Book Notes

These books have been received from publishers as review copies. If you are interested in reviewing any of these titles for Rochford Street Review please email us contact@rochfordstreetreview.com. If you are interested in reviewing a title that is not on the list let us know – if we haven’t already lined up a review we can see if we can arrange a review copy for you. We currently attempt to pay each reviewer a token payment for each review. We are actively exploring funding options to be able to pay a more appropriate amount per review.

If you are a publisher wanting to submit a book for review and have it listed on this page please note our mailing address:

Rochford Street Review
PO Box 5399
West Chatswood NSW Australia 1515

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September 2017

Brink by Jill Jones. Five Island Press 2017 http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/brink-jill-jones

“Jill Jones’s poems combine alert self-questioning intelligence with springy openness. Who else can give line breaks and caesurae such electric charge? Self-creating things, thing-creating selves, her poems keep at the brink of themselves, now and now and now, shaking off commodities and fixed ideas, improvising with élan”. – Lisa Gorton

If you are interested in writing a review of Brink  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Anecdotal Evidence by Gayelene Carbis. Five Island Press 2017  http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/anectodal-evidence-gaylene-carbis

“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”. – Arnold Zable

If you are interested in writing a review of Anecdotal Evidence   for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Selected Poems by Larry Buttrose Brysha Wilson Press 2017 http://www.bryshawilsonpress.com/Selected-Poems-Print/

This selection of poems by Larry Buttrose represents a forty-year output and although many of the poems have been published before, either as single offerings or inclusions in anthologies, this is the first time that such a range of the poet’s work has been gathered in one volume. “Larry Buttrose’s poems disrobe and contemplate the great existential truths of life: love, desire, memory and death…Read and be enlightened”.
– Peter Minter

If you are interested in writing a review of Larry Buttrose’s Selected Poems   for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Crush: Stories About Love edited by Simone Corletto, Amy T Matthews, Jes M Miller and Lynette Washington. MidnightSun Publishing 2017 https://midnightsunpublishing.com/2017/08/crush/

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Bursting with affection, wit, loss, sex and a whole lot of love, the authors in this collection face the burning beauty of love and write of both the blaze and the ashes left behind. Crush will quicken the pulses of cynics and believers alike as it reimagines everything that makes the heart leap.

If you are interested in writing a review of Crush: Stories About Love  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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July 2017

On The Outskirts by John Kinsella UQP 2017  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1427/On%20The%20Outskirts

Inspired by the natural worlds surrounding Tübingen in Germany, Cambridge in England,the village of Schull in southwest Ireland and the West Australian wheatbelt, Kinsella explores through his poems the protection and valuing of human and animal life, and the environment itself. Reflecting on how the local and international are in constant flux and exchange, these poems consider the plight of refugees, the degradation of the natural world, militarisation and the tensions of global violence. As Kinsella contemplates the failure of public memory to memorialise and adequately face the horrors of the past, he reflects on the unresolved issues of history such as Nazism (Germany) and colonisation (Ireland and Australia).

If you are interested in writing a review of On The Outskirts  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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A Personal History of Vision by Luke Fischer UWA Publishing 2017  https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/a-personal-history-of-vision

A Personal History of Vision expands on the concerns of Fischer’s acclaimed first collection Paths of Flight and embodies what Judith Beveridge has described as his ‘seemingly effortless ability to blend visual detail and imaginative vision.’ Intertwining the personal and the historical, the modern and the primeval, culture and nature, these poems explore vision in its many senses, often with reference to the visual arts. At their heart is a search for an enlarged awareness of ourselves and the world, in which the visible and the invisible, nature and spirit find one another. At the same time these poems are awake to inadequacies and the trials of death and suffering––personal, political, and ecological. Yet, even in the darkness (the focus of the second section) they detect possibilities of transformation.

If you are interested in writing a review of A Personal History of Vision  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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This Water: Five Tales by Beverley Farmer Giramondo Publishing 2017  http://giramondopublishing.com/product/this-water-five-tales/

Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing, in her exploration of feminine concerns, and her use of different literary forms – novel, short story, poetry, essay, journal, myth and fairy tale. This Water is the last work of fiction by Beverley Farmer, one of Australia’s great prose stylists, and a pioneer of women’s writing in this country. It is a collection of five interwoven tales, three of them novellas. Each has a woman at its centre: in each the women speak, act, think for themselves, in opposing or escaping from an oppressive authority. One tale, set on the south coast of Victoria, is animated by the legend of the Great Silkie; another finds its rebellious princess in Lake Annaghmakerrig in Ireland; a third has Clytemnestra as its central figure, mourning the daughter sacrificed by her husband Agamemnon so that he could go to war with Troy – surely one of the great laments in Australian literature.

If you are interested in writing a review of This Water: Five Tales  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Selected Poems: Thea Astley edited by Cheryl Taylor UQP 2017  https://www.qbd.com.au/thea-astley-selected-poems/cheryl-taylor/9780702259791/

Thea Astley won multiple prizes for her fiction, including four Miles Franklin Awards. However, her earliest ambition was to write poetry. It remained her private passion throughout her student days into adulthood. This exciting volume brings together for the first time many poems that have never been seen or published. It traces Astley’s development as a writer as she evokes wartime Brisbane, her fascination with the natural landscape and her encounters with small-town life. Thea Astley- Selected Poems provides admirers of Astley’s fiction with unprecedented insight into an Australian literary legend.

 

Selected Poems: Thea Astley reviewed by Emma Cooper.

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Afloat in Light by David Ades UWA Publishing 2017  https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/afloat-in-light

“David Adès’ luminous and honest collection, Afloat in Light, is chiefly a celebration of fatherhood and of paying attention, utilising Simone Weil’s notion that ‘attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity’. The collection extends to existence and loss, and a discourse on motive and meaning. Maps and moral compass are never far away in such explorations and like all good navigators Adès consults the moon and the stars to guide him through emotional terrain that crosses the globe via Australia, India and the United States. Poems about connection and love—familial, intimate, parental and friendship—hold their weight of history via scar tissue and heritage to allow ‘a vast and full space to fill the maps of our lives’. Afloat in Light delicately balances that most crucial aspect of life—of how the ordinary is anything but. Adès is a poet that fully harnesses the verve of small miracles”. – Libby Hart

If you are interested in writing a review of Afloat in Light  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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No More Boats by Felicity Castagna Giramondo Publishing 2017  http://giramondopublishing.com/product/no-more-boats/

The new novel by Felicity Castagna, whose previous book, The Incredible Here and Now, won the 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Young Adult Fiction and was shortlisted for the CBCA and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. It is 2001. 438 refugees sit in a boat called Tampa off the shoreline of Australia, while the TV and radio scream out that the country is being flooded, inundated, overrun by migrants. Antonio Martone, once a migrant himself, has been forced to retire, his wife has moved in with the woman next door, his daughter runs off with strange men, his deadbeat son is hiding in the garden smoking marijuana. Amid his growing paranoia, the ghost of his dead friend shows up and commands him to paint ‘No More Boats’ in giant letters across his front yard. The Prime Minister of Australia keeps telling Antonio that ‘we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come’. Antonio’s not sure he wants to think about all the things that led him to get on a boat and come to Australia in the first place. A man and a nation unravel together.

If you are interested in writing a review of No More Boats for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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straya by Paul Summers Smokestack Books 2017  http://smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=131

straya is a book of hauntings, a parliament of ghosts, public and private, the story of a small-town Orpheus lost in the brusque shadows of a land-down-under. It’s a treatise on grief, atrocity and human tragedy seen through the eyes of a bewildered mourner in exile, a travelogue of land and soul unravelling the complex carnage of our redacted histories, a song-book of love and hate, of sorrow and celebration, of cold despair and stubborn hope.

straya is out for review

 

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Bone Ink by Rico Craig Guillotine Press 2017  http://www.guillotinepress.com.au/product/bone-ink

“Rico Craig’s Bone Ink is an electrifying collection. From the lost legacy of a Malay childhood to star-crossed lovers in Sydney’s Bella Vista Drive, Craig’s characters court danger with grand desperation and an urgent desire to escape. Born of trauma and passion these poems strive to outrun their own destinies, deliquescing into painful and exquisite explorations of memory and nostalgia. Like shoes left dangling on powerlines or ghostly hand-prints cast into concrete, Bone Ink stamps its distinctive mark on the landscape of Australian poetry”.  – Michele Seminara

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If you are interested in writing a review of Bone Ink for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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April 2017

Never a True Word by Michael McGuire Wakefield Press 2017http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1357&cat=0&page=&featured=Y

Politics – it’s a place for shiny people with ugly souls. As a journalist Jack thought he’d met every shade of nutter, narcissist and bully to be found. But then he took a job in politics and discovered he’d only scratched the surface. Even better, it’s Jack’s job to maintain the pretence that all is normal, that our political masters have everyone’s best interests at heart, that politics is not just a collection of attention-seeking egomaniacs looking for somewhere to park their character defects. Yes, Jack is a political spin doctor. His new boss, Ray Sloan, is terrifying – and that’s on his good days – and his former friends in the media regard him as a turncoat and a traitor. Elections, budgets and blackmail – it’s all part of the bizarre world Jack now finds himself in. If you are looking for a tale to reaffirm your faith in democracy, this probably isn’t the one.

If you are interested in writing a review of Never a True Word for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Dark Convicts by Judy Johnson UWAP 2017. https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/dark-convicts

It is a little known fact that eleven African American convicts arrived in Australia on the First Fleet in 1788. Two of these ex-slaves were the author’s ancestors. In extensively researched poems, award-winning writer Judy Johnson vividly portrays scenes from her black forebears’ lives, both before transportation and afterwards, in the fledgling colony of New South Wales.

If you are interested in writing a review of Dark Convicts for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Datsunland by Stephen Orr Wakefield Press 2017. http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1356&cat=0&page=&featured=Y

A long-deserted drive-in, waiting for a rerun of the one story that might give it life; a child who discovers his identity in a photograph hidden in his parents’ room … Stephen Orr’s stories are happy to let you in, but not out. In Datsunland, his characters are outsiders peering into worlds they don’t recognise, or understand: an Indian doctor arriving in the outback, discovering an uncomfortable truth about the Australian dream; a family trying to have their son’s name removed from a Great War cowards’ list; a confused teenager with a gun making an ad for an evangelical ministry. Each story is set in a place where, as Borges described, ‘heaven and hell seem out of proportion’. There is no easy escape from the world’s most desperate car yard, or the school with a secret that permeates all but one of the fourteen stories in Datsunland. Here is a glimpse of inner lives, love, the astonishment of being ourselves.

If you are interested in writing a review of Datsunland for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Rallying by Quinn Easdes UWAP 2017 https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/rallying

Rallying was written alongside Quinn Eades’s first book, all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and before he began transitioning from female to male. A collection very much concerned with the body, and the ways in which we create and write under, around, without, and with children, this collection will resonate deeply with anyone who has tried to make creative work from underneath the weight of love. This is a collection of poems that are more than poems. They were written with children, under babies, around grief, amongst crumbs, on trains, with hope: with love. This is a book made of steel and honey, muscle and sun, with tongues. Open its pages and you will find more than poetry. You will find moments in time strung across by text, a poetics of the space between bodies, the way that language makes us separate and simultaneously whole.

If you are interested in writing a review of Rallying for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Charlie Twirl by Alan Gould, UWAP 2107 https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/charlie-twirl

From the intrigue of his earlier poetry in fatalism and the mysteries of character, Alan Gould’s interest has moved to music. In many of the poems in this book, the folk songs or the homages to Vaughan Williams, his enquiry is one of synaesthesia: What is it we see when we hear? In meditating this the poet prefers the crisp, accessible, narrative voice to the philosophical. Here are ballads and celebrations, homages to past authors who have been his spiritual companions – Graves, Yeats, Shakespeare, and tributes to the Finnish resistance to Soviet aggression in 1939. There are some ‘equivalents’ to popular folk songs, and the volume’s title poem, a commemoration of the extraordinary George Street dancer of VJ Day 1945.

If you are interested in writing a review of Charlie Twirl for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Snake Like Charms by Amanda Joy, UWAP 2017 https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/snake-like-charms

Amanda Joy’s first full-scale book Snake Like Charms was five years in the making. It’s grounded deep in reality as are the snake cultures and legends it draws from. Amanda Joy is a poet from the Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia, origin of the Rainbow Serpent, the Great Spirit that represents the world’s oldest religious tradition. According to Indigenous song-cycles, a snake literally created this country. These lines from the poem ‘Your Ground’ carry their wisdom lightly “snake says / be still / stand your ground / it’s the only protection we have’. This book quivers with snakes, consorting with birds and animals, in company with humans: “There’s no animal alive / won’t meet your eye”. Also, like the Aztec serpent Quetzalcoatl, this poetry is all intelligence and sharp wind chained to the ‘braille-like ridges’ of the country by reality, where ‘My friend’s story is everywhere.’ It contains wonders, ‘Carnaby cockatoos feeding on wild radish in low grass’, the erotic nature of a Blue Butcher Orchid ‘made flesh’, a poet gardener who is aware of ‘the unseen deadline of morning like a tongue into a mouth/ stroking language’.

Snake Like Charms is out for review

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Euclide’s Dog by Jordie Albiston GloriaSMH Press 2017. http://gloriasmh.com/books/euclids-dog-100-algorithmic-poems/

Beginning with the idea of poetry as one code among many, this collection explores the notion of applying patterns derived from mathematics to the conception and creation of poems. There is a peculiar sort of energy that emanates from an active confluence between two codes: a beat frequency, a moiré. It is at once a kind of friction, and a marriage. The eight forms Albiston has developed for this book are generous to her aims because they are stable, just, and have as their unifying principle order. They work as worthy vehicles for what the poet wants to say, with shoulders broad enough to bear the intricacies and depth of her precise interior world. As well, they operate as commentaries on the fragility of existence, the sense of chaos, and the broader discordant realities of the ‘post-truth’ human condition. This is not a book of high mathematics: rather, an attempt to migrate some of the innate robustness, clarity and elegance of Euclidean thought into the realm of poetic structure. Albiston’s formal experiments do not operate as mere theory, dry equations or games, but authentic poetic events, at once harmoniously familiar, and strange.

If you are interested in writing a review of Euclide’s Dog for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Flute of Milk by Susan Fealy, UWAP 2017.  https://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/flute-of-milk

Flute of Milk is Susan Fealy’s first full-length collection of poems after years of publication in Australian and US journals and anthologies including Australian Book Review, The Best Australian Poems 2009, 2010 and 2013 (Black Inc.), Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter, 2016), Poetry (Chicago), and  Villanelles  (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets, 2012) The collection is in two parts, with each one interrogating love, loss, gender and aesthetics. The poems refract these themes through personal experience, as well as through a broader cultural lens. Some of these works are direct responses to the act of reading literature. The hallmark of this collection is precision with language: these works are always present and vivid.

If you are interested in writing a review of Flute of Milk for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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A Chink in a Daisy-Chain by Phil Day, Finlay Lloyd, 2017 http://finlaylloyd.com/chink-in-a-daisy-chain/

This book is a creative essay, cum personal reflection, on the relationship between Lewis Carrol’s Alice books, personal identity and argumentative opinion. It is the first in a three-book series Phil plans to write on the embattled nature of individual intellectual and creative autonomy. Continuing Finlay Lloyd’s interest in the book as physical artefact, included in this handsome little book is a colour page and images from a drawing by Phil that recreates the style of Tenniel’s original Alice illustrations.

If you are interested in writing a review of A Chink in a Daisy-Chain  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Wide Open by Amy Bodossian, Outside the Box Press 2016  http://www.outsidetheboxpress.com/_p/prd1/4590254491/product/wide-open

From high speed sex on the highway to domestic bliss. From kissing the dizzying heights of new love to skinning her knees on the concrete of rejection. From fucking amongst her childhood toys to the agony of letting go on the beach at midnight, Amy Bodossian plunges into the treacherous yet expansive oceans of romantic love with a heart that will not harden. A heart that will always be ‘Wide Open’.

If you are interested in writing a review of Wide Open  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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March 2017

The Metronome by Jennifer Maiden Giramondo Poets 2017  http://giramondopublishing.com/product/the-metronome/

The Metronome is the third annual poetry collection by award-winning poet Jennifer Maiden addressing political and social issues of the moment, including here, the recent US presidential election. Like Drones and Phantoms and The Fox Petition, The Metronome features intimate conversations about power and policy between contemporary figures and their historical counterparts. The English Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the Irish patriot Constance Markievicz discuss friendship, passive resistance and immigration on a walk in the Scottish Highlands. Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt counsel Hillary Clinton on compassion and responsibility during a stormy winter’s night in New Hampshire. Throughout, we admire Maiden’s reading of public figures, the strength of her interest in the morality of conduct, the magical settings for her exploration of ideas, and the rhythmical beat of her poetry, offering reassurance and continuity in a period marked by austerity and fear.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Metronome for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Jean Harley Was Here by Heather Taylor Johnson UQP 2017  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/book.aspx/1419/Jean%20Harley%20Was%20Here

Jean Harley – wife, mother, lover, dancer – is a shining light in the lives of those who know and love her. But when tragedy strikes, what becomes of the people she leaves behind? Her devoted husband, Stan, is now a single father to their young son, Orion. Her best friends, Neddy and Viv, find their relationship unravelling at the seams. And Charley, the ex-con who caused it all, struggles to reconcile his past crimes with his present mistakes. Life without Jean will take some getting used to, but her indelible imprint remains.  Jean Harley Was Here is a touching and original exploration of love, relationships, and the ways in which we need each other.

If you are interested in writing a review of Jean Harley Was Here  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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The Sepia Carousel by Jakob Ziguras Pitt Street Poetry 2016  http://pittstreetpoetry.com/jakob-ziguras/

This collection explores inter alia the poet’s deepening contact with a Europe quite different in urban topography and cultural resonance to the bushy Adelaide of his childhood and the quiet Blue Mountains village of his recent academic life. It includes the poem ‘Vanity Fair’ which won the David Harold Tribe Award at the University of Sydney in 2013.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Sepia Carousel  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Earth Girls by Lisa Brockwell Pitt Street Poetry 2016  http://pittstreetpoetry.com/lisa-brockwell/

Earth Girls is the first collection from a poet well known to readers of small magazines and anthologies in the UK and Australia, and to aficionados of poetry prizes.   In recent years Lisa Brockwell’s work has been published in the Spectator, Eureka Street, Snakeskin, Best Australian Poems 2014 and Australian Love Poems.  Individual poems have been shortlisted for the Newcastle, Bridport, ACU, Byron Bay, Montreal and University of Canberra prizes.

If you are interested in writing a review of Earth Girls  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Painting Red Orchids by Eileen Chong Pitt Street Poetry 2016  http://pittstreetpoetry.com/eileen-chong/

Eileen Chong’s new collection continues her exploration of the contemplative and the personal within subtly shifting contexts of food, love, history and culture.  Lovers of her poetry will find much that is familiar and much that is new. As always her technical confidence and linguistic sophistication allow her to offer poems which appear simple on the surface, transparent enough to appreciate at a first reading and yet which contain depths and resonances which repay repeated attention and thought.  Through this combination of beauty and depth, Eileen Chong commands a wide and devoted following.

 

Painting Red Orchids has been reviewed.

 

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The Beachcomber’s Wife by Adrian Mitchell Wakefield Press 2016  http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1333

It should have been a paradise, but paradise is what you lose, it is what you might have had.

An elderly woman who has lived for many years on a tropical island off the Queensland coast with her beachcomber husband waits for help from the mainland. For three harrowing days, alone. He has died, his body lies in their cabin just up from the beach, and while she awaits help she reviews her reclusive life there, of nearly 25 years with him. She is a woman with a glint in her mind’s eye. The Beachcomber’s Wife draws upon the published writings of E.J. Banfield, who lived an isolated life with his wife Bertha on Dunk Island through the first decades of the twentieth century. He made very little reference to her in his work (Confessions of a Beachcomber and others). This account imagines what it might have been like from her point of view. It follows Banfield’s practice, of fact cemented with fiction.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Beachcomber’s Wife for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Unmaking Atoms by Magdalena Ball, Ginninderra Press 2017  http://www.ginninderrapress.com.au/rapidcartpro/index.php?product/page/1237/*+Magdalena+Ball+%2F+Unmaking+Atoms

“Compassionate, poignant, otherworldly and profound: this thought-provoking, sometimes raw, collection is accessible contemporary poetry at its zenith of achievement.” – Mark Logie.

“Magdalena Ball has assembled a delicate memento mori of our many subtle frames of reference. Her imagery is beautifully structured in heart-breaking threads, and redolent of her intellect, her warmth, and her love of text.” – Basil Eliades.

“The writing is polished and brave. Intellect melds with emotion to soar. Readers will find talisman poems and refer to them again and again.” – Jan Dean.

 

Unmaking Atoms has been reviewed by Malcolm St Hill

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January 2017

Suture Lines by Paul Scully Guillotine Press 2016  http://www.guillotinepress.com.au/product/suture-lines

suture-linesAn exciting collection of poetry from Paul Scully. “The range of these poems is as extensive as their generosity. There are multiple foci for this collection: the origin of songbirds, librarians of Alexandria (Egypt, not Sydney) and the psychic import of conditions such as prosopagnosia (face blindness); but underpinning the collection as a whole is a warm intelligence which reminds us of the many forms and dimensions of love. This surprises with its gentle insistence, coupled with an acutely inquiring poetic mind.” – David Musgrave.

If you are interested in writing a review of Suture Lines for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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River’s Edge Haiku by Owen Bullock Recent Work Press 2016  http://recentworkpress.com/store/catalogue/rivers-edge/

riverss-edgeIn Owen Bullock’s second haiku sequence with Recent Work Press, he explores the wisdom garnered from his period as a care worker for the elderly in New Zealand. These haiku display the riches of Bullock’s keen sense of observation married with his ability to get to the essence of any subject with his deft use of this most precise of Japanese forms.

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River’s Edge is currently out for review

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December 2016

Fragments by Antigone Kefala Giramondo Poets 2016  http://giramondopublishing.com/product/fragments/

fragmentsAntigone Kefala is one of the finest Australian poets, highly regarded for the intensity of her vision, yet not widely known, on account of her minimalism, and the small number of poems she has published, each carefully worked, each magical or menacing in its effects. Fragments is her first collection of poems in almost twenty years, since the publication of New and Selected Poems in 1998. It follows her memoir 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, with its linguistic precision, its heightened perception and sense of drama – though the territory is often darker now, as the poet navigates the liminal spaces between life and death, and the energies which lie in wait there.

Fragments is currently out for review.

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Opera by Stuart Cooke Five Island Press 2016  http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/opera

stuart-cooke-cover“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

 

 

If you are interested in writing a review of Opera for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Into Tordon by Z.F. Kingbolt MidnightSun Publishing 2016  http://midnightsunpublishing.com/shop/books/into-tordon/

intotordonThirteen-year-old Beth has been waiting for weeks to play in the championship of her favourite online game, Tordon. Now tribes of beastmen roar through her speakers. Game on! She plays to win, until her gaming nemesis Zane challenges her to a real-life risk that has them sucked into a strange world where they must push their skills to the limit just to survive! Faced with riddles, a multitude of dangerous creatures, exotic cultures and scientific impossibilities, Beth and Zane are forced to take on challenge after challenge if they’re ever to return home.

 

 

If you are interested in writing a review of Into Tordon for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

 

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Star Struck by David McCooey UWA Publishing. 2016  http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/star-struck

star_struckWith poems ranging from the confessional to the mock-autobiographical, from imagism to a strange storytelling, from the comic and satirical to the plangent and disturbing, Star Struck startles us with the many faces of lyric poetry. This book of poems by the award-winning poet David McCooey is made up of four sections. The first documents an alienating encounter with a life-threatening illness. The second plays out an unforgettable obsession with darkness and light. The third brings together popular music and the ancient literary mode of the pastoral. In this highly original sequence we find, among other things, Bob Dylan singing Virgil, Joni Mitchell reflecting on life in Laurel Canyon, a lab monkey pondering the sound of music, and a bitter, surreal rewriting of ‘Down Under’ for our times. In the final section, narrative poetry is cast in an intensely new and uncanny light.

If you are interested in writing a review of Star Struck for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Your Scratch Entourage by Kris Hemensley Cordite Books 2016  http://corditebooks.org.au/collections/frontpage/products/your-scratch-entourage

your-scratch-entourage“Reading Kris’s book has been a great salutary reminder of what poetry can be, beautiful language under pressure of thought and emotion, commemorative, unpredictable, a life, in words. There is also the specific Englishness of the poems, the poet in nature, following from Wordsworth and Coleridge. As he puts it in ‘Against Dread’ – ‘Natural’ is all that knows itself without an artist’s contribution’. Kris could, at a stretch, be seen as part of the British Poetry Revival that occurred in the 1960s, partly as reaction against the so-called Movement poets, then seen as bleak and ‘uptight’, but much more he is a seminal figure in Australian poetry, as both poet and catalyst of the equivalent revival here”. – Gig Ryan

If you are interested in writing a review of Your Scratch Entourage for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Loopholes Microfiction by Susan McCreery Spineless Wonders 2016  https://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/microlit/loopholes/

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These perfectly formed microfictions provide glimpses into the everyday challenges of family life, relationships, ageing and loss. McCreery’s characters are typical humans – flawed, vulnerable, frustrating and frustrated. Told with empathy and wit and honed with a wordsmith’s skill, Loopholes makes us see ourselves and each other differently.
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If you are interested in writing a review of Loopholes for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Wild Gestures Stories by Lucy Durneen  MidnightSun Publishing 2017  http://midnightsunpublishing.com/shop/books/wild-gestures/

wild-gestures-659x1024A daughter flies into a painting to escape her overprotective mother. An exchange student sees green lights in the sky above South America and fears the worst. Against the backdrop of an Italian bird market, a holidaying teenager makes her first attempt at seduction. And an affair that never happens is deconstructed while tigers pace in a European zoo.

Wild Gestures is the first collection from British writer Lucy Durneen, bringing together stories of loss, desire and opportunities missed, all orbiting the painful knowledge that the things we most long for remain the furthest from reach.

 

Wild Gestures by Lucy Durneen has been reviewed by Alison-Jane Hunter.

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The Herring Lass by Michelle Cahill Arc Publications 2016  https://www.arcpublications.co.uk/books/michelle-cahill-the-herring-lass-558

the-herring-lassThe Herring Lass explores human and animal migrations: how animals and birds survive extreme climate and resist assailants can provide reflections on our global engagements, the exodus of refugees. These poems consider the threshold between wilderness, history and social order where landscape becomes a place of violence, dispossession and loss. A woman’s experience of fragmentation, exile, divorce, motherhood, is an undercurrent, her words wrestling with the consequences of these events.

The Herring Lass is currently out for review

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November 2016

The Sly Night Creatures of Desire by Debi Hamilton Hybrid Publishers 2016  https://www.hybridpublishers.com.au/product/the-sly-night-creatures-of-desire/

sly_night“These are luminous poems of survival and hope, made with mischief and moral seriousness and love. Debi Hamilton writes poems that are kind, elegant and sly. One finds solace in their craft, humanity, intelligence and poise. One finds inspiration in their gentle intelligence, their unassuming accomplishment. The poems in The Sly Night Creatures of Desire are clever, consoling experiments, meditations on desire, death and the everyday gifts of garden and light and affection, fashioned in the ecotone between lyric prose and plainspoken poetry. Beautiful still lives, love poems of deep maturity.”
– Mark Tredinnick

If you are interested in writing a review of The Sly Night Creatures of Desire for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Melbourne Journal: Notebooks: 1998-2003 by Alan Loney UWA Publishing. 2016  http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/alan-loney/products/melbourne-journal-notebooks-1998-2003

melbourne_cover_loneyMelbourne Journal: Notebooks 1998-2003 is the third installment in Alan Loney’s notebooks, covering the period in between his previous publications (Sidetracks: Notebooks 1976-1991 and Crankhandle: Notebooks June 2010–November 2013). Allowing observations and ideas to fall on to the page half formed, poems to shimmer into and out of existence like apparitions, Alan Loney’s Melbourne Journal celebrates the reflexive muscle of the poet’s mind, heightened by the stimuli of a new place: Melbourne.

If you are interested in writing a review of Melbourne Journal: Notebooks: 1998-2003 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com

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Border Security by Bruce Dawe UWA Publishing. 2016

border_security“With each change of poetic clothes, at each moment, [Dawe] displays us ironically, satirically, good-humouredly to ourselves, with a warmth and sadness for humanity’s follies”. Thea Astley. “Bruce Dawe is that rare phenomenon, a natural poet with a superlative feeling for language. Geoffrey Lehmann “…in him we have an individual and passionately perceptive writer whose work has already assumed its proper territory and whose terms are directed from the heart as well as the mind.” Judith Wright

Border Security is currently out for review

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Our Lady of the Fence Post by J.H. Crone UWA Publishing. 2016  http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/j-h-crone/products/our-lady-of-the-fence-post

our_lady_of_the_fence_postOur Lady of the Fence Post is an imaginative response to news reports of the appearance of a Marian apparition on the construction site of a memorial for victims of the Bali bombing at Coogee, Sydney, in January 2003. One year after 9/11, terrorists had bombed Paddy’s Irish Pub and the Sari Club in Kuta, Bali, killing 202 people, including 88 Australians. Within days of the report of the Marian apparition huge crowds started visiting the site, dubbed ‘Our Lady of the Fence Post’ by the press. Our Lady of the Fence Post tells the story of the ‘war on terror’, from the Bali bombing to ISIS suicide bombing in 2015, from the point of view of locals in the fictional setting of Sunshine Bay, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

Our Lady of the Fence Post by J.H. Crone has been reviewed by Paul Scully.
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Collected Poems by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. Giramondo Poets 2016  http://giramondopublishing.com/product/collected-poems/

mehrotra-collected-poemsWe think of contemporary Indian writing as sharing the same teeming quality as the country itself. But the simplicity and clarity of Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s poems point to another Indian literary tradition, one based on understatement and resonance, enhanced in Mehrotra’s case by the influence of the surrealists and William Carlos Williams, and the Beats, the first sharpening his focus on the image, the second giving a colloquial ease to the language of his poetry. In this respect he is closely related to the generation of Australian poets who developed their craft in the 1970s and 1980s. His poetry discovers dignity and continuity in ordinary detail, while raising it to a magical or dream-like intensity. At the same time it offers glimpses into his own life and history, fixing and extending the moment in modest yet compelling ways.

If you are interested in writing a review of Arvind Krishna Mehrotra Collected Poems  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Cotter: A Novel by Richard Begbie Longhand Press 2016

cotterEarly in 1822 an illiterate nineteen year old peasant in County Cork took part in a ‘Whiteboy’ action in the hope of fairer rent and more land for his struggling family. Instead he was transported to NSW for life.

The story that follows will subvert popular notions of the convict experience. Cotter’s alliance with a fierce Aboriginal leader conspired with his second ‘crime’ to introduce him to a world understood by few Europeans. The novel points to a haunting moment in Australia’s story, when white humility and aboriginal knowledge might have combined to produce a kinder stewardship across the ancient land
Cotter has been reviewed.

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October 2016

Transit by Niloofar Fanaiyan Recent Work Press 2016 http://recentworkpress.com/store/catalogue/transit/

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This first book of poetry by Niloofar Fanaiyan is about transit as both a physical and conceptual suspension of time and space. It touches on the intersections of people, place, culture and history experienced by travellers:  the feeling of being stuck on the periphery while life continues elsewhere;  and the possibilities inherent in every journey.

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If you are interested in writing a review of Transit  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Vice Versa: New and Selected Poems by Arjun Von Caemmerer. Collective Effort Press 2016https://www.facebook.com/collectiveeffortpress/

vice-versaWhen language is contorted, the mind goes into a spin until the enforced concentration resolves itself into what is called “meaning”. This is a poetry that uses language like plasticine. It engages the reader in the service of poetry, medicine, yoga, art, love, music, and friendship. Arjun von Caemmerer’s book (created and selected over 25 years) creates a world that allows the reader to plunge into the very depths of poetry — variously visual, amorous, humorous, sensual, cerebral, and musical. It is a textbook of thinking, and includes the first full-blown print release of LINGUA FRANKA, his truly unruly homage to the late, great Frank Zappa.

If you are interested in writing a review of Vice Versa: New and Selected Poems  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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The Silences by Amanda Anastasi and Robbie Coburn Eaglemont Press 2016  http://www.lulu.com/shop/amanda-anastasi-and-robbie-coburn/the-silences/paperback/product-22870137.html

the-silences“Amanda and Robbie’s poems leak into each other, interlaced with similar imagery in different contexts. Where Robbie’s silences are often depicted as wide open spaces and endless stretches, Amanda’s tend toward the antithesis, a stifling domestic interior (‘…the frightening known…’ or a lamp-lit street at night (Night Arrows). Robbie’s narrator also walks at 4AM, around darkened, empty streets (Night Walk). Together, these depictions combine to present striking impressions of negative space, almost leaning toward the tropes of movie thrillers and suspense”. Anna Forsyth

The Silences has been reviewed.

