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Five Islands Press Five Islands Press i(A57500 works by) (Organisation) assertion (a.k.a. Five Islands Press Associates; Five Islands Press Co-operative)
Born: Established: 1967 Wollongong, Wollongong area, Illawarra, South Coast, New South Wales, ;
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Works By

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1 y separately published work icon Falling Upwards Darby Hudson , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2019 17314362 2019 selected work poetry

'As we battle through the clutter and confusion of our lives, there are poets like Darby Hudson, gently and carefully crafting words that deeply resonate, amuse and so often help us heal from the chaos of this modern world. This collection is a sublime array of personal and melancholic observations of everyday life. In so many of these glorious little gems, he effortlessly manages to draw beauty and profundity from the minutia of daily existence. This is an enriching and balanced compendium that will make you glow, smile and at times, wallow in the soothing pleasures that melancholy can bring. Adam Elliot

'These are the poems of a tightrope walker who dares to look all the way down while we look up and marvel at his somersaults of perception—dizzying, tragicomic and moving. Paul Lynch

'Night waking, public transport, birds, cats, shoes, watches, skin: this is Darby Hudson, poet of otherwise lost moments, with a first collection that’s existential, sly, quick, surprising, and smart as paint. Lisa Gorton

'Like sitting with a best friend in a bar on a winter night. These pages are the snow outside the window and these words are fire words. This is a book to keep you alive.
Oliver Mol'  (Publication summary) 

1 1 y separately published work icon Timestamps Sofie Westcombe , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2019 16812874 2019 selected work poetry 'Westcombe has sent a dispatch to those of us still standing, waiting for trams, wishing for cigarettes and friendships and promises to be unbroken. The message reads: you are not alone. And: just look at all this cracked beauty. Poetic tobacco for our uneconomic hearts.' (Publication summary)
1 2 y separately published work icon Recipes for the Disaster Gareth Sion Jenkins , Wollongong : Five Islands Press , 2019 15864704 2019 selected work poetry 'Gareth Jenkins’ work reads like rituals or incantations, corrupted by the manufactured nature of our modern world while constantly seeking to resist that corruption. Historicity, environmental awareness, culture and its wars: these themes and their constant transmutation dominate and destabilise the voices in his poems. In between, the unreliability of language, an overarching self-awareness of privilege and the uncertainty of human relations make the book both alien and deeply personal. His is a project intent on an honest, heartfelt grandeur of connection, all the while haunted by the fear that such human connection is already doomed to a shallow etching of what it might be. Recipes for the Disaster is at once bleak, mystical and strangely life-affirming; an exploration of mysteries, an excavation of hidden failures, an exhortation to be better than we have been.' (Publication summary)
1 1 y separately published work icon Night Fishing Anna Ryan-Punch , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2018 14759399 2018 selected work poetry

'The poems of Anna Ryan-Punch’s Night Fishing tell stories of love and motherhood, of lost faith and suburban rental houses. Wry in humour and precise in her ear for colloquial language, Ryan-Punch recounts the frequently improvisatory nature of finding oneself in adulthood. These poems invite us into a world in which, ‘The third level of the car park is the only/ completely silent place I have found’, and onto the couch where ‘we had our/children, lollies, lager and chips./ Watched The Simpsons, tucked up our feet’. A long-awaited debut, Night Fishing reveals the shifting textures of contemporary life.
Kate Middleton

'Spare but full, these poems turn on the axis of parenting and being parented, loving and being loved, of being in and resisting the world, with a rare combination of rigour and feeling. Hard-won, unflinching and tender, they are close enough to our worlds to draw blood, and strange enough to still the breath.
Peter Kenneally

'A tender, brave and beautiful work. Ryan-Punch inspires you to examine life with similar unflinching attentiveness.
Karen Andrews'  (Publication summary)

1 1 y separately published work icon Aril Wire Anders Villani , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2018 14759298 2018 selected work poetry

Crafted with Anders Villani’s sure eye for detail and enticing turns of imagery, Aril Wire faces violence candidly, interrogating toxic masculinities. Bedtime stories never far from nightmares unsettle intimate relationships. Other-than-human encounters reshape a world where ‘(you could kill a weed / with your brand of care)’. Attention presages kindness.
Anne Elvey

'Reading Aril Wire felt like looking through a photo album. Villani’s poems deftly complicate reality with desire, anxiety with hallucination. The scenes and dreamscapes he creates are felt as much as they are read. It feels almost like a season, probably summer.
Oscar Schwartz'  (Publication summary)

1 2 y separately published work icon Glass Life Jo Langdon , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2018 14390469 2018 selected work poetry

'Through Jo Langdon's gaze, the ordinary world is transformed into a snow globe of wondrous possibility. The city and its objects move impressionistically, summer bodies dissemble, and daily routines take on an uncanny glow. Domestic realities are glimpsed or suggested, small histories reveal a chiaroscuro of darkness and light.' 

