences of poems. Breeze's writingways share topoi that interweave the digital and ethics, language and ecology, the abstraction of contemporary life and what she described to me in an email as "A sense of sP[I]ace collapsing + concertinaed comprehension-nesting, of contractions and expansions." Such writing is situated in spatial locales both matrixial and fractal; "shaped by my own personal intrigue with language and the land, of openings within openings, of lingual whorls and patterns that blossom + contract." ' (Introduction) 
 

(p. 36-58)
Philip Salom : Feeding Time to the Contemporary, Toby Davidson , single work criticism

'One way to witness the futility of defining the contemporary is to read someone attempting it twenty years back. Geoff Page's A Readers Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry (1995) opts, after some vacillations ("does it include last year, last decade or even the last three decades?") to locate it in the poets of the late 60s, "whether they were later considered conservative or radical"—Tranter, Forbes, Adamson, Murray, Lehmann, Gray (1-2). While Page finds it "hard to think of any woman born between 1940 and 1950 who has rivalled the impact of most of the male poets cited so far", Jan Owen (b. 1940), Jennifer Rankin (1941), Joanne Burns (1945), Jennifer Maiden (1949) all are given entries of roughly the same length (8). The critical and commercial success of the slightly younger Dorothy Porter (b.1954) proved a little too contemporary for Page, with The Monkey's Mask reduced to "the verse detective novel she is now working on", even if, four lines below, his own bibliography gives the title and its publication date of 1994—the year prior (228). While the "general loosening up" caused by the "Woodstock generation", paperbacks and live performance has proven fruitful, Page concedes that the majority of his sixty-four chosen poets are no longer writing, with only twenty-four remaining active, the rest "lost to journalism, academia, early death, arts administration, the novel and the counter-culture of northern New South Wales" (2-3)...' (Introduction)

(p. 59-84)
Sentimental Educations : The Poetry of David Malouf, Martin Duwell , single work criticism

'David Malouf's poetry, marvellous as it is, is only one, comparatively small, part of a literary output noted for the variety of his modes. It is difficult to name many other writers working in poetry, the novel, the short story, the memoir, the review, the play, the critical essay and even libretti. It's tempting to say that, as in Malouf's imaginative universe, the boundaries between these modes are more porous than usual. In fact it is not a matter of Malouf mastering and excelling in different modes, but rather one of his transforming the latent possibilities of existing modes in order to make them play a part in the unfolding and expansions of this universe.' (Introduction)

(p. 85-111)
'Singing in My Careless Hand' : Dorothy Porter's Verse Novels, Andy Kissane , single work criticism

'Dorothy Porter wanted to make poetry popular again, to bring r back into the mainstream and attract the readers that had abandoned it in the twentieth century, as the novel became the dominant literary form. She expressed that desire when discussing the mood and melancholia of T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. She said, "I want to break away from that modernist fatigue. I want some green leaves to growl want poetry to get people intoxicated and drunk again. I want poem!' to be seen as something festive, fun and dangerous" (Digby 39). One way to capture some new ground for poetry was to challenge the relative domination of the lyric, which eventually resulted in Porter writing five verse novels. This chapter examines the successes and the limitations of these novels as narratives and as poetry.' (Introduction)

(p. 112-147)
John Watson and the Comedy of Landscape, Martin Langford , single work criticism

'Few things have puzzled us more, in recent times, than out relationships with our environments: not just rural and "natural» environments but built ones as well. Increasingly, it all seems like the one bewilderment: perplexity about how to see the green world is inseparable from anxiety over how to imagine the constructed one, As recently as 1978, Les Murray was able to write, "our culture is still in its Boetian phase, and any distinctiveness we possess is still firmly anchored in the bush" (179). The fact that poets like Peter Porter, engaged in a dialogue with Murray about this that stressed alternative - "Attic" — sources of authority: "the permanently upright city where speech is nature" (23), felt that they had to pursue such things overseas, only confirmed the weight of Murray's argument. The key thing, however, was that we inhabited a polarity, and that what one saw when one looked at either country or city depended on which viewpoint one looked from.' (Introduction) 
 

(p. 148-167)
Pam Brown's Ghostly Signature : 'Half Here / Half Gone, Lyn McCredden , single work criticism

'Already, in her 1974 volume Automatic Sad, poet Pam Brown's melancholy protagonist is seriously dissatisfied. S/he sees "... dark corners / and black holes here" ("The Collapse" 17), losing her head "midframe in the city again / with a bag of banal images" (17). S/he is "desperate / in similar sad thoughts / think(s) maybe some angel ... might roll into the house and unwrap the mystery I've been solving for thousands of years" (17). Poet, social critic and existential being are dose here, but distinct; each ghosts the other, playing hard to get and hard to pin down, with each other let alone with the reader. Is "The Collapse" an indicative poem of tentative hope and poetic generation, or of melancholy/ruefulness/ irony/ self-disappearance, or both? Between irony, social critique and tongue-in-cheek, Brown's poems are little disappearing acts. Or at least putative attempts at self-deconstruction, being both within language, and pressing to be somewhere beyond it: "Half here / Half gone" (106). (Introduction)
 

