AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 7121659379175745604.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
y separately published work icon Fragments selected work   poetry  
  • Author:agent Antigone Kefala http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/kefala-antigone
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Fragments
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Antigone Kefala is one of the elders of Australian poetry, highly regarded for the intensity of her vision, yet not widely known, on account of the small number of poems she has published, each carefully worked, each magical or menacing in its effects. Fragments is her first collection of new poems in almost twenty years, since the publication of New and Selected Poems in 1998, and possibly her last. It follows her prose work Sydney Journals (Giramondo, 2008) 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, though the territory is often darker now, as the poet patrols the liminal spaces between life and death, alert to the energies which lie in wait there. And such energies! "Up, in the blue depth / a bird cut with its wings / the light / such silk, that fell / and rose, heavily, / singing through the air.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Artarmon, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Giramondo Publishing , 2016 .
      image of person or book cover 7121659379175745604.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 96p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 1st September 2016
      ISBN: 9781925336191
      Series: y separately published work icon Giramondo Poets Giramondo Publishing (publisher), Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2006- Z1440074 2006 series - publisher

Works about this Work

Fragments Tina Giannoukos , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , no. 64 2018; (p. 30)

— Review of Fragments Antigone Kefala , 2016 selected work poetry
In Short Measures Simon Patton , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , July 2017;

'In 1971, the poet and critic Alexander Craig declared that Australian poetry was suffering from a fatal virus. He presented his diagnosis in the following damning terms:

'The typical Australian poet writes a good line, then adds three or four lines explaining it: not trusting the reader, he [sic] dilutes any poetic force with a watery, discursive prosiness. This ailment of our poetry seems to be breathed in with our Australian air, a virus permanently attacking our verse all the more viciously because no one knows or admits that it’s there (and that it has been, ever since verse was first written in English on this continent).' (Introduction)

[Review Essay] Australian Poetry Peter Kenneally , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7 January 2017; (p. 16)
'Local in scale, domestic in setting, Diane Fahey’s A House by the River (Puncher & Wattmann, 93pp, $25) is nonetheless epic and monumental in its almost geological study of grief: prospective, overwhelmingly present and fading into what becomes normal life. The book covers a period of 11 years or so: six spent as carer for her mother in the family home at Barwon Heads, Victoria, and the five after her mother’s death, grieving, surviving, reconciling.' (Introduction)
'Fragments' by Antigone Kefala and 'A House by the River' by Diane Fahey Gig Ryan , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 392 2017;
'Antigone Kefala’s Fragments, her fifth book of poems and first since Absence: New and selected poems (1992), is often menaced by the past, like her first collection, The Alien (1973). Here too are some subtly demolishing portraits, as well as buoyant poems such as ‘Metro Cellist’ and the slightly brooding ‘Summer at Derveni’: ‘Afternoon heat / empty of voices / on the foil surface / heads drifting / like heavy ornaments.’ While early work transmuted the impact of her migrations from Romania to Greece to New Zealand to Australia into a pervasive sense of loss, these new poems allude to, rather than relate, such journeys that pass through languages and decades: ‘When they came back / their eyes were scorched / their hands like open wounds / the road, they said, / nothing but fire / no coolness / as they were promised / in the fables’ (‘Pilgrims’ Tales’).' (Introduction)
Dimitra Harvey Reviews Fragments by Antigone Kefala Dimitra Harvey , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , April no. 20 2017;

— Review of Fragments Antigone Kefala , 2016 selected work poetry

'Stark, radiant imagery; lean punctuation; the slightly disorienting effect of the syntax; an imaginative vision of sensuous waking life enmeshed in subterranean realms of memory and dream, struck me on my first encounter with Australian poet Antigone Kefala’s work: an English-Greek bilingual edition I stumbled across several years ago containing selections from each of her then published collections, The Alien (1973), Thirsty Weather (1978), European Notebook (1988), and Absence(1992). Fragments (2016) represents Kefala’s first collection of new poems in more than twenty years. Like those earlier collections, Fragments effects Banksy’s famous maxim, that ‘art should…disturb the comfortable’.' (Introduction)

Review Short : Antigone Kefala’s Fragments Alexis Lateef , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , October no. 55.1 2016;

— Review of Fragments Antigone Kefala , 2016 selected work poetry
Dimitra Harvey Reviews Fragments by Antigone Kefala Dimitra Harvey , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , April no. 20 2017;

