Ep 90. A poem for broken friendships

I’ve been looking for John Russell McCarthy’s Friendship Broken for a while now. It reads more like Luke Davies that something published in 1938. I hope it speaks to you as much as it does me.

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Ep 89. Thirteen Ways of Looking at a List Poem

  1. I love a good list poem.
  2. I can’t define them.
  3. Stevens is probably a bad example.
  4. But I’m going to start there anyway.

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Ep 88. Joel Deane on writing, not writing, and life after breaking point

Joel Deane writes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. In this conversation, Joel and I talk honestly about the place of poetry in between the commitments of daily life. We discuss honouring the compulsion to write without becoming ‘an absolute arsehole’, taking care of oneself in order to be able to do the work, the feeling of not fitting in, and working in cycles.

Our outro for this episode is the beautiful track ‘Peculiar’ from the album ‘Up here’ by Joel’s sister Camille Dean.

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Ep 87. Sylvia Plath, beekeeper

Five months before her death, Sylvia Plath wrote to her mother that her bee sequence included ‘the best poems of my life’. But these aren’t the poems we remember her for. These are my thoughts on Plath’s long shadow (and my unsolicited beekeeping tips).

As promised, here’s the person-sized swarm that inspired this episode:

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Ep 86. A.J. Carruthers on sound poetry and experimentalism

I suspect this chat with A.J. Carruthers about experimental poetry in Australia will kick start your next poem. We cover a lot of ground, from defining sound poetry to whether experimental work needs more recognition. But my favourite moment is when A.J. says: ‘Poetry is not a profession. It doesn’t profess, but it does. It’s about doing and about being with.’

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Ep 85. Paterson, Williams and women

My incredibly late take on the movie Paterson and a look at Paterson, the poem. Does it matter that William Carlos Williams’ women are often merely decorative? That one of his most famous poems is about stealing his wife’s breakfast? And should Jim Jarmusch have done better by his female lead?

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Ep 84. Petra White on the Bible and the office

I spoke with Petra White as she was preparing to leave Melbourne for London about her books Reading for a Quiet Morning (GloriaSMH Press, 2017) and A Hunger (John Leonard Press, 2014). We also covered whether it’s interesting to write about motherhood, the impossibility of writing at the office, and that one time I met Petra at Collected Works (and couldn’t remember the title of that poem of hers I liked).

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Ep. 83 Two not quite love poems

Maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s some overlap between Ashbery’s Some Trees David Herd’s 3 notes towards a love song (from his book All Just). Both are something like love poems that also allow for things ‘to be difficult between us’.

Another shoutout here to Al Filries and the ModPo gang for introducing me to Some Trees all those years ago. (And check out David Herd’s John Ashbery’s Humane Abstractions for a better explanation of his ideas on ‘dislocated space’.)

Ep 82. Grant Caldwell on ‘I am not the trick of the flower’

I’ve been on Grant Caldwell’s trail since I came across his poem ‘I am not the trick of the flower’ over a decade ago. In this episode I track him down at the University of Melbourne to finally ask him about this poem along with things like writing from the position of the ‘privileged white male’ and whether it matters if our work ever sees the light of day.

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Ep 81. Poetry mentors, poetry friends

Writing poetry shouldn’t be a ‘solitary pursuit’. Here’s how I finally found a poetry mentor, why the mentor-mentee relationship is valuable (and troubled) and why you should be sending drafts (and poems you love) to your friends.

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