(p. 168-189)
Randolph Stow's 'Hungry Waiting Country', Caitlin Maling , single work criticism

'Many decades after he had left Western Australia and settled in Suffolk, Randolph Stow would continue to be asked if he considered himself an Australian writer. In interviews, Stow would attempt to distance himself from ideas of roots, denying the label "Australian^ for his preferred "Anglo-Australian" ("A Conversation" 71). Similarly, Stow frames his interest in Western Australia as purely related to childhood, the town of Geraldton being the place where he just happened to grow up ("Mostly Private Letters" 354). Since Stow's death in 2010 interest in locating him on a cultural map of Australia has continued. With the re-release of his major fiction works through the Text Publishing Classics series in 2015 and the publication of Suzanne Falkiner's 2016 biography Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, Stow is enjoying a resurgence, one that continues to try to locate him as an Australian or Western Australian writer. Yet as in his lifetime, Stow's poetry remains relatively critically neglected despite the most comprehensive selection of his poetry appearing in 2013 accompanied by an extensive introductory essay by John Kinsella. The Kinsella essay demonstrates how consideration of Australianness in Stow's poetry and prose almost always relates to consideration of landscape. Part of the confusion around assigning Stow a definitive designation as a Western Australian place writer must be that Stow does not write about place in any one way...' (Introduction)

(p. 190-213)
Les Murray's Mannerist Grotesque, David Musgrave , single work criticism

'As In Murray approaches his 80th birthday it is worth trying to assess the continuity of his achievement over a career that has now entered its 53rd year. In this chapter I approach this through examining, primarily in his later work, what I see as two central and linked preoccupations — a fascination with distortion, exaggeration and (re) framing, combined with a sense of an abject sexuality. I argue that 'late' Murray arrived relatively early, around the time of his return to Bunyah in the late 1980s, when he was in his late 40s, but also that this 'lateness' has clear and discernible roots in his early lyric poetry.' (Introduction)
 

(p. 214-249)
Matters Invisible : J. S. Harry's Lyrical Poems, Kerry Plunkett , single work criticism

'Anonymity surrounds and shades J. S. Harry and her poetry Even today, after she has published nine collections and won numerous awards, when I mention the poet J. S Harry, the common response is, "Who?" The reasons for this can, in part, be attributed to the poet herself. Harry was a retiring soul who preferred to devote her time to nurturing animals rather than spending it on the act of self-promotion. This reticence has rendered her almost invisible and publicly her voice only whispers among her more prominent peers. Harry's enigmatic and ungendered pen name is also a contributing factor. But, paradoxically, the most outstanding feature responsible for the sense of anonymity found in her poetry is the absence of a distinctive voice and personality. Instead, Harry's poetry is populated by a diverse range of poetic voices engendered by multifarious poetic forms and styles. Why does Harry choose to be obscure? And what underpins her motive to remain distant? There is an esoteric quality to Harry's poetry in which, I assert, she is actively exploring a variety of complex and interlaced spiritual discourses. Rooted in these discourses is the idea of egolessness, the non-attachment to the ego-self.' It is my contention that the sense of anonymity in Harry's poetry is an attempt to depict egolessness, and that it is a motif in her poetry that exemplifies her personal ontology and this essay will be a starting point in its exploration.'  (Introduction)
 

(p. 250-279)
'The Final Subject Has Been Set. I'm Concentrating Hard on Death' : The Poetics of Loss in Philip Hodgins's Blood and Bone, Carolyn Rickett , single work criticism

'Most theorists agree that the work of mourning involves mental processes that ultimately enable a person to separate from this object they have lost, and this involves the paradoxical experience of focussing on the loss in order to finally disinvest in and detach from it. But even Freud, as Clewell argues in her article "Mourning and Melancholia: Freud's Psychoanalysis of Loss", "explicitly acknowledged that mourning might not be as straightforward a business of severance and redemptive replacement as he earlier surmised" (58).' (Introduction)
 

(p. 280-310)
'But with a General Groan' : Public and Private Voices in Jordie Albiston and Melinda Smith's Poetry, Tegan Schetrumpf , single work criticism

'It is no easy task to construct a voice, or voices, that speak to contemporary Australian readers, given the micro-politics of the Australian millennial poetry scene. Since the inception of the Poetry Wars in 1968, many poetic subsets are encamped somewhere between the flags of more traditional lyrical poetry, and the avant-garde descendants of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. Keri Glastonbury describes these demarcations, bundled together to face the cultural, economic and digital pressures that seem always to be threatening poetry's existence, as "a UNESCO city of literature" (223). This analogy aptly conveys the range of voices, tones and registers that would be required to speak to Australian poetry audiences as a whole.'   (Introduction)

