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y separately published work icon The Exclusion Zone selected work   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2023... 2023 The Exclusion Zone
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'You don’t remember this place. This land could be
arid or hungry or wet or rot. That does not matter. Your memory
can’t tell you what no longer exists.

'Beginning in the nuclear waste deposits of our future, The Exclusion Zone bears witness in a language degrading faster than the radioactive byproducts of our history and our present. At once prophecy and annihilation, these poems speak with ghosts, questioning how our words – and what they seek to preserve – can contend with the inevitability of their own decay. Nuclear materials drift throughout this collection, metastasising and resisting their own disposal. The Exclusion Zone is a poetry of warning, of séance, of incantation – a poetry of what survives, where the apocalypse-to-be manifests in human tenderness and vulnerability.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Epigraph:

    The urge to self-annihilate occasionally overwhelms the best of us.
    Exhibit A: the atom bomb. Exhibit B: love.

    Laird Barron, 'Gamma'


    All a poet can do today is warn.

    —Wilfred Owen, 'Preface'

Affiliation Notes

  • Preppers and Survivalism in the AustLit Database

    This work has been affiliated with the Preppers and Survivalism project due to its relationship to either prepping or prepper-inflected survivalism more generally, and contains one or more of the following:

    1. A strong belief in some imminent threat
    2. Taking active steps to prepare for that perceived threat

    • A range of activities not necessarily associated with ‘prepping’ take on new significance, when they are undertaken with the express purpose of preparing for and/or surviving perceived threats, e.g., gardening, abseiling.
    • The plausibility of the threat, and the relative “reasonable-ness” of the response, don’t affect this definition. E.g., if someone is worried about climate change and climate disasters, and they respond by moving from a riverbank location in Cairns, or to a highland region of New Zealand, this makes them a prepper. If someone else is worried about brainwashing rays from outer space, and they respond by making a tinfoil hat, that makes them a prepper. 

    3. A character or characters (or text) who self-identify as a ‘prepper’, or some synonymous/modified term: ‘financial preppers’, ‘weekend preppers’, ‘fitness preppers’, etc.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

A Suggestion of Ghosts Geoff Page , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , October vol. 67 no. 10 2023; (p. 90-92)

— Review of The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry ; Cranial Bunker Stephen Oliver , 2023 selected work poetry ; The Shadow Box Jean Kent , 2023 selected work poetry ; What If I Told You? Unlikely Love Poems on Several Occasions Michael Sharkey , 2023 selected work poetry
‘The Slippage of Speakers’ : Lia Dewey Morgan in Conversation with Shastra Deo Lia Dewey Morgan (interviewer), 2023 single work interview
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 September no. 110 2023;

'Shastra Deo’s writing effortlessly transcends cultural rifts, striving from modernist allusion through indulgent fan fiction and out into something entirely unique. I met Shastra first via Instagram, then conducted our interview in a Google Doc over several months, spaced out to allow for other freelance work, literature festivals or burnout. Despite being the outcome of her PhD, her second book, The Exclusion Zone, brims with an unexpected bloodlust and spectral force. To my personal delight, her poems demand we expand our conception of what is deemed literature, reminding us how poetry draws so much of its potency from its rich network of connections.' (Introduction)

The Half-Life of Caution Joan Fleming , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , August 2023;

— Review of The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry

'There is a story told in Svetlana Alexievich’s Chernobyl Prayer I’ve never been able to forget. It’s about a cameraman who longed for a medal. This cameraman had read a lot of Hemingway, and he knew from his reading that war makes you real, so he went into the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation to do some filming. This was soon after the explosion, when the place was being ‘cleaned’ and the people were being evacuated. He saw villagers washing the roofs of the buildings and Soviet workers burying the very soil of the place deep in the soil. He saw cattle being shot and the bulldozers that had dug a giant trench to bury the cattle. Everything went deep into the ground.' (Introduction)   

Poetry Goes Nuclear : 3 Recent Books Delve into Present Anxieties, Finding Beauty Amid the Terror Craig Billingham , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 29 June 2023;

— Review of Mirabilia Lisa Gorton , 2022 selected work poetry ; Camping Underground Greg McLaren , 2022 selected work poetry ; The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry
Shastra Deo The Exclusion Zone Andy Jackson , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 25-31 March 2023;

— Review of The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry

'These days the line between dystopian and realist narratives feels increasingly blurred. The virtual world too now seems inseparable from the physical. The Exclusion Zone amply demonstrates that poetry is able to speak to these convergences.' (Introduction)

The Best New Books Released This Summer, as Selected by Avid Readers and Critics Kate Evans , Claire Nichols , Declan Fry , Cher Tan , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: ABC News [Online] , February 2023;

— Review of Taken Dinuka McKenzie , 2023 single work novel ; The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry
Shastra Deo The Exclusion Zone Andy Jackson , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Paper , 25-31 March 2023;

— Review of The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry

'These days the line between dystopian and realist narratives feels increasingly blurred. The virtual world too now seems inseparable from the physical. The Exclusion Zone amply demonstrates that poetry is able to speak to these convergences.' (Introduction)

Poetry Goes Nuclear : 3 Recent Books Delve into Present Anxieties, Finding Beauty Amid the Terror Craig Billingham , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 29 June 2023;

— Review of Mirabilia Lisa Gorton , 2022 selected work poetry ; Camping Underground Greg McLaren , 2022 selected work poetry ; The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry
The Half-Life of Caution Joan Fleming , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , August 2023;

— Review of The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry

'There is a story told in Svetlana Alexievich’s Chernobyl Prayer I’ve never been able to forget. It’s about a cameraman who longed for a medal. This cameraman had read a lot of Hemingway, and he knew from his reading that war makes you real, so he went into the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation to do some filming. This was soon after the explosion, when the place was being ‘cleaned’ and the people were being evacuated. He saw villagers washing the roofs of the buildings and Soviet workers burying the very soil of the place deep in the soil. He saw cattle being shot and the bulldozers that had dug a giant trench to bury the cattle. Everything went deep into the ground.' (Introduction)   

A Suggestion of Ghosts Geoff Page , 2023 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , October vol. 67 no. 10 2023; (p. 90-92)

— Review of The Exclusion Zone Shastra Deo , 2023 selected work poetry ; Cranial Bunker Stephen Oliver , 2023 selected work poetry ; The Shadow Box Jean Kent , 2023 selected work poetry ; What If I Told You? Unlikely Love Poems on Several Occasions Michael Sharkey , 2023 selected work poetry
‘The Slippage of Speakers’ : Lia Dewey Morgan in Conversation with Shastra Deo Lia Dewey Morgan (interviewer), 2023 single work interview
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 September no. 110 2023;

'Shastra Deo’s writing effortlessly transcends cultural rifts, striving from modernist allusion through indulgent fan fiction and out into something entirely unique. I met Shastra first via Instagram, then conducted our interview in a Google Doc over several months, spaced out to allow for other freelance work, literature festivals or burnout. Despite being the outcome of her PhD, her second book, The Exclusion Zone, brims with an unexpected bloodlust and spectral force. To my personal delight, her poems demand we expand our conception of what is deemed literature, reminding us how poetry draws so much of its potency from its rich network of connections.' (Introduction)

Last amended 13 Feb 2024 13:29:03
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