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An Elegant Theory by Noah Milligan Central Avenue Publishing 2016
http://centralavenuepublishing.com/Books/AnElegantTheory/

the-elegant-theory-noah-milliganCoulter Zahn is a promising PhD candidate completing his dissertation in theoretical physics. Until, the stress of his research, the impending birth of his first child and the return of estranged mother, forces Coulter to snap, altering the paths of those around him. However, the very next morning, he catches a break in his research, discovering the true shape of the universe. Influenced by his family, colleagues and his own untrustworthy psyche, Coulter must decide whether to face the consequences of his actions or finish his research, perhaps making the greatest contribution to science since Einstein’s theory of relativity.

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If you are interested in writing a review of An Elegant Theory for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

 

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September 2016

Glasshouses by Stuart Barnes UQP 2016  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1403/Glasshouses

glasshouseThese poems orchestrate an eclectic and original music, curating their treasury of the new and reimagined. Exquisitely crafted, they balance attention and adventure,emerging from a ‘crèche of stars’ to blast wild and high in gilded radiance.With their gorse and honey, their ‘yellow spurs’ and ‘sunstruck ribs’, they are luminous and joyful, without forgetting bruises and shadows.

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If you are interested in writing a review of Glasshouses for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Getting By Not Fitting In by Les Wicks Island Press 2016  http://islandpress.tripod.com/ISLAND.htm

les-wicks-getting-by.

Dire and funny as every life lived. this book prowls around gender, narrative and landscape before pouncing on the journey of Matt and Tess. Nobody quite fits in amidst the quotidian, atrocity, wonder and arrangements.

Getting By Not Fitting In is out for review.

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Ghostspeaking by Peter Boyle Vagabond Press 2016  http://vagabondpress.net/collections/frontpage/products/peter-boyle-ghostspeaking

ghostspeakingEleven fictive poets from Latin America, France and Québec. Their poems, interviews, biographies and letters weave images of diverse lives and poetics. In the tradition of Fernando Pessoa, Boyle presents an array of at times humorous, at times tormented heteronymous poets. In their varied voices and styles, writing as they do across the span of the 20th Century and into the 21st , these haunted and haunting figures offer one of poetry’s oldest gifts – to sing beauty in the face of death. In all this Boyle, their fictive translator, is deeply enmeshed.

If you are interested in writing a review of Ghsotspeaking for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Wood Green by Sean Rabin Giramondo Publishing 2016  http://giramondopublishing.com/shop/fiction/wood-green/

wood_greenMichael, an aspiring writer who has recently finished his PhD, takes a job as the secretary to his literary hero, Lucian Clarke, a reclusive novelist with a mysterious cosmopolitan past, who lives in a cottage in a village on a mountain outside Hobart which gives the book its title, Wood Green. Peopled by an ensemble cast, the local publican, the single mother who manages the pub’s kitchen, the unhappily married couple that runs the corner store, a newcomer from Johannesburg with a murky past, a snivelling B&B proprietor and a determined ex-girlfriend, Wood Green artfully evokes the claustrophobia of small-town life. While Michael believes he is making a new life for himself, Lucian has other plans. Rabin writes with wit and intelligence – and deftly executes an unsuspected plot twist – in his exploration of the perils of literary ambition and the elusive prospect of artistic legacy.

If you are interested in writing a review of Wood Green for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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July 2016

Landscape with Landscape by Gerald Murnane Giramondo Classics 2016  http://www.giramondopublishing.com/forthcoming/landscape-with-landscape/

Landscape-with-LandscapeLandscape with Landscape was Gerald Murnane’s fourth book, after The Plains, and his first collection of short fiction. When it was first published, thirty years ago, it was cruelly reviewed. ‘I feel sorry for my fourth-eldest, which of all my book-children was the most brutally treated in its early years,’ Murnane writes in his foreword to this new edition. In hindsight it can be seen to contain some of his best writing, and to offer a wide-ranging exploration of the different landscapes which make up the imagination of this extraordinary Australian writer. Five of the six loosely connected stories also trace a journey through the suburbs of Melbourne in the 1960s, as the writer negotiates the conflicting demands of Catholicism and sex, self-consciousness and intimacy, alcohol and literature. The sixth story, ‘The Battle of Acosta Nu’, is remarkable for its depth of emotion, as it imagines a Paraguayan man imagining a country called Australia, while his son sickens and dies before his eyes.

If you are interested in writing a review of Landscape with Landscape for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Writing to the Wire edited by Dan Disney and Kit Kelen UWA Publishing 2016  http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/writing-to-the-wire

Writing_in_the_WireThe seeking of asylum in Australia has been politicised in recent decades. Our national conversation has vilified people fleeing persecution and desensitised the Australian polity to human suffering. We are further marginalising the most vulnerable groups in the world and at greater expense than accommodating refugees in the community. What impact does this have upon our collective ethics and national identity? And if our public conversation is steering us into murky moral territory, where may a dissenting voice be heard? Writing to the Wire is a collection of poems by Australians and people who would like to be Australians. It is a book about the idea of being Australian. It is about who we are and who we would rather be. Writing to the Wire offers new ways to understand injustice, to speak out and tell stories. Poetry can show us what we’re thinking and feeling in a way our politics has failed to do.

If you are interested in writing a review of Writing to the Wire for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Anatomy of Voice by David Musgrave Gloria SMH Press 2016 http://gloriasmh.com/books/anatomy-of-voice/

AnatomOfVoiceIn this book-length poem, (which starts in a manner reminiscent of Beckett’s Company), the isness of voice is its central preoccupation: it is considered from as many different aspects as there are parts to this multiform poem. Highly exploratory, with words sometimes rising from or inspired by selected Renaissance wood-cut engravings, Anatomy of Voice is divided into four Partitions – across which are lyricised the shiftings of the question ‘what is a voice’, and the poem’s speculative and evocative answers. The book is simultaneously warmly personal and scholarly, intimate and learned, a felt meditation created as a tribute to the late Bill Maidment, a teacher whose influence on the author.

If you are interested in writing a review of Anatomy of Voice for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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This is What Gives Us Time by Kevin Brophy Gloria SMH Press 2016 http://gloriasmh.com/books/this-is-what-gives-us-time/

this is what time gives usThis book of poems was written over one intense year of writing, at the B. R. Whiting Studio in Rome during an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship. While Brophy’s poems are, on the one hand, often deeply steeped in this sensate, embodied Roman experience, the particular becomes universal as in all powerful poetry. This is what gives us time is at heart a dance of dualities and their volatile questions, of which the poetry is delicately aware. In this, Brophy exemplifies an ethical, even moral, determination. The work is underlined by love, never sentimentally, both romantic, and for one’s fellow humans and creatures.

If you are interested in writing a review of This is What Gives Us Time for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Who Said What, Exactly by Hartman Wallis. Finlay Lloyd 2016. http://finlaylloyd.com/

who said whatWho Said What, Exactly is an unusual object – a book of playful, punchy, iconoclastic poetry with colourful paintings on its first pages and drawings throughout.

If you are interested in writing a review of Who Said What, Exactly for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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The List of Last Remaining by Louise Nicholas. Five Island Press 2016 http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/the-list-of-last-remaining-louise-nicholas

list of last remainingThe 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

List of Last Remaining Is currently out for review.

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Burnt Umber by Paul Hetherington UWAP 2016 http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/burnt-umber

burnt_Umber“In this expansive and exciting collection, Hetherington moves with power and grace through an impressive range of form and content. The poems burst with tense and detailed images, shot through with meditations on grief, absence and hope. The work in Burnt Umber is always controlled, and full of colour. Here is a poet at the height of his powers singing what it means to be alive”. Professor Nigel McLoughlin, University of Gloucestershire.

Burnt Umber has been reviewed https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/07/19/hetheringtons-touch-is-light-and-deft-glenda-guest-reviews-burnt-umber/.

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Bull Days by Tina Giannoukos. Australian Scholarly Publishing 2016

bull daysThe poems in Bull Days grapple with desire, ethics and compassion. From the first, the speaker confronts the challenges of today’s world. Language becomes the ground of the undoing of a relationship that we are not certain has begun. Perhaps it may yet emerge out of the speaker’s contemplation. Multi-voiced, this sequence of fifty-eight sonnets explores the contemporary possibilities of the form.

Bull Days has been reviewed https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/12/09/echoes-hauntings-and-play-lucy-wilks-reviews-bull-days-by-tina-giannoukos/.

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June 2016

False Nostalgia by Aden Rolfe Giramondo 2016.  http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/false-nostalgia/

false nostalgiaFalse Nostalgia is rare among poetry collections, a work which is both lyrical and philosophical. It explores the way memory works, and the role memory plays in our sense of identity, and what we take to be the significant moments in our lives – the relationship between what we remember and the stories we tell about ourselves. Through stand-alone poems, exploratory poetic sequences, and essays which read like extended prose poems, Rolfe considers the complex connections between experience and recollection, the drive to document the moment, the fear of forgetting, the power of nostalgia, and the creative unreliability of memory itself. He approaches his subjects from oblique angles, evoking feelings of connection and disconnection, the experience of never quite grasping your own understanding of things. The poems place the reader in half-remembered places – on beaches walked during holidays, in festival gatherings and forests, film screenings and auction houses – asking not only what it means to look back fondly on a second-rate experience, but what it means to look forward to looking back on a moment while you’re still living through it.

If you are interested in writing a review of False Nostalgia for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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The Apocalypse Awards by Nathan Curnow. Arcadia/Australian Scholarly Publishing 2016  http://www.scholarly.info/book/476/

The Apocalypse Awards‘Nathan Curnow’s poems reveal a willingness to take risks – with form, subject-matter and technique. His eye for detail and ear for exquisite music have always been hallmarks of his work, and The Apocalypse Awards is testament to these gifts. Arresting imagery, deft shaping of line and control of breath are in abundance. This is Curnow’s finest book to date.’ – Anthony Lawrence

The Apocalypse Awards has been reviewed https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/12/08/a-cacophony-of-art-and-story-that-ranges-from-the-absurd-to-the-downright-terrifying-anna-forsyth-reviews-the-apocalypse-awards-by-nathan-curnow/

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Comfort Food by Ellen van Neerven. UQP 2016  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1390/Comfort%20Food

comfort foodFollowing on from the success of her award-winning fiction debut, Heat and Light, Ellen van Neerven announces herself as a talented poet with this assured collection. Moving between places and cultures, Comfort Food explores identity, sovereignty and the restless quest for love. Using food as her inspiration, van Neerven offers a cross-cultural vision of the exotic and the familiar. This sensuous volume sets a new benchmark in contemporary Australian poetry.

If you are interested in writing a review of Comfort Food for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Troppo by Madelaine Dickie. Freemantle Press 2016  https://www.fremantlepress.com.au/products/troppo

troppoBlack magic, big waves and mad Aussie expats. In Indonesia, Penny is drifting, partying, hanging out – a thousand miles away from claustrophobic Perth and her career-minded boyfriend. But things take a dangerous turn when she goes to work at Shane’s Sumatran Oasis. Caught up in the hostility directed at Shane, and flirting and surfing with the hell-man Matt, Penny soon finds herself swept into a world where two very different cultures must collide.

If you are interested in writing a review of Troppo for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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The Sound by Sarah Drummond. Freemantle Press 2016  https://www.fremantlepress.com.au/products/the-sound

the soundWiremu Heke of Aramoana joins a sealing boat on a voyage from Tasmania to Western Australia. He is on a quest to avenge the destruction of his village but soon finds himself a part of the violent and lawless world that has claimed the lives of those he’s known. It’s a world inhabited by men from many nations. Men who plunder seal colonies and steal women and children from the indigenous communities who live on the islands and shorelines of Australia’s south.

The Sound has been reviewed.

 

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May 2016

Ecstasy Lake by Alastair Sarre Wakefield Press http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1269&cat=0&page=1

ecstasy lakeHidden in the outback, somewhere near Ecstasy Lake, is a massive gold deposit worth billions of dollars. Steve West, mining engineer and ex-AFL footballer, is the third person to know about it. The second is his good mate Tasso – loud, brilliant, filthy rich and just possibly mad. The first has just been brutally murdered. A goldmine like this is just the thing to turn a man’s fortunes around. It might even change the fortunes of the state. All Steve and Tasso need do is play their cards right, which means keeping their discovery a secret, staying out of gang wars, and trying not to get killed.

If you are interested in writing a review of Ecstasy Lake for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Invisible Mending by Mike Ladd.  Wakefield Press 2016 http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1284

invisible mendingMike Ladd’s new collection, Invisible Mending ranges across genres including essay, memoir, short story and poetry. Based loosely on the ideas of scarring and healing, Invisible Mending extends from family intimacies to connection and disconnection in the Australian community, environmental damage and repair. It also has an international view. Parts of it were written at an artist’s residency in Malaysia and while travelling through South America.

If you are interested in writing a review of Invisible Mending for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Here Where We Live by Cassie Flanagan Willanski Wakefield Press 2016  http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1283

here where we liveBrave and beautifully written, the stories that make up Here Where We Live chart the relationships white Australians have with the land and the Indigenous people they share it with. A woman moves her three young children south in search of rain; a girl throws her glasses in the river to avoid bearing witness to uncomfortable truths; a boy involved in an act of desecration becomes a man with an identity crisis at an Indigenous healing ceremony; a pair of desperadoes take lessons in love from a woman and the ghost of her lifelong partner. Cassie Flanagan Willanski’s debut collection is about the invisible threads that connect us to old griefs, and the situations that give us courage for an uncertain future.

Here Where We Live has been reviewed https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/12/21/room-for-reflection-annette-marfording-reviews-here-where-we-live-by-cassie-flanagan-willanski/

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Educated Youth by Ye Xin (translated by Jing Han) Giramondo 2016 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/educated-youth/

YeXin-EducatedYouthDuring the Cultural Revolution over fourteen million Chinese high school graduates were sent from the cities to live and work in the countryside. They were known as zhiqing – ‘educated youth’. They fell in love, married, had children. In the late 1970s the policy changed and they were allowed to return, but not their families. Many jumped at the opportunity, leaving spouses and children behind. Ten years later the children, now teenagers, began to turn up in the cities, looking for their parents. Educated Youth follows five such children, who have travelled across China from a province in the south west to Shanghai in the east, only to discover that their mothers and fathers have remarried, and have new families, in which there is no room for them. Their reappearance brings out the worst in the parents – their duplicity, greed and self-interest – and the best too, as they struggle to come to terms with their sense of love and duty.

If you are interested in writing a review of Educated Youth for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Days of Wine and Bruises: Selected Poems 1996-2016 by Justin Lowe Bluepepper 2016 http://au.blurb.com/b/6589262-days-of-wine-and-bruises-selected-poems-1996-2016

days of wine and bruisesJustin Lowe was born in Sydney but spent large portions of his early childhood on the Spanish island of Minorca with his younger sister and artist mother. Completing his schooling back in Sydney, Justin gained a BA in the Central West of NSW and then spent several years in Europe working odd jobs and honing his skills as a writer. On returning again to Sydney, Justin settled down with his partner in what was then a fairly crusty Newtown teeming with disparate souls where through the course of the 1990’s he published more and more of his poetry and collaborated with some of Sydney’s finest songwriters such as Tim Freedman of The Whitlams as well as editing seminal poetry mag Homebrew and releasing two collections, From Church to Alice (1996) and Try Laughter (2000). In 2001 Justin moved to the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and has since published one more poetry collection (Glass Poems, 2006) and two verse novels (The Great Big Show, 2007 and Magellenica, 2008). He currently edits the on-line journal Bluepepper

If you are interested in writing a review of Days of Wine and Bruises: Selected Poems 1996-2016 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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April 2016

Jack & Mollie (& Her) by Jordie Albiston UQP 2016  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/book.aspx/1387/Jack%20-%20Mollie%20–%20Her-

jack& Mollie & herA striking new work from one of Australia’s most inventive poets. Vibrantly playful and formally extraordinary, Albiston’s exuberant long poem captures the voices of two very likeable dogs and their unlikely owner, offering a gloriously oblique portrait of the canine adventures that map a household. Jack and Mollie’s observant commentary on ‘Her’ give the book its emotional compass, while the syllabic structure and dynamic rhythms lend it muscle and pulse.

If you are interested in writing a review of Jack & Mollie (& Her) for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Hang him when he is not there by Nicholas John Turner Savage Motif 2015  http://www.savagemotif.com/

hang himThe debut collection of fiction by Nicholas John Turner describes a world on the fringes of great art; editors, audiences, academics, amateurs, lovers, failures, onlookers and innocent bystanders. Written predominantly in first person, each of these elusive stories emerges from its narrator’s mind and works its way under the reader’s skin. From a Centenarian stuck in a shrinking Parisian apartment, to twins arranging escorts on the Caribbean Coast; in place of clear narratives, straightforward logic, and neatly extractable meaning, Turner imposes the strange and irreducible philosophies of his marginal narrators. The effect is a series of curious and intimate profiles that brings an unnerving denominator to the surface, and takes the reader where mere pointing will not. Darkly comic, intellectually playful, its complexity unfolding with originality and deftness, Hang Him When He Is Not There is a meditation on the relationship between artists and subjects, creations and beholders, and ultimately between violence and victims.

If you are interested in writing a review of Hang him when he is not there for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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A Perfect Distortion (Een Perfecte Vervorming) by Marietta Elliott-Kleerkoper, translated by Joris Lenstra.   https://www.hybridpublishers.com.au/product/a-perfect-distortion/

Perfect-DistortionThis is a moving and deeply evocative collection of poems, photographs and paintings. Most are based on nature, especially the Darebin Parklands which the poet loves. Marietta explores themes of light, friendship, illness and immortality. The poems were translated into Dutch by Joris Lenstra, a Dutch writer, translator and editor. He received his MA in Literature from the Dutch University of Utrecht in 2002 and has edited and translated several books.

If you are interested in writing a review of A Perfect Distortion (Een Perfecte Vervorming) for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Dawn the Proof by Tony Page Hybrid Press 2016  https://www.hybridpublishers.com.au/product/dawn-the-proof/

Dawn the proof.
The poems in this collection impress with their truth, beauty and craft. Compelling subjects are dealt with strongly yet delicately, while history is exposed to personal scrutiny, and made intimate. Cultures and landscapes are woven with new-found connections, nudging us to look at ourselves from a questioning angle – and exult in the vision.

If you are interested in writing a review of Dawn the Proof for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Reflections on a Temporary Self by Grant Caldwell. Collective Effort Press 2016  http://www.collectiveeffortpress.com/

reflections on a temporary selfAfter more than thirty years, this selection brings Grant Caldwell’s work into a sharper focus and perspective. ” Four nearly three decades Grant Caldwell has written some of the more interesting and fearless poetry in Australia” (Nocholas Powell Cordite Review 2011). The range and variety of form and approach is immediately apparetn but the attitude is always direct, even when the form is complex. So sit back and read, and be prepared for surprises.

If you are interested in writing a review of Reflections on a Temporary Self for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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101 Poems by John Foulcher Pitt Street Poetry 2015

101 poems jfNew in 2016: 101 Poems – the best poems from 9 collections published over 30 years. Launched by Geoff Page in Canberra in November 2015101 Poems is the first in a new series of selected poems from Pitt Street Poetry which will bring together the best work of Australia’s leading poets as collectable, definitive editions. Foulcher’s poetry is the paradigm of the poetry Pitt Street Poetry publishes: thoughtful, superbly crafted, witty, personal and profound. 101 Poems collects work published in nine collections over a thirty year period, from Light Pressure (1982) to The Sunset Assumption (2012).

If you are interested in writing a review of 101 Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Gods and Uncles by Geoff Page Pitt Street Poetry 2015  http://pittstreetpoetry.com/geoff-page/

gods and unclesIn his new collection the peerless, prolific Geoff Page sweeps from the leery relatives of his past to the no less cryptic deities of his future. There are many wry chuckles – the existential problem of shirts, or Auden vs the indigent. Meanwhile his bovine gods have tougher questions to answer:

This classic collection of Page-turning poems, light and dark, wry and weary, will delight his legions of loyal fans, not least the ABC’s legendary Adelaide radio host Peter Goers, who recently declared Geoff Page ‘Australia’s finest living poet’.

If you are interested in writing a review of Gods and Uncles for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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March 2016

Napoleon’s Roads by David Brooks UQP 2016  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1376/Napoleon

Napoleon'sA writer questions the architecture of words, struggling to capture his ideas before they are lost; a husband excavating beneath his house becomes mesmerised by silence and disappears in search of solitude; a lighthouse keeper dreams that he is a man dreaming that he is the keeper of a lighthouse. Magnificent in its scope and imagery, David Brooks’ mastery of the written word is eclipsed in this thought-provoking collection. Both evocative and experimental, Brooks’ stories conjure fragments of memory and time, capturing streetscapes and heartscapes in a mosaic-style splendour. Lyrical and perceptive, brave and illuminating, Napoleon’s Roads explores the richness of language and the possibilities of expression, while exemplifying some of the most sophisticated, polished and beautiful contemporary literature in Australia today.

Napoleon’s Roads has been reviewed https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/12/15/the-writer-narrator-takes-the-reader-by-the-hand-carmel-bird-reviews-napoleons-roads-by-david-brooks/

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See You at Breakfast? by Guillermo Fadanelli (translated by Alice Whitmore)  Giramondo 2016 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/see-you-at-breakfast/

See-You-at-BreakfastGuillermo Fadanelli is one of Mexico’s leading authors, and appears in English for the first time in this translation of See You at Breakfast? by the young Australian translator Alice Whitmore. Set in modern-day Mexico City, the novella follows the lives of four characters: Cristina, a practical-minded prostitute managing work, police harassment and the demands of the men who fall in love with her; Ulises, a solitary office worker obsessed by a promotion he will never receive; his friend Adolfo, a part-trained veterinarian who dispenses medical advice though he can’t distinguish between a dog and a coyote; and the neighbour with whom he is infatuated, the beautiful and sheltered Olivia, the daughter of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose violent assault brings them together as a group. By turns humorous and menacing, See You at Breakfast? is reminiscent of Carver and Bukowski, and a vital contribution to contemporary Mexican literature.

If you are interested in writing a review of See You at Breakfast? for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Word Migrants by Hazel Smith Giramondo 2016  http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/word-migrants/

Word-MigrantsHazel Smith’s new poetry collection engages in a direct way with contemporary political and social issues – civil war and the flight of populations, oppressive regimes and the disappearance of dissidents, the unpredictable effects of climate change – relating these issues to the personal experience of death and dementia, abuse and disability and childlessness. The poems project intense psychological states of indecisiveness, anxiety, disorientation and guilt, making use of surreal conjunctions and metaphor to dramatise the sense of unease. Smith is a new media artist and musician, and the poems employ a variety of techniques drawn from these fields, flourishes of linguistic coloratura, the evocation of virtual realities, cutting and pasting from the internet, remixing, sampling and quotation, to drive home their effects.

If you are interested in writing a review of Word Migrants for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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The Party of Life by Beth Spencer ASM/Flying Island Books 2015  http://bethspencer.com/blog/books/the-party-of-life/

party of lifeThe Party of Life explores love, death, family, gender, sexuality, class and belonging. It is also about what is left unsaid — the gaps and juxtapositions — within and through which we create meaning and relationship. The poems and prose poems chosen for this book span thirty years of writing and publishing and include work from Things in a Glass Box, How to Conceive of a Girl, Vagabondage and some as yet uncollected pieces. These poems and prose poems were selected and translated into Mandarin by Ruby Chen, with additional translations by Iris Fan.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Party of Life for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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February 2016

Broken Teeth by Tony Birch. Cordite Books 2016. http://corditebooks.org.au/products/broken-teeth

birch-broken-teethI wrote many poems before I published a single word of fiction, short or long. Some of the poems I was happy with. Others were terrible. Thankfully, most of the bad stuff was never published, although a couple of the more atrocious ones were. I hope they’re being taught somewhere as examples of bad writing and giving students a laugh. The poems of mine that I’m most happy with, while not being ‘found’ poems, riff off the political words of others, hammered into shape with anger, and sometimes caressed with love. Other institutional words, phrases and sentences I picked up along the way, interrogating them until they confessed their hidden meaning. Any dictatorship worth its violent salt executes the poets first. It is the way it should be, as a great poem cuts through the crap and goes for the heart and heat like a double-barrelled shotgun. –Tony Birch

If you are interested in writing a review of Broken Teeth for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Common Sexual Fantasies Ruined by Rachael Briggs Cordite Books 2016http://corditebooks.org.au/products/common-sexual-fantasies-ruined

briggs-common-sexual-fantasies-ruinedA guided meditation, proceeding backwards through the four parts ofCommon Sexual Fantasies, Ruined:

Goldfish Oil: Consider an orange. It has many pleasing features: bright peel, pungent scent, pleasing heft in your hand. But none of these features is the orange. You could paint the orange purple, de-scent it, dangle it in zero gravity … and it would remain an orange. Where, then, is the essence of the orange? Whence its orangeness?…….

If you are interested in writing a review of Common Sexual Fantasies Ruined for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Nothing Sacred by Linda Weste Australian Scholarly Publishing 2015  http://www.scholarly.info/book/443/

nothings-sacredThey may have been born privileged into the Claudii Pulchri family, but siblings Clodius Pulchri and Clodia Metelli are firebrands: kindred spirits; brazen, impetuous, headstrong; determined to live by their own rules. Together they incite the wrath of Rome’s elite – and in particular, Cicero. But nothing is sacred in late Republican Rome – and rules keep changing when change threatens to rule …

The vagaries of the period are brought to vibrant life through the eyes and exploits of Clodius and Clodia in this historical novel in verse.

Nothing Sacred has been reviewed https://rochfordstreetreview.com/2016/04/19/is-there-such-a-thing-as-inner-crookedness-susan-hawthorne-reviews-nothing-sacred-by-linda-weste/.

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First Person Shooter by Cameron Raynes MidnightSun Publishing 2016  http://midnightsunpublishing.com/books/first-person-shooter/

First-Person-ShooterJayden lives with his father on the edge of a small country town. He stutters and is addicted to video games. His best friend Shannon knows how to handle a rifle. When her mum is released from prison, the town waits to see whether her sociopathic stepson Pete will exact revenge for the manslaughter of his father. Caught with ammunition at school and suspended, Jayden’s world disintegrates. As a drug war erupts, Pete gears up for his violent assault. Will it be left to Jayden to stop him?

If you are interested in writing a review of First Person Shooter for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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The Outsider and his Indignant Eye: The Art and Philosophy of a Passionate Iconoclast: George Morant. Text by Michael Richards. Ocean Books 2016.  http://www.oceanbooks.com.au/product/outsider-and-his-indignant-eye/

The outsider and his indignant eyeOutsider Artists live on the margins of the art community, but they are not failed insiders or “wannabes”. They are determined individualists, who paint with passionate intensity and honesty about the world they know, and they care nothing for the commercial art market and gallery system. Author Michael Richards explores Outsider Art through the work and philosophy of an extraordinary Australian painter, George Morant, a self-taught artist who began painting while mining opal at Lightning Ridge in outback New South Wales in the 1960s.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Outsider and his Indignant Eye for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Koel by Jen Crawford Cordite Books 2016 http://corditebooks.org.au/products/koel

crawford-koelI wrote most of this book on campus in Singapore, surrounded by a ring of jungle that couldn’t encroach as fast as it was being thinned out. The circles and mosses of that location tilt and transect others – Auckland, Bicol, an empty Bangkok penthouse, and somewhere else, entirely see-through. It seemed important to be as close to sleep as possible, so I closed windows and wore headphones. Not to shut things out or make them stranger, but to soften and modulate the tensions of exchange. In Bangkok, excavators swim up and down the canals. They float on barges and scoop themselves through the water. The water pools and resists, carrying places to places on its way. In the ‘epoch of simultaneity’ not all spaces are equally accessible to thought or description. Rituals of immersion, of the maze and the gate, may not open anything but the body’s ability to accumulate and to disperse, to be near and far, here and there. Memory, presence and imagination fold and run together. I was looking for gaps to step through, for ways both forward and back.

If you are interested in writing a review of She Woke and Rose for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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She Woke & Rose by Autumn Royal Cordite Books 2016  http://corditebooks.org.au/products/she-woke-and-rose

autumn royalShe Woke & Rose is an obsession with interiors, an attempt to forge openings, to merge letters as means of release, slowly, slowly feels the longing, the fractures and the loss. ‘When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verse – it does not mean – me – but a supposed person’, Emily Dickinson reveals. Here are multiple voices and personas rising and falling after their flowering periods. Alice Notley stresses that ‘words are one way to get at reality/poetry, what we’re in all the time’.

If you are interested in writing a review of She Woke and Rose for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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Lichen Stone by Jen Crawford Tinfish Press 2015  http://tinfishpress.com/?projects=lichen-loves-stone

lichen stoneIn Over Hear, Lisa Samuels describes Jen Crawford as “a transcultural poet whose poems think with the body.” They also think through lush word-sounds toward the world existing outside of us: lichen, stones, weeds, an abandoned house, flies. Crawford’s poems live in the pivot “between the seen unfelt and the felt unseen.” This chapbook provides a good introduction to the important work of a poet born in Aotearoa/New Zealand, who has also lived in the Philippines, Singapore, and now Australia.

If you are interested in writing a review of ALichen Stonee for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  contact@rochfordstreetreview.com.

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A Winged Horse in a Plane by Salah Faik (translated by Maged Zaher) Tinfish Press 2015  http://tinfishpress.com/?projects=a-winged-horse-in-a-plane

wingedhouseIn his brief preface to A Winged Horse in a Plane, Maged Zaher writes of Salah Faik: “Salah is against all authorities, including his own: he reinvents himself incessantly and he told me, ‘if I saw Salah Faik I would devour him, I would kill him.’” Faik’s poems waver between the documentary and the surrealist, the angry and the resigned, the lyrical and the mythical. This chapbook provides an excellent introduction to an important Arab poet.

A Winged Horse in a Plane is currently out for review.

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January 2016

Rabbit Heart by Tracey McGuire Hit & Miss Productions 2016

Rabbit HeartFour ageing Braybrook boys make their annual pilgrimage to the Bluestone Hotel on the anniversary of the West Gate Bridge collapse. Even Dianne has secured an invite his time, but only because she has to drop her father home to Mt Macedon on her back to the farm. It’s a chance to share a beer and laugh about work pranks, nobbled greyhounds and inflated sporting achievements, but today’s remembering is more urgent than usual. It’s last drinks at the Bluestone  for one of them….

If you are interested in writing a review of Rabbit Heart for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between by Matt Potter Červená Barva Press, 2015.  http://www.thelostbookshelf.com/cervenabooks.html#Hamburgers%20and%20Berliners

BerlinMatt Potter decided to do something about the world’s longest mid-life crisis he was then suffering, and at 42, moved to live in Germany. During the time he spent in Hamburg and Berlin, he wrote regular emails to those he thought might be interested in what he was experiencing. Later, at the suggestion of many who received them – “Reading them, we feel like we’re there!” – these emails (much like letters in former days) have been collected in Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between. Amusing, revelatory and absorbing, the book is not just about discovering what you want from life, but also what you have to give.

If you are interested in writing a review of Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Words Breathe, Creatures of Elsewhere by Nhã Thuyên (translated by Kaitlin Rees) Vagabond Press/Asia Pacific Poetry.  http://vagabondpress.net/collections/frontpage/products/nha-thuyen-words-breathe-creatures-of-elsewhere

NhaThuyenFor Nhã Thuyên, to write poetry is to listen to the lives of words, to sense their heartbeats, to admire their faces. It is an action that is passionate, overflowing, and at the same time, insecure and restless. In Nhã Thuyên’s understanding, the word, as an alive being, is easily vulnerable. Nhã Thuyên’s poetry is that of one who thrusts herself into an infinite confusion, who doubts the inevitability of every border, who wonders at the clarity of structures. The confusion, doubts, and wonders inside this collection of poetry, are in fact what transform into a great pleasure for the writer, and which in turn, unfurl into a pleasure for the readers, inviting them to play together in the space of uncertainty, confusion, ambiguity, among the drifting words, rhythms, and imaginings.

If you are interested in writing a review of Words Breathe, Creatures of Elsewhere  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Quiet City by Carol Lefevre Wakefiled Press 2016  http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1270

quiet cityOrdinary lives are revealed as extraordinary, as Carol Lefevre traces the stories of West Terrace Cemetery’s little-known inhabitants: there is the tale of the man who fatally turned his back on a tiger, and the man who avoided one shipwreck only to perish in another; there is the story of the young woman who came home from a dance and drank belladonna, and those who died at the hands of one of South Australia’s most notorious abortionists. Said to be the most poetic place in Adelaide, in this heritage-listed burial ground the beginnings of the colony of South Australia are still within reach. Amid a sea of weather-bleached monuments, the excavated remains of Australia’s oldest crematorium can be seen, and its quietest corner shelters the country’s first dedicated military cemetery. From archives, and headstones, the author recovers histories that time and weather threaten to obliterate.

