Tag: guest

Non-fiction poetry

Lisa Gorton Today I moved all my books. Here was further proof that I am not Walter Benjamin. I did not develop a single insight into the nature of collecting. I did think of Ivor Indyk’s essay, ‘The Book and Its Time’, in which he describes a scene from Arnold Bennett’s book, Riceyman Steps: ‘In the dining room there are more books, settled on the dining table, the sideboard, the mantelpiece, the chairs, the floor; in the bedroom the wardrobe is stuffed with books; in the bathroom the bath is full to the brim and overflowing with them…’. There were…

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Authority and Flood

Lisa Gorton From time to time, these days, I wonder why I have spent so much of my life reading – what I have gained by that, and what I have lost. When I was seven years old, I was reading in the bath with the taps running. All at once, my mother was standing over me, her pale look changing to frustration. The bathwater had run over the walls of the bath, flooded the bathroom, run into the hall. She thought that I had drowned but I was only reading. I remember seeing the water and thinking, first, that…

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Shakespeare’s sonnets: stones and weeds

Lisa Gorton This week, I’ve been rereading Shakespeare’s sonnets. I’m thinking ahead to ABR’s sonnet-o-thon at Boyd on Wednesday 28 November. (Yes, a promo! But the event is free: www.australianbookreview.com.au/events/fireside-chats.)  We’re lining up to read as many sonnets as we can in an hour and a half. Some day – some festival – I wish someone would read the lot. Taken together, they repeat and rework images until they make, as much as anything, a study of the way obsessions work in time. And how strange they are.  All those one-syllable words: the sonnets sound clear but get stranger the…

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On realism, Walter Benjamin and cricket commentary

Lisa Gorton Lately, driving here and there, I have been listening to cricket on the radio. In truth, I take no interest in the game; but talk has its genres, too, and I have been amusing myself by trying to classify cricket commentary. It seems to offer the comfort of realism. Here are men talking together, looking over the same field: a green field of shared experience.  Listening to the men talk, it seems as though this pitch, this green field, has been fenced off from all that Walter Benjamin notices in his sad and brilliant essay, ‘The Storyteller’. In…

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November Monthly Blogger – Lisa Gorton

Thank you, Pam Brown, for your excellent posts. This month we have Lisa Gorton as our monthly blogger. Lisa Gorton lives in Melbourne. Her second poetry collection, The Hotel Hyperion, is coming out with Giramondo in March 2013. Her novel, Establishment, is coming out with Scribe later that year. Lisa Gorton’s first poetry collection, Press Release, was shortlisted for the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award and the Mary Gilmore Poetry Prize, and was awarded the Victorian Premier’s Prize for poetry. She has also been awarded the Vincent Buckley Poetry Prize.

Holey holey holey : reading Kim Hyesoon

Pam Brown In the “Translator’s Note” for Korean poet Kim Hyesoon’s book All the Garbage of the World, Unite!, Don Mee Choi says that she responded to a condescending request from a US literary journal to “change the word ‘hole’ because it has negative connotations”.  She wrote: “During the Korean War (1950 – 1953), about 250,000 pounds of napalm per day were dropped by the United States forces. Countless mountains, rice fields, and houses were turned into holes. Four million perished, leaving more holes. It’s a place that is positively holey. Kim Hyesoon’s hole poem comes from there, and so…

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October Monthly Blogger – Pam Brown

Thank you, Belinda Castles, for your excellent posts. This month we have Pam Brown as our monthly blogger. Her bio is below: Pam Brown has published many books, including Authentic Local (Soi3 Modern Poets, 2010), an e-book The meh of z z z z (AhaDada, 2010), and, more recently, a booklet of six poems More than feuilleton (Little Esther Books, 2012). She was the poetry editor of ‘Overland’ for five years at the turn of the millennium. In 2011-12, she edited Fifty-one contemporary poets from Australia for ‘Jacket2’ where she is an associate editor. Pam blogs intermittently at thedeletions.blogspot.com.au. She lives in Alexandria, Sydney.

Stealing from Hilary Mantel

Belinda Castles Hello Southerly readers. Pleased to meet you. This month’s blog entries are from No Going to London, a blog about writing, reading and not going to London. For an explanation of the title see here. Briefly, it is about the books I find helpful as a writer, and about the ongoing struggle with procrastination and distraction that is the writing life, for me. Recently I had the misfortune to finish reading Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, her second novel imagining the life of Thomas Cromwell, adviser to Henry VIII. I put off the moment of finishing for several…

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September monthly blogger – Belinda Castles!

A big thanks to Jill Jones for her fabulously interesting posts. This month we have Belinda Castles blogging for us: Belinda Castles is a writer and editor. Her most recent book is Hannah and Emil, a novel based on the lives of her grandparents. Her grandfather was a German anti-Nazi refugee who met her British-born grandmother when fleeing Germany in 1933. In 1940 he was arrested in Britain and sent to Australia on the infamous HMT Dunera. Belinda’s previous novel, The River Baptists, won the Australian/Vogel Award for Literature for 2006. In 2008 she was named one of the Sydney Morning…

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Homage and influence, naked and otherwise

Jill Jones I was looking over some notes the day I wrote this post (Wednesday). They were towards a piece I had begun some time ago, not completed, about the Canadian poet, Phyllis Webb. As well as reminding me about life’s unfinished projects, it got me thinking about homage, paying respects. I have a wonderful book by John Ashbery, Other Traditions: The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures (Harvard University Press). In the introduction, Ashbery says he did not want to explain his poetry and chose to speak about poets “who have probably influenced me”. The word “probably” seems to be a…

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The present of books

Jill Jones Just recently, I found myself receiving a number of books from different sources over a matter of a couple of days. They are all, of course, poetry books. Despite the fact that poetry publishing is not a best-seller type of enterprise, there’s plenty of us who buy or acquire and are interested in books of poetry. I’ve even noticed a welcome increase in poetry reviews in the newspapers. Not all the reviews are terribly well done, or maybe they were savaged by sub-editors (who knows?), but at least they are providing space for dialogues about poems, poetry and…

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August Blogger: Jill Jones

Many thanks to Michelle Cahill for her excellent, thought-provoking posts. Our next blogger is Jill Jones. Jill Jones has published six full-length books of poetry including Dark Bright Doors, 2010; Broken/Open, 2005; Screens Jets Heaven: New and Selected Poems, 2002; The Book of Possibilities, 1997; Flagging Down Time, 1993; and The Mask and the Jagged Star, 1992. She has also published a number of chapbooks including Senses Working Out, Vagabond Press, 2012, and Struggle and Radiance: Ten Commentaries, Wild Honey Press, Eire, 2004. A new full-length book, Ash Is Here, So Are Stars, is due in later 2012. Her major…

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