Lisa Gorton launches Robyn Rowland’s ‘This Intimate War’

“No poem can change the past. But a poem, if it is strong enough, can change the way in which we remember the past – our own, or our culture’s. It can change the kinds of facts that we notice. And when it changes the kinds of facts that we notice in the past, it changes the present, too.”

The full launch speech, published in Rochford Street Review, can be found here.

This Intimate War can be purchased here.

Anne Elvey’s ‘Kin’ reviewed by Rose Lucas

Kin, Anne Elvey’s first full collection of poetry, brings together a wide range of poems full of light and the acuity of close attention. These poems focus on a world of interrelationships where tree and water, creature and human, air and breathing, coexist – suggestive of an underlying philosophy of humility and acceptance.”

The full review, published in ABR, can be found here.

Kin can be purchased here.

Anne Elvey’s ‘Kin’ reviewed by Geoff Page

Kin is Anne Elvey’s first full collection, following on from three chapbooks, and its maturity shows. Though, as with any first collection, its manner and content can vary somewhat, Elvey’s book is consistently doing things only poetry can do. In her case, this involves significant environmental and religious dimensions but there is no unwelcome preaching.”

The full review, published in both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, can be found here.

Kin can be purchased here.

Anne Elvey’s ‘Kin’ reviewed by Michael Farrell

“The poems of Anne Elvey’s Kin, dedicated to her father, elaborate on the title, productively making it stand for blood and other kinds of relation. There’s a level of intimate observation to these empathic poems that marks Elvey as a contemporary of poets such as John Anderson.”

The full review, published in The Australian, can be found here.

Kin can be purchased here.

Anne Elvey’s ‘Kin’ reviewed by Cassandra Atherton

“The kinship Elvey forges between her poems and ecological criticism lends both rigour and reverence to her first full-length collection of poetry. There is a radiant stasis at the core of her poems that encourages the reader to listen to the susurration of multiple, overlapping conversations to which Elvey is contributing.”

The full review, published in Cordite, can be found here.

Kin can be purchased here.

Michelle Leber’s ‘The Yellow Emperor’ reviewed by Geoff Page

“Leber is adept at suggesting characteristics of the Chinese ‘original’, as it were, while generating compelling poetry in modern English…The Yellow Emperor is a strange but curiously satisfying achievement.”

The full review, published in both the Age and Sydney Morning Herald, can be found here.

The Yellow Emperor can be purchased here.

‘Breaking New Sky’, edited by Ouyang Yu, reviewed by Dimitra Harvey

Breaking New Sky, a new collection of poems selected and translated by Ouyang, presents work from forty-six established and emerging Chinese (including Taiwanese) poets, born predominantly between the late 50s and 80s (though some as early as 1913 and as late as 2002). The collection’s title – a play on the Western idiom “breaking new ground” – connotes innovation, originality, and also risk. It embodies contemporary Chinese poetry’s iconoclasm, as well as Ouyang’s desire to introduce “something new” into the Australian literary landscape.”

The full review, published in Mascara Literary Review, can be found here.

Breaking New Sky can be purchased here.

Michelle Leber’s ‘The Yellow Emperor’ reviewed by Lucy Van

“Leber is a Melbourne-based poet and a clinician of Chinese medicine, and in this, her second volume of poetry, she merges the two practices in an archaeological translation of Han mythology that finds it art through listening to the body. The work, part verse-novel, part poetic mythography, imagines the origins of the Yellow Emperor legend by dramatising the core principles of Chinese medicine. The project is certainly impressive in scope, a daring and highly ambitious application of the diagnostic art to the purpose of mythological reconstruction.”

The full review, published in Cordite, can be found here.

The Yellow Emperor can be purchased here.

Michelle Leber’s ‘The Yellow Emperor’ reviewed by Ruby Todd

“Through spare, vivid images, Leber deftly conveys a sense of the immediacy of history, the materiality of myth, and the way that the singular detail can convey a truth that is timeless and universal.”

The full review, in the April edition of Text, can be found here.

The Yellow Emperor can be purchased here.