If you are interested in writing a review of Quiet City for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The White Room Poems by Anne Kellas Walleah Press 2015  http://store.walleahpress.com.au/ANNE-KELLAS-The-White-Room-Poems_p_72.html

thewhiteroompoems715The White Room Poems will take your breath and your heart away, and they might not return them … We long for poetry that was never likely to be made, and now miraculously made, we would not want to change a word of it. This poetry is like that. It is a township of birds, an alphabet of clouds, a rain of wondrous phrases that will take you to the unbearable fringes… – Kevin Brophy

If you are interested in writing a review of The White Room Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Weaving Nests with Smoke and Stone by Gina Mercer Walleah Press 2015  http://store.walleahpress.com.au/Gina-Mercer–Weaving-nests-with-smoke-and-stone_p_71.html

Gina MercerGina Mercer enjoys a three-stranded career as a writer, teacher and editor. She’s taught in universities and communities for nearly 30 years. She’s a former editor of Island. She’s published four collections of poetry: The Ocean in the Kitchen (1999); Night Breathing (2006); Handfeeding the Crocodile (2007); and Seasoned with Honey (with 3 other poets, 2008). She’s published a novel, Parachute Silk (2001), plus two academic books. She’s currently revelling in Tasmania. Weaving nests with smoke and stone is Gina Mercer’s fifth poetry collection

If you are interested in writing a review of Weaving nests with smoke and stone for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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December 2015

Keeper of a Great Memory by M. G. Michael. Owl Publishing 2015 http://www.owlpublishing.com.au/chapbook-series.html

keepers of a great memoryM.G. Michael was born in Sydney, the son of a Greek-Cypriot father and Greek mother. He holds a PhD from the Australian Catholic University and is presently an Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Wollongong, in the School of Information Systems and Technology. Michael’s poetry and short stories have previously been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Southerly, Coastlines, Westerly, Ulitarra, Studio and Five Bells, and his essays have appeared in Quadrant and The Conversation.

If you are interested in writing a review of Keeper of a Great Memory for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Happiness by Martin Harrison, UWA Publsihing, 2015  http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/poetry/products/happiness

Happiness_coverMartin Harrison (1949-2014) prepared and delivered this final manuscript at the end of a prolific creative life. With the vulnerability of a lover, the poet peels back one cover of truth after another; reckless for the evidence of the senses, he sifts light, sound and smell. Poems like the skin of a world: breathing, walking, touching. Martin Harrison’s culminating poetic achievement is a crossing over, stylistically, thematically, emotionally. Mapping the tragic chiasmus of love and death, it finally asserts the transcendent power of poetry to bear witness, to join us in a greater communion. Cosmopolitan and local, these triumphs of a ‘late style’ remind us what poetry is when its mastery allows the irony of existence to walk naked and to exult.

If you are interested in writing a review of Happiness for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Best Australian Essays 2015 Edited by Geordie Williamson, Black Inc 2015.  http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/best-australian-essays-2015

Best-Essays-2015In The Best Australian Essays 2015, Geordie Williamson compiles the year’s outstanding short non-fiction. Read Helen Garner on condescension, DBC Pierre on travel, Ceridwen Dovey on autobiography, Tim Winton on injury, Anna Krien on first love, and Nicolas Rothwell on the northern coast. With bracing essays on politics, music, literature, history, art, sport and more, this impressive anthology will entrance, stimulate and entertain.

Sebastian Smee • Anwen Crawford • Maria Tumarkin • Tim Flannery • Nadia Wheatley • James Bradley • Tim Winton • Gerard Elson • Rebecca Giggs • Alison Croggon • Mungo MacCallum • Sophie Cunningham • Jeff Sparrow • Nicolas Rothwell • Karen Hitchcock • Tegan Bennett Daylight • Drusilla Modjeska • Noel Pearson • Delia Falconer • Kirsten Tranter • Stephen Romei • Helen Garner • Anna Krien • Guy Rundle • Ceridwen Dovey • Matthew Lamb • Ashley Hay • Christian Ryan • David Walsh • Mark Mordue • Felicity Plunkett • DBC Pierre.

The Best Australian Essays 2015 is out for review.

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The Best Australian Stories 2015 Edited by Amanda Lohrey, Black Inc 2015http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/best-australian-stories-2015

Best-Stories-2015In The Best Australian Stories 2015, Amanda Lohrey, winner of the Patrick White Award and author of the acclaimed novel A Short History of Richard Kline, curates twenty pieces of exceptional short fiction.

In this wide-ranging collection, there are stories that will surprise, unsettle and beguile readers. Familiar subjects are examined from new perspectives: a teenage girl sneaks into a famous film director’s study and steals his diaries; the life of Picasso is reimagined in miniature vignettes. And new life is breathed into the most universal of experiences: birth, death, love and loss. The mother of a girl with hearing difficulties watches her child grow into increasing independence. A young woman makes a poignant voyage to the site of her brother’s suicide.

Goldie Goldbloom • John A Scott • Claire Corbett • Cate Kennedy • Melissa Beit • Colin Oehring • Gay Lynch • Eleanor Limprecht • Julie Koh • Jo Lennan • Omar Musa • Ryan O’Neill • Sarah Klenbort • Jo Case • Balli Kaur Jaswal • Jennifer Down • Nick Couldwell • Nicola Redhouse • Annette Trevitt • Mark Smith

The Best Australian Short Stories 2015 is out for review.

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The Best Australian Poems 2015 edited by Geoff Page, Black Inc 2015.  http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/best-australian-poems-2015

Best-Poems-2015In The Best Australian Poems 2015, you will find the who’s who of contemporary poets and the pick of new voices. Sometimes satirical, sometimes erotic, covering family, religion, war and mortality, Geoff Page’s selection celebrates the vital, the vigorous and the graceful voices that populate our poetry scene.

Robert Adamson • Jordie Albiston • Judith Beveridge • Eileen Chong • Joe Dolce • Lin Van Hek • Nigel Roberts • Robyn Rowland • Jennifer Compton • Kevin Hart • Lisa Gorton • Clive James • Rozanna Lilley • Tony Page • Michael Sharkey • Chris Wallace-Crabbe • Fiona Wright • Jakob Ziguras • Les Murray • Fay Zwicky • Jamie Grant • Lucy Dougan • Ali Cobby Eckermann • Kevin Brophy • Billy Marshall Stoneking • Bruce Dawe • Anne Elvey • Geoff Goodfellow • Jennifer Maiden • AND MANY MORE . . .

If you are interested in writing a review of The Best Australian Poems 2015 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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October 2015

The Fox Petition by Jennifer Maiden. Giramondo Publishing 2015 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/forthcoming/the-fox-petition/

Maiden-The-Fox-PetitionJennifer Maiden’s new collection of poems deals with xenophobia and the rejection of otherness, whether immigrant or domestic. It takes as its emblem the fox, representing our fear of the introduced and ill-reputed, but its title also refers to the petition of the great Whig statesman, Charles James Fox, for the rights of all people, including freedom of speech and habeas corpus. Fox himself is the subject of some of the poems; as are Julie Bishop and Tanya Plibersek, Penny Wong and Gillian Trigg, Joan Baez and Mary Travers, in a study of the intimate qualities of ‘the female duet’ and the role of empathy in public life. Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt reflect on poverty and human rights in Iowa, Kevin Rudd tries to explain Manus Island to Dietrich Bonhoeffer: these conversations are a vital part of Maiden’s technique, her ability to trace the flow of thought or pursue an argument, using the rhythms and enjambments of the poetic line, to light up her subject in unexpected and telling ways.

The Fox Petition is currently out for review

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Swept Away: A Collection of Song Lyrics. School of Music Poets: Occasional Pamphlets No. 5 2015. Canberra. 

Swept Away: Song lyrics“The School of Music (SOM) Poets is an ekphrastic writing group that aims to explore the relationship between poetry. music and other art forms by providing a variety of artistic experiences for its members for poetic response.”

This project was a opportunity for SOM Poets who had never composed words for a song to stretch their comfort zones and have a go at being lyricists.

Swept Away: A Collection of Song Lyrics is out for review

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From Now On Everything Will Be Different by Eliza Vitri Handayani. Vagabond Press 2015  http://vagabondpress.net/collections/frontpage/products/eliza-vitri-handayani-from-now-on-everything-will-be-different

from now everything will be differentAs democratic reforms swept Indonesia in the late nineties, the nation’s young generation asked themselves: what does it mean to be free? Spanning fifteen years, this novel follows the struggles and hopes, loves and disappointments of two young Indonesians who came of age during Reformasi. Following the entwined paths of Julita and Rizky as they struggle to break free from a pattern of repeated disappointments and define themselves, Handayani presents a portrait of the changing and complex reality of contemporary Indonesia, and of the younger generation born out of revolution. From Now On Everything Will Be Different is a compelling study of freedom and love, community and conformity, told with humour, sensuality and a subtly sharp political intelligence.

Note: Vagabond Press has just received confirmation that Eliza Vitri Handayani’s launch of ‘From Now On Everything Will Be Different’ has been dropped from the Ubud Festival as part of the ban prohibiting events relating to Indonesia’s 1965 communist purges that has already meant the cancellation of panel sessions on 1965, Joshua Oppenheimer’s film ‘The Look of Silence’, an art exhibition and the launch of ‘The Act of Living’.

Eliza’s novel focuses on the experience of growing up during the Reformasi period first and foremost and is in the end a clear-eyed but optimistic vision of Indonesia. In the last few weeks, Eliza took part in events at the Frankfurt Book Fair where Indonesia was the guest of honour and her work was well-received by an international audience. It’s a sad shame that the banning of her launch along with the other events suggests that some gains of the Reformasi period are being rolled back.

From Now On Everything Will Be Different is currently out for review

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Ghost River by Tony Birch. UQP 2015  http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1365/Ghost%20River

ghost riverArchie Kemp knows trouble when he sees it, and he sees it when 13-year-old Sonny Brewer moves in next door. But life for the dirt-poor kid of an alcoholic father in hard-knocks Collingwood can be brutal, violent even, so it’s lucky for Sonny he finds a friend in Archie’s stepson, Ren … and both boys find freedom and adventure along the winding banks of the Yarra. They are not alone. The River Boys – Tex, Cold Can, Big Tiny, Tallboy and the Doc, homeless men who live along the Yarra where they can drink in peace – welcome the boys into their mob and share their river secrets. Elsewhere, the daughter of a reverend in the cult church of Father Jealous Divine finds refuge on its shaded banks. Time and again, the river shields the boys from the attentions of vicious bent cop Sergeant Foy and from the local gangsters who bankroll him– the same crooks for whom Sonny is forced to work when his father finally abandons him altogether. But progress comes to this forgotten corner of Melbourne disguised as the surveyors and earthmovers brought in to build the freeway that will destroy this precious stretch of river forever and, with it, a simpler way of life.

Can Ren and Sonny save the river they love, or will the overwhelming odds stacked against two poor kids from the wrong side of the tracks prove insurmountable?

Ghost River is currently out for review

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Suite for Percy Grainger by Jessica L. Wilkinson Vagabond Press 2014  http://vagabondpress.net/collections/frontpage/products/jessica-l-wilkinson-suite-for-percy-grainger

Wilkinson_GraingerSuite for Percy Grainger: a biography is an experimental poetic work on the life and times of one of Australia’s most innovative and diversely accomplished musicians and composers, Percy Grainger. Alongside his immense musical output — including original compositions and folk-song arrangements — Grainger was also a keen essayist, a voracious reader, a dedicated letter writer, and an eager archivist, establishing the Grainger Museum as a repository for over 100,000 items including correspondence, clothing, musical manuscripts, instruments and everyday objects (not to forget his infamous whip collection). Of interest to Wilkinson, as a poet with one eye wandering into historical archives, is how one might write a biography sympathetic to Grainger’s personality, lifestyle and philosophies.

If you are interested in writing a review ofSuite for Percy Grainger for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower. Text Publishing 2015  https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/a-few-days-in-the-country

Elizabeth HarrowInternationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction. A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives—including ‘Alice’, published for the first time earlier this year in the New Yorker. Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranging from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship.

A Few Days in the Country is out for review

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The Right Wrong Notes by Nathan Curnow. Flying Island Books 2015  http://asmacao.org/publications/

right wrong noteNathan Curnow lives in Ballarat and is a past editor of the literary journal Going Down Swinging. His work is published widely, both locally and overseas, and features in Best Australian Poems 2008, 2010 and 2013 (Black Inc). A recipent of numerous awards, including the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize, he is the father of four daughters and a regular swimmer of the pool’s black line.

The Right Wrong Notes is currently out for review.‏

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Journey to Horseshoe Bend by T.G.H. Strehlow Giramondo Classics 2015  http://www.giramondopublishing.com/non-fiction/journey-to-horseshoe-bend/

Journey to horseshie bendOn 10 October 1922 a party left Hermannsburg Mission, west of Alice Springs, to make the perilous journey along the dry bed of the Finke River, in the heat of summer, to the settlement at Horseshoe Bend, in a desperate attempt to save the life of the mission’s pastor, Carl Strehlow. The story is told by his son, who was fourteen years old when he accompanied his father on the journey, and was marked by it for life.

Journey to Horseshoe Bend was first published in 1969. Though long recognised, amongst readers who knew of it, as a classic of Australian literature, it has been out of print for almost forty years. TGH Strehlow was the author of a number of books on Aboriginal languages, traditions and religions, including the monumental Songs of Central Australia (1971). He died in 1978. This new edition of Journey to Horseshoe Bend reproduces the text of the original. It includes a specially commissioned essay by Dr Philip Jones, Senior Curator in Anthropology at the South Australian Museum, on the achievements of Carl and Theodor Strehlow, and the circumstances attending the writing and publication of the book.

Journey to Horseshoe Bend has been reviewed.

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Fainting with Freedom by Ouyang Yu Five Island Press 2015.  http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/fainting-with-freedom

Fainting with Freedom“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

Fainting with Freedom is currently out for review

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In the Museum of Creation by Frank Russo Five Island Press 2015.  http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/museum-of-creation

In the museum of creationNothing 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

If you are interested in writing a review of In the Museum of Creation for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Griiffith Review Griffith Review 50: Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project III  https://griffithreview.com/editions/tall-tales-short-the-novella-project-iii/

GR50_NovellaIn 2012, Griffith Review 38: The Novella Project played a major role in enabling Australian and New Zealand authors to gain a foothold in the English language revival of the novella underway internationally. In 2014, Griffith Review 46: Forgotten Stories – The Novella Project II published five novellas with an historical dimension in a confronting, moving and provocative collection.

Griffith Review 50: Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project III features five novellas selected in a nationwide competition, blind-judged by Cate Kennedy, Jacqueline Blanchard (UQP) and Brian Johns.

Edited by Julianne Schultz and Aviva Tuffield, executive director and co-founder of the Stella Prize, the five contributors to Tall Tales Short are Nick Earls, Catherine McKinnon, Helen Gildfind, Madeleine Watts and Tony Davis. Artist Jacqui Stockdale contributes her stunning collage work to the picture gallery.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Griiffith Review Griffith Review 50: Tall Tales Short – The Novella Project III  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Hands: An Australian pastoral by Stephen Orr Wakefield Press 2015  http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1238&cat=0&page=&featured=Y

The HandsOn a cattle station that stretches beyond the horizon, seven people are trapped by their history and the need to make a living. Trevor Wilkie, the good father, holds it all together, promising his sons a future he no longer believes in himself. The boys, free to roam the world’s biggest backyard, have nowhere to go.

Trevor’s father, Murray, is the keeper of stories and the holder of the deed. Murray has no intention of giving up what his forefathers created. But the drought is winning. The cattle are ribs. The bills keep coming. And one day, on the way to town, an accident changes everything.
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The Hands is currently out for review.

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The Burning Elephant by Christopher Raja Giramondo Publishing 2015  http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/the-burning-elephant/

The-Burning-ElephantAn escaped elephant enters Govinda’s schoolyard, and frightens everyone. The young boy watches on in horror as the elephant is shot and then cremated. Is this a sign for dark days ahead? He has been having a hard time trying to please his father, the headmaster, and figure out his mother – something seems wrong with her but Govinda is not sure what. Mumbles, the family’s cook, is a Sikh and worried about the violence on the streets against members of his religion. In The Burning Elephant, we step into Govinda’s Calcutta, a world which revolves around the magic and menace of Serpent Lane, just beyond the school gates, and spins out into a city and country in crisis, when the Prime Minister is assassinated. This is a story of how the terrors of life can crash into adolescence and how innocence, once lost, can never be regained.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Burning Elephant for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Anonymous of Troy by Didier Coste Puncher & Wattmann 2015  http://www.puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/anonymous-of-troy/

anonymous_of_troyFollowing a long creative practice of the sonnet (La Leçon d’Otilia, 1995), Anonymous of Troy inaugurates a new exploration of doubleness and overlay in terms of place, time and feeling, sustained by an equal doubleness in terms of form and language. The scene is Çanakkale, Turkey, facing Gelibolu on the other shore of the Dardanelles. But Gallipoli is a piece of ANZAC peering through the mirror of Port Jackson. The scene is Abydos facing Sestos, where Hero is still waiting for Leander. But the scene is also Truva, facing the infinite a few miles south, where Johnny Anadolu got the better of Achilles Johnson. The worldwide scene is then, thousands of years ago, as primitive as Parramatta today, the girl of both times will recognize herself in the TV commercial. Isolettric verse, sound play, anagrams, are cadenced to protect modernity against its ageing.

If you are interested in writing a review of Anonymous of Troy  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Princes by Night by Jeltje Fanoy, Island Press Cooperative 2015  http://islandpress.tripod.com/ISLAND.htm

princess by nightPrinces by Night is clearly autobiographical, but not narrowly so. In one of its many dimensions, it is as much about the process of remembering, as it is about specific memories.

More than this, it insists upon always engaging with a much larger reality than the purely personal. The entire energy of the book flows outward, a widening connection with key places; and with people too, all sympathetically grounded in their own personal reality, their unique life context, and historical moment.

If you are interested in writing a review of Princes by Night for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Ladder by Simon West, Puncher & Wattmann 2015.  http://www.puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-ladder/

the_ladderThe Ladder is Simon West’s third collection of poetry, and his first in four years. Many earlier preoccupations return—the natural environment, Italian art, the dimensions of place. There is a new focus on worldly and artistic responsibility, and a fascination with the ‘certain poise’ of ‘being in between’. At the collection’s heart are the building blocks of language, along with the more literal ones of Rome, where some of these poems were written during a residency at the Whiting studio in 2012.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Ladder for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Everyday Epic by Anna Kerdijk Nicholson, Puncher & Wattmann 2015.  http://www.puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/everyday-epic/

everyday_epicIn this new book by Anna Kerdijk Nicholson, her celebrated skill with form—so apparent in her first book, The Bundanon Cantos, and utilised to great effect with the modern sonnets in Possession—is also present, but in a playful way. Here Kerdijk Nicholson continues to explore the train wreck of language, digging into nuance and coinage, but never losing sight of meaning. The poems are arranged to allow thematic refractions to develop organically, so the poems in Everyday Epic acquire a subtle political suggestion because of their clusterings. Never one to shy from a challenge, she has taken on Burke & Wills’ monumental expedition in the vein of a mock epic and sites it, tongue-in-cheek, as though it were a finale. Everyday Epic honours the courage of our small twenty first century selves who battle on—in the face of prejudice, racism, the Intervention, Australia’s Immigration policy—despite our ‘pathetic human-ness’.

If you are interested in writing a review of Everyday Epic  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Moments by Subhash Jaireth Puncher & Wattmann 2015http://www.puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/moments/

MomentsThese stories explore the nature of love, loss and memory: central to them is the uneasiness the narrators feel about their place in the world. A critical moment in the life of each narrator illuminates these themes in remarkable ways. For instance, in the story “Walter Benjamin’s Pipe” the narrator wants to comprehend that critical moment when Walter Benjamin, the famous Jewish-German philosopher and literary critic, decided to end his life. In the story “Bach (Pau) in Love,” the famous Catalan cellist Pablo Casals imagines the situation which would have inspired Bach to compose his six suites for cello. In the story “Anna and Fyodor in Basel,” Anna, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s wife waits for that moment when Holbein’s famous painting about the dead Christ makes its appearance in the novel The Idiot. In “The Quartz Hill,” a Cantonese photographer looks at the prints of Paddy Bedford’s paintings about the Bedford Downs massacre and decides to visit Halls Creek in search for her Gija grandmother’s roots.

Moments is currently out for review

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September 2015

Heart Starter by John Tranter Puncher & Wattmann 2015  https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/heart-starter/

Heart_starterHeart Starter is John Tranter’s twenty-fourth book of poems. It is made up of three parts: some poems related to The Best of the Best American Poetry 2013, some poems related to The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of ‘Poetry’ Magazine, and thirty or so poems, mainly rhymed sonnets, written by Tranter in recent years. In the case of the first two parts, the author started with loose drafts which borrowed the end-words of each line of some poems in each of the two books concerned. The poems engage in a typically oblique way with North American poetic culture, and with the world of poetry in general, and sometimes speak harshly about the nature of ‘poetic insight’. The formal poems towards the end of the book take a bleak and sometimes humorous look at the contemporary world.

If you are interested in writing a review of Heart Starter  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Myrrh-Bearers by Judith Crispin Puncher & Wattmann 2015  https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-myrrh-bearers/

the_myrrh_bearersThe Myrrh-Bearers is a book of love poems, describing real events and real people as the poet has experienced them. The worlds evoked in these poems are suffused with faerie tales, myth and philosophy. The genesis of this collection lies in a diverse engagement with different poetries: the influence of the Polish poets Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz is discernible, along with that of the French poets Henri Michaux, René Char, René Daumal and Alfred Jarry; there is also the sure presence of Gwen Harwood and Judith Wright as well as, more esoterically, William Blake and G. I. Gurdjieff. The pataphysical influence of Jarry, in particular, leads to a poetry which attempts to describe a universe supplementary to the one which we inhabit. The presence of music as a subject stems from the poet’s close engagement with her musical mentors, Larry Sitsky in Australia, Emmanuel Nunes in France and Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany. This is a rich and unusual collection which will reward readers interested in the way poetry can suggest new ways of looking at the world.

If you are interested in writing a review ofThe Myrrh-Bearers for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Celebrating Australian Writing: Conversations with Australian Authors by Annette Marfording. 2015.

Annette book cover for flyerCelebrating Australian Writing features 21 in-depth conversations with Australian authors on their books, central themes in their body of work, writing methods, central tips for aspiring writers and much, much more. Authors interviewed include literary authors and poets (David Malouf, Cate Kennedy, Peter Goldsworthy), crime writers (Michael Robotham, Barry Maitland), commercial fiction authors (Di Morrissey, the late Bryce Courtenay), and narrative non-fiction authors (Robert Dessaix and Kate Howarth).

Readers encounter revelations ranging from Alex Miller on the pivotal role of the unconscious, Charlotte Wood on the ethics of ‘stealing’ stories, Robert Drewe on male confusion, Larissa Behrendt on the vexed issue of Anglo-Saxon authors writing on indigenous issues, Gregory Day about the music in language, and more.

If you are interested in writing a review of Celebrating Australian Writing: Conversations with Australian Authors for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Small Acts of Disappearance by Fiona Wright Giramondo 2015 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/non-fiction/small-acts-of-disappearance

Wright-Small-Acts-of-DisappearanceSmall Acts of Disappearance describes the author’s affliction with an eating disorder which begins in university, and escalates into life-threatening anorexia over the next ten years. Fiona Wright is a highly regarded poet and critic, and her account of her illness is informed by a keen sense of its contradictions and deceptions, and by an awareness of the empowering effects of hunger, which is unsparing in its consideration of the author’s motives and actions. The essays offer perspectives on the eating disorder at different stages in Wright’s life: at university, where she finds herself in a radically different social world to the one she grew up in, in Sri Lanka as a fledgling journalist, in Germany as a young writer, in her hospital treatments back in Sydney. They combine travel writing, memoir and literary discussions of how writers like Christina Stead, Carmel Bird, Tim Winton, John Berryman and Louise Glück deal with anorexia and addiction; together with accounts of family life, the observation of detail and the humour which is so compelling in Wright’s poetry.

Small Acts of Disappearance is out for review.

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August 2015

Asylum Nerves by Phillip Hammial  Puncher & Wattmann 2015 https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/asylum-nerves

asylum_nervesWork like this takes no prisoners. One either accedes right away to the energies and images one is confronted with, or one gets left behind. The poems are seldom explicitly contextualised, and he often elects not to invest them with the familiarising cues of emotion. Sometimes only the event, the imaginative journey, is retained—as if to suggest that strangeness is pre-eminent, and affect accidental or secondary. Hammial, moreover, understands that the question of what we should feel about anything is much more difficult than we normally allow (it is one of the discomfiting things about his verse).

If you are interested in writing a review of Asylum Nerves for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss  rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Locust Girl; a lovesong by Merlinda Bobis. Spinifex Press, 2015 http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=282/

locust girlMost everything has dried up: water, the womb, even the love among lovers. Hunger is rife, except across the border. One night, a village is bombed after its men attempt to cross the border. Nine-year old Amedea is buried underground and sleeps to survive. Ten years later, she wakes with a locust embedded in her brow. This political fable is a girl’s magical journey through the border. The border has cut the human heart. Can she repair it with the story of a small life? This is the Locust Girl’s dream, her lovesong—For those walking to the border for dear life. And those guarding the border for dear life

.If you are interested in writing a review of Locust Girl for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss   rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Vanishing by Stefanie Bennet. Walleah Press, 2015 http://store.walleahpress.com.au/Stefanie-Bennett-The-Vanishing_p_70.html


the vanishingStefanie Bennett has published nineteen books of poetry. Over 40 years she has acted as a publishing editor, tutored in The Institute of Modern Languages at James Cook University, contracted as a writer in the commun­ity, and worked with Art’s Action for Peace. Contrary to popular belief, Bennett has no university degree, never attended high school, and did not finish her primary education. At the age of eleven the self-made poet ran errands [paid for by various business houses] and found employment as an assistant in her mother’s hairdressing salon. Of mixed ancestry (Italian/Irish/German/Paugussett-Shawnee), she was born in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia.

.If you are interested in writing a review of The Vanishing for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss   rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Fragments of the Hole by Paul McDermott. Finlay Lloyd Press, 2015 http://finlaylloyd.com/fl-smalls/

fragmentsfrontcoverThis collection, wonderfully illustrated by the author, contains a haunting parable about a boy and a goat, and a series of poems that a fiercely iconic and strangely moving.

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If you are interested in writing a review of Fragments of the Hole for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss   rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Fair Game by Carmel Bird. Finlay Lloyd press, 2015 http://finlaylloyd.com/fl-smalls/

fair gameThis long essay is an engagingly personal, playful and thoughtful examination of the arrival in 1832 in Tasmania of a shipload of women, sent to redress the imbalance of genders in that colonial settlement. Carmel also has a collection of stories, My Hearts Are Your Hearts, released recently by Spineless Wonders.

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Fair Game is currently out for review.

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 Growing Up Café by Phillip Stamatellis. Finlay Lloyd Press, 2015 http://finlaylloyd.com/fl-smalls/

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This long lively essay portrays the ‘biography’ of a café in Goulburn in the 1970s and 80s. We witness the café’s passing parade of motley customers through the eyes of the youngest son of the Greek immigrants who run it.

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If you are interested in writing a review of Growing Up Café for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss   rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Don’t Leave Home by Timothy Morrell.  Finlay Lloyd Press, 2015 http://finlaylloyd.com/fl-smalls/

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This collection of linked essays explores, with a deft ironic touch, our obsession with travel, in the process taking us to some places that perhaps only the author would want to visit.

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If you are interested in writing a review of Don’t Leave Home for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss   rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Trace by Cassandra Atherton. Finlay Lloyd Press, 2015 http://finlaylloyd.com/fl-smalls/

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This collection of prose poetry creates a naturally intimate world while, at the same time, fluidly examining complex connections between popular and high culture.

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Trace is currently out for review.

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July 2015

Not Just Black and White by Lesley and Tammy Williams. University of Queensland Press 2015 http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1361/Not%20Just%20Black%20and%20White  

not just black and whiteLesley Williams was forced to leave the Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement and her family at a young age to work as a domestic servant. Apart from pocket money, Lesley never saw her wages – they were kept ‘safe’ for her and for countless others just like her. She was taught not to question her life, until desperation made her start to wonder, where is all that money she earned? And so began a nine-year journey for answers.

Not Just Black and White is out for review.

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The Promise Seed by Cass Moriarty. University of Queensland Press 2015 http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1360/The%20Promise%20Seed

promise seedAn elderly man, living alone in the suburbs, thinks back on his life – the missed opportunities, the shocking betrayals, the rare moments of joy. When his ten-year-old neighbour hides in his garden one afternoon, they begin an unexpected friendship that offers a reprieve from their individual struggles. Can the old man protect the boy he has come to know – and redeem the boy he once was?

.If you are interested in writing a review of The Promise Seed for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss   rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Subject of Feeling by Peter Rose. UWA Publishing 2015 http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/the-subject-of-feeling

the_subject_of_feeling_cover_grande“Youth and maturity, love and infatuation, memory, music, loss, landscape, Peter Rose exposes the human experience in poems that are gorgeously lucid and often profound. The Subject of Feeling reveals a fearless wisdom, a wry wit and a quiet depth. These poems stop you in your tracks.”
Andrea Goldsmith

“The poetry of Peter Rose moves from classical Rome to contemporary Australia; from mordant comedy to moving elegy; from searing clarity to teasing obliquity. In his brilliant anatomies of the relationship between ‘art’ and ‘life’, the public and the private, Rose shows himself to be a master stylist. But style for Rose is not divorced from experience. Rather, experience is understood as, and through, style, a fact illustrated by the welcome new additions to the ‘Catullan Rag’, Rose’s caustic and hilarious ongoing satire of Australian literary life.”
David McCooey

If you are interested in writing a review of The Subject of Feeling for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Ground by Martin Langford. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry 2015 https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/ground

ground_310_440_sLoosely chronological, it begins by locating us within the natural world, and continues with poems about our disjunctive attempts to rationalise the nature of settlement. There are sequences on the nature of Australian silences, on transitional periods in the nation’s interior life and on the cultural layering of our suburbs. One section explores ways in which Australia has been represented, and another what Langford nominates as the seven Sydney seasons. The book culminates with a sequence in which our interactions are conceived as dances, as opposed to that mutual overwriting which is driven by the anxieties of the self.

Ground is out for review.

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Letters to Mark by Christopher Konrad. Regime Books 2014  http://www.regimebooks.com.au/letters-to-mark/

Letter-to-Mark-Cover-v-1-194x300“The Writer writes his Letter to the world. When the World answers it is like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. He cannot control what he has summoned.” Anäis Nin

Letters to Mark is an extraordinary piece, and I cannot pretend to follow its many strands of symbolism, philosophy and theology, but I enjoyed the read/ride … like white water rafting without a paddle … there are parts that I could hear being declaimed, read aloud, crying to be performed. Rhetorical, but in a truly charismatic sense … an oceanically rich work …” Shane McCauley

If you are interested in writing a review of Letters to Mark for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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June 2015

Unclaimed Terrain by Ajay Navaria. Giramondo 2015 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/forthcoming/unclaimed-terrain/

Navaria-cover-for-web-263x300Originally written in Hindi, Ajay Navaria’s stories examine the prejudices of India’s caste system, but they speak of inequality wherever it occurs. As complex as they are political, his characters – brahmin or dalit, thakur or mahar – are neither black nor white, neither clearly good nor evil. They evade the determinations of social expectation; they linger in the ‘unclaimed terrain’ between past object and future subject, between caste and democracy.

Unclaimed Terrain is currently out for review.

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Jam Sticky Vision by Luke Beesley, Giramondo 2015. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/jam-sticky-vision/

jamstickyvision_cover_01-214x300Jam Sticky Vision is the successor to Luke Beesley’s highly-regarded third book of poetry, New Works on Paper, published by Giramondo in 2013. The poems in this collection blend observation, memory and anecdote – with particular interest in American film, rock music, visual arts and poetry, and the way they inhabit the poet’s everyday life in contemporary Melbourne. They create ‘an uncanny universe’, which hovers somewhere between the real world and that of the poet’s imagination, characterised by surprising encounters and fleeting details rendered with the utmost clarity, full of intimate disclosures and yet somehow public in its openness, where everything is animated by liveliness – objects, sensations, colours, even words as they appear on the page. As one critic has noted, ‘Beesley’s books make for very healthy reading. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, the menu not overly processed – no greasy late-night noir.’ As another has written, ‘his windows open out to an ‘other’ view, wholly within our grasp but difficult to articulate’.

If you are interested in writing a review of Jam Sticky Vision for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Almost Sincerely by Zoë Norton Lodge, Giramondo 2015. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/almost-sincerely/

Almost-Sincerely-Zoe-Norton-Lodge-cover-web-196x300When Zoë Norton Lodge was growing up in Annandale in the eighties and nineties, the self-proclaimed Heartland of the Inner West was a heady brew of somewhat maladjusted and genuinely unsettling residents. But Annandale was changing. New words like ‘architect’ and ‘labradoodle’ drifted out of the overabundance of cafés – and eventually entire weeks would go by with no backyard bomb explosions.