— Review of Fragments Antigone Kefala , 2016 selected work poetry

'Stark, radiant imagery; lean punctuation; the slightly disorienting effect of the syntax; an imaginative vision of sensuous waking life enmeshed in subterranean realms of memory and dream, struck me on my first encounter with Australian poet Antigone Kefala’s work: an English-Greek bilingual edition I stumbled across several years ago containing selections from each of her then published collections, The Alien (1973), Thirsty Weather (1978), European Notebook (1988), and Absence(1992). Fragments (2016) represents Kefala’s first collection of new poems in more than twenty years. Like those earlier collections, Fragments effects Banksy’s famous maxim, that ‘art should…disturb the comfortable’.' (Introduction)

Fragments Tina Giannoukos , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , no. 64 2018; (p. 30)

— Review of Fragments Antigone Kefala , 2016 selected work poetry
Antigone Kefala : Fragments Martin Duwell , 2017 single work criticism review
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Review , vol. 12 no. 2017;
'One of the things about Antigone Kefala’s fifth book of poetry (her first, The Alien, was published all of forty-three years ago) that stays in the corner of your mind as you read it, is the title. Nothing could seem less fragmentary than these elegantly shaped lyric poems which are marked out by their self-contained unity. The fact that four of the poems carry a “II” after their titles and that there is no equivalent “I” in the book leaves the reader with the impression that the poems of this volume might have been chosen from a much larger corpus of work and so, in a sense, the entire book might be said to be no more than fragments of that larger work. And then, of course, there is the possibility that with increasing age – one of the themes of the poems – one might well want to find some fragments to shore against your ruins. But I think the issue is a bit more complex than that and that perhaps the answer lies in one of Kefala’s most important (and compulsively readable) works, her Sydney Journals, where excerpted journals record daily life in Sydney and on travels.' (Introduction)
Poets Live and Fictive : Five Collections Martin Langford , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 76 no. 1 2017; (p. 182-188)

'Chorale at the Crossing ‘gathers together the work Porter completed after the publication of his final collection, Better than God’. It is an uneven book, with some very good poems, and some, such as ‘A Chip off the Old Blog’, which are little more than creative doodles: one suspects a few of its inclusions are for the sake of having enough poems for a book. That said, there are a dozen or so fully realised pieces, and a few that would make it into the most compact of Porter selecteds. Sean O’Brien has contributed a brief but useful introduction, and Christine Porter has written a thoughtful little afterword on one poem, ‘The Hermit Crab’—a genre we could use a lot more of, judging by the puzzlement with which unpractised but otherwise intelligent readers so often meet contemporary poetry.' (Introduction)

'Fragments' by Antigone Kefala and 'A House by the River' by Diane Fahey Gig Ryan , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June-July no. 392 2017;
'Antigone Kefala’s Fragments, her fifth book of poems and first since Absence: New and selected poems (1992), is often menaced by the past, like her first collection, The Alien (1973). Here too are some subtly demolishing portraits, as well as buoyant poems such as ‘Metro Cellist’ and the slightly brooding ‘Summer at Derveni’: ‘Afternoon heat / empty of voices / on the foil surface / heads drifting / like heavy ornaments.’ While early work transmuted the impact of her migrations from Romania to Greece to New Zealand to Australia into a pervasive sense of loss, these new poems allude to, rather than relate, such journeys that pass through languages and decades: ‘When they came back / their eyes were scorched / their hands like open wounds / the road, they said, / nothing but fire / no coolness / as they were promised / in the fables’ (‘Pilgrims’ Tales’).' (Introduction)
[Review Essay] Australian Poetry Peter Kenneally , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 7 January 2017; (p. 16)
'Local in scale, domestic in setting, Diane Fahey’s A House by the River (Puncher & Wattmann, 93pp, $25) is nonetheless epic and monumental in its almost geological study of grief: prospective, overwhelmingly present and fading into what becomes normal life. The book covers a period of 11 years or so: six spent as carer for her mother in the family home at Barwon Heads, Victoria, and the five after her mother’s death, grieving, surviving, reconciling.' (Introduction)
In Short Measures Simon Patton , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , July 2017;

'In 1971, the poet and critic Alexander Craig declared that Australian poetry was suffering from a fatal virus. He presented his diagnosis in the following damning terms:

'The typical Australian poet writes a good line, then adds three or four lines explaining it: not trusting the reader, he [sic] dilutes any poetic force with a watery, discursive prosiness. This ailment of our poetry seems to be breathed in with our Australian air, a virus permanently attacking our verse all the more viciously because no one knows or admits that it’s there (and that it has been, ever since verse was first written in English on this continent).' (Introduction)

Last amended 15 Jan 2018 16:13:53
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X