Tag: Southerly

March Monthly Blogger – AJ Carruthers

Many thanks to Allison Whittaker for an excellent series of blogs. This month our blogger is A.J. Carruthers. A.J. Carruthers is a critic and experimental poet, author of Stave Sightings: Notational Experiments in North American Long Poems, 1961-2011 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and a lifelong long poem, the first book of which is AXIS Book 1: Areal (Sydney: Vagabond, 2014). Other titles include The Tulip Beds: Toneme Suite (Vagabond, 2011), Ode to On Kawara (Buffalo: Hysterically Real, 2016) and Opus 16 on Tehching Hsieh (Oakland: GaussPDF, 2016). He works as an editor for Rabbit Poetry Journal and founded SOd press in 2011. From…

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Pocket thanks

by Alison Whittaker     Dunno if you remember me, tid. You and me went to school together in 2005.   I’ve got these vignettes of you in my head. First we walked together on a tour of the school grounds like fluffy juvenile magpies – except it was so hot we were slick, drippy and dragging. Then, we sat at the front of English class together and didn’t speak. I remember you doodled in your corners and I anxiously marked out a margin (three centimetres; parallel to the page edge; red pen).   Year 7 is hard enough. We…

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Talking about: talking about

by Alison Whittaker   ‘In conversation’ is the lie I tell myself to get to a venue where I’ll talk about writing.   Harmless little chat. It’s a harmless little chat.   Here’s the real harmless little chat, twenty minutes before: From there, a writerly discussion event is just projecting some tight-packed, thought-out writerly version of myself at someone else and a smattering of people who watch on.   I think: ‘Don’t look at them. Probably shouldn’t look at them.’ I also think: ‘Chin up, gut in. Surely you know what you’re talking about.’ I think: ‘On brand.’ When was…

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Writing and

by Alison Whittaker   The writer and the writing life, two off-cut conversations that have planted themselves anew in 2017.   On the Southerly blog last month, Roanna Gonsalves breathed The Double Lives of Writers, a sobering bulletin that etched out the invisible financial and labour roots that give water to even prolific writers. Katerina Bryant in Overland wrote Have You Thought About Law?, on the tensions between practice and prestige and the ‘day job’ in writing. Both are relatable; I bring in most of my money through working in law and legal research. While this continent descends into another…

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Why do we bother to write?

by Roanna Gonsalves     A few days ago, the National Human Rights Commission in India noted the suspicious deaths, over the course of a decade, of 500 indigenous (tribal) girls in government-run Ashram schools in the state of Maharashtra, India. In Australia we heard that a white supremacist was stockpiling weapons with the intention of carrying out a mass shooting in a shopping centre on the Central Coast of New South Wales. On the 26th of January, Invasion Day / Survival Day / Australia Day 2017, a group of concerned citizens issued statements condemning the physical and psychic violence…

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Lessons from the State Library of Victoria

Nic Low I spend a lot of my time writing in a cottage in the bush. As an antidote to isolation, when in Melbourne I work out of the State Library of Victoria. I love the atmosphere beneath the reading room dome: readers deep in their cups, students flirting in echoing whispers, security guards watching like snipers from the galleries above. I’ve become fond of some of the guards over the years, particularly the eastern-European woman with short blonde hair, and the older caucasian bloke with a big white moustache. They never remember me. Anyone who’s worked in the dome…

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‘Written to Music’

Kate Fagan Leave the long fall between us (peak after peak) Here were my paints and there were my powders And then I was drunk and we lost each other My shadow tumbled after Soaking cinnamon leaves in the lake of the moon The roll of the damned drum calls me to duty The dice in the light of the lamp I hear a stone gong I lean full weight on my slender staff Yellow leaves shaken and petals confused to my garden The hard road is written to music – Cedar Sigo, from ‘Panels for the Walls’ in Language     …

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‘Into the Interior’

Kate Fagan Mountain, mountain, mountain, marking time. Each nameless, wall beyond wall, wavering redefinition of horizon. – Denise Levertov, from ‘Into the Interior’ in O Taste and See[i] It takes a long time to write precise things. Mountain, mountain, mountain. This is the only way Levertov can describe what her speaker is thinking and feeling in the poem ‘Into the Interior’. Which interior? And is the observer a guest or stranger there? Each mountain is a marker of time and place. But ‘mountain’ is also an average, a changeable outline imposed on a living system. For a second Levertov’s poem…

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The Good Book

©Bruce Pascoe 2016 George Augustus Robinson was as randy as a turkey and twice as vain. He fornicated with the wives of his friends, the daughters of clergymen, the wives of the people he promised to save. Oh, the power of the good book and its promise of holiness. Or maybe he was just a terrific root. Or the soldiers and clergymen on whose women he preyed were too pissed to notice. George was on a mission, a Friendly Mission. He got friendly with the wife of one of the officer’s on Flinders Island while the man was away. In…

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Art, Australia and Good Hearts

© Bruce Pascoe 2016 At the Bundanon Festival at the weekend I was able to go through the Boyd’s house and see all the art, the walls of books, the great bowls and dishes of a wealthy family. Thinking about art and wealth I walked over the property and wondered about my country and what it values and who it celebrates. I found some cousins and sat down with them on the grass and talked family, country, politics and culture. And laughed. The great Aboriginal safety valve. When they left to perform an opening ceremony I watched them and watched…

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Peaceable Kingdom

‘And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf and the lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them out of the wilderness.’

I grew up with this story, heard it in church, seen it as pictures on my aunties’ walls and assumed it was just another of those Christian aphorisms for peace and kindness so loved of the church that also loved beheading Africans who dared believe in another God, or worse still, tried to hang on to their land.