These stories of neighbourhood warfare, unsound relations, quashed dreams and facial disfigurement are told with Norton Lodge’s characteristic comic verve and eye for absurdity: encounter Greek grandparents whose decades-long resentment turns a colander into a weapon; a petrol-sodden Mamma; children sent to school with cat-food sandwiches; ‘distressed’ furniture; flying babies and other suburban wonders.

If you are interested in writing a review of Almost Sincerely for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Inside My Mother by Ali Cobby Eckermann, Giramondo 2015 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/forthcoming/inside-my-mother/

Eckermann-cover-for-web-213x300In her memoir Too Afraid to Cry, published in 2013, Indigenous poet Ali Cobby Eckermann related how she had been tricked away from her mother as a baby, repeating the trauma her mother had suffered when she was taken from her grandmother many years before. Eckermann in turn had to give her own child up for adoption. In her new poetry collection, Inside my Mother, she explores the distance between the generations created by such experiences, felt as an interminable void in its darkest aspects, marked by sadness, withdrawal, yearning and mistrust, but in other ways a magical place ‘beyond the imagination’, lit by dreams and visions of startling intensity, populated by symbolic presences and scenes of ritual and commemoration, chief amongst them the separation and reunion of mother and child. Though the emotions are strong, they are expressed simply and with a sense of significance in nature which reminds one of the poetry of Oodgero Noonuccal, whose successor Eckermann is.

If you are interested in writing a review of Inside My Motheror Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Eating My Grandmother: A Grief Cycle, University of Queensland Press 2015 http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1353/Eating%20My%20Grandmother-%20A%20Grief%20Cycle

eating my grandmotherFollowing the death of her grandmother, Australian novelist and bookseller Krissy Kneen turned to the art of poetry for the first time. Grief-stricken by her loss, she found herself unable to work on her latest novel, and became obsessed with writing poetry about her grandmother. The resulting poems won 2014’s Thomas Shapcott Prize for Poetry and are now published for the first time in a collection that offers a kaleidoscope of fitful dreams, tender memories and heart-struck musings that shine new light on our own sense of mortality.

Eating My Grandmother: A Grief Cycle has been reviewed.

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Peripheral Vision by Paddy O’Reilly, University of Queensland Press 2015 http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1351/Peripheral%20Vision

peripheral visionA teenager on the tram meets an old man claiming to be Jesus Christ. Six young women band together on a night prowl. A Filipino immigrant clashes with his eldest sister, who has brought him to Australia for a better life. And in a future where dogs have risen up against their owners, a mother is alarmed by her adolescent daughter’s behaviour.

Through such diverse characters, Paddy O’Reilly takes us into the fringes of human nature – our hidden thoughts, our darker impulses and our unspoken tragedies. By turns elegiac and acerbic, but always acutely observed, Peripheral Vision confirms O’Reilly as one of our most inventive and insightful writers.

If you are interested in writing a review of Peripheral Vision for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Body Where I Was Born (a novel) by Guadalupe Nettel, UWA Publishing 2015 http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/the-body-where-i-was-born-a-novel

The_Body_Where_I_was_Born_cover_grandeIn the intimate and delicately crafted narrative echoes the tender voice of the narrator’s younger self, a sharp, sensitive girl infinitely more damaged by the deformities life inflicted upon her than by her birth defect. The novel’s perfectly bare language and its smart humor, both delicate and unafraid, weave together a strand of touching, sometimes painful, sometimes delightful moments in the narrator’s unconventional childhood that crushed her, scarred her, mended her, tore her apart and made her whole. With this novel Guadalupe Nettel confirms what the critics have celebrated since her literary debut: she is one of the decade’s revelations of the Spanish language.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Body Where I Was Born for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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May 2015

The Bomber by David O’Sullivan Pen Name Publishing  2015 (Novel)  http://davidgosullivan.com/my-book/

bomber1The Bomber enters the life of Joseph Starling, a man returned from the war and uncertain about his future. He is challenged by the society he has returned to and the people within it. The world he lives in is being shaken to its core, the Government is engaged in unpopular wars, there are groups of people opposed to the fighting and are engaging in anti social activities and crime and corruption are on the rise.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Bomber for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com (please note the review copy is available as a pdf

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Net Needle by Robert Adamson  Black Inc. 2015 (poetry) http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/net-needle

Net-Needle‘One of the finest Australian poets at work today’– David Wheatley,The Times Literary Supplement

‘Could it possibly be close to forty years ago when Bob Creeley and Robert Duncan first brought back the news about an extraordinary young Australian poet? I’ve avidly followed Bob Adamson’s work since those days, as he has probed the inner and outer landscapes of his environment with inspirited precision. ‘Praise life with broken words.’ Eye and ear, none better.’– Michael Palmer

Net Needle has been reviewed.

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Waiting for the Past by Les Murray Black Inc. 2015 (poetry) http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/waiting-past

waitingforthepastLes Murray’s new volume of poems – his first in five years – continues his use of molten language. From ‘The Black Beaches’ to ‘Radiant Pleats, Mulgoa’, from ‘High Speed Trap Space’ to ‘The Electric, 1960’, this is verse that renews and transforms our sense of the world.

Waiting for the Past is out for review.

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The Hazards by Sarah Holland-Batt. University Of Queensland Press, 2015 http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1347/The%20Hazards

the hazardsCharged with fierce imagination and swift lyricism, Holland-Batt’s cosmopolitan poems reflect a predatory world rife with hazards both real and imagined. Opening with a vision of a leveret’s agonising death by myxomatosis and closing with a lover disappearing into dangerous waters, this collection careens through diverse geographical territory – from haunted post-colonial landscapes in Australia to brutal animal hierarchies in the cloud forests of Nicaragua.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Hazards for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Ripples Under the Skin by Janette Pieloor. Walleah Press, 2015 (Poery)  https://walleahpress.com.au/

ripples under the skin“Janette Pieloor has packed all the pain of her past into these poems; her emotional realism conveys sceptism, even cynicism, and candour. Ripples Under the Skin is a brave record of lost love written in free verse that employs a taunt sardonic tone to express yearning”. Suzanne Edgar

If you are interested in writing a review of Ripples Under the Skin for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Trickster by Shane McCauley. Walleah Press, 2015 (Poery)  https://walleahpress.com.au/

triskerShane McCauley is a Wester Australian poet with an abiding curiosity about the different cultures and mythologies of the world. He has won many awards, including the Poetry Australia Bicentennial Prize, the Max Harris Poetry Proze and, most recently, the 2014 Poetry d’Amour Prize. Trickster is his eighth collection of poetry.

Trickster for Rochford Street Review is out for review

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Panther & The Museum of Fire by Jen Craig. Spineless Wonders, 2015 (Novel). http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/anthologies-3/panthers-and-the-museum-of-fire/

Panthers“It is not too much of a stretch to compare Jen Craig’s work with the otherwise incomparable WG Sebald.” Debra Adelaide. “Bold, original and urgent … a complex work of fictionalised-memoir in the style of writers such as Karl Ove Knausgaard and Sheila Heti. Fans of Joyce and Virginia Woolf may also be interested, as will many writers, I think. It is an experimental novella but surprisingly easy to read, and brilliant for the very ordinariness of its subject, the everyday reflections of a very human mind throughout the progr”ess of a day. Angie Andrewes Bookseller + Publisher

If you are interested in writing a review of Panthers and the Museum of Fire for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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In My Days and In My Sleep by Rebecca Kylie Law. Interactive Press The Literature Series, 2015 http://ipoz.biz/Titles/IMD.htm

In my daysRebecca Kylie Law’s poems reflect her views as a practising Catholic while contemplating subjects ranging from nature and love to philosophy and social history. She captures elements of the creation – flowers, animals, birds, trees – so their beauty can be brought to the ecstatic in accordance with the unity of the Trinity.

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In My Days and in My Sleep for Rochford Street Review is currently out for review.

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APRIL 2015

First Things First; Selected Letters By Kate Llewllyn 1977-2004 edited by Ruth Bacchus and Barbara Hill. Wakefeild Press, 2015  http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1210&cat=0&page=1 

first things firstCollected here for the first time are selected letters from the private correspondence of one of Australia’s most loved authors, Kate Llewellyn (The Waterlily, A Fig at the Gate). Written with her distinctive ardour and enthusiasm, skipping some words, shortening others, she discusses poetry, art, sex and gardening with painters and writers.

Kate Llewellyn’s letters brim with energy and humour. Editors Ruth Bacchus and Barbara Hill have sifted through decades of correspondence to produce a volume which reveals her life and work, and the result is a joy to read: a precious insight into the world of one of this country’s master wordsmiths.

First Things First is out for review

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This Intimate War: Gallipoli/Canakkale 1915 by Robyn Rowland. 5 Islands Press, 2015 http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/this-intimate-war

this intimate warThese poems draw on works of history and private testimonial. They are what this age needs: poems about war which do not glorify war; poems which, for all their considerable rhetorical power, nowhere distance themselves from pain, brutality and callous error. These poems are immediate and unwavering; they are also deeply thoughtful. In them, Robyn Rowland considers war from what were enemy positions; also, from the perspective of mothers and factory workers. Very few collections bring home so powerfully the vulnerability of individuals in the face of history. This collection certainly takes its place among Robyn Rowland’s best work. It is a courageous achievement.

If you are interested in writing a review of This Intimate War for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Here Be Dragons by Dennis Greene. Puncher & Wattmann, 2015 https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/here-be-dragons

here be dragonsDennis Greene’s poetry is meditative, wry and questing, with surprising irruptions of strangeness. It is built deftly and surely, grounded in subtleties and nuances of crafting and structuring; individual poems gather together as a greater tonal architecture. Literary shades such as Yeats, Wilfred Owen and Blake provide points of engagement or departure; as do figures like Magellan, Churchill, Darwin. Shakespeare murmurs everpresent in the wings. With curiosity and insistency Greene finds poems hidden in the light and shade of the everyday—in husband and fatherhood, domesticity, the West Australian landscape. With quirky narratives both mythic and quotidian, moving discoveries, messages in bottles, he might be one of the explorers he writes about, returned but taking us via tellings and re-tellings to the edge of the mapped, the known, for shiverand- goosebump glimpses of ‘dragons’.

If you are interested in writing a review of Here Be Dragons for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Porch Light by Ivy Ireland. Puncher & Wattmann, 2015 https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/porch-light

porch light

“In the poem ‘Nuclear’, after stating ‘… Nothing is ever obvious or contained’, Ivy Ireland asks, ‘How can I write / a lyric poem about the micro-needle in the gargantuan multiverse?’ Yet, in a book replete with angels, devils, evolutionary theory, astro-physics, mythology, magpie song, winter flowers, ghost gums, strangler figs, human love and human fear, this is what she does. Never obvious or contained, Porch Light is its own multi-verse of ideas, speculations and puzzlements. It swings from abstract terminology to idiomatic vigour, from doubt to joy, from mind to body. This is exciting writing, exciting reading.”—Brook Emery

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Porch Light has been reviewed.

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The Poets’ Stairwell: A Picaresqu Novel by Alan Gould. Black Pepper Press, 2015http://blackpepperpublishing.com/gouldtps.html

Poets' stairwellClaude Boon and Henry Luck, young poets in quest of their muses, cut a swathe through the cultural capitals and byways of Europe and Asia towards the end of the Cold War. The Poets’ Stairwell revitalises the picaresque novel. Vibrant, sensuous and layered, it has a tumble of characters and pranks. Anarchist puckish Beamish, the Isadora Duncan-like Eva, class warrior, Branca, a libidinous translator of poems with Jelena, her iconoclast daughter, Luc Courlai a jailed French philosopher, Titus the Yankee acrobat who cradles his gun like a baby, Mr Hark a saintly Irish funeral director, Willi a German truck driver versed in Thomas Aquinas and sensible Rhee, Henry’s girlfriend—amongst others. Behind this company lives a virtual one of poets and philosophers from Yeats to Plato, attending as time and place invoke them. Our picaros’ adventures allow Alan Gould to discuss poetic inspiration from womb to self-conscious maturity.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Poets’ Stairwell for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Life of Houses by Lisa Gorton. Giramondo Press, 2015 (Novel)  http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/the-life-of-houses/

Life of housesThe Life of Houses explores, with a poet’s eye for detail, the hidden tensions in one of Australia’s establishment families.These tensions come to the surface during a week in summer when Anna sends her daughter Kit to stay with her parents,and the unmarried sister who cares for them, in their old and decaying house by the sea. Kit barely knows her grandparents; her mother is estranged from the family and has not taken her to visit them or the house in which she grew up. Recently separated from her husband, Anna sends Kit to them now so she can pursue a new love affair.

The Life of Houses is a novel about mothers and daughters, and coming of age. It is also about property, and how people’s feelings for the places that they inhabit can shape their lives.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Life of Houses for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Guardians by Lucy Dougan. Giramondo Press, 2015 (Poetry) http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/the-guardians/

GuardiansMany poems in this book explore the consolations that ‘the wild’ offers to the subjects of late modernism. The work is interested in the ways in which the past continually intrudes on the present, in all kinds of atavism, and in the ways in which pockets of wildness in built environments are a source of liveliness and a dark sort of energy. Historical sites recur, as do poems about bonds between children and adults, humans and animals, and humans and the physical world. The title refers broadly to these bonds. Ideas about salvaging, foraging and making do have also been touchstones and Dougan has been influenced by the work of artists as different as Elizabeth Bishop, Iain Sinclair, Richard Long and Andrea Arnold. As a contrast to the wildness the poems themselves aspire to quietness, to cumulative rather than immediate effects, and to sustaining a relatively natural and unobtrusive voice.

The Guardians has been reviewed.

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The Laws of Poetry by MTC Cronin. Puncher and Wattmann, 2015 (Poetry). https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-law-of-poetry

the_law_of_poetryWritten over a period of two decades, The Law of Poetry contains poems that pay personal tributes to ‘things’—broccoli, ducks and concrete—as well as poems that seek to physically enter the realm of abstract concepts —chance, kindness and explanations. Set out in alphabetical order—as if a dictionary of essences—each poem is titled ‘The Law of Something’, be that ‘The Law of Absolutes’, ‘The Law of the Child, Lost’ or ‘The Law of Rubber Gloves’. The reader is asked not to judge—as law stereotypically demands—but to engage with this very idiosyncratic world of the individual poet and to be injected, like the shrunken travellers in the 1966 classic, Fantastic Voyage, into the nervous system of another.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Laws of Poetry for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Yimbama by  Burraga Gutya/Ken Canning Vagabond Indigenous Australian Writing 2015 (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/collections/poetry/products/ken-canning-burraga-gutya-yimbama

yimbamajpgYimbama is the second collection by Indigenous Australian poet Ken Canning, also known as Burraga Gutya. Canning is one of the strongest voices in contemporary Indigenous Australian activism. The poems collected here offer an unflinching examination of the lasting damage done to Indigenous Australia by European colonization and the continuing political struggle. As unflinching and uncompromising these poems are in their protest and dissent, love for country, community and tradition remains central. These poems give witness and insight to the reality of contemporary Aboriginal Australia and demand to be heard. There is wisdom here, hard-won, lived and told true.

If you are interested in writing a review of Yimbama for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Ascendant by Maria Zajkowski Puncher and Wattmann 2015 (Poetry) https://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-ascendant/

ascendantZajkowski’s writing has that kind of imaginative rightness that tells us something essential about ourselves and reads like something no one has ever said before. Imbued with human vulnerability, mystery, wonder and awe, the poems testify to a largeness of vision about what poetry can be and what a poet can accomplish. If it is possible that sometimes the soul just ‘appears’ then it has done so in this fine collection. -MTC Cronin & Peter Boyle.

MTC Cronin’s Sydney launch speech has been published on Rochford Street Review

If you are interested in writing a review of The Ascendant  for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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I Too Am Salammbo by Hong Ying (translated by Mabel Lee). Vagabond Press 2015 (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/collections/frontpage/products/hong-ying-i-too-am-salammbo

I too am SalammboSince 1988 Hong Ying has published six major collections of poetry, her most recent being I Too Am Salammbo, a retrospective collection of poems that she has selected and arranged in rough chronological order. As in her novels Hong Ying does not baulk at exploring female sexuality. She, as author, can only re-present the characters of her novels in accordance with how she perceives them: as a woman. However her poetry is highly personal, shedding light on her personal life, including her own sexuality and sexual experiences. Female sexuality and experiences are addressed with spontaneity and naturalness, authenticating the fact that such experiences are natural human behaviour. For Hong Ying’s cult followers, her poetry is as important as her novels.

I Too Am Salammbo has been reviewed.

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The Floating Garden by Emma Ashmere. Spinifex, 2015 (Novel)http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=279/

the-floating-gardenSydney, Milsons Point, 1926. Entire streets are being demolished for the building of the Harbour Bridge. Ellis Gilbey, landlady by day, gardening writer by night, is set to lose everything. Only the faith in the book she’s writing, and hopes for a garden of her own, stave off despair. As the tight-knit community splinters and her familiar world crumbles, Ellis relives her escape to the city at sixteen, landing in the unlikely care of self-styled theosophist Minerva Stranks.

When artist Rennie Howarth knocks on her door seeking refuge from a stifling upper-class life and an abusive husband, Ellis glimpses a chance to fulfil her dreams. The future looms uncertain while the past stays uncannily in pursuit.

This beautiful novel evokes the hardships and the glories of Sydney’s past and tells the little-known story of those made homeless to make way for the famous bridge. Peopled by bohemians and charlatans, earthy folk and fly-by-nighters, The Floating Garden is about shedding secrets, seizing second chances, and finding love amongst the ruins.

The Floating Garden is currently out for review

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Still Life with Grandmother by Christopher Race (Poetry) Pomonal Publishing 2015http://www.pomonalpublishing.com/index.html

still life with grandmotherThe poems in this book are accessible yet deep, serious yet subtly funny. They contain fearful and lonely thoughts in juxtaposition with domestic imagery. This is a sophisticated and assured debut. Christopher Race’s distinctive and calm voice is a welcome harmony to the chorus of Australian poets. I hereby declare that Still Life with Grandmother has been officially launched into the universal world of books.

If you are interested in writing a review of Still Life with Grandmother for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Abyssinian Contortionist by David Carlin (creative non-fiction) UWA Publishing 2015http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/new-releases/products/the-abyssinian-contortionist-hope-friendship-and-other-circus-acts

Abyssinian_cover_grandeSosina Wogayehu learnt to do flips and splits at the age of six, sitting on the floor of her parents’ lounge room in Addis Ababa, watching a German variety show on the only television channel in the land. She sold cigarettes on the streets at the age of eight, and played table soccer with her friends who made money from washing cars, barefoot in the dust. She dreamed of being a circus performer.

Twenty-five years later, Sosina has conjured herself a new life in a far-off country: Australia. She has rescued one brother and lost another. She has travelled the world as a professional contortionist. She can bounce-juggle eight balls on a block of marble.

Sosina is able to juggle worlds and stories, too, and by luck — which is something Sosina is not short of — she has a friend, David Carlin, who is a writer.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Abyssinian Contortionist for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Natural Histories by Guadalupe Nettel. UWA Publishing (Short Stories) 2015 http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/new-releases/products/natural-histories

9781742586823_cov.inddThese five dark and delicately written stories unfold in fragile worlds, where animal behaviors parallel the ways in which human beings interact.

Siamese fighting fish, cockroaches, a cat, a snake, and a strange fungus become mirrors that reflect the unconfessable aspects of human nature. In each tale, Nettel creates, with tightly wound narrative tension, a space wherein her characters explore how the wounds we incur in life manifest themselves, clandestinely, irrevocably. In writing that is precise, subtle, and spellbinding, Nettel renders the ordinary unsettling, and the unsettling extraordinary.
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If you are interested in writing a review of Natural Histories for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Something Special, Something Rare: Outstanding Short Stories by Australian Women. Black Inc 2015 http://www.blackincbooks.com/books/something-special-something-rare

Something-SpecialSomething Special, Something Rare presents outstanding short fiction by Australia’s finest female writers. These are tales of love, secrets, doubt and torment, the everyday and the extraordinary.

A sleepy town is gripped by delusory grief after the movie being filmed there wraps and leaves. A lingering heartbreak is replayed on Facebook. An ordinary family walks a shaky line between hopelessness and redemption.

Brilliant, shocking and profound, these tales will leave you reeling in ways that only a great short story can.

Kate Grenville * Mandy Sayer * Penni Russon * Favel Parrett * Tegan Bennett Daylight * Sonya Hartnett * Isabelle Li * Gillian Essex * Brenda Walker * Gillian Mears * Fiona MacFarlane * Joan London * Karen Hitchcock * Charlotte Wood * Tara June Winch * Cate Kennedy * Alice Pung * Anna Krien * Delia Falconer * Rebekah Clarkson

.If you are interested in writing a review of Something Special, Something Rare for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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MARCH 2015

Selected Poems by Evan Jones, Grand Parade Poets 2014. http://grandparadepoets.com/

evan jonesEvan Jones is our foremost poet of friendship. A master of the short lyric poem, he is now also a lucid elegist, compassionate but, as always in his poems, firmly unsentimental. All his self-deprecating humour, his plain-speaking style and his vulnerability are here, in brief, intricate poems of observation. Attentive and wise, in a voice whihc is amazingly relaxed if never trurly serence, he worries over the the rites-of-passage we all face.” Philip Salom.

.If you are interested in writing a review of Selected Poems by Evan Jones for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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For Instance: A Haiku & Senryu Collection by Matt Hetherington. Mulla Mulla Press 2015. http://www.mullamullapress.com/for-instance-by-matt-hetherington-mulla-mulla-press

For Instance“This collection records the key events of three diverse passages in the poet’s life: travel in Northern India, nuances of an intimate relationship, and a summer journey through Morocco. In each, the adherance to chronology offers the intimacy of a diary but avoids tedium by addressing only events of significance. Hetherington’s own voice is candid, engaging , and without artifice. His poems tell the truth about lifde as he observes it, often with wry humour.” Beverley George.

For Instance has been reviewed.

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Free Will And The Clouds by Rob Wilson. Grand Parade Poets, 2014. http://grandparadepoets.com/free-will-and-the-clouds-rob-wilson/

GPP_Wilson_Free_Will_andthe_cloudsUnaligned with any of Australian poetry’s factions, yet well aware of his audience, Rob Wilson enjoys writing his risk-taking, for-the-hell-of-it poetry.

In an era of often overly-informative maximalism, Rob Wilson is succinct and measured − half-turned towards the world while auguring some newly burgeoning creation. Within the cathedral of Modernism, these poems are constructed like little chapels, cool and tenebrously illuminated. − John Hawke

.If you are interested in writing a review of Free Will and The Clouds for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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A Vicious Example by Michael Aiken. Grand Parade Poets, 2014. http://grandparadepoets.com/a-vicious-example-sydney-1934-1392k1-1811-1682k2-and-other-poems-by-michael-aiken/

GPP_Aiken_A_vicious_exampleThe nature of Sydney and the nature in Sydney, these are the foundations for much of Michael Aiken’s plain-speaking poetry, a verse that can be spare or lush as the city itself or as the city requires.

Michael Aiken’s poems are minimalist in style and expansive in scope. He has the ability to infuse a poem with menace and tenderness, often within the same line, and he does so with a quiet yet potent confidence.

A Vicious Example has been reviewed.

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Immune Systems by Andy Jackson. Transit Lounge, 2015. http://www.transitlounge.com.au/

immune systemIn Immune Systems Andy Jackson captures and interrogates the complexity of contemporary India with lyric beauty and an unflinching, yet tender, gaze. In the title suite of poems he explores ‘medical tourism’ , a booming industry in India , from the perspective of a Westerner undergoing surgery and recovery. Through various medical and social interactions, he experiences confusion, insight, anger, small epiphanies and the sheer humanity of other bodies. Political and economic problems inherent in the medical tourism inform the poetry, but the focus is always the human encounter.

Similarly in a series of ghazals, Jackson reveals how the metaphysical is embodied in the everyday. The larger questions of love, death, body and spirit live in the seemingly ordinary, while the beautifully cadenced verse is grounded by an assured conversational tone.

Immune System has been reviewed.

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Cocky’s Joy by Michael Farrel. Giramondo Press, 2015. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/cockys-joy/

Farrell-CJ-cover-D-RGB-214x300Michael Farrell is the most adventurous and experimental of contemporary Australian poets, since he continually pushes the boundaries of what our poetry can do. Cocky’s Joy is a stand-out collection because of the way it draws on Australian history and popular culture. Farrell was born and raised in rural NSW and as its title suggests, many of the poems in this collection are rooted in the bush, which they present as connected to the rest of the world in magical and often hilarious ways. There are love poems too, and riffs on such figures as the cowboy, the waiter and the assembled family. Farrell’s experimentalism doesn’t prevent him from offering moving tributes, to women and lovers, and to scenes recalled from the past. In fact, it is precisely his eye for metaphor and the unexpected combination, for punning and the letter – in both its verbal and visual aspects – that gives his poetry its humour and energy.

Cocky’s Joy is out for review.

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Babel Fish by Jillian Pattinson. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/babel-fish

babel_fish_310_449_sJillian Pattinson’s first full-length book of poetry includes portrait, lyrical, narrative and ekphrastic poems in free verse and novel forms. It won the 2010 Alec Bolton Prize for an unpublished manuscript. “The enigmatic vortex of the gyre, performing a fine balance between order and disorder, becomes the template for Jillian Pattinson’s poetry. Even her lists work as centrifuges, spinning us out into what she calls ‘the unmade world’. Her poetry will bring you into a world suspended in its fall, its gyre, somewhere between chaos and beauty. This kind of poetry is addictive to the ear and the mind. I know of nothing else quite like the way Pattinson’s poetry can speak of the questions, silences, birds, deaths, and the strangely shifting names of things in the world. Like a journal of half-remembered dreams, with a Borgesian minor magic, sharing the insight of the blind with an uncluttered vision, this poetry does new things with the psyche, the heart, and with the mind.” —Kevin Brophy

Babel Fish has been reviewed.

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FEBRUARY 2015

Now You Shall Know by Jennifer Compton.  Five Islands Press, 2014. http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/now-you-shall-know

Jennifer-Compton-cover-170x240‘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 Knowis a wondrously wide-ranging, disarming and haunting collection.’
—Jean Kent

Now You Shall Know has been reviewed.

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The Yellow Emperor by Michelle Leber. Five Islands Press, 2014. http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/yellow-emperor

Michelle-Leber-cover-only-170x240The Yellow Emperor is a vivid poetic response to one of the highpoints in China’s early history. It is both a gripping panorama and an intricate imagined portrait of a sovereign. His ministers and entourage heighten the spectacle of this ‘founder of the first Chinese state’. Michelle Leber pays tribute to a ‘historised legend’ ― the Yellow Emperor is noted in one of the first texts of Chinese Medicine. With citations from ancient records and reference to contemporary works, she sweeps the reader into valleys on an encounter with meridians, or onto higher ground to contemplate curative touchstones. How can the Yellow Emperor remain so robust after all the passing centuries? Leber adds vibrancy to this sovereign’s ethereal X factor. Australia’s literary livewire, Ron Pretty, writes: ‘the Yellow Emperor is with us to stay’.

.If you are interested in writing a review of The Yellow Emperor for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Haifa Fragments by Khulud Khamis. Spinifexpress, 2015.  http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=272/

haifa fragmentsJewellery designer Maisoon wants an ordinary extraordinary life, which isn’t easy for a tradition-defying, activist, Palestinian citizen of Israel who refuses to be crushed by the feeling of being an unwelcome guest in the land of her ancestors. Frustrated by the apathy of her boyfriend Ziyad and her father Majid—who want her to get on with her life and forget those in the Occupied Territories—she lashes out, only to discover her father isn’t the man she thought he was.

Haifa Fragments has been reviewed.

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Conversations I’ve Never Had by Caitlin Maling. Freemantle Press, 2015. http://www.fremantlepress.com.au/books/newreleases/1429 

conversations i've never hadIn her debut collection, award-winning talent Caitlin Maling explores coming of age in contemporary Australia. Writing from Perth, Houston and Cambridge, Maling’s early years to adulthood are told through the lens of the Australian landscape. For young settler Australians this is a place that both defines and undermines identity. A place that claims but can’t be claimed in return. Restlessly questioning and slipping between promise and possibility, Maling’s Australia is richly evoked in narratives of raw power and feeling.

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Conversations I’ve Never Had is out for review.

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Across the Line by Francessa Sasnaitis Ratas Editions 2015 https://www.facebook.com/rataseditions

acrossdthe lineThe poems collected in ‘Across the Line’ are influenced and inspired by jazz and improvised music, and a desire to “find a new order in the apparent disorder of sounds and thoughts” (Kenneth Koch).

Across the Line for Rochford Street Review is currently out for review.

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JANUARY 2015

Every Time You Close Your Eyes by Bel Schenk. Wakefield Press, 2014. http://www.wakefieldpress.com.au/product.php?productid=1195&cat=0&page=1

everytime you close your eyes‘Bel Schenk tells the story of disparate characters sharing New York City through two blackouts. Through a blunt poetic style infused with subtle irony and a tact for laying down a soul (Deep inside is exactly what you are thinking right now) Schenk adheres to people wanting to connect, with each other and with themselves. Every Time You Close Your Eyes is a work of intense atmospheric enquiry.’ – Heather Taylor Johnson.

.If you are interested in writing a review of Every Time You Close Your Eyes for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Brush by Joanne Burns. Giramondo Publishing, 2014. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/brush/

brush-cover-214x300The title of Joanne Burns’ new collection brush highlights the reader’s first experience of a poem, its initial electricity; and the way the poem offers a surface of words that  proceeds to reveal their possibilities or intentions. The central sequence ‘road’ is an animated display of the fashions of being in contemporary life – these poems are cheeky, playful, mercurial, surreal. Then there is the sequence called ‘bluff’, which excoriates twenty-first century financial culture with bite, hilarity and a sense of the absurd. There is a section devoted to personal memoir, including a five-part poem featuring Bondi beach, and a suite of memory fragments  depicting twentieth-century modes of travel. The final group of poems, ‘wooing the owl(or the great sleep forward)’, explores the night, sleep and dreams, with their strange tones and surprising perspectives. There are 80 poems in the collection, most of them short, stressing the compressed pleasure that only poetry can offer.

Brush is out for review.

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Open House by David Brookes. UQP, 2015. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1336/Open%20House

open house david brrokesOpen House reveals David Brooks’ award-winning talent as a writer and imaginative scholar. Opening the house of his life and extending naturally the striking love poetry of his last volume, The Balcony, Brooks’ arrestingly confessional poems range in scale from observations of the smallest creatures underfoot – stepped over, left in peace – to acknowledgments both of the smallness of human endeavour and the catastrophic effects of our custodianship. Vital in all senses, these are poems through which to view the world afresh. This much anticipated new volume is at once powerful, resonant and unreserved.

Open House has been reviewed.

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The Weekly Poem: 52 Exercises In Closed & Open Poem Forms, edited by Jordie Albiston. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-weekly-poem

the_weekly_poem_310_433_sThe Weekly Poem has been primarily designed with teachers and students of poetry in mind. It contains exercises using 52 different concepts and forms, all of which have been developed to inspire and expand poetic practice. Each exercise is accompanied by one or more poems—sourced from around the world, with a main focus on Australia—which provide guidance, depth and an invigorating sense of possibility.

The Weekly Poem represents an invaluable resource for all poets—emerging or established—and may be of benefit both in the classroom or at the private desk.

The Weekly Poem: 52 Exercises In Closed & Open Forms has been reviewed.

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Penelope’s Chairs by Elizabeth Lawson. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/penelopes-chairs

penelopes_chairs_310_448_sElizabeth Lawson has been an abiding and important presence in Australian Literature, particularly Australian Women’s Literature, for many years. This collection makes available, for the first time, a representative and thematically diverse selection of her highly crafted, linguistically playful, witty and richly meditative verse.

It is a poetry of wide embrace: flowers, grasses, birds, reptiles, and mammals both of land and sea all find place and voice here. But not all such poems can be only celebratory: the connection is fragile, the fragility haunts, and we are often culpable.

Time and Love are governing principles too: places travelled to and through, lived and lived-in; people once-lost but always loved, people loved now and always. Many of these poems, rich in reference and allusion, reveal the poet’s love of literature, art, and music; all reveal the poet’s love of language and its possibilities, from the quirky to the caustic to the profound.

If you are interested in writing a review of Penelope’s Chairs for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Terra Bravura by Meredith Wattison. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2015. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/terra-bravura

terra_bravura_310_437_sMeredith Wattison, a poet and essayist, was born in Sydney 1963. This work differs from her previous books of poetry- the most recent Basket of Sunlight was commended in the 2008 Judith Wright Prize- as it is fully autobiographical, a remembrance of her miner and humanitarian ALP politician grandfather and an abstract of her father’s memory and rotes of dementia within a narrative of origin and passage. she lived in the Wollondilly, on the pastoral outskirts of Sydney, since 2000.