Source: Publisher's blurb

1 4 y separately published work icon California Sweet Kent MacCarter , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2018 14201241 2018 selected work poetry

'On the roofs of windowless malls and advertising conglomerates, Kent MacCarter is dancing. Shimmy, bebop, pogo, he's climbing billboards to wall-flip up high over the parking lot, its asphalt vistas, naturalising heaps of disposable packaging, target markets heading to their cars under the power grid. He's making a maelstrom up there, sucking it all in-real maraschinos, Donkey Kong, nuclear reactors, fibromyalgia, quietude, cup-a-soups. It's 'draping sparkle on the troposphere'. It's giving the republic of letters its republic back. '& it's a total fucking gas'.

- Lisa Gorton

'Kent MacCarter is writing like no other poet. His post SF Renaissance and post-language new lyricism are all tussling with an Australian sense of edges. Transcultural and non-national, these poems rip through assumptions and leave us flabbergasted. A generative tension drives word deployment, with words making meaning, developing that 'genuine strangeness' that shifts poetic discourse into something differentiated, generative, essential. In MacCarter's work, the 'ordinary' becomes strange and a lens through which we might re-see our certainties. There's an accentual and cultural slippage grappling with the 'new' in interrogative ways that are beyond satirical-the poet inside and outside what is being critiqued, culpable and also stunned by what is seen. Inside, because he is a participant in the cultural debates and discussions of the modern, and outside because his language is so self-propelling that the poet follows in its wake, watching on. These critiques of commercial fetishisation and gender stereotyping/exploitation are politically and ethically driven challenges to us all, requiring us to question our own modes of reading. This is a riveting work-compulsive, committed and drop-jawed wondrous.

- John Kinsella

1 1 y separately published work icon Many, and One Lyn Hatherly , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2017 12932013 2017 selected work poetry

'Lyn Hatherly did not cease to breathe the common air of love for others and love for knowledge. Her remarkably sensuous poetry is enthralled with nature, science, suffering and joy. When Lyn Hatherly hears the ‘dear cold cry’ of a wattle bird ‘out there, piped loud through a storm’, you know you are in the presence of a writer whose craft and heart have made a pact to bring only the most passionate and most refined words to her readers. It is the kind of pact that Sappho made, much of whose poetry Lyn Hatherly had translated. If nothing is better than love, then these poems cannot be matched.' (Publication summary)

1 3 y separately published work icon Glass Rose Hunter , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2017 12814163 2017 selected work poetry

'When I read Rose Hunter's poetry I am immersed in the flow of her music, as if the conscious world is an intensely coloured envelope of experience: wonder mixed with something dark and unpredictable. Anyone who can say 'a cantaloupe is the fruit equivalent of a lobster' has my full attention. - Angela Gardner'

'Rose Hunter's poems decentre the speaking subject, shifting position from the absurd to the oneiric, from the colourful streets of Mexico to Brisbane. Part-diary, part-confession, glass is a delicate and resilient collection, a hybrid language answering poetry's questions of memory and desire. - Michelle Cahill' 

(Publication Summary)

1 3 y separately published work icon The Weight of Light Kristen Lang , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2017 12244083 2017 selected work poetry
1 4 y separately published work icon Brink Jill Jones , Carlton : Five Islands Press , 2017 11989399 2017 selected work poetry
1 1 y separately published work icon Anecdotal Evidence Gaylene Carbis , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2017 11484488 2017 selected work poetry

'Gayelene Carbis documents family obsessions, the enduring wounds of childhood, the familial shadows that pursue and possess us, and the subtle twists and shifts in human interaction that bedevil and fracture relationships. The result is an extended meditation upon loss and longing, and human fragility, tempered by moments of humour and beauty, and lines which leap out with radiant imagery and insight.' (Publication Summary)

1 3 y separately published work icon The List of Last Remaining Louise Nicholas , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2016 9566998 2016 selected work poetry

'The List of Last Remaining proves Louise Nicholas to be a poet of generosity, wit and wisdom. In poems which range from childhood dreams and disappointments and the fraught joys of family life to an Israeli kibbutz, love, laughter and unlikely encounters, we are regaled with narrative surprises, racy details and exuberant metaphors. The pervasive humour and leaps of imagination are tempered by Louise's emotional and verbal precision and her poised acknowledgement of loss as well as grace. - Jan Owen' (Publication summary)

1 2 y separately published work icon Opera Stuart Cooke , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2016 11340987 2016 selected work poetry

'Approaching Cooke's Opera, my nomadic antennae twitch with the pleasures of 'a double shudder': the recognition of an elegantly contemporary music, and the discovery of a different, southerly meridian. The play with ordered forms is wonderfully defeated, exceeded, flooded by an enriched, vibrating language that is always many. The thought it proposes is a 'linguistic procreat' of major dimensions.- Pierre Joris

'Original, arresting, fresh in both language and approach, Opera uses all the dimensions of poetry to evoke the immediacy of place. Geologies, floras, faunas and human cognition are entwined into local singularities, which Cooke privileges as the shaping force of a new poetry. - Peter Boyle

