It’s been amazing to work with Yannis on the poetry in this book and on the reciprocal translations we’ve done. It not only connected me back to the teaching work that I loved but also to Greek culture that I’ve only ever had a toe in, always standing on the outside looking in. I think our work has also connected Yannis a bit more with Australian culture and literature, with writing and writers that he was previously not connected with.
Chalk borders is Sarah’s 2nd book following on from her wonderful debut collection of poems called Open from Rochford Press in 2019. The title comes from her #litchalk activities, where she chalks poems on footpaths during various Canberra arts festivals, an ongoing and brave initiative – a bit like a written version of improv but not quite as fluid as freestyle rap.
Walking on a beach on the far south coast I found a metaphor for Anna Couani’s “Local” — a deep ocean shell, cast up from the sea, weathered to reveal its interior spirals. At the apex, a perfect miniature of mature shell- the mollusc’s first home—succeeded by whorls revolving outwards. The creature inside carries its past on its back and all its history is simultaneously present— past and present touch one another.