Terra Bravura has been reviewed.

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East & Under The Weather by Laurie Duggan. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/east-under-the-weather

east_and_under_the_weather_310_448_sLaurie Duggan’s first book of poetry, East: Poems 1970 –1974 appeared in 1976 when the poet was 27. This reprinting of his debut work includes the addition of several poems from the early 1970s, all in mostly chronological order. Under the Weather, first published in 1976 is here reprinted in a corrected text, as well as revisions of some poems which the author made shortly after the original publication.

If you are interested in writing a review of East & Under the Weather for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Scavenger’s Season by Christopher (Kit) Kelen. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/scavengers-season

scavengers_season_310_459_sChristopher (Kit) Kelen’s Scavenger’s Season represents a quarter century’s poetic engagement with a place. In this case the place is five acres between two forests – at Markwell via Bulahdelah, in the Hunter Region, on the NSW North Coast. Scene of home building and the urbanite’s ongoing rustic and romantic adventures, Scavenger’s Season articulates, for every sense, a blow-in’s ambivalent belonging in the bush. The coast is never far away, weather passes relentlessly. The fauna feature, both domestic and transient – denizens of creek and sky. They’re as sparse and quirky as the human cast. There are Chinese (and many other) influences and a painter’s sensibility in the manner of making of these poems. Indirection is the way to go, and so we find the persona ‘setting out by breath alone…/the odd man tinkering breezes’, who asks, ‘o how may I be lost as them?’ There’s much more to these bucolics though than a view taken in from the veranda. There’s political economy, as in ‘a little dole’ll do!’ Things are elemental too, as in the gathering around ‘the old bush television’. There’s abstract depth, dark and light, as attested by works of homage, to the poet Celan on the one hand, and to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic on the other. So Kelen is ‘hunting wild nexus’. All this is evidence of an obsession that experience must amount to art in order to find expression. The place is the journey, home is in the coming and going, and in space that is devoutly other-than-national. At some fundamental level, it’s all about having fun where you are, about tuning in well enough to do so. A tribute to the artlife as bricolage, Scavenger’s Season is above all a text to foreshadow efforts ahead – it is a book of homecoming.

Scavenger’s Season is currently out for review.

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Cut A Long Story Short by Peter Lach-Newinsky.  Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/cut-a-long-story-short

cut_a_long_story_short_310_446_sIn Cut a Long Story Short Lach-Newinsky creates a resonant and lucid rave, a memoir that subverts and extends the genre, while waging a campaign to show us the incalculable facts of war, eco-troubles, the downhill slide to death and the leavening joys of life. It’s a mash-up of realities in the 20th & 21st centuries that ropes in The Wasteland, Rilke and Whitman, language as bridge & barrier, MacGyver, Frisbees and A4 batteries. A salutary read.”- Carol Jenkins

If you are interested in writing a review of Cut A Long Story Short for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Towards The Equator: New and Selected poems by Alex Skovron. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/towards-the-equator-new-selected-poems 

Towards_the_equator_310_476_sThis New & Selected Poems is a substantial and long-awaited compilation from one of Australia’s most accomplished poets, a retrospective spanning more than thirty years. The New Poems section, ‘Towards the Equator’, represents Alex Skovron’s sixth book-length collection and signals a return to the formal variety that has been a hallmark of his work. As always, a distinct Eurocentric sensibility sits alongside an engagement with Western art and culture. All six collections are characterized by close attention to craft, versatility of tone and technique, and a seriousness of intent seasoned at times with wry humour or playful wit. We encounter a rich assortment of voices, moods and scenarios as the landscapes of experience, the playgrounds of the mind and the theatres of the self are negotiated. Music, memory, philosophy, the creative spirit and language itself are focal-points; the dimensions of faith and the elusive quest for self-knowledge colour the shifting light; while Eros, in various guises, accompanies many of the poems across the plains and borderlands of the imagination. Recurring motifs in Skovron’s poetry include the perpetual tussle with history, the search for a clarity of vision, and our often ambiguous relationship with identity, with each other, and with the enigmas of time and remembrance.

If you are interested in writing a review of Towards The Equator: New and Selected poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Alterworld: Sky Poems, The Well Mouth, Alterworld by Philip Salom. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry, 2015. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/alterworld 

Alterworld, SalomWhen Peter Porter noted the brilliance of Philip Salom’s poems and said they were unlike anything in Australian poetry, he was referring to Sky Poems (1987), an ironic otherworld of the twentieth century and the first book of the Alterworld trilogy. Salom later added The Well Mouth (2005), an underworld of limbo and stopped-life to counter Sky Poems’ endless possibilities. Now the accidental realities of Alterworld reach into the twenty-first century but remain haunted by Salom’s ambiguous visions of life and death. The poems have satirical verve and sensuality, and are layered in surprising linguisitic echoes; his imagination is almost architectural but also acutely social. Alterworld is extraordinary and unique.

Alterworld: Sky Poems, The Well Mouth, Alterworld is currently out for review.

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Collected Poems: Lesbia Harford Edited and Introduced by Oliver Dennis UWAP 2014 (Poetry). http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/poetry/products/collected-poems-lesbia-harford

HARFORDLesbia Harford has occupied only a small place in Australian literary history — for decades she was utterly forgotten — yet when she died, at thirty-six, she left behind three notebooks containing some of the finest lyric poems ever written in Australia.

Harford’s writing blends Pre-Raphaelite influences and plain-speaking with unusual subtlety. At the same time she was bound inextricably to the period in which she lived: war in Europe, changing attitudes to religion, the suffrage movement, and widespread social upheaval all helped make her one of the first truly modern, urban figures in Australian poetry.

Collected Poems: Lesbia Harford is out for review

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Ecstasies and Elegies by Paul Carter UWAP 2014 (Poetry) http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/poetry/products/ecstacies-and-elegies-poems

Ecstasies_ElegiesThe poems of Ecstacies and Elegies are as engaging and virtuosic in their range of styles as they are generous in their imagery.

The way up and the way down are the same, said Heraclitus, and in this moving collection the ecstasy of love coexists with the grief of death; the pain of loss is in proportion to the longing for union. The poet is lifted up, flying over the earth’s surface like a bird; he climbs and descends the stairs of foreign cities; in the breakup of a relationship he looks up from the city pavement. States of illness are translated into lucid dreams. Tours in other countries discover an inner music. A fissure in reality opens up.

Paul Carter’s intuition that space is history has distinguished his cultural writing, public art and radiophonic scripting. In his first full length volume of poems, a celebrated debut, we encounter a startling overlay of immemorial myth and ephemeral urban encounter. Spirits of the classical world jostle with the sensory stimuli of contemporary domestic life. Desire tours a terrain of abysses.

Ecstasies and Elegiesis currently out for review.

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Geoffrey Lehmann: Poems 1957-2103. UWAP 2014 (Poetry) http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/collections/poetry/products/poems-1957-2013

LehmannThis substantial volume, Poems 1957–2013, contains all of the poetry written by Geoffrey Lehmann considered by the poet to be worthy of inclusion. He has taken the prerogative of the mature artist looking back to revise poems, sometimes substantially, and to restore lines and passages he had removed from earlier versions. Displaying the breadth and depth of his poetry, Lehmann explores human nature in settings as diverse as ancient Rome and rural New South Wales, from searing satire to the domestic life of a family. The collection is divided into five sections: Simple Sonnets (1958–2011); Earlier Poems; Nero’s Poems (1970–2002); Spring Forest (1970–2010); and Later Poems (1976–2013).

This is Geoffrey Lehmann’s second volume of collected poems: in this book the span is dazzling; the poetry a major literary vessel from a highly awarded Australian writer.

If you are interested in writing a review of Geoffrey Lehmann: Poems 1957-2103 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Nightswim by Justin Lowe Bluepepper 2014 (Poetry) http://www.thecarnivalbookstore.blogspot.com.au/

NightswimJustin Lowe was born in Sydney but spent significant portions of his childhood on the Spanish island of Minorca with his younger sister and artist mother. He developed a penchant for writing poetry while performing lyrics for a succession of failed bands and has since published all over the world. He currently resides in a house called “Doug” in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney where he edits Bluepepper – a poetry blog.

Nightswim has been reviewed.

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Exhibits of the Sun by Stephen Edgar Black Pepper 2014 (Poetry) http://blackpepperpublishing.com/edgareots.html

exhibits of the sun“Look, look,” exhorts the opening poem of this dazzling new collection. The discoveries of observation, both physical and intellectual, ravishing and harrowing, are recounted across a broad sweep of experience. Edgar returns habitually to the character of light. Exhibits of the Sun moves from the ghostly Ferris wheel of Saturn’s rings to the beach pavilion wrapped in ochre fog during Sydney’s dust storm, from the glimpses of a lover’s light-shaped body in the passage of the moon to a vision of a whole lifetime between one eye blink and the next. Presiding over all is Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History, swept away into the future as he looks back on the unravelled pageant of humanity.

If you are interested in writing a review of Exhibits of the Sun for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Vagabondage by Beth Spencer. UWAP 2014 (Poetry – Verse Memoir). http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/vagabondage

9781742586342_cov.inddIn this playful verse memoir about a year spent living in a campervan, Beth Spencer takes us on a journey into the pleasures and challenges of being in service to freedom. A poignant, sharp and funny meditation on belonging – circling back and forth between family, relationships, memory and desire – her story tracks the often fine line between solitude and loneliness, the pull of what we possess and what possesses us, and the elusive idea of home.

This is a long-awaited new book from the author of Things in a Glass Box (FIP, 1994) and How to Conceive of a Girl (Vintage, 1996), which was runner-up for the Steele Rudd Award. Vagabondage will appeal not just to lovers of poetry, but also to those interested in a new way of writing memoir.

If you are interested in writing a review of Vagabondage for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Walking: New and Selected Poems by Kevin Brophy . John Leonard Press 2014 (Poetry) http://johnleonardpress.com/?p=195

BrophyKevin Brophy begins this selection of his poetry, tracing back to the early 1980s, with a book-length section of new poems, the fruit of the past five years of writing. His five previous poetry volumes are all represented with substantial selections – reviewed widely, those books are now out of print.

The new work comes from a poet who has long made rich, intimate, lyrical and disturbing poetry about Melbourne’s inner-northern urban streets and backyards, about memory and family, and more lately about the seemingly natural surrealism of the mind. The domain is home to psychology, and perhaps philosophy. But the tracking of thought in Brophy’s poems is continually grounded in the senses, and he is alert to the uniqueness of ordinary human occasions. He is a master of tonality and nuance.

If you are interested in writing a review of Walking: New and Selected Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Sojourn by Alex R Chapman RATAS Editions 2014 (Poetry) https://www.facebook.com/rataseditions

SojournA collection of poems by Alex R Chapman written while journeying through France in 2011-12. Alex R Chapman was born in Sydney in 1959 but has lived in Perth since 1988 working as a botanist – publishing numerous articles, papers and one book: ‘The Western Australian Flora – a descriptive catalogue’. He started writing songs and performing while at the University of New England and has been playing music in various bands ever since at venues around Sydney, Fremantle and at the highly regarded Fairbridge Festival.

If you are interested in writing a review of Sojourn for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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construct a world by Francesca Sasnaitis & Alex R Chapman RATAS Editions 2014 (Poetry) https://www.facebook.com/rataseditions

construct a worldAlex and Francesca, Perth and Melbourne, distance and proximity, dissonance and harmony… In May 2014, while on holiday in the south of France, they began writing the collaborative poems collected in construct a world. Taking their cue from the Dadaists, William S. Burroughs and the many subsequent poets and lyricists who have availed themselves of the vagaries of chance, they wrote individual poems on mutually agreed themes and constrained by agreed time-frames. They wrote with pencil or biro on paper torn from a notepad. They cut their poems into strips. They scattered their lines to the winds and shuffled them with feathers. Lines fell where they would, and were plucked at random from the pile. Construction began, one line below the other, a physical poem slowly meandering across the table. When all the strips had been laid down, the lines were transcribed into digital form (evidence of the physical poems remain sealed in zip-lock bags). Often the resulting configurations opened new lines of reflection, digression, suggestion…

construct a world is currently out for review.

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The Nonchalant Garden by Liz McQuilkin Walleah Press 2014 (Poetry).  http://store.walleahpress.com.au/liz-mcquilkins-poetry-collection-the-nonchalant-garden-may-2014/

nonchalant Garden7536921.1280.1280“The nonchalant blossoming face of a summer garden belies the work going on below its lovely surface. So it is with the poems in Liz Quilkin’s first collection, ‘The Nonchalant Garden’. They flower from her sharp-eyed intelligent noticing, a fine ear, a caring but not uncritical heart, subversive humour, and above all, a life lived reflectively and responsibly, taking nothing for granted.” – Maureen Scott Harris

If you are interested in writing a review of The Nonchalant Garden for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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A Slow Combusting Hymn: Poetry from and about Newcastle and the Hunter Region, Edited by Kit Kelen and Jean Kent. 2014 ASM. http://asmacao.org/publications/contemporary-australian-poetry/a-slow-combusting-hymn/

Slow combustingThis anthology celebrates the special qualities of the landscape and way of life in the region. Like all important anthologies, this is a book that can be read cover to cover or by dipping. Place is the key and whether the places in particular are mentioned by name or not. This is a book of experience of somewhere….”

If you are interested in writing a review of A Slow Combusting Hymn: Poetry from and about Newcastle and the Hunter Region for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Keeps with Patience, Mutiny & Man Wolf Man by L.K. Holt 2014 (Poetry) John Leonard Press. http://johnleonardpress.com/?p=603

keepsThis volume opens with Keeps, a full-length book of new poems by LK Holt. Bound-in with it are her two prior books, Patience, Mutiny and Man Wolf Man.

A hallmark of Holt’s poetry has always been its continual refreshing of angles of vision. She has a dark skill with the unexpected image, and the thought that goes into an unexpected place. There is immediacy, even abruptness, amid her airy, crafted structures, and her music subsists in this.

The keeps in the new book are of course the new poems themselves, which for Holt are essentially findings. Her impulse as a poet is to the retrieving of story, and the objects of the world that erupt from the midst of story. Her bent is at the same time lyrical, sometimes meeting the world afresh through contemplations of paintings, sculpture, and film, and always quietly touching on selfhood.

If you are interested in writing a review of Keeps for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Breaking Beauty Stories edited by Lynette Washington 2014 (Short Stories). MidnightSun Publishing http://midnightsunpublishing.com/books/breaking-beauty/

breaking beautyBreaking Beauty puts one of the greatest obsessions of our time under the spotlight and shows that beauty rarely exists without its grubby underbelly. There is no light without darkness.

The writers in this collection discover that beauty can be found in the most unusual and unexpected places… in suburban driveways, graveyards, finials, cupcakes, train stations, grape-vines and of course in the complexities of human relationships. They also find beauty in more conventional places like love, sex and the innocence of childhood.

The writers in Breaking Beauty attended the Creative Writing postgraduate program at the University of Adelaide, one of the pre-eminent creative writing programs in Australia. Many have received national awards and been published widely in Australia and internationally. This collection showcases some of our finest established and emerging writers.

Breaking Beauty is currently out for review.

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3 Painters: Marquet Bonnard Becmann: Colledted Works Volume 5 by John Watson 2014 (Poetry) Puncher and Wattmann. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/three-painters

three_paintersAlbert Marquet travelling widely in search of the ultimate harbour; Pierre Bonnard ‘transcribing the adventures of the optic nerve’; Max Beckmann plunging into myth: these are the subjects of Watson’s three manoeuvres. Picasso famously said that Bonnard’s palette was a ‘pot-pourri of indecision’ and that he ‘never used one colour when he could use many’. Watson’s celebration of Bonnard takes this multiplicity as its starting point. In Bonnard ‘the complexity of the visual field’ becomes the complexity of narrative. This variegated sequence is flanked by a suite of poems accompanying Marquet’s repeated travels through France, Europe and Egypt; and by a tour-de-force in which Watson skis down the snow peaks of Beckmann’s world, negotiating a panoply of mermen, mermaids and demi-gods.

3 Painters: Marquet Bonnard Becmann: Colledted Works Volume 5 is currently out for review.

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Embracing the Razor by John Upton. 2014 (Poetry). Puncher and Wattmann. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/embracing-the-razor

Embracing_The_RazorTender poems on the death of his wife, witty Philip Larkin apercus, meditations on the spiritual need of Australians for Europe, hard-eyed satire as a political fixer dismisses as out-of-date the instruments of torture in the Tower of London: John Upton’s range is broad and his poetic skills accomplished. There’s also wit, along with rollicking humour and love of the absurd, with jealous Othello transposed into Sydney’s posh Eastern Suburbs, and a defrocked priest with a gambling habit sacked and clerking at the TAB.

If you are interested in writing a review of Embracing the Razor for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Bulu Line: A west Kimberley Song Cycle by George Dyuŋgayan. Edited and Translated by Stuart Cooke. 2014 (Poetry). Puncher and Wattmann. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-bulu-line

Bulu LineGeorge Dyuŋgayan was a powerful Nyigina lawman from the Roebuck Plains (east of Broome). Over the course of a life spanning much of the twentieth century, the spirit of his late father visited him in dreams and gave him the seventeen verses of the The Bulu Line. Full of magic and local history, the poems describe journeys with ancestors and spirit beings, encounters with rainbow serpents and ferocious storms, and explore the vast distances of the West Kimberley landscape.

A pioneering experiment in contemporary Australian literature, George Dyuŋgayan’s The Bulu Line is the translation of a richly textured oral poetry into printed form. Rather than reduce the songpoetry to short, static lines of verse, Stuart Cooke has assembled a series of startling multi-vocal texts that invite a plethora of never-ending readings. This book showcases the complexity and power of one of the world’s oldest and greatest literary traditions, and provides testament to its remarkable capacity for ongoing evolution.

If you are interested in writing a review of Bulu Line: A west Kimberley Song Cycle for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Niqab and the Mumkin by David Foster. 2014  (Essays) Puncher and Wattmann. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-niqab-and-the-mumkin

The_Niqab_and_the_Mumkin“As Allan Bloom observes, flattery of the people and incapacity to resist public opinion are the democratic vices, particularly among journalists and writers dependent on an audience. You will find these essays candid and I have paid a price for that candour.”—David Foster

Among these characteristically inflammatory essays, David Foster recounts, for the first time and in considerable detail, the impact upon him personally, and upon his career, of David Foster Wallace.

The Niqab and the Mumkin has been reviewed.

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Poems from Here by Kathryn Hummel Walleah Press 2014 (Poetry).  http://kathrynhummel.com/

Poems from Here“These poems trace a path across the globe, delving into experiences with luminous intensity and gentle self-satire. Katherine Hummel is deeply engaged with the world and conveys her insights with a perceptiveness that is at once brilliantly precise and sumptuously lyrical”.  – Rachel Mead.

If you are interested in writing a review of Poems from Here for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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DECEMBER 2014

Diary Farm by Joel Scott Vagabond Press – Rare Objects 2014 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/joel-scott-diary-farm

Diary_FarmThe poems in DIARY FARM are cells in a dispersed field spanning Berlin and Sydney. The experiences in them are scattered; patterns of distracted consciousness. The dispersion occurs through bodies, hearts, language(s), boats. News and political disaster sprayed through the feed channels and coughed back up, rearranged around the space of the page. Joel Scott is a poet from Sydney. He is part of the Berlin-based GROUP DOG, an internationalist, unambitious alliance of literary ratbags. His poems have been published, online and in print, in Australia and Germany. Before DIARY FARM, he has produced two poetry objects, CORNEARS and catalogue (Mouca).

If you are interested in writing a review of Diary Farm for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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We Are Not The Same Anymore by Chris Somerville. UQP 2013 (Short Stories)http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1235/We%20Are%20 Not%20The%20Same%20Anymore

We Are Not The Same AnymoreWe Are Not The Same Anymore is a collection of short fiction about people trying to connect with each other and the difficulties of finding intimacy. In these stories, Chris Somerville plays out the small catastrophes of everyday life, cutting his characters adrift in the uneasiness that ensues.

A man turns up at his daughter’s birthday party with a goldfish in an ice-cream container. On the way to collect firewood, a woman and her teenaged neighbour crash in a snowstorm. An unwilling son helps his sister and father put up posters for a missing dog named Michael.

Familiar and endearing, Somerville’s characters are consumed with their own neuroses, and through their eyes, the landscape of the domestic becomes surreal and dully terrifying. Suffused with a dark humour, their struggles for intimacy are recreated on the page with a deft and affectionate touch.

If you are interested in writing a review of We Are Not The Same Anymore for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Ninety9 by Vanessa Berry Giramondo Shorts 2013 (Non Fiction – Memoir) http://www.giramondopublishing.com/non-fiction/ninety9/

Ninety-9In the last decade of the twentieth century, when music was recorded on cassettes and movies on VHS, Vanessa Berry was responding to the loneliness of life in the suburbs of Sydney by constructing imaginary worlds and identities from late-night music video programs, band T-shirts, mix-tapes and and the ‘dark energy’ of goth. Written and illustrated by one of Australia’s foremost zine-makers, Ninety 9 is a memoir about adolescence, its cherished objects, its magical places and, above all, its friendships –a personal guide to the end of the millennium for those who were too young to be there, and an intimate history, full of moments of recognition, for those who were.

Ninety9 is currently out for review

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Six by John Clanchy Finlay Lloyd 2014 (Short Fiction). http://finlaylloyd.com/books/

SixA collection of richly varied long stories by John Clanchy. These stories reveal the disguised impulses and motivations, the telling switch-points of modern life. With humour, insight and compassion, Clanchy draws us deep within the world of his characters.

Clanchy is best known for his long stories which have won various regional, State and international awards. (He has also written five novels.) The story collection, Vincenzo’s Garden, won seven awards, including the ACT Book of the Year and the Steele Rudd Award (Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards), both in 2006. The novel The Hard Word also won the ACT Book of the Year. International Awards for his stories include The Commonwealth Literature and language Studies Prize (Europe), The Antipodes Prize for Short Fiction, The PEN Air-NZ Prize.

If you are interested in writing a review of Six for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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October 2014

Batterbee and Namatira by Martin Edmond.Giramond Publishing 2014 (Biography). http://www.giramondopublishing.com/forthcoming/battarbee-and-namatjira/

Battarbee & NamatjiraBattarbee and Namatjira is the double biography of artists Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira, one white Australian from Warrnambool in Victoria, the other Aboriginal, of the Arrernte people, from the Hermannsburg Mission west of Alice Springs. From their first encounters in the early 1930s, when Battarbee introduced Namatjira to the techniques of watercolour painting, through the period of Namatjira’s extraordinary popularity as a painter, to his tragic death in 1959, their close relationship was to have a decisive impact on Australian art. This double biography makes extensive use of Battarbee’s diaries for the first time, to throw new light on Namatjira’s life, and to bring Battarbee, who has been largely ignored by biographers, back into focus. Moving between the artists and their backgrounds, Edmond portrays the personal and social difficulties the two men faced, while at the same time illuminating large cultural themes – the traditions and legacies of the Arrernte, the influence of the Lutheran church, the development of anthropology and the evolution of Australian art.

Batterbee and Namatira is currently out for review.

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Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neerven. UQP 2014 (Fiction). http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1312/Heat%20and%20Light

Heat & LightIn this award-winning work of fiction, Ellen van Neerven takes her readers on a journey that is mythical, mystical and still achingly real. Over three parts, she takes traditional storytelling and gives it a unique, contemporary twist. In ‘Heat’, we meet several generations of the Kresinger family and the legacy left by the mysterious Pearl. In ‘Water’, a futuristic world is imagined and the fate of a people threatened. In ‘Light’, familial ties are challenged and characters are caught between a desire for freedom and a sense of belonging. Heat and Light presents an intriguing collection while heralding the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian writing.

If you are interested in writing a review of Heat and Light for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The World to Come edited by Patrick West & Om Prakash Dwivedi Spinless Wonders 2014 (Short Stories). http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/anthologies-3/the_world_to_come/#more-4073

The_World_To_ComeIn 1738, English preacher, Isaac Watts wrote The world to come, a Christian tract about departed souls, death, and the glory or terror of the resurrection. Almost 300 years later the world to come still fascinates readers. It’s not only climate change, it’s the climate of everything: from technological ‘advances’ that threaten to create an immortal humanity; to an endless ‘war on terror,’ which means that, though we may never know war, nor will we ever truly know peace; to a thousand visions of post-Apocalyptic life in the media. The world to come is everywhere; it is with us now… In this anthology, twenty-one writers respond to the world to come – the one just around the corner, the hereafter and the everywhen.

The World to Come is currently out for review.

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Salt and Bone by Zenobia Frost  Walleah Press 2014 (Poetry). http://store.walleahpress.com.au/zenobia-frosts-salt-and-bone/

Salt and BoneZenobia Frost is a Brisbane-based writer with roots in Hawkes Bay, NZ and Cambridge, UK. She is the coordinating editor of Cordite Poetry Review and an expat of the Voiceworks editorial committee. She has performed nationally with the Arts Queensland Touring Poets Program (2009) and Queensland Poetry Festival Regional Roadshow (2012). Her poem “The Hobby” was awarded second place in the 2013 John Marsden Prize for Young Australian Writers, while “Of the Moment” was shortlisted in the 2013 Overland Judith Wright Prize for New and Emerging Writers. Zenobia is fiercely fond of Brisbane’s mettlesome approach to making art.

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If you are interested in writing a review of Salt and Bone for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Joan Makes History by Kate Grenville. Loving Daughters by Olga Masters – UQP Modern Classics

Joan Makes HistoryUQP Modern Classics marks the arrival of a new series celebrating Australia’s greatest writers by republishing their finest early works. Starting with Gillian Mears’ Finelour and now Olga Masters’ Loving Daughters and Kate Grenville’s Joan Makes History. All these titles come from UQP’s rich back-list and are being repackaged for a contemporary audience.

Joan Makes History -In this rollicking, irreverent tour de force, Kate Grenville rewrites the familiar past. Joan is a woman of no great distinction, but in the life of her imagination she is in the front line of events, cheerfully altering history. Joan Makes History was first published in 1988 and was funded by the Australian Bicentennial Authority to celebrate 200 years of history. Loving Daughtershttp://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1323/Joan%20Makes%20History

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Loving Daughters – With this, her first novel, Olga Masters was immediately hailed for her powerful and original fiction. Loving Daughters is a brilliant, unsentimental portrait of two sisters – one artistic and restless, the other houseproud, her father’s favourite. The entry of an eligible young man into their lives creates a disturbing triangle of desire and rivalry. Loving Daughters was highly commended for the National Book Council Award (then Australia’s key literary award) and was also published in the US by Norton and in France by Rivages. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1320/Loving%20Daughters

If you are interested in reviewing these titles for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Life Drawings by Lesley Walter. Walleah Press. 2014 (Poetry)

Life Drawing“Children and cats, querulous aged mothers, scenes from the natural world, a series of moving poems about her father’s last days, and a wealth of line drawings. Such richness here, in tones ranging from playful to the deeply series. This long-waited collection demonstrates the wonder to be found in everyday things – but, to capture them in all their marvelous detail, you need an eye as keen as Lesley Walter’s.” – Ron Pretty

If you are interested in writing a review of Life Drawings for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Drones and Phantoms by Jennifer Maiden Giramondo Publishing 2014 (Poetry). http://www.giramondopublishing.com/author/jennifer-maiden/drones-and-phantoms/

Drones and PhantomsDrones and Phantoms is a powerful successor to Maiden’s prize-winning collection Liquid Nitrogen, and again features her unique interweaving of the personal and the political, in the use of intimate and public poetic modes within each poem and within the collection as a whole. The poems are in fact conversations, not only between the poet and the reader, but between historical and political figures, such as Princess Diana and Mother Teresa, Tanya Pliberesek and Jane Austen, Mandela and Obama, Queen Victoria and Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who come to life in Maiden’s poems to discuss their anxieties and ethical insecurities. There are also poems on the Cypriot financial crisis, Jimmy Hoffa, Judith Wright, Julia Gillard, the Copenhagen giraffe killing and Russian power in the Crimea. Maiden is unique both for the interrogative power of her poems, and the sense of vulnerability they express, in their subjects, and in the poet herself.

If you are interested in writing a review of Drones and Phantoms for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Flashing the Square: Microfiction & Prose Poems Edited by Linda Godfrey & Bronwyn Mehan Spinless Wonders 2014  http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/microlit/flashing_the_square/#more-4074

Flashing the SquareEvery word counts when writers craft their stylish narratives in just half a page. Flashing The Square, the companion book of screen-sized stories flashed across Melbourne’s Federation Square, is packed with the best micro literature from around Australia. These 200-word gems sparkle with life, love, laughs, politics and poetry.

Featuring work by invited authors of microfiction and prose poem as well as finalists from the 2014 joanne burns Award selected by Angela Meyer and Richard Holt.

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Flashing the Square has been reviewed.

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Writing to the Edge: Prose Poems & Microfiction edited by Linda Godfrey and Ali Jane Smith. Spinless Wonders 2014 http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/microlit/writing_to_the_edge/#more-4097

Witing to the Edge“The 31 authors included in Writing to the Edge demonstrate many ways of making much from little. In pieces ranging in length from a few pages to a line or two, they intrigue, amuse, sadden and enlighten us in turn. Their carefully chosen words and striking images provide vivid glimpses into other lives, other places, other minds”. PROF. ELIZABETH WEBBY AM

Contributors include: Stevi-Lee Alver, Kate Andrews-Day, Cassandra Atherton , Kathleen Bleakley, Jude Bridge, Julie Chevalier, Moya Costello, Nick Couldwell, Lauren Aimee Curtis, Romana Dalgleish, Alexia Derbas, Kevin Gillam, Phil Hammial, Jonathon Hawden, Tim Heffernan, Hilary Hewitt, Elizabeth Hodgson, Richard Holt, Alana Kelsall, Patrick Lenton, Marjorie Lewis-Jones, Joshua Lobb, Natasha Luca, Susan McCreery, Alyson Miller, jenni nixon, Mark O’Flynn, Ron Pretty, Mark Roberts, Brenda Saunders, Mark Smith and Andrew Stuckgold.

Writing to the Edge has been reviewed

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September 2014

Regime 04 Magazine of New Writing http://www.regimebooks.com.au/regime04/

regime 4The latest issue of the world’s most frivolous serious literary magazine is now available and is packed full of poetry from Australia and around the world. Poems by Andrew Burke, Robbie Coburn, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Stuart Barnes, Helga Jermy, Roland Leach, Geoff Page, Mark Roberts, Michele Seminara and many, many more. Short stories by Danielle Spinks, Stephen Pollock, Libbie Chellew, Deborah Sheldon and Christopher Konrad.

If you are interested in writing a review of Regime 4 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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South in the World by Lisa Jacobson UWAP 2014 (Poetry). http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/products/south-in-the-world

South_in_the_WorldSouth in the World is a dialogue between the earthly and the ethereal, reality and enchantment, body and spirit — those southern and northern poles by which we navigate the world. The poems in this collection speak to family, love and daily living as well as a world blighted by cataclysm and touched by redemption. The book’s title sequence, ‘South in the World’, is a response to the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, which came within eleven kilometres of the poet’s home.

This is the new poetry collection from the author of the verse novel, The Sunlit Zone (Five Islands Press, 2012), which won the 2014 Adelaide Festival John Bray Poetry Award and was shortlisted for the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the 2013 Stella Prize, the 2012 Wesley Michel Wright Prize and, as a manuscript, for the 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

If you are interested in writing a review of South in the World for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Convent Mermaid by Rod Usher Interactive Press (IP) 2014. http://ipoz.biz/Titles/ConM.htm

Convent MermaidRod Usher’s third collection, Convent Mermaid, is full of wit and sadness, love and loss. Many of the poems spring from his long experience as a journalist, novelist and from years of living and working in Europe. As Les Murray has written, Rod´s poetry inspires both tears and laughter. He’s equally at home in poetic conversation with Emily Dickinson, David Bowie and Federico Garcia Lorca, in revisiting Cro-Magnon Man, or portraying the to-and-fro of love and sex.

Convent Mermaid is currently out for review.

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Second Thoughts by B N Oakman Interactive Press (IP) 2014. http://www.ipoz.biz/Titles/ST.htm

Second ThoughtsA poet for the journey rather than the arrival, Oakman blends intellect, heart and imagination in sharply observed verse employing the rhythms of everyday speech with a conversational tone devoid of sentimentality. He eschews distracting detail, embellishment and pointless abstractions, to usher his readers towards closing lines frequently of startling impact.

If you are interested in writing a review of Second Thoughts for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Crow Mellow by Julian Davies, illustrated by Phil Day. FinalyLloyd 2014 (Novel) http://finlaylloyd.com/books/

Crow MellowJulian Davies’ sixth and most unusual novel, is a contemporary social satire closely based on Aldous Huxley’s first novel (from 1921), Crome Yellow. This playful response to another book is startlingly furthered by the text being surrounded by almost 400 drawings by Phil Day, whose hand-made books are collected by many state and university libraries, including The National Library of Australia. In this lively collaboration between words and pictures, the illustrations form a closely related parallel visual text that weave around and interact with the unfolding story. Set in multi-millionaire Mitchell Rimbush’s bush retreat, where artists and writers on the make gather with their wealthy admirers, conversation is the one constant prerequisite.