'The bones of language transmogrify in Cooke's luminous and sensual, sublime and elemental landscape. His glyphic libretto-estuarine, alluvial, fluvial-drifts across a cardio-lingual topography. This macro-lensed poetry, this extraordinary Opera, is all beauty. - Meredith Wattison' (Publication Blurb)

1 1 y separately published work icon Meanwhile, the Oak Heather Taylor Johnson , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2016 10969883 2016 selected work poetry

'Meanwhile, the Oak is more impressive with every reading. We're drawn into an ecology where people really do give a damn about each other and the world their friends, lovers, children and animals inhabit. Utah and Arizonan deserts never seemed so sparkling. Australian forests, kitchens and bedrooms ('Give me a broom or give me death!') are charged with memorable arguments and eroticism. How clever, how good, her writing is. Taylor Johnson's poems expand our knowledge while they increase our delight.'

(Publication Summary)

1 5 y separately published work icon Graphology Poems 1995–2015 John Kinsella , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2016 10149364 2016 selected work poetry
1 3 y separately published work icon In the Museum of Creation Frank Russo , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2015 8927602 2015 selected work poetry

'Nothing escapes Russo's discerning eye, especially absurdities; with his precise word choice and his unerring ability to see behind masks, each poem leaves the reader with a sense that something essential has been completed. This book is the ideal companion to take into the museum of life. - Sue Woolfe In this rich and varied collection Russo traverses a vast landscape of museums and places of cultural significance, from the traditional to the virtual. Whether he writes about exhibitions of transgenic art or channels the ghost of Peggy Guggenheim, his poetry captures the unique details of his subjects whilst also being a meditation on both personal and cultural loss. - Avril Alba, Lecturer in Museum and Jewish Studies, University of Sydney.' (Publication summary)

1 3 y separately published work icon Tropeland Rob Walker , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2015 8754611 2015 selected work poetry

'Rob walker is a perceptive spirit, and his language is fast catching up with his noticings. -Les Murray tropeland questions the poetic language that propels it forward, dismantling the prosthetic legs of its rhetorical feet. The best poems show rob walker's ear to be finely tuned to vernacular. 'Danny in Detention' is particularly deft: a little masterpiece of the colloquial and concrete. -Aidan Coleman walker will write about the Fibonacci sequence or extatosoma tiaratum (the phasmid) as well as bong smokers in the suburbs. Bestiary, field guide and joke book, tropeland is sometimes sardonic, but tempered by a humanist and sympathetic sense of the comedic. -Mike Ladd From Hiroshima to reality TV, this collection manages to swing between soulful and hilarious without a putting a foot out of place. Brave, beautiful and irreverent. -Rachael Mead' (Publication summary)

1 6 y separately published work icon Fainting with Freedom Yu Ouyang , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2015 8695053 2015 selected work poetry

Fainting with Freedom displays Ouyang Yu's characteristic wrestlings with absurdity, the quotidian and the pain of history, while maintaining a distinctly different take on what constitutes 'the self'. The poems shimmer with language-play - through slippages between English and Chinese, a more illuminating existential truth arises. – John Kinsella

'Why,' asks Ouyang Yu in this stunning new collection, is fame 'never associated with failure?' From the great consensus challenger of our age, Fainting with Freedom skewers all the truisms we have been forced by culture to hold too dear, its language abundant with the honesty, percipience and pith we know to expect from this major writer. – Nicholas Birns, Editor, Antipodes

'Ouyang Yu has mellowed but is by no means tamed. Anger has given way to sadness, occasional bitterness, but also acceptance; his linguistic fireworks explode on the page. This collection cements Ouyang's position as one of Australia's most innovative poets. Wenche Ommundsen.' (Publication summary)

1 5 y separately published work icon Now You Shall Know Jennifer Compton , Parkville : Five Islands Press , 2015 8472759 2015 selected work poetry

'‘You can never get away from where you come from. This is poetry that confronts those difficult connections, gutsy work with a deep understanding of people. Tough, staring down the truth. Loving, too, but never sentimental.’ -Anna Fern

'‘From tender observations of children to the tortuous witnessing of a mother’s dying, Jennifer Compton’s poems zing and sting with the joys and complexities of real living. Her 'dazzling intimacies’ and sharp, but generous watchfulness of all the world lead to swooping narratives that are poignant, funny, sensitive and fiercely intelligent. Now You Shall Know is a wondrously wide-ranging, disarming and haunting collection.‘

-Jean Kent

''This is generous, mercurial poetry with linguistic and dramatic verve and telling silences. In Now You Shall Know Jennifer Compton claims her space con brio: I think of a rider or ballet dancer and also of a long-distance traveller since these poems cover so much ground. I warmed to the intimate, ironic assurance, to the trust placed in the reader and to the almost palpable presence of this witty, provocative, perceptive raconteuse prepared to tell me, in confidence, everything. There are such sparkling images in this book, and such acknowledged darkness too, a truthfulness and brusque compassion 'as human as anything is’.‘

-Jan Owen' (Publication summary)