Figure in the Landscape, this new collection of poems by Danny Gardner, champions these aspects of the poetic art: in the strict observances of confronted things – places, paintings, streets, birds, butcher shops, suicides, gardens, and, indeed, landscapes – re-calibrated through the uniqueness of the poet’s eye and mind; impressions turned into subtle resonances, into abstract interpretings, confident pronouncements, blunt rejoinders, melodic invocations. Each a new, distinct discovery.
Nature is not only celebrated in Castle’s poetry, but suffused with a sense of the sacred. Her use of the title word ‘triptych’ is telling: a triptych (from the Greek triptykhos meaning ‘three-layered’) is an artwork in three parts, usually religious. As a convent-educated daughter of Irish Catholic immigrants to England, she is well versed in church traditions, and her poetry is steeped in a sense of the liminal, of finding herself hovering on the thresholds of worlds—the secular and the spiritual, Ireland and England.
Domesticity is a key theme and value of Emilie Collyer’s poetry. Likewise, questioning – how do I navigate this body? This world? Gender politics? Public vs private? The cartography of intimate vs domestic, feminist vs patriarchal, blended family vs barren landscape, choice vs coercion.
Gad has already published two collections of poetry in literal Arabic and one book of songs in the Egyptian dialect. His sensual enjoyment of language permeates Siren of the Heart. In lines that sing with the pleasures and delights of love, the poet considers its amorous joys and sacred gifts.
Writing and writing in a community has always been central to how Sarah sees her place in the world. I’m more of a lone wolf writer, so I notice it – and am awed by it. The poet’s search for meaning in Sarah’s case is not only for herself but for other people and the world we all have to live in. And she does this magnificently and courageously through both her prose and poetry and her remarkable teachin
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.
To paraphrase Alan’s own words, you can imagine what the publication of over five decades of work means to the author. For the reader, Near Believing is a timely opportunity to revisit, or to visit for the first time and hopefully be inspired to pursue, the work of one of Australia’s most celebrated poets – I was about to say ‘illustrious’ but could imagine Alan grimacing at that.
Like all good poetry, Kathryn’s writing has instant delights, but it also offers rewards which do not fade with each revisiting. As well as the pleasures in particular poems, though, this book is remarkable for the scope of its content. There are decades of knowledge and experience behind this poetry, and although Kathryn has a very light touch, her spirit is unfailingly generous as she moves us through a kaleidoscope of topics, all of which have somehow sprung from her own “simply extraordinary business of being” (to quote from her poem ‘On William Robinson’s Later Harvest’).
Daragh Byrne is an Irish poet living on Gadigal land (Sydney). He has published in The Honest Ulsterman, The Blue Nib, Crossways Literary Magazine, The Canberra Times and Westerly, amongst others. In 2021, he was runner up in the Allingham Poetry Prize, was awarded Highly Commended in the Winchester Poetry Prize and won 1st prize in the inaugural Rafferty’s Return Arts Festival poetry competition. His chapbook And What of Love? was Highly Commended in the Fool for Poetry International Chapbook competition. He is the convener of the Sydney Poetry Lounge, a long-running open mic night.