If you are interested in writing a review of Crow Mellow for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Bapo by Nicholas Jose Giramondo Publishing 2014 (Short Stories) http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/bapo/

BapoThe title of Nicholas Jose’s new collection of stories refers to a form of Chinese painting that tricks the eye into thinking what it sees is a collage of fragments. Bapo literally means ‘eight broken’, where eight is a Chinese lucky number and ‘broken’ implies that luck has run out – though the term also suggests that there’s another kind of luck, in simply surviving, and being able to hold the pieces of one’s life together in some sort of order.

Jose’s stories feature a cast of characters affected by time or chance in different ways, artists, diplomats, entrepreneurs, immigrants, families at the crossroads. Many explore Australia’s relationship to China or have echoes of China in them; others dwell on the qualities of memory, resilience, play and adventure – qualities which are implicit in the form of bapo, and characteristic of Jose’s writing as a whole.

Bapo is currently out for review.

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Death Fugue by Sheng Keyi (Translated by Shelly Bryant). Giramondo Publishing 2014 (Fiction). http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/death-fugue/

DeathFugueUnpublished in China, published for the first time in English by Giramondo, Death Fugue is a bold work of speculative fiction, scathing in its irony, elaborate in its use of allegory, and acute in its understanding of the power of writing. The imagination that drives it is exuberant and unconstrained.

In a large square in the centre of Beiping, the capital of Dayang, a huge tower of excrement appears one day, causing unease in the population, and ultimately widespread civil unrest. The protest, in which poets play an important part, is put down violently. Haunted by the violence, and by his failure to support his girlfriend Qizi, who is one of the protest leaders, Yuan Mengliu gives up poetry in favour of medicine, and the antiseptic environment of the operating theatre. But every year he travels in search of Qizi, and on one of these trips, caught in a storm, he wakes to find himself in an ideal society called Swan Valley. In this false utopia, as he soon discovers, impulse and feeling are completely controlled, and every aspect of life is regulated, with explosive consequences.

Death Fugue is currently out for review.

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A Hunger by Petra White. John Leonard Press (Poetry) 2014. http://johnleonardpress.com/?p=578

PrintThis volume opens with a full-length book of new poems by Petra White, A Hunger. Bound-in with it are her two prior books, The Simplified World and The Incoming Tide. The new poems of A Hunger are as lucid as they are mysterious, crafted for the ear, and for an emotional tone that slips delicately between mischievous irony and a cut-through bleakness or joy.

A strong theme, in parts, is depression, where White presses beyond personal response into examining darkness itself, in a fierce art that deliberately gives and asks for no indulgence. The same goes for her love poems, in a sequence that plunges into the wild contradictions and poignancy of new love, with glances to Renaissance poets.

Contemporary worlds – people and place – are foundation for this poetry, which is haunted by inscrutable time. Her well-known ‘Southbank’ from her first book is given a further turn in a new sequence, ‘The Sound of Work’ – this is one of the few contemporary poets to write convincingly of office work. In all, White’s poems inhabit life’s fragility with a light-footed constancy.

If you are interested in writing a review of A Hunger for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Harriet Chandler: a novella by Moya Costello Short Odds Publications 2014. http://shortoddspublications.blogspot.com.au/

harrietWho is Harriet Chandler? She first appeared as a minor character in Murray Bail’s 1987 novel Holden’s Performance. But as a remarkable character, she needs a space for her story to be told. She’s a victim of Australia’s 1930s–1940s polio epidemics; she has a house, drives a car, runs a freelance career as a visual artist, and conducts lone protests against the Queen’s visit and a Miss Australia quest held in Manly’s Epic Theatre…..Harriet Chandler is a fictional biography, a hybrid text that dwells on textuality, meditates on intertextuality.

Harriet Chandler is currently out for review

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Dispersal and other Poems by Frances Holloway. Pomonal Publishing 2014. http://au.blurb.com/b/5416112-dispersal-and-other-poems

Disperal coverIn Dispersal and other Poems Frances Holloway’s poetry takes the reader into a deeply personal arena, and yet their essentially universal themes of life, love and death, grant them startling familiarity. While loss and loathing are leavened with humour, the mundane faces of incidental things are elevated by a profound sense of their beauty and impermanence.

If you are interested in writing a review of Dispersal and other Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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August 2014

School Days of a Methodist Lady: A Journey Through Girlhood by Jill Sanguinetti (Memoir) Wild Dingo Press 2014http://www.wilddingopress.com.au/Books/School-Days-of-a-Methodist-Lady-A-journey-through

School daysIn a new rendering of the Australian classic, The Getting of Wisdom, School Days of a Methodist Lady is a universal story about school, growing up and the tender milestones that see us entering adulthood. It will appeal to adult and young adult readers, highlighting how school education has changed over the last fifty years and those things that remain the same. Its anecdotal descriptions of public and private school education in the 1950s and ‛60s make it a valuable contribution to the cultural and social history of schooling in Australia.

If you are interested in writing a review of School Days of a Methodist Lady for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss ……………………………………………………rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry edited by Tim Jones and P.S. Cottier (Poetry) IP Literature Series. http://www.ipoz.biz/Titles/SLS.htm

Stars Like SandThe Stars Like Sand showcases the best in Australian speculative poetry from early times to the present. Co-edited by renowned editors Tim Jones and P.S. Cottier, it features a virtual Who’s Who of Australian poets including Judith Beveridge, Les Murray, Paul Hetherington, John Tranter, Diane Fahey, joanne burns, Caroline Caddy, David P Reiter, Peter Boyle, Alan Gould, Luke Davies, S.K. Kelen, Peter Minter, Jan Owen, Dorothy Porter, Philip Salom, Samuel Wagan Watson, Rod Usher, Jo Mills … and many more!

Travel to the stars and beyond in this anthology by Australia’s leading poets. Witness the end of the world, time travel to the future near or far, or teleport with a fairy or witch. Ghosts, dreams and strange creatures breed and mingle in these pages. Poetry has never been so mind-bending, or so entertaining.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Stars Like Sand for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Gap by Rebecca Jessen (verse novel) UQP 2014 http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1303/Gap

Gap - JessenWhen you’re at the end of the line with nowhere to turn – how far would you go to protect the one you love?

A man is found dead in an inner-city suburb, a police officer walks the blurry line between duty and loyalty, and a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks is on the run. Ana soon becomes a suspect in the murder investigation, and as sole carer for her younger sister is desperately trying to stay ahead of the law. In a surprising twist, the detective in charge of the case is no stranger and Ana is forced to face her past and the things she has left behind. Unsure of who she can trust and isolated by her crime, Ana is drawn into a passionate affair that breaks all the rules.

From the winner of the 2013 Queensland Literary Awards – Best Emerging Author category, Gap combines a gripping crime thriller with a style evocative of Dorothy Porter’s cult classic, The Monkey’s Mask.

If you are interested in writing a review of Gap for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Curio by Kristen Hannaford (Poetry) Walleah Press 2014. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/kristin-hannafords-curio/

CurioCurio invites readers into a world of artifacts, curiosities and natural history specimens, as Hannaford pays homage to the history of women  working as taxidermists, naturalists and exhibitors in 19th century Australia. This poetry collection profiles the lives of two extraordinary women in Australia’s colonial history, Jane Catherine Tost and her daughter Ada Jane Rohu, who established and ran ‘Tost and Rohu’ – a taxidermy and curio shop known affectionately at the time as ‘The Queerest Shop in Sydney’.

Curio is currently out for review.

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One Hour Seeds Another by Andrew Burke (Poetry) Walleah Press 2014. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/andrew-burkes-one-hour-seeds-another/

Burke one Hour‘In One Hour Seeds Another, Andrew Burke is writing at the height of his powers. In this collection he has the confidence and quiet wisdom of someone who knows his particular patches of mind and craft and experience inch by inch, never ceases to be surprised by them, and has learned how to pass that surprise on to us, wihtout spilling a drop. His pleasure, irony and compassion are contagious. You could give him five ordinary things on a table top and he would show you just how to place them, to let in the pleasure and the wonder.’ – David Brooks

If you are interested in writing a review of One Hour Seeds Another for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Beach Volcano by Nigel Featherstone. (Novel) Blemish Books 2014.  http://www.blemishbooks.com.au/books/9780980755695.shtml

The_Beach_VolcanoAfter years of estrangement, Canning Albury, a revered and irreverent singer-songwriter, returns home to celebrate his father’s eightieth birthday. His welcome is mixed, at best. But Canning has made the trip for more than just a glass of Pol Roger and an eyeful of Sydney Harbour at sunset. He carries a secret about his family’s murky and unchartered past—a secret that could be explosive. The Beach Volcano is a fearless exploration of life’s many compromises, and the burdens we bear for those we love.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Beach Volcano for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Lupa and Lamb by Susan Hawthorne. Spinifx Press (Poetry) 2014. http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=268/

lupaThis collection of imagist poems combines mythology, archaeology and translation. Susan Hawthorne draws on the history and prehistory of Rome and its neighbours to explore how the past is remembered. Under the guidance of Curatrix, Director of the Musæum Matricum, and Latin poet, Sulpicia, travellers Diana and Agnese are led through the mythic archives about wolves and sheep before attending an epoch-breaking party to which they are invited by Empress Livia.

If you are interested in writing a review of Lupa and Lamb for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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July 2014

Radiance by Andy Kissane. Puncher & Wattmann (Poetry) 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/

RadianceRadiance is a book firmly grounded in the reality of contemporary life, yet lit by empathy and humour. Kissane ranges from the self-immolation of a Buddhist monk to a sailing trip on Sydney harbour with Percy Shelley to the celebrations of a enduring relationship with the moon. Lyrical, moving and surprising, these poems are warm and shining creations.

If you are interested in writing a review of Radiance for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Accidents with Ink by John Brydon. Friendly Street Poets. 2014. https://precision-supplies.myshopify.com/products/accidents-with-ink-by-john-brydon

Accidents with Ink“The poems in this collection range impressively in tone from the comic to the deadly serious; in structure, from free flowing verse via the aphoristic to formally tight rhyming quatrains; in subject matter, from the domestic to the romantic, from terrorism to nostalgia.

I especially like the slightly warped still-lives: outwardly simple poems like ‘Stolen Light’, or ‘My Favourite Knife’, in which the ordinary is transformed into the extraordinary.
‘Playing with Pandora’ arguably stands as a metaphor for the rest of the book: all the poems are a bit like her boxes – little squares of words from which, when you open them with your eyes, fresh or surprising or sometimes even dangerous things jump out”. – Peter Goldsworthy.

If you are interested in writing a review of Accidents with Ink for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Final Theory by Bonny Cassidy. Giramondo (Poetry 2014. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/final-theory/

Final Theory‘Final theory’ is a phrase which describes the attempt to find an absolute formula for the working of the universe. This book arrives somewhere less certain. Final Theory is a long poem told in episodes, combining two interwoven story lines. One follows a man and a woman as they travel through landscapes both pristine and ravaged. The other story portrays the sensations of a child, real or imagined, thrown into a distantly familiar world. Researched and composed in countries that were once part of the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana – New Zealand, Australia and Antarctica – the poem places its figures within vast scales of time and space. The focus on two generations, the near future and the far-off, raises questions about what place humans – and poetry – have in the unfinished process of chance and change.

If you are interested in writing a review of Final Theory for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Standard Variation by Paul Mitchell Walleah Press (Poetry) 2014. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/paul-mitchell-standard-variation-may-2014/

Standard VariationPaul Mitchell is a poet and fiction writer. He lives in Melbourne.His short fiction collection, Dodging the Bull (Wakefield Press) was published in 2007 and was part of the 2008 The Age State Library Summer Read. He has also published two collections of poetry, Minorphysics (IP, 2003) and Awake Despite the Hour (Five Islands Press, 2007). Minorphysics won IP’s national IP Picks Award for Best Unpublished Australian Poetry Manuscript.

If you are interested in writing a review of Standard Variation for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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married to this ground by Nicole Bowery. Walleah Press (Poetry) 2014. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/nicola-bowerys-poetry-collection-married-to-this-ground-june-2014/

Married to this groundIn married to this ground, her third poetry collection, Nicola Bowery’s core interest is to evoke a geography of marriage. She writes from a wide plateau landscape but her focus is the texture and grain of daily life, inherent drama (and comedy) in relationship, the interplay of psychic and physical terrain.

Bowery’s language in these poems seems the perfect vehicle for the task she sets herself: to find poetry in immediate experience and in the ‘ordinary’. Intimate and spacious, the poems offer a distinctive sense of having been long distilled in the ground they arise from. At the same time there’s a compelling cumulative power in the work, a vigour and accessibility that will draw the reader into Bowery’s world.

If you are interested in writing a review of married to this ground for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Special by David Stavanger. (Poetry) UQP. 2014. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1305/The%20Special

The SpecialBoth fun and playful, Stavanger’s poems display wit and beguiling originality. They shift from the oddball to the vulnerable and from the zany to the deeply meditative.

Stavanger’s collection embodies a spirit of the post-post-modern in both intellect and spark, while playing off cool disjunctions against electrifying erudition. There is a strong trace of the performative and dramatic in these poems – Stavanger’s flair for performance poetry gives this award-winning collection a distinct and likeable flavour. The Special was the Winner of the 2013 Thomas Shapcott Award.

The Special is currently out for review.

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A Spell, A Charm by John Leonard (Poetry). Hybrid Publishers 2014 http://www.jleonard.net/literary.htm

a spell a charmJohn Leonard is an Australian poet and writer whose work concentrates on the necessity for people at this crucial moment in history not to lose sight of humanity’s place as part of nature, and the necessity for rejection of the imperatives forced on people by the dominant political culture, in favour of humanity, flexibility, humour and insight.

In his powerful fifth collection, John Leonard dissects contemporary life and ideas in intense, but human, lyric poetry.

If you are interested in writing a review of A Spell, A Charm for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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June 2014

Cracking the Spine: Ten Short Stories and How They Were Written. Edited by Julie Chevalier and Bronwyn Mehan. Spineless Wonders 2014.
http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/books-on-writing-spineless_wonders_-paperbacks/cracking-the-spine/

cracking the spineStories and essays by Claire Aman, Tony Birch, Rjurik Davidson, Michael Giacometti, Marion Halligan, Andy Kissane, Jennifer Mills, Ryan O’Neill, Maria Takolander and Patrick West. Alongside their stories writers discuss how they came to write them.

Cracking the Spine is currently out for review.

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A Million Windows by Gerald Murnane. Giramondo Publishing 2014. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/a-million-windows/

Murnane-MillionWindowsThis new work of fiction by one of Australia’s most highly regarded authors focuses on the importance of trust, and the possibility of betrayal, in storytelling as in life. It tests the relationship established between author and reader, and on occasions of intimacy, between child and parent, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife. Murnane’s fiction is woven from images, and the feelings associated with them, and the images that flit through A Million Windows like butterflies – the reflections of the setting sun like spots of golden oil, the houses of two or perhaps three storeys, the procession of dark-haired females, the clearing in the forest, the colours indigo and silver-grey, the death of a young woman who had leaped into a well – build to an emotional crescendo that is all the more powerful for the intricacy of their patterning.

If you are interested in writing a review of A Million Windows for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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May 2014

Maze Bright by Jaya Savige. Vagabound Rare Objects (2014). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/jaya-savige-maze-bright

Jaya_Savige_-_Maze_BrightIn the 1940s, behavioural psychologists and developmental biologists working in the nascent field of epigenetics coined the term “maze-bright” to describe laboratory rats displaying a marked proficiency in maze navigation. Since then, the term has been deployed across a range of contexts, most notably in HR parlance to describe ‘attractive hires’. This suite of poems seizes on the semantic pluripotency of its titular motif, transposing it into the early twenty-first century cultural keys of gaming.

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Maze Bright has been reviewed.

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Things That Year by Mark Mordue. Vagabound Rare Objects (2014). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/mark-mordue-things-that-year

Mark_Mordue_-_Things_That_Year_Things That Year is a random set of poems about life, love, and rock’n’roll. It’s about being inside some experiences, and outside of others, watching. The poems coalesce into a journey between beginnings, the deaths of friends, being lost and coming back from it all, home. Memories, like these poems, are just leaves on some weird tree inside us. Hopefully what falls also makes room for something new to grow.

Mark Mordue is a writer, journalist and editor based in Sydney. He was the winner of the 2010 Pascall Prize for Australian Critic of the Year. He is currently working on a biography of Nick Cave.

If you are interested in writing a review of Things That Year for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Tribe by Michael Mohammed Ahmad. (Short Stories) Giramondo 2014 http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/the-tribe/

Ahmad-The-Tribe-CoverFor the last two decades the representation of Arab-Australian Muslims has been coloured by media reports of sexual assault, drug-dealing, drive-by shootings and terrorist conspiracy. This has made it difficult to understand a community which plays an important role in contemporary Australian society. Here, in his first work of fiction, Michael Mohammed Ahmad offers a privileged introduction to the life and customs of ‘The Tribe’, members of a small Muslim sect who fled to Australia just before the civil war in Lebanon. His stories focus on the relationships between three generations of an extended family, the House of Adam, as seen by one of its youngest offspring, a child called Bani, at key moments in its development. Ahmad’s writing is aware of tradition, but its real power is in its simplicity and honesty, and the directness with which he conveys the emotional responses of his young narrator.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Tribe for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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internal weather by lucy williams. Walleah Press (Poetry) 2014. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/lucy-williams-poetry-collection-internal-weather-may-2014/

lucy_williamsA collection of poetry dealing with those four fundamental things: birth, childhood, love and death. They find their poetic home in this book in which, ‘she throws open every door to our hearts and walks in.’ We’ve waited a long time for this collection, so when Lucy Williams writes, ‘it’s about time I told you/I think we got it right somehow’ we certainly believe her, for there is about these poems an emotional honesty and a lyric strength that is deeply moving. – Ron Pretty

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Palace of Culture by Ania Walwicz. Puncher & Wattmann (Poetry) 2014 http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/palace-of-culture

palace_of_culturePalace of Culture is a dream diary, leading the reader into a personal and surreal engagement with the bewildering complexity of contemporary popular culture. Like her previous work Red Roses, Palace is a freewheeling work drawing the reader in to participate in its very construction. The layering of the oneiric on top of popular culture results in an intriguing interweaving of symbolic meanings (the notation and enactment of inner-states of feeling and being) with the arbitrary marketing decisions of our broader cultural stage. The language of Palace of Culture is not only the subject’s medium, but a source of revelation itself, a phantasm. It is something that is dreamt by its author and its reader, in the palace, at four a.m.

If you are interested in writing a review of Palace of Culture for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Australian Poetry Journal: Volume 3 Issue 2 #concrete http://www.australianpoetry.org/australianpoetryjournal/

APJ-3.2_Front-CoverIn everyday scale, a letter of the alphabet is usually no bigger than a freckle or an iris, and a word is not much bigger than a thumbnail. The tiny components of written language are rendered almost invisible to us in our race to extract the all-important ‘meaning’. But it concrete poetry, language gets in the way: letters and words fight – through warped scale or unconventional arrangement – to be opaque, to be visible.

In her fifth and final volume as the editor of the Australian Poetry Journal, Bronwyn Lea shines a light on the Australian and international poets who are bringing language in all its iterations to the forefront of their work. For the first time, the journal also includes colour pages, highlighting the importance and effectiveness of the visual aspects of concrete poetry.

Some poems make a performance of their typography; others reveal that quotation is often the stuff of concrete poetry. Various poets derive inspiration from their times spent in visual or plastic arts. What unifies the volume is a clear and critical examination of the relationship between language and meaning, so often taken for granted in poetry but in actuality, always in flux.

Poets in this edition include Christian Bok, Angela Gardner, Nancy Campbell, pete spence, Chris Edwards, Toby Fitch, Pascalle Burton and others, with criticism from Alison Clifton, Richard Tipping, Martin Duwell and Pi O.

Australian Poetry Journal: Volume 3 Issue 2 #concrete has been reviewed.

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April 2014

November Already by Adam Aitken Vagabond Press (Rare Objects Series) 2013 (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/adam-aitken-november-already

Aitken-coverscan_grandeAdam Aitken was born in London. He has enjoyed many foreign residencies and workshops in Hong Kong and Hawai’i. He teaches Creative writing and English at the University of Technology, Sydney, and is the author of Romeo and Juliet in Subtitles, In One House and Eighth Habitation. He was also a founding editor of P76 magazine.

If you are interested in writing a review of November Already for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The Language of Water by Anne Collins. Walleah Press (Poetry) 2014. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/the-language-of-water-poetry-by-anne-collins/

language of waterAnne Collins began writing the poems featured in The Language of Water in 2009 when she was the Australian Poetry Centre’s Cafe Poet-in-Residence at Chadõ teahouse in Hobart. During this period she collaborated with the painter Marianne Stafford who did six paintings in response to these poems, which appear in Anne’s book.

Anne Collins writes poetry and prose. Her previous books are: My Friends This Landscape, (Ginninderra Press, 2011), non-fiction and poetry; Seasoned with Honey (Walleah Press, 2008) a four-poet anthology; and The Season of Chance  (Walleah Press,  2005), poetry.  Her other work can be found in numerous journals and anthologies. Anne Collins has been the recipient of several awards, grants and residencies and has collaborated with musicians and visual artists. She lives in Hobart.

The Language of Water is currently out for review.

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(b) by John Watson. Island Press 2013 (Poetry). http://islandpress.tripod.com/ISLAND.htm

(B)“John Watson’s B (Island Press) which is the comic record of Watson’s purported attempt to get Phillip Hammial to engage in a renga sequence. This type of comic verse, which satirises, at the same time as it enjoys, the literary world it belongs to, is relatively rare in Australia. Much of our comic tradition has worked the distinction between colloquial and proper with something of a chip on its shoulder, particularly when it has dealt with literary matters. Work like B is different: it has no desire to undermine or replace the world it pokes fun at: the message is rather that Australian poetry is a rich enough forest now to bear a bit of light-hearted foolery.” Martin Langford

If you are interested in writing a review of (B) for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Leaves of Glass by David Prater. Puncher and Wattmann 2013 (Poetry) http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/leaves-of-glass

Leaves-of-Glass-DP_310_441_sLeaves of Glass is based on correspondence between Walt Whitman (1819–1892) and Bernard O’Dowd (1866–1953). The letters, more than twenty of which have now been found, were written between 1899 and 1892. At that time, Whitman was at the end of his life and his career, and O’Dowd (whose first collection, Dawnward, would not be published until 1903) was a young legal librarian who wore a blade of grass in his lapel as a tribute to Whitman.

If you are interested in writing a review of Leaves of Glass for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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The End of the World by Maria Takolander Giramondo Publishing 2014 (Poetry) http://www.giramondopublishing.com/category/maria-takolander/

Takolander-frontcoverMaria Takolander’s poetry presents the primitive aspects of life in dramatic and uncompromising ways. She strips the world of easy sentiment, highlighting the visceral qualities of experience, its hauntings and its premonitions of disaster.The intensity of the poems, and their focus on projections of violence, madness, degeneracy and despair, are tempered by a Gothic sense of beauty, and at times, a deadpan wit. The End of the World is divided into three parts – poems about childbirth and scenes of domestic menace; those set in places in the poet’s imaginative landscape which are troubled by the past (Finland, South America and Australia); and poems which portray the cruelties suffered and inflicted by the human animal.

If you are interested in writing a review of The End of of The World for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Circle Work by Cameron Lowe. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry 2013. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/circle-work

circle_work_310_440_sThe poems in Circle Work are concerned with the everyday, the here-and-now, and how this can feed the imagination. Grounded in the physical immediacy and imagery of suburban space, these poems transform the apparently mundane into a rich and engaging poetry. Lowe’s quietly understated poems shift comfortably between multiple registers, fusing inventive poetic strategies with quotidian experience while experimenting with a fresh take on what is possible in the lyric.

If you are interested in writing a review of Circle Work for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Regulator by Benjamin Dodds. Puncher & Wattmann 2014. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/regulator

regulatorThe poems in Regulator reveal an observant eye and an acute ear; the language is evocative, precise and sensuous. There are poems of the natural world, bristling with death and transformation, and of the everyday/dangerous laboratory. In Benjamin Dodds’s childhood Australia, the Virgin Mary, painted in All Weather Exterior blue, fades in the Riverina sun; ‘dangerously adolescent men/in wet sucking board-shorts’ bomb into the irrigation canal; a sweat-stained rural Santa hands out packs of Twisties. Under the surface, the insistent pulse of sexuality, an undertow of dread, a glint of subtle menace.
—Tricia Dearborn

Regulator is currently out for review

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Anonymous Folk Songs by James Stuart. Vagabond Poetry 2014 (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/products/james-stuart-anonymous-folk-songs

James_StuartAnonymous Folk Songs is James Stuart’s first full-length collection of poems. His other collection is Imitation Era (Rare Object Series, Vagabond Press, 2012). His previous work is largely intermedia. He was a 2008 Asialink Literature Resident in Chengdu, China, and works as a communications manager.

“The complex landscapes of today, urban and natural, become worldscapes and dreamscapes in James Stuart’s poems, traversed or experienced but never wholly commandeered by ‘the likes of you & me’. Joy, hope and even tranquillity are edged with apprehensions of destruction and change. In the rich noticing and gorgeous pleasures of these poems, and their tensile, analytical structures, there is always form and void. Layered places, moods and the mesh of thought and feeling are expressed with the uneasy eloquence of this assured poetic talent.” – Nicholas Jose.

Anonymous Folk Songs is currently out for review.

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March 2014

Beyond The Ohlala Mountains: Poems 1968-2002 by Alan Brunton Titus Books 2014 http://titus.co.nz/catalogue.html

alan BruntonAlan Brunton played a crucial role in developing a platform for New Zealand poetry and theatre. Brunton was the founding editor of poetry and arts publication Freed and co-editor of Spleen, he also established with partner Sally Rodwell the experimental theatre group Red Mole. Beyond the Ohlala Mountains moves chronologically, in five parts, from 1968 until 2002. Drawing on twelve published collections and the rich resource of his papers, editors Michele Leggott and Martin Edmond present a selection that shows for the first time the scope of Brunton’s poetics as well as his trademark linguistic bravura.

If you are interested in writing a review of Beyond The Ohlala Mountains: Poems 1968-2002 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com


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Regime Magazine of New Writing: Issue 3 http://www.regimebooks.com.au/regime-03-magazine-of-new-writing/

R3-Cover1The latest issue of the world’s most frivolous serious literary magazine has been released.

Featuring new work by WA’s own Andrew Taylor, Gail Willems, Roland Leach, Shey Marque, Andrew Burke, Christopher Konrad, Peter Jeffery, Ian Nichols, Jude Bridge, Shane McCauley and many, many more.

East coast and international writers including Les Wicks, Rosalee Kiely, Robbie Coburn, Mark Roberts, Carly-Jay Metcalfe, Petri Ivalo Sinda and Serje Jones.

Also in the pages of Regime 03, you’ll find an extended interview with the wonderful Melissa Harpley, the Art Gallery of WA’s Historical Curator, about the upcoming Guy Grey-Smith retrospective. Melissa talks about the importance of Guy Grey-Smith and the independence of art practitioners West of the Nullabor.

If you are interested in writing a review of Regime Issue 3 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Signal Flare by Anthony Lawrence Puncher & Wattmann Poetry 2013. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/signal-flare

signal_flare_310_440_sWith Signal Flare, Anthony Lawrence continues and extends the lyrical work that began with The Sleep of a Learning Man and which found sustained resonance in Bark.

Six years in the making, Signal Flare showcases many of Lawrence’s hallmark stylistic flourishes: arresting inner music, dramatic clarity, and imagery that is often ‘cinematically tactile’ (the Poetry Archive). These poems highlight a number of abiding themes and concerns: human relationships; connections between the natural world and human involvement or intervention; clear, surreal evocations of place and character, and unusual, often indelible, depictions of weather and landscape.

Signal Flare is Lawrence’s fourteenth collection of poems and contains his finest work to date.

Signal Flare is currently out for review.

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New Selected Poems by Geoff Page Puncher & Wattmann Poetry 2013. http://www.puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/new-selected-poems/

New-Selected-GP_310_444_sGeoff Page’s New Selected Poems offers a tight but generous sample from more than forty years’ work by this major Australian poet. It does full justice to the poet’s extraordinary range of subject matter and poetic modes — from his pastoral origins to the city life he prefers, from Australian history and politics through to religion, from the quietly lyrical to the brutally satirical — while being never less than deeply enjoyable.

If you are interested in writing a review ofNew Selected Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Capital by Alan Gould. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry 2013. http://www.puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/capital/

capital_310_439_sAmong the earlier concerns of Gould’s poems were the interplay of fate and free will, and the emergence of imagination as the natural companion to human lives. But his more recent work – as this collection shows– has turned to an intrigue with how enchantment locates itself in experience, where ‘self and lumen take their places’. Here in Capital, both in the poems and the comic opera libretto, Gould shows once more the confidence with which he can bring the resources of English prosody to illumine a sense of enchanted being that is very much his own poetic space.

If you are interested in writing a review ofCapital for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Chains of Snow by Jakob Ziguras. Pitt Street Poetry 2013 (Poetry) http://pittstreetpoetry.com/jakob-ziguras/

chains of snow“Seldom does a debut collection come with so assured a voice, such technical accomplishment, and such expressive powers at its command. Chains of Snow is a remarkable introduction to the work of a fine new poet, a voice both rich and strange, with a frame of cultural reference as broad as history, from Akhenaten’s city in the desert to mid-twentieth-century Europe, swept by the all-widowing wind of war, to the midnight streets of inner Sydney, ‘wrapped in a body bag / of plastic darkness.’ Jakob Ziguras inhabits a place of constant philosophical probing, but always embodied in the things of this physical world, swarming in their net of sunlight. By turns troubling, haunting and exhilarating, these poems and their music are unforgettable”. – Stephen Edgar

Chains of Snow has been reviewed.

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An Existential Grammar by Paul Scully. Walleah Press  2014 (Poetry)

existential grammar“I imagine Scully’s poems as fence posts across the boundaries of a vast property. Thinly spread but meticulously placed they both observe and make real the territories of existence. Solid imagery, hard- earned clarity and observational candor makes this collection a delight” – Les Wicks

David Brooks writes “Classical, existential, erudite and unassuming at the same time, this assured first collection of a mature poet reads as if it could be another’s third or fourth. In the fine Cincinnatus sequence in particular – but radiating out into striking poems that could almost be fragments of a Patrick White-like family saga – there is a gratifying clarity and impressive sense of the past as a means of ordering and focussing what can seem the blur of being. Scully approaches his subjects with a subtlety and reserve behind which, deeply informing the gaze, lurk extensive experience, powerful feeling.”

If you are interested in writing a review ofAn Existential Grammar for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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re-membering by Janet Galbraith. Walleah Press  2013 (Poetry) http://store.walleahpress.com.au/janet-galbraiths-poetry-collection-re-membering/

re-memberingJanet’s work grows out of her lived experiences of trauma induced ‘mental illness’. Influenced by poets as diverse as Lisa Bellear, Olav. H. Hague and Audre Lorde, her poetry traverses countries from Broken Hill to Bendigo, celebrates the dark space between stars and illuminates the effects of individual and collective trauma. These are not poems of complaint but of courage where beauty is inscribed in the observation of the everyday, connection with the natural world and the careful crafting of form and language.

Janet Galbraith lives in Jaara country – Castlemaine. Her poetry is presented in various forms – written word, performance, poetic collage, and multi-media, has been published in print and on-line journals, presented on radio and exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions. Janet co-ordinates the Castlemaine Vigil in Recognition of Aboriginal Sovereignty and in Solidarity with Refugees. This is her first poetry collection.

If you are interested in writing a review of re-membering for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Threefer by Ken Bolton. Puncher & Wattmann Poetry 2013 (Poetry). http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/threefer/

Threefer-KB_310_444_s“… It was some time since the author had been seen in his home town (Sydney). Standing, he said to me—though we had been drinking, taking various pills—did I know Apollinaire’s lines—about tossing off your life as tho it were a drink? ‘Some Days’, he said, strayed between the poles of Robbe-Grillet’s In The Labyrinth and ‘Tambourine Life’. Endless lyric, bildungsroman, parody, abstract poem? ‘Footprints’ he said he had thought of as something. He had forgotten, but he must once have had an idea of it. It was dawn. We inhaled. He had liked, he said, the paintings of Patrick Caulfield—but I knew he was talking again about the big poem. He was my friend. The Elders and Goldsborough Mort buildings began to catch the early light. We gazed down together over the parapet, at the traffic just beginning, both pleased at its miniature scale.” —Julie Lawton

If you are interested in writing a review ofThreefer for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’ by John Mateer Giramondo Publishing 2013 (Poetry). http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/unbelievers-or-the-moor/

Mateer-fcover-AJohn Mateer’s previous book of poems Southern Barbarians traced the influence of the Portuguese empire in the Indian Ocean. Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’ takes this exploration further, to recover the origins of Western poetics in Al-Andalus, the so-called Moorish state which occupied much of present-day Spain and Portugal from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries. A seat of learning and culture, combining Muslim, Christian and Jewish influences, it provides a model for Mateer’s own formulation of an alternative Western poetic tradition, and for his nomadic identity as a poet. The collection is much concerned with influential but invisible histories; with the poem as a moment of connection between languages and cultures, so that the book seems already to exist in translation; with doubles and hauntings, meetings in far places, and above all, what Mateer calls ‘the irony of Elsewhere’. The collection includes the essay ‘Echolalia’, which reflects on the seven years of writing this body of work.

