'Heide is an epic poem about history, painting, painters, patrons and the people who made art happen in Australia — from Louis Buvelot to Edith Rowan, Tom Roberts and Robert Streeton to Vassilief, Nolan, Tucker, Joy Hester, the Boyds, Mirka Mora, and Albert Namatjira, with a particular focus on the artists gathered around Sunday and John Reed at Heide in Melbourne.
'It is a poem that explores the influence of art and poetry on the psyche, and the influence of social class on both, from the upper echelons and industrialists of Melbourne, to the struggle of the working class through such artists as Alisa O’Connor, Noel Counihan and Yosl Bergner. It begins with the foundation of Melbourne, and in its epic scope traverses an encyclopaedic range of subjects, assembled from facts, quotations, proverbs, definitions, historical documents, newspaper accounts and the author’s own reminiscences.
'Heide is about the poets and artists who put their lives on the line, the Australian preoccupation with landscape, the dominance of a masculinist aesthetic, the sidelining and denigration of Indigenous art, the struggle of women artists to assert their influence and presence, and the impact of migration on Australian culture.
'It is a long poem made up of almost 300 poems, each bringing to life characters and incidents that are fleshed out in vivid detail and with a dramatic intensity unique in Australian poetry.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'A stunning mix of memoir, reportage, fiction, satire, and critique composed by a powerful new voice in poetry. Alison Whittaker’s BLAKWORK is an original and unapologetic collection from which two things emerge; an incomprehensible loss, and the poet’s fearless examination of the present.
'Whittaker is unsparing in the interrogation of familiar ideas – identifying and dissolving them with idiosyncratic imagery, layering them to form new connections, and reinterpreting what we know.' (Publication summary)
'In I Love Poetry, Michael Farrell continues his affirmation of poetry as a mode for thinking: about Australia, land, and settlement, about planetary life, and about poetry’s relation to other art forms and to other kinds of writing. His poems show an aptitude for both fiction and (auto)biography. Playful and subtle in tone, they get under the skin of your mind more than in its face. ‘AC/DC as First Emu Prime Minister’ and ‘Into a Bar’ remobilise familiar Australian icons, while ‘Cate Blanchett and the Difficult Poem’ creates a scenario with the actor and Waleed Aly where reading and composition become a single act. ‘Great Poet Snowdome’ is a pervy story of kitsch involving Sydney and the pope, a recurring figure in the book who re-emerges as Pope Pinocchio. There’s a Tame Impala acrostic, a Mad Max riff (‘Put Your Helmet On’), a One Direction revision (‘Drag Me Down’), and forays into poeticising lyrebirds, kangaroos, Robert Menzies and Elizabeth Bishop. There is Sid Vicious and there are lamingtons. There is everything that loves poetry: Weet-Bix, Iron Maiden t-shirts, motorbikes, and you.' (Publication summary)
'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)