(p. 311-336)
Between Housework and Carring Her Home : Natalie Harkin's Reparative Poetics, Ann Vickery , single work criticism

'In their introduction to the Macquarie/ PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, Anita Heiss and Peter Minter discern that Aboriginal writing has been in the "foreground of a renewed and particularly successful resistance to state authority" (4). They cite We Are Going by Oodgeroo Noonuccal as emblematic of an activist literature that is directed to her own community as well as a mainstream audience. Heiss and Minter situate Noonuccal's writing within the context of resistance literature, a genre which blurs creative and critical genres in being underwritten by "imperatives of radical critique, political action, and social change" (Harlow 2). Just over fifty years later, Narungga writer Natalie Harkin's installation art and first major poetry collection Dirty Words follows and extends Oodgeroo's lead. Just as Oodgeroo was partly influenced by the 1960s Black Rights Movement, Harkin's literary activism is shaped by Black feminism of the 1970s and by First Nations movements from around the world. Harkin views herself is part of an intimate conversation between those that seek to make "meaning in worlds steeped in histories of shared deep colonialisms" ("For You, K. Tsianina Lomawaima" 270). 
 

(p. 337)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Reading Apparently Ali Smith , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , July 2019;

'When I started reading apparently, savouring the contents page, I was sitting in Wollongong’s beloved Rad Bar waiting for the band to start. I get everywhere too early, but that’s not a problem if you’ve got a book. I started humming to myself. I was humming the song I’ve been loving you too long by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. Because apparently is by Joanne Burns. And I’ve been reading and loving her work for nearly thirty years. We don’t have anyone better than Joanne Burns. And apparently is at least as good as all the other books by Joanne Burns, and it’s better than some. So if this was going to be a solely evaluative review all I’d have to say is apparently is really, really good. You won’t find a book of poetry that’s better. I’ve been loving the work of Joanne Burns too long to stop now, I can’t pretend to approach apparently any other way.'  (Introduction)

Resemblances and Opposites : A Welcome Collection of Critical Essays John Hawke , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January / February no. 408 2019; (p. 48-49)

'Perhaps the most encouraging sign in this Puncher & Wattmann collection of critical essays on contemporary Australian poets is the prominent ‘1’ on its front cover, promising that this will be the first in a series. Given that last year’s Contemporary Australian Poetry anthology by the same publisher featured more than two hundred poets, only fourteen of whom are featured for discussion here, this suggests the possibility of a sizeable number of subsequent volumes. The value of such a project cannot be understated: as the editors note in their introduction, the contemporary Australian poetry scene is a particularly vital area of our literature, and the task of ‘grappling with [its] bewildering diversity’ is insufficiently addressed by our current review culture, as well as in academic publications and research funding. It is also noticeably neglected in ‘literary’ forums such as writers’ festivals.'  (Introduction)

Resemblances and Opposites : A Welcome Collection of Critical Essays John Hawke , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January / February no. 408 2019; (p. 48-49)

'Perhaps the most encouraging sign in this Puncher & Wattmann collection of critical essays on contemporary Australian poets is the prominent ‘1’ on its front cover, promising that this will be the first in a series. Given that last year’s Contemporary Australian Poetry anthology by the same publisher featured more than two hundred poets, only fourteen of whom are featured for discussion here, this suggests the possibility of a sizeable number of subsequent volumes. The value of such a project cannot be understated: as the editors note in their introduction, the contemporary Australian poetry scene is a particularly vital area of our literature, and the task of ‘grappling with [its] bewildering diversity’ is insufficiently addressed by our current review culture, as well as in academic publications and research funding. It is also noticeably neglected in ‘literary’ forums such as writers’ festivals.'  (Introduction)

Reading Apparently Ali Smith , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , July 2019;

'When I started reading apparently, savouring the contents page, I was sitting in Wollongong’s beloved Rad Bar waiting for the band to start. I get everywhere too early, but that’s not a problem if you’ve got a book. I started humming to myself. I was humming the song I’ve been loving you too long by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. Because apparently is by Joanne Burns. And I’ve been reading and loving her work for nearly thirty years. We don’t have anyone better than Joanne Burns. And apparently is at least as good as all the other books by Joanne Burns, and it’s better than some. So if this was going to be a solely evaluative review all I’d have to say is apparently is really, really good. You won’t find a book of poetry that’s better. I’ve been loving the work of Joanne Burns too long to stop now, I can’t pretend to approach apparently any other way.'  (Introduction)

Last amended 27 Mar 2019 10:04:43
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