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y separately published work icon Smoke Encrypted Whispers selected work   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2004... 2004 Smoke Encrypted Whispers
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'These poems pulse with the language and images of a mangrove-lined river city, the beckoning highway, the just-glimpsed muse, the tug of childhood and restless ancestors. For the first time Samuel Wagan Watson's poetry has been collected into this stunning volume, which includes a final section of all new work.' (Source: UQP website: www.uqp.uq.edu.au)

Exhibitions

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Adaptations

y separately published work icon Smoke Encrypted Whispers Samuel Wagan Watson , Ron Haddrick , Phil Rowlands (editor), Ian Perry (editor), Elwood : Melba Recordings , 2012 11676125 2012 selected work poetry

'Smoke Encrypted Whispers is a sequence of 23 poems by the leading Australian indigenous poet Samuel Wagan Watson that pairs the Brisbane-born writer's texts with succinct musical commentaries - part reflection, part response - by 23 of the poet's Brisbanite composer peers.'

'What results – in a performance by the musicians of Southern Cross Soloists interspersed with readings of the individual poems by the distinguished Australian actor Ron Haddrick – is a variegated tapestry given cohesion and coherence by the multiple interwoven threads of Watson’s words.

'Smoke Encrypted Whispers offers tales of the poet’s own interior dreamtime and depth of feeling to produce a vivid and touching picture of growing up in suburban Brisbane.

'While offering one revealing insight after another into the spirituality of displaced indigenous experience in contemporary urban Australia, Watson’s poetry taps into a potent mythology that predates the settled history of the continent – as well alluding to the fears, heartbreaks, hopes and humour that are universal rather than isolated qualities. Through it, we are invited into a magical universe veiled behind the obfuscating layers of our mundane existence.

'Watson’s Brisbane is a Grimm’s fairy-tale world, where half-seen spectres and almost intelligible whispers inhabit the night, and hideous metal gorgons sneer and yowl in the searing light of the day. His vibrant poetry innocently and fearlessly lays bare the stories of his life, and offers incisive glimpses of the mysterious undercurrents that flow deeply beneath and through all of our lives. The triumph of the poems is their facility for capturing and coining that submerged, sub-conscious other-world’s ephemeral and forever changing intimations to give them felt and forceful substance. It also provides a rich muse for his compatriot composers’ evocative miniatures, to which the richly expressive woodwind palette of the Southern Cross Soloists adds piquancy and urgency.

'More cathartic than years of therapy, more fun than meditation, Smoke Encrypted Whispers offers evidence that our own inner dream world is far more vital and vivacious than anything flickering virtually on a cinema, television or computer screen. And it offers a remarkable and rare opportunity to experience poetry of remarkable humanity accompanied by musical performances of scintillating colour and nuance.' (Production summary)

Notes

  • This book contains five sections entitled:

    • 2000: Of Muse, Meandering and Midnight p.3-63
    • 2000: Boondall Wetlands p.67-72
    • 2001: Hotel Bone p.75-81
    • 2002 Intinerent Blues p.85-143 Epigraph: 'We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring, Will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time.' From Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot.
    • 2004: Smoke Encrypted Whispers p.147-171 Author's note: Warning:/The smoke from some of the pages in this collection contains, on average: 8 milligrams or less of tar - condensed smoke (p.146) containing residue of life experience, including some agents that cause anxiety;/0.8 milligrams of nicotine - a poisonous and addictive drug that stains the settings within; encrypting moments with a semi-permanent fixture of tungsten glow;/10 milligrams or less of carbon monoxide - a deadly gas reducing the ability of the blood to carry oxygen and a substance capable of inducing whispers that stutter across the conscience.
  • Other formats: Also electronic resource.