If you are interested in writing a review of Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’ for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Drag Down to Unlock or Place an Emergency Call by Melinda Smith. Pitt Street Poetry 2013 (Poetry). http://pittstreetpoetry.com/melinda-smith/

melinda smithMelinda Smith grew up in Orange, NSW and has lived in Canberra since 1989. She has published three books of poetry with Ginninderra Press. Her poems have appeared in magazines, newspapers and anthologies both in Australia and overseas, and have also been set to music, hung on gallery walls and appeared on ACTION buses.

She won the David Campbell prize in 2006 and in 2011 she received an artsACT New Projects Grant to complete her third book.

If you are interested in writing a review ofDrag Down to Unlock or Place and Emergency Call for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Realia by Kate Lilley Vagabond Press – Rare Objects. 2013 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/kate-lilley-realia

Lilliey-cover_grandeRealia catalogues the object-life of interiors, streetscapes and collections from Greta Garbo’s Manhattan apartment to the Victorian Trades Hall on Lygon Street.

Kate Lilley has published two books of poetry, Versary (Salt 2002) and Ladylike (UWAP 2012), and the Vagabond chapbook Round Vienna. She is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Sydney.

Realia is currently out for review.

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Luminous Alias by Emma Lew Vagabond Press – Rare Objects. 2013 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/emma-lew-luminous-alias

LewCover_grandeLuminous Alias is the first collection of poems to be published by Emma Lew since her award-winning 2003 collection Anything the Landlord Touches.

Emma Lew lives in Melbourne. She has written two books of poetry: The Wild Reply (Black Pepper, 1997) and Anything the Landlord Touches (Giramondo, 2003).

If you are interested in writing a review of Luminous Alias for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Maps, Cargo by Bella Li. Vagabond Press – Rare Objects. 2013 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/bella-li-maps-cargo

LiCover_grandeMaps, Cargo is a compendium of imagined and historical geographies, inhabited by explorers, ships, roads and rooms.

Bella Li is a Melbourne freelance editor and PhD candidate. Her poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologised in Best Australian Poems 2012 (Black Inc Books, 2012), Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher & Wattmann, 2012) and Best Australian Poems 2013 (Black Inc Books, 2013). She is a managing co-editor at Five Islands Press.

If you are interested in writing a review of Maps, Cargo for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com

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Elegant by Ania Walwicz. Vagabond Press – Rare Objects. 2013 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/ania-walwicz-elegant

WalwiczCover_grandeElegant flight of language, theatre of my head, enactment, i never end, action, re-enactment, this can be done again and again and again, the loopy loop, sharp piercing, a sign, an elegant outfit.

Ania Walwicz is the author of boat (A&R, 1987), travel/writing (A&R, 1989), red roses (UQP, 1992), palace of culture (Salt, 2011).

Elegant is currently out for review.

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February 2014

The Beautiful Anxiety by Jill Jones. Puncher & Watermann Poetry 2013.
http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-beautiful-anxiety

Beautiful-Anxiety-JJ_310_442_sThe Beautiful Anxiety continually breaks across boundaries of the intimate and the global in an invigorating and unsettling mix of materialist and speculative writing on the interconnectedness of life amidst the environmental and cultural turmoil of the 21st century. The poems are in turn provocative, tender, impatient, playful, and swerve through the world, awake to its lostness as well as its ‘flesh and spark’.

“Jill Jones’ The Beautiful Anxiety, dedicated to the memory of her mother, joins elegiac witness to ‘another flow’. Her sparse ‘ruined lyrics’ expand into ‘something planetary’. Sensate poesis unfolds ‘genres of dust’; the ghosts of Voss, Sappho and Messaien appear. The Beautiful Anxiety dwells in the imminence of loss, its ‘vast frontier’ and scope.—Kate Lilley

The Beautiful Anxiety has been reviewed.

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Thirsting for Lemonade by Heather Taylor Johnson. Interactive Press 2013. (Poetry).
http://ipoz.biz/Titles/TFL.htm

thirsting for lemonadeIn her third collection of poetry, Heather Taylor Johnson celebrates the liminal spaces between two cultures – the neither here nor there, the neither in nor out. It is indeed a world where ‘Home is a relative term’.

Thirsting for Lemonade is an affirmation of the migrant’s acceptance of never-quite-belonging, and still it is her attempt to forge new paths in foreign, and remembered, territory, where past is always present.

These poems recall the many things which get us home – photographs, a common cereal, a record album, a fooseball table. This latest collection is a celebration of ‘the things that are especially good / because they cannot last.’

Thirsting for Lemonade is currently out for review.

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The Unspeak Poems and other verses by Tim Thorne. Walleah Press. 2014 (Poetry)

thorne“Tim Thorne us the rae combination of a poet’s poet in his concepts and technique and a hugely enjoyable popular poet for he general reader. His political and social observations and personal enthusiasms are expressed in carefully chosen forms -from blank verse to tight rhyme – with consistent verve and clarity, making that which a fellow writer recognises as remarkably difficult technical complexity into impressive, deeply engaging poems, light-hearted, passionate, memorably discerning or downright hilarious as Thorne chooses.” – Jennifer Maiden.

If you are interested in writing a review ofThe Unspeak Poems and other verses for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Antigone Kefala: A Writer’s Journal. Edited by Vrasidas Karalis & Helen Nickas Owl Publishing 2013.
http://www.owlpublishing.com.au/a-writers-journey.html

kefalaAntigone Kefala: a writer’s journey is edited and introduced by Vrasidas Karalis and Helen Nickas. It includes a selection of interviews, reviews and essays on the life and works of Australian poet and prose writer Antigone Kefala, as well as an illuminating autobiographical piece by the poet herself.

This diverse biographical and critical material included in a single volume gives a fascinating insight into this writer – a Greek from Romania – who has been living in Sydney since 1960 and has made Australia her home. Prominent literary critics contributing to this volume include Sneja Gunew, Ivor Indyk, Judith Brett, Nikos Papastergiadis, Judith Rodriguez, Dmetri Kakmi, Anna Couani, Paul Kane, Gail Holst-Warhaft and many others from Australia and elsewhere in the world. There is also a section on translation of her works into four European languages, reflecting Kefala’s origins.

Antigone Kefala: a writer’s journey is currently out for review.

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November 2013

The Antigone Poems by Marie Slaight with charcoal drawings by Terrence Tasker (Poetry) Altaire Productions and Publications 2013. http://www.theantigonepoems.com/

Antigone poemsAn intensely personal invocation of the ancient Greek tragedy, The Antigone Poems was created in the 1970s while writer Marie Slaight and artist Terrence Tasker were living in Montreal and Toronto. A bold retelling of the ancient tale of defiance and justice, its poetry and images capture the anguish and despair of the original tale in an unembellished modernized rendition.

“Haunting… written in the 1970s and never released until now, is a disturbingly poignant and startlingly vivid portrait of one woman’s suffering in the face of pain and heartbreak. It will surely not be forgotten after the turn of the last page.” – The San Francisco Book Review.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Antigone Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Arrow & The Lyre by Rebecca Law (Poetry) Picaro Press 2013. http://www.picaropress.com/page1/page1.html

the arrow an the lyreA thousand images of rain and the journey of spirit through the world of things. Rebecca Kylie Law is that unusual thing in this day and age: a metaphysical poet. Yet, in the footsteps of William Carlos Williams, she finds her ideas in the close observation of things. When I got to “Post-Renaissance Abstract” I woke up. Here I thought, is a “real poem” (whatever that means!!). Its form, and its language are alive and real – I love it. Its repetition of the description of the act of leaving is like a prayer or an invocation.” – Lyndon Walker.

The Arrow & The  Lyre is currently out for review.

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the Book of Ethel by Jordie Albiston (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2013. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-book-of-ethel

book_of_ethel_310_443_sThe subject of this work is the author’s maternal great grandmother. Born in 1872, in St Just, Cornwall, Ethel emigrated to Australia at the age of fifteen. Beginning married life in a one-room tin shack outside Mildura, she published articles and her own collection of short stories, moving house frequently and raising six children along the way. These poems are compact and precise micro-portraits in verse. With characteristic adherence to formal, almost claustrophobic strictures set against an animate sense of buoyancy and breath, Albiston explores the tension between high poetic artifice and the small moments of an ordinary life.

“It is tempting to describe this collection as flawless. The placement of each poem, and each syllable in each poem, is brilliantly orchestrated” — Judges’ Report, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

If you are interested in writing a review of the Book of Ethel for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Collected Blue Hills by Laurie Duggan (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2012. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-collected-blue-hills

the_collected_blue_hills_310_438_sIn late 1980 Laurie Duggan began writing the Blue Hills poems as a kind of respite from the ‘poetry wars’. The series mostly spread itself out over a number of books running in parallel with other more ostensibly ‘worthy’ projects like The Ash Range and The Epigrams of Martial. These poems now gathered here are at the heart of what Duggan sees as his poetic work.

“Duggan’s poetry has the virtue… that it never ‘abandons the local’. Like Paul Blackburn, a poet Duggan manifestly admires, he builds his work out of what he finds in, on or about the premises.” — Tony Baker, Jacket

The Collected Blue Hills has been reviewed

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An Accidental Soldier by John Charalambous (Novel) UQP 2103. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1274/An%20Accidental%20Soldier

accidental soldierDuring World War I, Harry Lambert, a shy and gentle baker from rural Victoria, finds himself fighting for his life on the Western Front in Europe. Watching his mates die around him, Harry can’t bear the thought of dying before ever having truly known love. Making a life-changing decision, he walks away from the battlefield into an unfamiliar and hostile French countryside. Desperately trying to avoid capture, he meets Colombe, a stoic farm-wife bowed by hard work and tragedy, who risks everything to save his life.

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If you are interested in writing a review of An Accidental Soldier for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Dear Writer….revisited by Carmel Bird (Creative Writing practice) Spineless Wonders 2013. http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/print-2/dear-writer-revisited-by-carmel-bird/

Dear-Writer-Revisited-Frnt-cvr-mstrDear Writer Revisited, first published in 1988 as Dear Writer, has been revised and brought up to date for writers in the 21st century.

“Carmel Bird has updated her brilliant guide to those who are perplexed by writing. Dear Writer is a dazzling, humane and witty book which will be enlightening for anyone who picks it up, however experienced she or he may be. This is a classic account of how to write. I know of nothing that equals it.” – Peter Craven

Dear Writer Revisited has been reviewed.

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Ephemeral Waters by Kate Middleton (Poetry) Giramondo 2013. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/poetry/ephemeral-waters/

Middleton-cover-for-web“Half elegy, half ode, this beautiful book follows the course of the Colorado River, one of the great rivers of the North American West, from its headwaters in the Rocky Mountains through the canyons and histories it has sculpted to its final giving-up in the Sonora desert. Our dams and diversions, sustenance to life as we know it, are also a death grip on the river; its fate, as these riveting poems make newly felt, is our own”.  – Linda Gregerson

In following the course of the Colorado River, Ephemeral Waters incorporates fragments drawn from historical documents, films, interviews and personal conversations, with sharply defined observations of its natural and man-made environments. These are carried along by Middleton’s flexible command of rhythm, which responds to both the vitality of the Colorado River and its degradation, and to the exaltation, enjoyment and despair of those who live by it. The result is a polyphonic poem, both local and global in scope, embodying an Australian preoccupation with water in taking the over-taxed Colorado as a prophetic example of a river system in crisis.

Ephemeral Waters is currently out for review.

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Removing the Kimono by Anne M Carson (Poetry) Hybrid Publishers 2013. http://www.hybridpublishers.com.au/removing-the-kimono.html

removing the kimonoAnne M Carson writes with compassion and quiet wisdom. Aware of the preciousness of life and its finitude, her poems trace the interplay of light and dark. Drawing on her own visual art-making, they use a rich vocabulary for qualities of loss and illumination.

“In Removing the Kimono, Anne M Carson explores a wide range of subjects with dauntless authenticity, tenderness, and humour. Along with memory poems, light-hearted or searing, there are poems on detective fiction, art works, and travel, as well as thrillingly immediate evocations of birdlife and bushland. In the memorably poignant middle section, Carson charts her relationship with her late husband through blossoming and fulfilment to sudden loss, with their journeys through outback Australia rendered with great vibrancy and emotional power.”  – Diane Fahey

If you are interested in writing a review of Removing the Kimono for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Paths of Flight by Luke Fischer (Poetry) Black Pepper 2013 http://blackpepperpublishing.com/fischerpof.html

Paths of Flight cover.inddIn Paths of Flight we find an assured new poet sprung fully formed in his first collection.

“Luke Fischer’s poems startle me to wake again, to wake not only to the thriving details of the worlds surrounding us but to the power of language to reveal the music simmering and alive in every moment. I don’t know which I admire more—the intensity of the reality in Paths of Flight or the surprises of language that come in so many of the poems throughout. These two elements, when bound together in Fischer’s poetry, are enthralling and enduring”. – Pattiann Rogers

“Fischer has a seemingly effortless ability to blend visual detail and imaginative vision. His poems relish in the natural world. He has an impressive lightness of touch. His lines fall as calmly and elegantly as snow, layer upon layer, and are just as transformative in their beauty. These often wistful, always subtle and intimate poems fuse thought and feeling with great poise”.  – Judith Beveridge

If you are interested in writing a review of Paths of Flight for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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October 2013

Sunset on Santorini by David Foster (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2012.http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/sunset-on-santorini

sunset_on_santorini_310_445_sSunset on Santorini is a poetic account of a trip by the poet to the island of Santorini. Also known as Thera, this island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, around 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. It has been theorised that this eruption led indirectly to the collapse of Minoan civilization and also gave rise to the myth of Atlantis. Foster’s scope is wide, his themes encompassing The Philokalia of the Eastern Orthodox Church, various heresies of early Christianity, the possibility of equating Australia with Atlantis, the decadence of modern tourist culture and our ever nearing mortality. At times spiritually profound, funny and satirical, David Foster offers us a kind of 4/4 bluesy riff on the fate of the modern soul in 21st century Australia.

Sunset on Santorini is currently out for review

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Juno & Hannah by Beryl Fletcher (Novel) Spinifex Press 2013. http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=245/

juno1920, deep in the New Zealand bush, a settlement of Christian fundamentalists live a life of austerity and isolation. It is a place where there is little space for compassion, particularly for the women who can never rid themselves of Eve’s original sin. The elders rule over the women, children and young men, meting out punishments for transgressions as ordinary as self-reflection.

Sisters Juno and Hannah have grown up in the community, but when a stranger washes up on the river bank and Hannah goes to his aid, she finds herself accused of necromancy. The girls flee but are quickly forced to accept help. Hannah, unsure who is friend or foe, finds herself dependent upon and attracted to the man into whose lips she breathed life.

Juno and Hannah is a remarkable novella. The vivid New Zealand landscape reflects the journey of the sisters with its bounty of beauty and resources but also with its scars, wrought during the early days of colonisation.

Juno & Hannah has been reviewed.

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The Incredible Here and Now by Felicity Castagna (Young Adult Fiction) Giramondo Publishing 2013. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/category/felicity-castagna/

incredible here & nowMichael’s older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, in the tradition of Sandra Cisneros’ Young Adult classic The House on Mango Street, it tells of Michael’s coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors’, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. Through his perceptions, the reader becomes familiar with Michael’s community and its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life like a magical talisman. Suitable for young readers from 14 years of age.

The Incredible Here and Now is currently out for review.

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Magic Logic by David Mortimer (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2012. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/magic-logic

magic_logic_310_418_sDavid Mortimer was born and lives in Adelaide. He is a poet, thinker, letter-writer, suburban activist, train-traveller and records-management worker.

“Reading Magic Logic is to listen to a musical mind at work. It is a journey of cadences, the everyday and the metaphysical, smaller soundscapes as valued as larger ones.” — Patricia Sykes

If you are interested in writing a review of Magic Logic for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Clear Brightness by Kim Cheng Boey (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2012 http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/clear-brightness

clear_brightness_310_436_sIn poems that shuttle between Singapore and Australia, award-winning poet Boey Kim Cheng seeks to establish a new sense of self and home on the shifting ground between memory and imagination. A noodle-maker in Melbourne triggers connective threads to the poet’s birthplace. A train crossing over the Johor-Singapore Causeway evokes the dislocating experience of interstitial existence. After six long years, one of Singapore’s greatest modern voices returns with a work of profound insight and erudition.

If you are interested in writing a review of Clear Brightness for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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September 2013

Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpectedness Resilience) by Les Wicks (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2013. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/sea-of-heartbeak/

sea_heartbreak_310_438_sA wild ride across language, personalities and propositions that is ultimately about hope. These poems are often humorous and fierce, a mix of accessible and dense, concentrating on capturing the vernacular in unusual daily occurrences.

For 35 years Les Wicks has been active in the Australian literary community. He has been a guest at most of the nation’s literary festivals, toured widely and been published in well over 250 different newspapers, anthologies and magazines across 17 countries in 9 languages. He has also worked as a publisher and editor.

Seen as both a ‘stage’ and ‘page’ poet, his work is a mix of accessibility and dense use of language. He is a master of capturing the vernacular. His poems can be both humorous and fierce, often in the same poem.

Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpectedness Resilience) has been reviewed – With Pretty Air and Marginal Grace: Rebecca Kylie Law review’s ‘The Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience)’ by Les Wicks & “There is history, but it won’t tell”: Rae Desmond Jones Launches Sea of Heartbeak (Unexpected Resilience) by Les Wicks

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primitive cartography by Paul Summers (Poetry) Walleah Press 2013. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/primitive-cartography-poetry-by-paul-summers-for-orders-within-australia/

summersPaul Summers a Northumbrian poet who lives in Central Queensland. His poems have appeared widely in print for over three decades and he has performed his work all over the world. A founding co-editor of the ‘leftfield’ magazines Billy Liar and Liar Republic, he has also written for TV, film, radio, theatre and collaborated many times with artists and musicians on mixed-media projects and public art. He won Northern Arts Writers Awards in 1995 and 1998 and a Northern Writers Award in 2008. Collections include: Union, Three Men on the Metro, Big Bella’s Dirty Cafe, Cunawabi and The Last Bus. primitive cartography was launched in Rockhampton by Kristin Hannaford on Friday 23rd August, 2013.

If you are interested in writing a review of primitive cartography for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Contemporary Asian Australian Poets edited by Adam Aitken, Kim Cheng Boey and Michelle Cahill (Poetry). Puncher and Wattmann 2013 (http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/contemporary-asian-australian-poets/)

contem_asian_poets_310_447_s“This ground-breaking anthology collects poems written by Australian poets who are migrants, their children and refugees of Asian heritage, spamming work that covers over three decades of writing. Inclusive of hitherto marginalised voices, these poems explore the hyphenated and variegated ways of being Asian Australian, and demonstrates how the different origins and traditions transplanted from Asia have generated new and different ways of being Australian. This anthology highlights the complexity of Asian Australian interactions between cultures and languages, and is a landmark in a rich, diversely-textured and evolving story. Timely and proactive this antholology fills existing cultural gaps in poetic expressions of home, travel, diaspora, identity, myth, empire and language.”

Contemporary Asian Australian Poets is currently out for review.

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Free Logic by Rachel Briggs (Poetry) UPQ 2013. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1262/Free%20Logic

free logic“Winner of the 2012 Thomas Shapcott Award

Free Logic is a collection of poems about love, logic, sin, gender, and imaginary animals. Transmuting techniques, forms and figures as she moves with enviable ease from themes of love through landscape to logic, Rachael Briggs evinces a relentless inventiveness and intelligence.

Structured as eight sets of inventive poems, from ‘Twelve Love Stories’ which feature different kinds of love to ‘Solve for X and Y’ which pits characters against surreal problems to ‘Tough Luck’, a crown of sonnets which follows one narrator through a journey of unrequited love and identity discovery, this exciting new volume announces the arrival of a fresh and vital voice in Australian poetry.”

Free Logic is currently out for review.

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My Island Homicide by Catherine Titasey (Fiction) UQP 2013. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/book.aspx/1266/My%20Island%20Homicide

my island homicide“Crime and courtroom drama meet island humour and romance in this award-winning debut novel.

When Thea Dari-Jones takes the job as Officer in Charge of the Thursday Island police station in Torres Strait, she has no idea that her desire to start anew and return to her mother’s Islander roots will be the greatest challenge of her life. Arriving with visions of enjoying a relaxed, idyllic island lifestyle; what she finds instead is a close-knit community divided by a brutal crime and an unexpected relationship with an Islander fisherman Jonah that brings her closer to her own heritage.

As Thea investigates the murder, a series of surprising events lead her through the landscape and language of the locals, most of whom are convinced that maydh, or black magic, is the source of the unsolved mystery on the island.

From the winner of the 2012 Queensland Literary Awards – Best Emerging Author category, My Island Homicide combines crime, romance and island life into an irresistible tropical package”.

My Island Homicide is out for review.

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August 2013

Limen by Susan Hawthorne (Verse Novel), Spinifex 2013. http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/Bookstore/book/id=243/

limen.
this tiny crack

in our lives
wind and rain strewn
stranded on the limen
that space between
water and sky
rain and sun
cold and heat

When two women and a dog set off on a holiday they have no inkling of what’s to come.

They wake to find the river has crept up silently during the night. Trapped by floodwater, they devise escape routes only to be faced with more obstacles at every turn.

Only the dog remains calm.

This novella grips you with its language, its pace, its anxieties.

Limen has been reviewed

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Transactions by Alia Alizadeh (Fiction/Short Stories) UQP 2013. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1259/Transactions

TransactionsTransactions, the second work of prose fiction by Ali Alizadeh, presents a provocative and panoramic view of our contemporary world. Spanning themes such as immigration and globalisation, war and poverty, human trafficking and global warming, sexual abuse and exploitation, and love and survival, the book highlights the complexities and traumas of the modern world.

Based on his extensive world travels and his experiences migrating from Iran to Australia as a teenager, Ali has created a manuscript of story cycles (connected stories and characters) that is both shocking and humorous, often at the same time. These are ‘global’ stories in their setting and their themes, featuring characters such as a spoiled Emirati rich girl, an Iranian asylum seeker in Amsterdam, a Liberian refugee seeking aid from a charity, a Ukrainian prostitute, a Danish sex trafficker and a Chinese gamer.

These stories offer something exciting and new in contemporary fiction. Stylistically and thematically, Transactions is fresh and adventurous; the characters living on the edge of what is considered civilised society, often caught between East and West and in the web of global politics.

Transactions is out for review.

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The Swan Book by Alexis Wright (Novel). Giramondo Publishing 2013. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/fiction/the-swan-book/

The-Swan-Book-cover-199x300The Swan Book is set in the future, with Aboriginals still living under the Intervention in the north, in an environment fundamentally altered by climate change. It follows the life of a mute young woman called Oblivia, the victim of gang-rape by petrol-sniffing youths, from the displaced community where she lives in a hulk, in a swamp filled with rusting boats, and thousands of black swans, to her marriage to Warren Finch, the first Aboriginal president of Australia, and her elevation to the position of First Lady, confined to a tower in a flooded and lawless southern city. The Swan Book has all the qualities which made Wright’s previous novel, Carpentaria, a prize-winning best-seller. It offers an intimate awareness of the realities facing Aboriginal people; the energy and humour in her writing finds hope in the bleakest situations; and the remarkable combination of storytelling elements, drawn from myth and legend and fairy tale, has Oblivia Ethylene in the company of amazing characters like Aunty Bella Donna of the Champions, the Harbour Master, Big Red and the Mechanic, a talking monkey called Rigoletto, three genies with doctorates, and throughout, the guiding presence of swans.

The Swan Book has been reviewed.

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when sky becomes the space inside your head by Ed Wright (Poetry) 2012. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/when-sky-becomes-the-space-inside-your-head/

when_the_sky_310_450_sThe poems in When Sky Becomes the Space Inside Your Head are a series of lyrical meditations that play with the relationship of inner states to the outside world, of individuals to others. These poems are accessible, welcoming even as they present troubling ideas as flashes in the sideshow of the mind. Wright’s lyricism is one that questions its own values, the possibility of transcendence, and of using words to try and achieve it. Even if the poems build toward transcendent gestures, on arrival they often manifest as a pleasant emptiness, the post-coital lull that follows the unruly intensity of poetic thought. The epiphany is often a return to the everyday.

If you are interested in writing a review of when sky becomes the space inside your head for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Thick and Thin Lines by Phyllis Perlstone (Poetry). Puncher & Wattmann 2012. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/thick-and-thin-lines/

thick_and_thin_lines_310_445_sAs the title of this book suggests, these poems are concerned with the way in which language can thicken our experience, even as that experience becomes attenuated through age, and increasingly ensconced within a complex and modern urban environment. This is a moving collection, which develops from the edge of everything and moves towards a comprehensive summation of a poetic sensibility preoccupied with its transience.

If you are interested in writing a review of Thick and Thin Lines for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Ringing World by Tricia Dearborn (Poetry). Puncher & Wattmann 2013. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/the-ringing-world/

the_ringing_world_310_446_sThis engaging collection charts a wild ride, from the language of the laboratory to the surprises of hetero-sex to the yearnings of the about-to-be-cannibalised. The writing is at times provocative and sensual, at others slyly meditative, but always fearless, compressed, precise.

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If you are interested in writing a review of The Ringing World for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Barnacle Rock by Margaret Bradstock (Poetry) Puncher & Wattmann 2013. http://puncherandwattmann.com/books/book/barnacle-rock

barnacle_rock_310_444_sBarnacle Rock is a collection of poems about battling against the odds. From the earliest explorers attempting to fill in the map of ‘The Great South Land,’ to our current failure to preserve our inherited environment, the protagonists find themselves, as the book’s title might suggest, ‘between a rock and a hard place.’ Following on from Coast, this collection deepens our understanding of Australia’s fraught history and poses important questions about the future.

If you are interested in writing a review of Barnacle Rock for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Inadvertent Things by Andrew Lansdown (Poetry) Walleah Press 2013. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/andrew-lansdowns-inadvertent-things-poems-in-traditional-japanese-forms/

lansdown 2‘as to the eye
so to the ear …’

“So Lansdown writes. He’s right: the senses come alive in the gentle words of these poems on the Australian field of his page. If sonnets are standard roses, these haiku and tanka are nasturtiums growing wild. Naturer’s minutiae are celebrated here, along with the warmth of loving relationships. Lansdown’s point of view is consistently humble but his moods are many – but a rasping blues to a lyrical whistle”. – ANDREW BURKE

If you are interested in writing a review of Inadvertent Things for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Weranga by B.R Dionysius (Poetry) Walleah Press 2013 http://store.walleahpress.com.au/b-r-dionysius-weranga/

weranga“Brett Dionysius has established himself as a poet whose attention to craft and the variousness of a line’s potential sets him apart from many poets of his generation. With Weranga, a sequence of sixty seven sonnets, he has employed these hard-won skills to great effect. Lyrical, accessible and layered with his trademark ability to bring new life to common ground, this is a wonderful collection, celebration rural life in Australia in Australia in the 1970s and 80’s” – Anthony Lawrence.

If you are interested in writing a review of Weranga for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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July 2013

The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn (Young Adult Novel). UQP 2013. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1263/The%20Sky%20So%20Heavy

sky so heavyA haunting dystopian novel in the vein of John Marsden from a brand new voice in Australian YA literature.

For Fin, it’s just like any other day – racing for the school bus, bluffing his way through class and trying to remain cool in front of the most sophisticated girl in his universe. Only it’s not like any other day because, on the other side of the world, nuclear missiles are being detonated. When Fin wakes up the next morning, it’s dark, bitterly cold and snow is falling. There’s no internet, no phone, no TV, no power and no parents. Nothing Fin’s learnt in school could have prepared him for this. With his parents missing and dwindling food and water supplies, Fin and his younger brother, Max, must find a way to survive in a nuclear winter … all on their own.When things are at their most desperate, where can you go for help?

If you are interested in writing a review of The Sky So Heavy for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Outcrop: radical Australian poetry of land. (Poetry). Edited by Jeremy Balius and Corey Wakeling. Black Rider Press 2013. http://www.blackriderpress.com/

outcropCurated by Corey Wakeling and Jeremy Balius, Outcrop transcribes innovative and significant poetical approaches to land at the crossroads of ecologies and language.

The collection, rather than an exhaustive survey, represents a diversity of contemporary Australian radical poetic perspectives. These range from land in content and syntax, to voice, ecology, gesture and land of the body.

‘Outcrop’ features poetry from Louis Armand, Laurie Duggan, Ali Cobby Eckermann, Kate Fagan, Michael Farrell, Lionel Fogarty, Keri Glastonbury, Matthew Hall, Fiona Hile, Duncan Hose, Jill Jones, John Kinsella, Astrid Lorange, John Mateer, Peter Minter, Sam Langer, Claire Potter, Pete Spence, Nicola Themistes and Tim Wright.

Outcrop has ben reviewed.

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Stone Scar Air Water by Judy Johnson (Poetry) Walleah Press 2013. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/stone-scar-air-water-poetry-by-judy-johnson/

stone scar air water“As with her previous books, the work in Stone, Scar, Air, Water. . . exposes a wide variety of sources to the processes of the poem. There is a new emphasis on lyrics which deal directly with her own experience, but there are also poems which display an ongoing fascination with female characters who are both courageous and vulnerable. Compared to her earlier work, there is also a new sombreness. Two key sequences – “Michelangelo’s Daughter”, which deals with child abuse, and “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing”, a meditation on the coming of the Europeans, and on the damage of applied perspectives, deal with situations which are broken, and unresolved. Many of the poems about Ireland broaden that doubt about our capacity to effect benevolent change into the whole world of ancestries and endings. Assured in its use of images, deft in its management of ideas and always curious, this volume registers a resonant change of direction for a probing and accomplished poet”. – Martin Langford.

If you are interested in writing a review of Stone Scar Air Water for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Griffith Review 41: Now We are Ten. https://griffithreview.com/

griffithGriffith Review’s tenth anniversary edition features Australia’s best writers tackling the underlying forces that will shape the next decade: sustainability, equality, belonging, technology and the capacity for change.

In this anniversary edition the insights from the past will inform a forward-looking agenda, explored with flair and literary panache.Frank Moorhouse reconsiders what the proliferation of surveillance is likely to mean, Melissa Lucashenko observes up close what life is like being poor in a rich country, Kathy Marks describes how western Sydney has become a metaphor for a changing nation, Anna Rose anticipates how change might occur, Desmond Manderson draws parallels between the war on drugs and treatment of refugees, Michael Wesley tests what an Asian century might really mean, Rodney Croome argues that belonging will define the next decade, Andrew Belk explores the price of flying in and flying out, and more.

Now We Are Ten offers powerful new insights into the challenges of the next ten years on the eve of the federal election.

Griffith Review 41 is out for review.

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.The Petrov Poems by Lesley Lebkowicz. (Poetry) Pitt Street Poetry. 2013. http://pittstreetpoetry.com/poetae/lesley-lebkowicz/

petrovIn April 1954 Australia woke up to discover that Volodya Petrov, an attaché in the Russian embassy in Canberra, was also a colonel in the KGB and was planning to defect. The Petrov Poems charts the unfolding web of intrigue between Petrov, his colleagues in the embassy, and his contacts with the west. And the crucial role of his wife Dusya, thrust into a terrible crisis of conscience as the result of her husband’s actions and her past personal history.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Petrov Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.What the Afternoon Knows by Ron Pretty (Poetry) Pitt Street Poetry. 2013. http://pittstreetpoetry.com/ron-pretty/

ron prettyOne of Australia’s best-loved poets offers readers a rich palimpsest of a life lived in poetry. Over the last 35 years much of Ron Pretty’s inexhaustible energies and formidable intellectual vigour have been devoted to poetry publishing and poetry policy at a national and international level. Now a richly deserved grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council has provided him with a respite: six months at the Whiting Studio in Rome to rest, walk, eat, think and write. The result is What the Afternoon Knows: reflections on life, poetry, family, the world and the nature of things.

If you are interested in writing a review of What the Afternoon Knows for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.White Light by Mark O’Flynn (Short Stories). Spineless Wonder 2013. http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/print-2/white-light-by-mark-oflynn/

White-Light-ftIn White Light, a single mother seeks refuge in a religious cult, a young girl hijacks road machinery while her family dresses for church, another family down on their luck finds a gold ingot and the stability of a marriage is threatened by the arrival of a well-travelled ex-lover.