Susan Bradley Smith’s ‘Beds For All Who Come’ reviewed by Susie Utting

“The contents page of Beds for All Who Come suggests a poetic ride rich in intertextual and sub-textual allusions, as well as public and personal historical details. The Prologue, with its single poem entry ‘Girl on fire in the eucalypt gulag: Germaine Greer witnessing the end of the world’ introduces a cast of characters who appear in three separate Acts: Clementine and Sarah Churchill, Sylvia Plath and Frieda Hughes, and Ulrike Meinhof and Bettina Röhl. All these mothers and daughters write poems. With this cast in mind the reader begins her own journey to explore Smith’s collection.”

The full review, in the April edition of Text, can be found here.

Beds For All Who Come can be purchased here.

Anne Elvey’s ‘Kin’ reviewed by Jessica Wilkinson

“Elegantly political, Kin inspires attentiveness in us as readers, and suggests that such small-scale quietude – toward detail, sensations, our non-human earth others – may offer a pathway for ecological and spiritual reparation.”

The full review, in the April edition of Text, can be found here.

Kin can be purchased here.

 

Anne Elvey’s ‘Kin’ shortlisted for the 2015 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry

Congratulations to the luminous and talented Anne Elvey, whose book Kin has been shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Prize this year. Keeping fine company with Michael Aiken, Judith Beveridge, Libby Hart, John Mateer and David Malouf.

The judges’ comments on Kin can be read below; comments on the other shortlisted books can be found here. Best of luck to all!

 

‘This spare poetry investigates the body as a sensorium in its careful observations of the various ways of being in the world. The poetry’s sensual lyricism demonstrates how, through the body, we experience gravity, weather, light and sound. Skin is one interface between us and other humans and between us and the natural and urban world. The language of the poetry is itself a kind of skin that registers the bodily experience of kinship with trees, birds, sand and rain but also with the urban environment of steel, bitumen and glass.
These relationships are fragile; the poems remind us of human mortality. Ecological damage and death also impact upon the non-human world and much of the poetry has an elegiac tone. The possibility of forgiveness and grace flutter at the edges of these poems like the many birds they figure. The poems also investigate other forms of kinship such as ethical non-Indigenous approaches to Aboriginal country and the memorialisation of loss and destruction. Kin is a meditative and thoughtful collection. It is marked with an unobtrusive erudition and intertextual references to a number of other poets ranging from Wilfred Owen to Judith Wright.’

 

Kin can be purchased here.

Sam Moginie reviews Breaking New Sky, edited by Ouyang Yu

Breaking New Sky is a happily variegated collection of work by contemporary Chinese poets, edited and translated by Chinese-Australian poet, novelist and translator Ouyang Yu. Strangeness produced by means of a ‘neutral’ or ‘plain’ English (a ‘Yu signature tone’) gives the poems and their objects a riddle-like quality whose pleasures and dramas implicate food, sex, work, river systems, animals, domestic space, relationships, the medical system, nostalgia, death, farming and sleep. This plainness is put to work as the material of an aphoristic narrative mode that defines this anthology; making small claims continuously and thereby amassing charm.”

See the full review on Cordite here.

Breaking New Sky can be purchased here.

Thanks to everyone who came along to Collected Works last night

We heard a diverse range of poetry from many poets Five Islands Press have published over the years, including; Lisa Jacobson, Anne Elvey, Grant Caldwell, Libby Hart, Susan Bradley Smith, and Michelle Leber. Lyn Hatherly, one of our editors, also read from Ouyang Yu’s Breaking New Sky. 

Many of our poets, including Lisa Jacobson and Susan Bradley Smith, had fond stories to share about our founder Ron Pretty and his service to poetry. Susan spoke of how he convinced her to go overseas in the space of 5 words, and Lisa of his resemblance to Father Christmas. Perhaps it was best summed up by Kevin Brophy: that Ron published over 230 books of poetry, and “nobody knows how he did it”. Recounting his legacy was a fitting way to launch the inaugural Ron Pretty Prize 2014 and our new subscriptions initiative.

We also displayed our arty promotional short-film for the prize, which was adapted from Richard James Allen’s poem ‘Twins’. Many thanks to everyone involved last night, both physically and digitally!