Contents

* Contents derived from the St Lucia, Indooroopilly - St Lucia area, Brisbane - North West, Brisbane, Queensland,: University of Queensland Press , 2004 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
A Preludei"dropping a knife", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1999 single work poetry (p. 3)
Magnesium Girli"I was kissing the girl", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 4-5)
After 2 a.m.i"I wept along with the night", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1996 single work poetry (p. 6)
Back Seat Driveri"love me", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1996 single work poetry (p. 7)
On the Riveri"it was a drive through the sleeping industrial giants", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 8)
Waiting for the Good Mani"we kissed goodbye at the terminal", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 9)
Raindrops Fall in Vaini"raindrops fall in vain", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1996 single work poetry (p. 10)
Chloe in the Window Boxi"in the darkness", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 11)
The Postman's Privilegei"most typewriters spit out", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 12)
Musing : The Graveyard Shifti"as I enter a writer' graveyard shift", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 13-14)
New Farm is Closedi"the ex-muse is on her way home for good", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 15-16)
White Stucco Dreamingi"sprinkled in the happy dark of my mind", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1999 single work poetry (p. 17-18)
The Crooked Meni"my Dad straightened out the crooked men", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1998 single work poetry (p. 19-20)
Brown Water Lootingi"hardly stopping to think", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 21)
Jetty Nightsi"it was an arm that stretched over the mud and sharks", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 22-23)
Carefreei"you'd never forget the pelicans", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 24-25)
Deadman's Mouth Harpi"walking along a bitumen shoulder", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 26)
A Verse for the Cheatedi"growing up on the southern fringe of the Sunshine coast", Samuel Wagan Watson , 2000 single work poetry (p. 27-28)
The Fatal Gardeni"don't judge me by my skin", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1995 single work poetry (p. 29-30)
Radio Thick Bloodi"I sit in my room", Samuel Wagan Watson , 1996 single work poetry (p. 31-32)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Read, Listen, Understand: Why Non-Indigenous Australians Should Read First Nations Writing Meera Anne Atkinson , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 5 July 2017;

'Do you read Australia’s First Nations (Indigenous) writers? If not, why not? People read for many reasons: information, entertainment, escape, to contemplate in company, to be moved. Reading can also be a political act, an act of solidarity, an expression of willingness to listen and to learn from others with radically different histories and lives.' (Introduction)

Australia in Three Books Anita Heiss , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Winter vol. 75 no. 2 2016; (p. 14-17)
BlackWords: Writers on Country Anita Heiss , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: The BlackWords Essays 2015; (p. 3)

In this essay Heiss not only illustrates the breakdown of stereotypes of what Indigenous relationship with land is, but she showcases the wealth of literature being penned nationally by writers who express the diversity of their experiences of 'country'. Whether it be their traditional lands, places they have chosen to relocate to; those that they or their families were removed to; places that people call home and/or connect to; and those who embrace a physical landscape. An historical, social and political space that renders them specifically and culturally significant to individuals, families and community.

Colonial Knowledge, Post-Colonial Poetics Lyn McCredden , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature 2010; (p. 255-277)
Contemporary Poetry and the Sacred Lyn McCredden , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 23 no. 2 2007; (p. 153-167)
Poet Most Likely Rosemary Sorensen , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 19 June 2004; (p. 7)

— Review of Smoke Encrypted Whispers Samuel Wagan Watson 2004 selected work poetry
Some Shared Themes, but Poems Apart Peter Pierce , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 10-11 July 2004; (p. 14)

— Review of Trio John Tranter 2003 selected work poetry ; Smoke Encrypted Whispers Samuel Wagan Watson 2004 selected work poetry
Indigenous Poetry Not Restrained by Politics Geoff Page , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 8 January 2005; (p. 11)

— Review of Smoke Encrypted Whispers Samuel Wagan Watson 2004 selected work poetry
A Radical Tonic Peter Minter , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , February no. 268 2005; (p. 53)

— Review of Minyung Woolah Binnung : What Saying Says : Poems and Drawings by Lionel Fogarty Lionel Fogarty 2004 selected work poetry ; Smoke Encrypted Whispers Samuel Wagan Watson 2004 selected work poetry
[Review] Smoke Encrypted Whispers [and] Home Anita Heiss , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , August-October no. 33 2004;

— Review of Smoke Encrypted Whispers Samuel Wagan Watson 2004 selected work poetry ; Home Larissa Behrendt 2004 single work novel
Double Wham for Whispering Sam Rosemary Sorensen , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 May 2005; (p. 7)
Contemporary Poetry and the Sacred Lyn McCredden , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 23 no. 2 2007; (p. 153-167)
Colonial Knowledge, Post-Colonial Poetics Lyn McCredden , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature 2010; (p. 255-277)
BlackWords: Writers on Country Anita Heiss , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: The BlackWords Essays 2015; (p. 3)

In this essay Heiss not only illustrates the breakdown of stereotypes of what Indigenous relationship with land is, but she showcases the wealth of literature being penned nationally by writers who express the diversity of their experiences of 'country'. Whether it be their traditional lands, places they have chosen to relocate to; those that they or their families were removed to; places that people call home and/or connect to; and those who embrace a physical landscape. An historical, social and political space that renders them specifically and culturally significant to individuals, families and community.

Australia in Three Books Anita Heiss , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: Meanjin , Winter vol. 75 no. 2 2016; (p. 14-17)
Last amended 20 Feb 2017 16:33:42
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