O’Flynn takes us into his local neighbourhood where people, both the ordinary and the bizarre, wrestle with the challenges and puzzles that life throws at them. His characters delight us and his language never ceases to surprise.

In this eclectic collection, O’Flynn, an accomplished poet, turns his hand to linked short stories, micro-fictions and monologues. He displays ventriloquist-like skill, conjuring Shakespeare’s Iago and an illiterate inmate called Banjo. Monopoly and ping-pong become extended metaphors for the games of everyday life. The result is a heady mix of wordplay, philosophical ruminations and astute social observation.

If you are interested in writing a review of White Light for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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unhoused by chris palazzolo (Poetry) Regime Books 2013. http://www.regimebooks.com.au/unhoused/

unhousedUnhoused is the first collection of poetry by West Australian poet Chris Palazzolo. Strange, beautiful and inventive, these thirty seven poems have been a work in progress for more than two decades and tear apart the concept of artistic alienation, in which the familiar streets and houses become extraordinary through the poet’s eyes.

Unhoused is a play on the German word ‘Unheimlich’, translated literally as ‘un-homed’, ‘un-familiar’ or ‘uncanny’. These poems guide us from a pub to a school, from a playroom to a row of houses, from a busy freeway to a beautiful and imaginary Utopia.

If you are interested in writing a review of Unhoused for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.June 2013

eaten cold by Cath Kenneally (Poetry). Walleah Press 2013. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/cath-kenneallys-eaten-cold/

cath kenneallyThe poems in this collection were written in reposne to the poems in Auckland poet Janet Charman’s book cold snack (AUP 207). Each poem in this collection is a match for a corresponding poem in Charman’s.

If you are interested in writing a review of eaten cold for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Detroit by Philip Hammial (Poetry) Island Press 2013.
http://islandpress.tripod.com/ISLAND.htm

detroit“In a clearer seeing of the configurations of Australian poetry – its history from the time of what are sometimes (melodramatically) referred to as the ‘poetry wars’ of the late 1960s and early 1970s through to the floreat of the ‘Generation of 68’, towards the whatever pale labyrinths of postpost-modernism we now find ourselves in – Philip Hammial would be placed on a dias with John Tranter and John Forbes…” David Brooks, Southerly

If you are interested in writing a review of Detroit for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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glass clouds by Grant Caudwell (Poetry) 5 Island Press 2010. http://fiveislandspress.com/catalogue/glass-clouds

glass-clouds-170x240In this latest selection from seven years’ work Caldwell’s usual range in style and form is overlaid with a tendency to lyrical abstraction while maintaining the ironic undertone, the political edge and the mystical allusions for which his work has been known over the past 25 years.

If you are interested in writing a review of glass clouds for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Home by Dark by Pam Brown (Poetry) Shearsman Books 2013. http://www.shearsman.com/shop/shop.php?action=full&id=501

HomebyDarkCover“Pam Brown’s work is fearless, acutely observant, witty and wry. She delights in the curiosities of the everyday, in notational sprezzatura, in the penetrating encapsulation of layers of time, chance and meaning with her twists of lexicon, diction and line break. This is a work of quotidian consternation, breaking through from irony to sheer fondness and painful shadows. She sees askew—and Home by Dark has its own poignant look at decades, bodies, and changes. Pam Brown is a wonderful writer, one of the scintillating wizards of Oz poetry.” —Rachel Blau DuPlessis

If you are interested in writing a review of Home by Dark for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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April 2013

Ash is Here, So are Stars by Jill Jones (Poetry). Walleah Press 2012.  http://store.walleahpress.com.au/jill-jones-ash-is-here-so-are-stars/

ash is hereAsh is Here, So are Stars is Jill Jones’ most recent poetry collection, published in October, 2012. This new book by award-winning poet, Jill Jones, revels in language’s restlessness, enchantment and grit. Its voices are full of complexity and spontaneity, urgency and delight. Ash is Here, So are Stars contains an expanded version of the sequence ‘In Fire City’, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Whitmore Press Manuscript Prize. The ‘city’ in this sequence is made from textual and material intensities sampled from Australian cities, as well as traces of real and imagined cities that may resemble a London, LA or New York. The book also contains three longer poems that took shape when the poet lived and walked through areas of Sydney.

Ash is Here, So are Stars is currently out for review.

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.Bread of the Lost by Philomena van Rijswijk (Poetry). Walleah Press 2012. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/philomena-van-rijswijk-bread-of-the-lost/

Rijswijk__“This is a poetry of desire that shocks but leads to a personal freedom, from the innocence of childhood to the pluralism of womanhood. Van Rijswijk does not flinch from loss and pain in her poems, a kind of contemporary Adam and Eve. Rather, the erotic in her distinctive voice is intermingled with the bread of communion, bread of love, bread of life. Her poems are distinctly Australian with potent Asian touches, in which she also draws skilfully upon the classics and popular culture of the English-language world”. JAVANT BIARUJIA

If you are interested in writing a review of Bread of the Lost for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.Confessional Box by Vanessa Page (Poetry). Walleah Press 2013. http://store.walleahpress.com.au/vanessa-page-confessional-box/

Vanessa_Page“Vanessa Page writes with the complex simplicity of an artist like Paul Klee, her language is : ‘skin, papered/ over skin’. The images chipped with such clean-lines from reality, they seem slightly surreal: ‘a cassette tape ribbon flying like a prayer flag from the brigalow’. Confessional Box is a carefully orchestrated book, its sections become whole stanzas, and each poem echoes with resonance. Page’s lines form a compelling narrative. A life unfolds as one reads, Page has created a world, both intimate and universal. Where cane fields and human figures are woven together with birds, animals and domestic scenes with Page’s painterly lines. There is an arresting music to this book, worked at deep pitch, performed with great skill and a compassionate vision”. – Robert Adamson.

If you are interested in writing a review of Confessional Box for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.Peace, Love and Khaki Socks by Kim Lock (Novel). MidnightSun Publishing. http://midnightsunpublishing.com/books/peace-love-and-khaki-socks/

peace love and Khaki socksOne sultry October morning in Darwin, hemp-wearing army wife Amy Silva grips a trembling fist around two pink lines on a plastic stick. Struggling to come to terms with her rampant fertility, disillusioned with a haughty obstetrician, and infuriated by an inordinate amount of peeing, Amy finds solace in a decision to homebirth. After all, it worked for the cavewomen, right? But as a tropical cyclone threatens to whip down the main street, Amy finds herself facing more than biology.

Peace, Love and Khaki Socks explores what it is to be a woman, an expectant mother, a lover and a friend in a patriarchy. Sometimes horrifying, sometimes hilarious and always honest, this unforgettable story is one woman’s struggle to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.

Peace, Love and Khaki Socks has been reviewed.

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I’m Ready Now by Nigel Featherstone. Blemish Books 2012 (Novel/Novella). http://www.blemishbooks.com.au/books/9780980755688.shtml

ImReadyNow_FA4(outlines).inddFollowing the death of her husband, Lynne Gleeson travels from her grand ancestral Hobart home to visit her son Gordon in Sydney. Lynne’s alone for the first time in her life and has big plans, but does she have the courage to see them through? Meanwhile Gordon, emotionally isolated and lost in his Year of Living Ridiculously, is determined to find stimulation wherever he can, regardless of the consequences. But will Gordon’s last adventure prove too much for the people who love him?

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II’m Ready Now is out for review.

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home{sick} by Julie Beveridge. Another Lost Shark Publication. 2013 (Poetry). http://anotherlostshark.com/

home{sic}“Julie Beveridge writes domestic scenarios like no other. She combines love with stark observations to create nuanced images that are real, not staged. There is no fakery here, just beautifully strange words that arrive at the heart, making it ache and sing in equal measure”. Jacqueline Turner

If you are interested in writing a review of home{sic} for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.Hotel Hyperion by Lisa Gorton. Giramondo Poets 2013 (Poetry). http://www.giramondopublishing.com/hotel-hyperion

hotel hyperionBy turns intimate and grand in scale, Gorton’s new collection of poems features snow domes, storm glasses, museum display cases, an ancestral home and the air-locked rooms of a mythical space hotel: all images which contains worlds within worlds, rooms which open onto other rooms. It is a baroque collection, playing with notions of inward and outward space, constructing its intricate perspectives with a restrained delicacy. The title sequence, ‘Hotel Hyperion’, is set in the future, in a space hotel where a collector gathers artefacts for a museum recording the history of space settlement. It also recalls Keats’ great poem, ‘The Fall of Hyperion’. Lisa Gorton’s first collection Press Release (also published by Giramondo) won the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry.

Hotel Hyperion has been reviewed

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.Lilies and Stars by Rebecca Law. Picaro Press 2013 (Poetry). http://www.picaropress.com

lilies and starsThe poems in Rebecca Law’s Lilies and Stars move with confidence through wistfulness and a quiet celebration of landscape and desire. Her rhythms and images are lively, her voice assured. This is a fine second collection”. Anthony Lawrence.

Lilies and Stars is out for review.

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.one that made it alike by Astrid Lorange. Vagabond Press 2013 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/astrid-lorange-one-that-made-it-alike

one that made it alikeone that made it alike is an index in prose: measuring, for example, four brick archives in Sydney, Leibniz’s monadology, a food-based theory of heartbreak, and measurement itself. The indexes were composed over a one-year period and act as paratexts for a year’s worth of reading. The keyword search was a vital organising principle, so too the collective efforts to graphically represent monads and labour history.

one that made it alike is out for review.

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Departure into Cloud by Stuart Cooke. Vagabond Press 2013 (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/rare-object-series/products/stuart-cooke-departure-into-cloud

departure into cloudDeparture into Cloud traces a line between the earth and the sky. Beginning with the seeds of an organic, composting language beneath our feet, it grows into a breathing, sentient world before finally bursting into a cloud of almost-forms, where vaporous language tickles the edges of dense matter.

If you are interested in writing a review of Departure into Cloud for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The First 30 and other poems by Graham Nunn. Another Lost Shark Publication. 2013 (Poetry). http://anotherlostshark.com/the-first-30-and-other-poems/

the first 30The First 30 and other poems is Johnno Award winning poet, Graham Nunn’s sixth collection of poetry. Written in response to the birth of his first son, The First 30 is a celebration of new life and the poet’s first steps into fatherhood.

The First 30 and other poems was the subject of a ‘non-review’..

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March 2013

Parang by Omar Musa. Blast Publishing! 2013. (Poetry). http://slamtv.org/2013/02/26/parang-omar-musa/

ParangParang is the second collection of poetry from former Australian Poetry Slam winner Omar Musa. Written over four years, the collection explores Malaysian jungles, dark Australian streets, and dreams. Dealing with the issues of loss, migration and belonging, Parang is an incisive and sometimes raw look at the hear and now of a changing world.

If you are interested in writing a review of Parang for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems by Andrew Sant. Black Pepper 2013 (Poetry). http://blackpepperpublishing.com/santtbt.html

bicycle thief santtbtcover
Energy, natural and man-made, is at the heart of Andrew Sant’s The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems – energy released at the speed of an escaping cyclist or through the planet’s eruptions and metamorphoses in geologic time. Either way, here is the second law of thermodynamics writ large, creation and destruction in a binary tussle. The mischievous title poem, a fast-moving narrative, is a robust celebration of ‘good-for-the-planet transport’, while elsewhere motor vehicles depicted in a ‘personal history’ are drolly seen as harbingers of an apocalypse. Many poems are monologues that give voice to characters whose identities are fluid and circumstantial. These are poems that get about – lively, unfettered and expansive.

If you are interested in writing a review of The Bicycel Thief & Other Poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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February 2013

Mogwie-Idan: Stories of the Land by Lionel George Fogarty. Vagabond Press 2012. http://vagabondpress.net/collections/poetry/products/lionel-fogarty-mogwie-idan-stories-of-the-land

LF_Mogwie-Idan_grandeMOGWIE-IDAN: Stories of the land showcases the intelligence of the Aboriginal grassroots struggle in contemporary Australia, laying open the realness of Lionel Fogarty’s Murri mission poetry. The Aboriginal struggle in Australia is not over, but here handed to the next generations to promote their strength. Biame guide! Biame bless!

Mogwie-Idan: Stories of the Land is currently out for review.

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.I didn’t know what by Jan-Willem Anker. Vagabond Press 2012. (Poetry). http://vagabondpress.net/collections/poetry/products/jan-willem-anker-i-didnt-know-what
anker_didntknow_cover_grandeIn I didn’t know what the Dutch writer and poet Jan-Willem Anker zooms in on the senseless little adventures that shape the post-Christian and consumerist life of the Western male. This collection of prose poems is filled with mini conundrums, problems, ephemera or witticisms that look as though they could impart a narrative but choose to go down an unexpected trajectory. Jan-Willem’s texts pull short of the Borges labyrinths and enter a graceful lyrical world of complex moods and wisecracks. If they are poems of a philosopher they are also poems of a prankster, a kind of anecdotally clear-thinking Žižek. I didn’t know what is Anker’s first book in English.

If you are interested in writing a review of I didn’t know what for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Love dreaming & other poems by Ali Cobby Eckermann. Vagabond Press 2012. (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/collections/poetry/products/ali-cobby-eckermann-love-dreaming-other-poems
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In Love dreaming & other poems Cobby Eckermann bears witness to a deep commitment to her traditional kin, culture and language as she tells the story of her search for her family on the traditional Yankunytjatjara and Kokatha lands in the north west of South Australia. At the same time, she lays bare the ongoing effects of governmental policy and paternalism on Australia’s indigenous peoples. Engaging with events around Alice Springs, these poems give firsthand witness to the 2007 Northern Territory Emergency Response by the Federal Government, commonly known as The Intervention, and its ongoing effects on regional and remote Indigenous communities. These poems lay open the complexity of the internal conflict felt among Aboriginal people today, as they constantly need to adjust to contemporary Australia.

If you are interested in writing a review of Love dreaming & other poems for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com. 

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marionette: a biography of miss marion davies by jessica i. wilkinson. Vagabond Press 2012. (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/collections/poetry/products/jessica-l-wilkinson-marionette-a-biography-of-miss-marion-davies

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marionette is a poetic biography of early cinema actress Marion Davies, who lived the prime of her life under the careful gaze of her lover of more than thirty years, William Randolph Hearst. Being involved with such a powerful man was bound to have its cost; Marion’s story is marked by whispers, gossip, rumors, lies, and plot holes. This biography is an attempt to reanimate one of the 20th century’s most enigmatic and charitable figures in a manner befitting her playful and mischievous character.

marionette is currently out for review.

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You Jump to Another Dream by Yan Jun (translated by Glenn Stowell. Vagabond Press 2012. (Poetry) http://vagabondpress.net/products/yan-jun-you-jump-to-another-dream

yanjun_youjump_cover_grandeYou Jump to Another Dream is the first full-length collection of poetry in English from one of China’s breakout experimental writers and musicians. Drawing together work from the early 1990s to the present, this collection presents in full Yan Jun’s distinctive reworking of lyricism against the backdrop of consumerism and globalism. From Beijing, to Shanghai, Taipei, New York, Tokyo and on, his poetry navigates the nodal points of transnational culture, exploring the complexity and disjunctions of the contemporary moment while ‘trapped in the supermarket of language’. His poetry sings in the junctures and disjunctions of the cosmopolitan and the mundane, the limits of emotion and the irrepressible nature of desire with a subtle surrealism and muted and deft humour. Yan Jun is a distinctive new voice on the international scene; the penetrating strangeness of his poetry collapses boundaries and borders, bringing the other, the global and the everyday into intimate proximity.

If you are interested in writing a review of You Jump to Another Dream for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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50 Motets by Homer Rieth Black Pepper 2013 (Poetry). http://blackpepperpublishing.com/rieth150m.html

150 motets“When as God’s novice, I lay in my cell thinking, night after night
of that cape, the one Zhivago put around her shoulder—
of his arm encircling her waist, as slender as the bell light
of snow on her sleeve, in the plaits of her hair—and now I am older

but no wiser, for it seems I still lie awake at night
thinking of that cape, the one he put around her shoulder—”

Motet: a composition adapted to sacred words in the elaborate polyphonic church style; an emblem. Addressed to and inspired by the time-honoured figure of a mistress or muse, Homer Rieth’s sonnets cascade into each other across rocks of autobiography, memory and desire. From the young man’s yearning for the religious life to the poet’s mature ruminations he sings to his American Lola and to us. His unaccompanied voice becomes its own choir.

If you are interested in writing a review of 50 Motets for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Eldershaw by Stephen Edgar. Black Pepper 2013. http://blackpepperpublishing.com/edgare.html

Eldershaw“Then he went through her bits of jewellery,
Such as the girls had left, her purse, her perfumes,
Her make-up bag, in which among the tweezers,
Lipsticks, eye pencils, creams, one folded tissue
Presented to his gaze the perfect form
Of her pursed lips in pink, on which, he knew,
A few forensic cells of her still clung…”

A children’s game in an overgrown garden is the first hint of a troubling presence in the old house ‘Eldershaw’. But is the haunting a memory of the past inscribed in the stonework or a discord the occupants have brought with them?

At the heart of Stephen Edgar’s compelling new collection are three interlinked narrative poems ranging forwards and backwards in time from the Second World War to the present day. Drawing on personal experience, reimagined and transformed through the lens of fiction, they enact those charged episodes which shape and scar the lives of several characters. From the dim rooms of ‘Eldershaw’, to the recollected infernos of war, to the uncanny waters of a seaside pool, these narratives affect us with a moving and haunting power.

The book is completed by sixteen shorter lyrics in Edgar’s more characteristic manner, some glancing at or directly treating themes from the narratives.

If you are interested in writing a review of Eldershaw for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.An Imaginary Mother: A Memoir by Bron Nicholls. Black Pepper 2013. http://blackpepperpublishing.com/nichollsaim.html

Imaginary mother“Some days, if the wash hadn’t been too grubby, Mum would scrape the hot ash from under the copper, let the water cool down, then plonk me naked into the ‘pot’. Grinning wickedly she would tell me I was being boiled until tender.

‘And then I will gobble you all up!’”

Bron was Phyllis Nicholls’ first child. An Imaginary Mother is an open-hearted memoir of her mother and their intense relationship over fifty-six years. Phyllis was a secretive, complex and unpredictable woman. Before her marriage, Phyllis worked happily as a designer in Vida Turner’s pioneering textile company. After World War II, with a young family, she had to cope with the isolation of a struggling subsistence farm, the tumult of her husband’s conversion to a rigid religion, and her own increasing mood changes between despair, melancholy and joy.

Yet to the end of almost eighty years, Phyll was also a stoic. She saw her ‘madnesses’ as the inevitable ups and downs of a full life, to be worked around with a mixture of courage, stealth, ingenuity and, whenever possible, with humour. An Imaginary Mother is a portrait in which the sitter and the painter are both revealed.

An Imaginary Mother has been reviewed

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.Undertow by Susan Austin. Walleah Press 2012 http://walleahpress.com.au/recent.html

undertowTIM THORNE: ‘Susan Austin’s poems penetrate to the core of the human condition: the dysfunctional, the erotic, the often unnoticed magic of the everyday. Her perceptions are acute and originally presented, but what really stands out is the compassion which informs her celebration of the variousness of this world.’ Gina Mercer’slaunche speech is available at http://walleahpress.com.au/LaunchAustin.html

Undertow has been reviewed

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.Private Conversations by Cameron Hindrum. Walleah Press 2012. http://walleahpress.com.au/recent.html

private conversationsCameron Hindrum lives, writes and works in Launceston, Tasmania. He has coordinated the annual Tasmanian Poetry Festival since 2003. The Blue Cathedral, his first novel, was published in 2011 and launched at Melbourne Writers’ Festival 2012. He has published poetry, short fiction and non fiction in a range of journals including Island, Forty Degrees South, Famous Reporter, Pendulum, Blue Giraffe, Askew Poetry Journal, Poets Republic and Paradox, (a bilingual English-Indonesian literary journal). He won the 2008 WordStorm Poetry Slam in Darwin. Another Lost Shark Publications published the first – Private Conversations Volume 1 – of Cameron’s two poetry collections to appear in 2012, with this collection – Private Conversations Volume 2 – its companion piece.

Private Conversations Volume 2 has been reviewed.

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December 2012

The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee. UQP 2013. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1231/The%20Midnight%20Dress.

Midnight DressWhen a teenage girl disappears, a small town is awash with rumours: everyone is talking about the dress she wore, a midnight-blue dress made from the remnants of other dresses, a dress of stories …

For her whole life, Rose Lovell has moved from town to town with her alcoholic father. When they wash up in a coastal sugarcane town, Rose wonders if this time it will be different.

At the local high school, Rose meets Pearl Kelly, who is popular, pretty and intent on tracking down her Russian father. When she convinces Rose to be part of the annual Harvest Parade, Rose must find a special dress for the occasion. She seeks the help of the eccentric Edie Baker, who knows all the town’s secrets and whose own family is a rich tapestry of stories. When Rose agrees to let Edie teach her to sew, she doesn’t realise that nothing will ever be the same again.

The Midnight Dress has been reviewed.

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1953 by Geoff Page UQP Poetry Series 2012. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1232/1953

Geoff page 19531953 is a unique verse narrative composed of monologues and verse portraits. Together, these build towards the story of an Australian town, Eurandangee, and its people on a particular summer’s day in the 1950s. The poems reflect the perspective of a number of the town’s residents. Rumbling beneath this is the broader examination of a developing post-war Australia, with issues of the lingering effects of war and violence and an accumulation of cultural change.

1953 has been reviewed.

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November 2012

EXT 2012 Writing Inspired by Music. Edited by Miriam Zolin. Extempore (Anthology – poetry and fiction) 2012. http://www.extempore.com.au/ext-2012-writing-inspired-by-music/

This is writing in response to music, from within the heart of music and in abandoned celebration of music. This exciting new anthology of writing about about music features the winning pieces from the 2011 National jazz Writing Competition alongside works by award winning poets Mark Tredinnick (Fire Diary, The Blue Plateau, The Little Red Writing Book, Australia’s Wild Weather) and Geoff Page (A Sudden Sentence In The Air, Coda for Shirley), as well as other writers such as Virginia Lloyd (The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement), Donna Ward, Kent MacCarter (The Hungry Middle of Here, Ribosome Spreadsheet).

If you are interested in writing a review of EXT 2012 for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The World Last Night by M.T.C. Cronin. UQP Poetry Series 2012. http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1226/The%20World%20Last%20Night

“A new volume from Cronin is much-anticipated and The World Last Night is rich, polished and delightful. It has a confidence and grace about it and moves from wit to whimsy, encompassing profundity with the lightest of touches. This collection is intellectually invigorating but wears this erudition lightly – there is a vital sense of joy running through the poems, and a beautiful evocation of the possibilities of a joyful life. The poetry has a clarity and accessibility that invite readers into its fields of inquiry”.

The World Last Night is currently out for review.

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Permission to Lie by Julie Chevalier. Spineless Wonders (Short Stories)  2011 http://shortaustralianstories.com.au/products-page/print-sample/permission-to-lie/

In Permission to Lie, Julie Chevalier casts a curious eye into many different worlds. Her characters ride the citybound bus route, spend the night in a nudist colony and wait tables. Quirky and beautifully-written, these stories provide insights that ring with integrity and compassion.

Permission to Lie is out for review.

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All the Way Home by Kristin Henry. UWA Publishing (Verse Novel) 2012. http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/books-and-authors/book/all-the-way-home/

“All the Way Home is a modern verse novel that explores the importance and variety of family bonds, home and belonging, and the seductiveness of a well-intentioned but ultimately flawed dream.

Jesse is a restless young musician from the USA. Flannery is a young woman escaping the Troubles in Northern Ireland. In a small New South Wales coastal town they meet, fall in love and have a daughter, Maille. It is also here that they meet the charismatic Leon, who dreams of establishing an alternative community called Heartsong. Leon invites the young family to join him.

Whilst living in Heartsong, Jesse, Flannery and their daughter Maille work and live distanced from mainstream society for twenty years until the utopian society collapses, taking their idealism with it”.

All the Way Home is currently out for review.

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Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden. Giramondo Poets 2012. http://www.giramondopublishing.com/liquid-nitrogen

“Jennifer Maiden’s ‘weaving’ poems are like verse essays or conversations, in which the political issues of our time and the figures who dominate them are presented with the same clear intelligence and eye for detail, as the most personal aspects of the poet’s experience. This is the quality of liquid nitrogen which gives the book its title – ‘the frozen suspension which is risky/ but also fecund and has beauty’ – a substance which permits intense and heated interactions, and at the same time the survival of delicate organisms. In the cool medium of Maiden’s poetry Julia Gillard is considered by her mentor Nye Bevan, Kevin Rudd shares a flight with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eleanor Roosevelt plays Woody Guthrie for Hillary Clinton. The poems focus on the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Breivik in Norway, dissidents in Beijing, the protests in Tahrir Square and Gillard’s use of power, alongside tributes to friends and family, the ox and the tiger, music and the power of poetry”.

If you are interested in writing a review of Liquid Nitrogen for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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The Conversation by David Brooks. UQP (Novel). 2012.
http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1220/The%20Conversation

“Two strangers meet in a restaurant in a piazza in the Italian city of Trieste. Stephen, an Australian engineer living in Paris, and Irena, an Italian translator, share a meal and exchange stories in an atmosphere of geniality and refinement.

As the story gradually unfolds in conversation, the reader is treated to Brooks’ effortless reflections on culture, language, history, art, love and desire, and all of the thoughts and sensations that strike an Australian in Europe. The play of culture, philosophy and food is reminiscent of John Lanchester’s brilliant The Debt to Pleasure. The chapter titles, Antipasti, followed by Primi Piatti, and Insalata etc., add to the atmosphere of delightful indulgence”.

The Conversation has been reviewed.

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The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer. by Edwina Preston UQP (Novel) 2012.
http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.asp/1211/The%20Inheritance%20of%20Ivorie%20Hammer

“When brothers Arcadia and Otto Cirque arrive in a fading gold-mining town with their travelling circus, Saturnalia, the town and the life of young Mary Ann Ward will never be the same. Months later, the flamboyant Arcadia Cirque is found dead, a pregnant Marianne Ward goes missing and Otto Cirque sets off in pursuit of her.

These dramatic events echo down the decades to Mrs Ivorie Hammer, who is dealing with her own problems. Pregnant and vexed by recent catastrophic events in her home town, she discovers that her own origins are not as she thought. As the small community of Pitch is scandalized by several mysterious deaths and disappearances, it is Ivorie’s secret history that holds the key to the truth”.

The Inheritance of Ivorie Hammer is out for review.

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The Tower Mill by James Moloney UQP (Novel) 2012.
http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/book.aspx/1210/The%20Tower%20Mill

“Brisbane, 1971. Susan Kinnane, precocious daughter of conservative parents, spurns the attention of fellow university student Mike Riley in favour of a passionate romance with activist Terry Stoddard.

When the South African Rugby team tours, Terry, Susan and Mike join the anti-apartheid demonstrations outside the Springboks’ hotel near the iconic Tower Mill. Late in the night, the riot police charge, and the terrified students are hunted into the darkened park below. What happens next changes each of their lives forever.

Eight months on, Susan gives birth to a son, Tom, whose destiny is shaped by a man who is not his father, and by the events of that shocking night. As a lawyer working in London decades later, Tom must return to make peace with the past.

The Tower Mill has been reviewed.

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Black Mountain by Venero Armano UQP (Novel) 2012.
http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1205/Black%20Mountain

“Beginning in the sulphur mines of Sicily over a century ago, Black Mountain takes you on a journey through time and back again.

When a boy sold into slavery finds the courage to escape his brutal life, he is saved by a mysterious stranger, who raises the boy as his own. Renamed Cesare Montenero after Sicily’s own ‘black mountain’, Mount Etna, the boy grows up to discover that his rescue was no accident, that his physical strength is unnatural, and that he has more in common with his saviour than he could have imagined. And when he meets the enigmatic Celeste, he suspects for the first time that he many not be alone.

Based on factual events and ranging through Italy, Paris and the rural fringes of coastal Australia, Black Mountain is a haunting exploration of what it means to be human”.

Black Mountain is currently out for review.

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Tarcutta Wake Stories by Josephine Rowe. University of Queensland Press 2012
http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/book.aspx/1206/Tarcutta%20Wake

“In short vignettes and longer stories, Josephine Rowe explores the idea of things that are left behind: souvenirs, scars, and prejudice. Rowe captures everyday life in restrained poetic prose, merging themes of collective memory and guilt, permanence and impermanence, and inherited beliefs. These beautifully wrought, bittersweet stories announce the arrival of an exciting new talent in Australian fiction”.

Tarcutta Wake has been reviewed.

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Water Mirrors by Nichols Powell. University of Queensland Press Poetry Series 2012.
http://www.uqp.uq.edu.au/Book.aspx/1207/Water%20Mirrors

Water Mirrors was inspired by the author Nicholas Powell’s ‘enchanting and disorientating’ experience of moving to Finland. His poems circle intimacy, illusions, and the task of reconciling the many facets of experience. It is concerned with fluctuating perceptions, and with the relationship of language to meaning and aesthetics. Subjects range from the personal to the political, to art and nature”.

Water Mirrors has been reviewed.

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Human Batteries by Robbie Coburn. Picaro Press. 2012. (Poetry). http://www.picaropress.com/page2/page2.html

Robbie Coburn’s chapbook comes from the impressive Picaro Press list. It appears to be his first collection. A sample of the work in Human Batteries can be found on his web-site: http://www.robbiecoburn.com/book.html

If you are interested in writing a review of Human Batteries for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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Catalina by Danny Fahey. Dragonfall Press 2012. (Novel/Fantasy).
http://www.dragonfallpress.com/product/catalina

Dragonfall Press is a small book publisher based in Perth, Western Australia, specialising in fantasy and science fiction. Catalina, by Danny Fahey, is “a fantasy tale of magic, of an evil witch and a little girl who just wants to know who she is”.

Catalina is currently out for review.

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The Airmen (Part 1: The Pirates of Aireon) by R.J. Ashby. Dragonfall Press 2012. (Novel/Fantasy).  http://www.dragonfallpress.com/product/the-airmen-part-1

Another title from the independent Australian fantasy and science fiction publisher Dragonfall Press. It is the story of “Jardan and his father who ply the wilderness of Open Aire, keeping one step ahead of marauders as they scrape a meagre existence from the ocean-covered world. When their airship is destroyed, Jardan finds himself adrift with nothing but a knife and a beautiful young woman”.

The Airmen is currently out for review

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October 2012

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Union: New and Selected Poems by Paul Summers. Smoke Stack Books (UK) 2011. (Poetry). http://www.smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=58

Union brings together two decades’ worth of Paul Summers’ poems, drawing on books and pamphlets, performance pieces and collaborations, as well as a long and previously unpublished sequence about the North of England, ‘broken land’. Summers is a poet of place and of travel, of exile and of home, combining the domestic and the epic, the personal and the political, the rhetorical and the confessional. Summers currently lives in Queensland.

If you are interested in writing a review of Union for Rochford Street Review please email us to discuss rochfordstreetpress@gmail.com.

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.Limited Cities by Lachlan Brown Giramondo 2012.

Limited Cities is a collection of poems which searches for and finds grace in outlying and disadvantaged parts of the city that are often derided or ignored. The primary setting is Sydney’s south-western suburbs, with their housing estates and shopping malls and highways, places featured in the media for crime, social tension and corruption. Elsewhere in the collection, these suburban scenes are set against their European counterparts, with rhapsodies on the Parisian banlieues during Advent and Lent, and list-poems set on the streets of Barcelona.

Limited Cities is currently out for review

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.Small Wonders: An Anthology of Prose Poems & Microfiction. Edited by Linda Godfrey & Julie Chevalier. Spinless Wonders 2012.

For anyone interested in prose poetry, very short short stories or the boundaries between poetry and prose this looks to be an very interesting anthology. A mixture of invited and submitted work Small Wonders feature thirty contemporary writers on topics ranging from the eroticism of mashed potatoes, parenting as magic realism and a tongue in check history of the Cyclops bicycle. Writers include Michael Farrell, Keri Glastonbury, Shady Cosgrove, Moya Costello and many other. This title is currently available for review.

Small Wonders is currently out for review.

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.Street to Street by Brian Castro. Giramondo Shorts. 2012

The novella Street to Street is part of Giramondo’s ‘Shorts’ series. It certainly appears to be an interesting concept – “a comic-tragic enactment of the anxieties of the writing life, in which the early twentieth-century Sydney poet Christopher Brennan plays a major role. A legendary figure, with a commanding knowledge of classical and European poetry, Brennan wrote some of the most powerful poems in Australian literature. He died an impoverished alcoholic at the age of sixty-one. Castro’s double portrait of the poet and his biographer, the writer-academic Brendan Costa, plays on the disappointment, the guilt, the lack of recognition, which troubles those who live by their imaginations” – to quote from the publicity blurb.

Street to Street has been reviewed.

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August/September 2012

July 2012