British Poetry Journal ‘The Wolf’ have published a magnificent review of John Kinsella’s ‘The Vision of Error’…

“Tracing territory familiar from several previous collections, this anti-pastoral of the Western Australian ‘Wheatbelt’ (‘Tens of thousands of acres of GM canola / […] / feeding frenzy’) now substantially relies/builds on his readers’ fore-knowledge.”
You can read the entire review via this link: http://www.wolfmagazine.co.uk/images/Helen-Moore-on-John-Kinsellas-Vision-of-Error.pdf

Some articles on the lovely Lisa Jacobson…

In case you have been living under a rock with your fingers in your ears, Lisa Jacobson’s Sunlit Zone took out the 2014 John Bray Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s, the Stella Prize, and the Wesley Michel Wright Prize.

Early this year, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age featured Lisa in some articles:
Read here: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/blood-and-bone-20140117-30yob.html
Read here: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/words-at-the-heart-of-it-all-20140117-30yoc.html

The 2014 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Shortlist was announced a couple days ago and surprise, surprise…

Lisa Jacobson’s ‘The Sunlit Zone’ is once again featured in the running. You can view the shortlist here: http://arts.sa.gov.au/news/2014-adelaide-festival-awards-for-literature-shortlist-announced/

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Toby Davidson’s ‘Beast Language’ has been reviewed by The Australian, Overland, Cordite, ABR and ‘Me Fail? I Fly’…

The links to all of these reviews are provided below.

Michael Farrell, The Australian:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/intimacy-with-a-political-charge/story-fn9n8gph-1226674804687

Five Islands Press were well represented at The Stella Prize last night…

Our managing co-editor Kevin Brophy headed along to support Lisa Jacobson. ‘The Sunlit Zone’ did not take out the main prize, but congratulations to the gracious winner Carrie Tiffany who selflessly shared some prize-money with the shortlist. Thanks also to the organizers of the Stella Prize, especially Megan Quinlan, for running such a tight ship.

CLICK HERE to read a Q&A that The Stella Prize conducted with Lisa, it gives you exclusive insight into her “writing place”.

Congratulations to Lisa Jacobson for making the long-list of the prestigious Stella Prize…

You can view the long-list here and for those of you who haven’t read The Sunlit Zone yet, this introspective Cordite review by Jessica Wilkinson may be of interest to you.

Chair of the Stella Prize judging panel, Kerryn Goldsworthy, says:

Out of the almost 200 original entries, the judges have arrived at a varied and eclectic longlist that reflects the breadth of imagination, knowledge and skill in contemporary Australian women’s writing. The list includes a collection of short stories, a fantasy novel, a speculative-fiction verse novel, and three non-fiction books with very different subjects and styles. There are mixed-genre books involving biography, history, memoir and art; there are novels about real people, and nonfiction books using the beautiful writing techniques of fiction. There are stories from the past and from the future; stories of children at risk, of racial tension, of world travel, and of unimaginable danger and loss.

The judges will now decide on a shortlist that will be announced on Wednesday 20 March.

The Internet seems to have swallowed some more exciting news of ours, Michelle Cahill and Lisa Jacobson have both been short-listed…

Congratulations to Lisa Jacobson, The Sunlit Zone has been short-listed for the prestigious Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry 2012.

Michelle Cahill has also been short-listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, please vote for Vishvarupa in the Poetry category.

You can vote here: http://wheelercentre.com/projects/victorian-premier-s-literary-awards-2012

Here is Michelle pictured several times with Premier Ted Baillieu -
http://wheelercentre.com/dailies/post/e67ca6b74668/

http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/4602-shortlist-announced-2012-victorian-premiers-literary-awards.html

 

Congratulations to Mal McKimmie for taking out the Age Book of the Year Award 2012 for Poetry…

It was announced last Thursday at the Melbourne Writers Festival that The Brokenness Sonnets I-III & Other Poems had been awarded The Age poetry prize.
The book of the year was awarded to James Boyce.

Here is Mal featured in The Age on Friday - http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/books/days-of-plunder-tale-of-our-city-wins-age-book-prize-20120823-24ozx.html

Mal has also been mentioned by one of our favourite bloggers LiteraryMinded -
http://literaryminded.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-age-book-of-the-year-awards/

Lisa Jacobson,

whose verse novel, The Sunlit Zone, will be published by Five Islands Press in 2012, has just been awarded the Bruce Dawe National Poetry prize.

(Excerpt from The Age)