Rejection is part of writing for publication. Here are my strategies for dealing with it, thoughts on how it can function in poets’ lives, and an example of how not to deal with rejection.
I had the chance to talk with Laurie Duggan at the end of 2019 on a smokey day in Sydney. We began with the Malley poems (what else?). From there we covered how Laurie gathers and shapes his poetic material, what the Sydney poetry scene was like when he first arrived (and how he sees it now), his relationships with contemporaries, how his poems are received, and why he feels it’s important to be ‘a poet among poets’.
- Laurie Duggan 2: The Sydney Years, 1972-1978
- The Collected Blue Hills (Puncher & Wattmann, 2011)
- Allotments (Shearsman Books, 2014)
- Crab & Winkle (Shearsman Books, 2009)
- Let’s Get Lost by Laurie Duggan, Ken Bolton & Pam Brown (Vagabond, 2005)
- A Northern Winter (Cordite, 2016)
- Laurie’s blog Graveney Marsh
- Paul Blackburn
- Philip Whalen
- William Carlos Williams
- Cid Corman
- J. H. Prynne
I’ve keep these poems within reach all year. Here are my 2019 go-to poems and the reasons why they’ve been so important to me.
In this chat with Body of Work author Elena Gomez (which also features my cat early in the piece), we dive deep into the thinking behind this intriguing collection. Elena talks about confronting feelings of perfectionism and inadequacy, the book’s relationship to technology/late capitalism, and breaks down what a Marxist feminist poetics might look like (for a beginner like me).
Kenneth Slessor’s Five Bells has frustrated and eluded me for years. In this episode I wrestle with its strange legacy, entertaining the idea that this poem isn’t so much an elegy for a specific person as it is a lament for lost potential among artists in Australia more generally.
In this episode I finally sit down with my friend and poetry mentor Bonny Cassidy. We talk about her relationship to visual art, how she sees her earlier work, the poets and writers her books have been in conversation with (and how that’s changed) and her new project on bearing witness to First Nations’ experience. We also touch on what it is to be an emerging poet in Australia today.
In this episode I look at Kyger’s poems June 7, ‘I’m Very Busy Now So I Can’t Answer All Those Questions About Beat Women Poets’ and ‘Stoutly Maintains I Never Rewrite’, along with her 1997 interview in Jacket magazine.
- Kyger’s collection On Time from City Lights Books
- Robert Adamson’s The Golden Bird: New and Selected Poems from Black Inc.
- New York Times obituary: ‘Joanne Kyger, Zen-Infused Beat Generation Poet, Dies at 82’
- Ep 32. Cid Corman
- Ep 47. Jack Spicer
- Diane Wakoski
- Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story
- Anne Waldman
- Double rainbow
‘Some of the things we hold most dear about poetry may be things that we have to clear our minds of, in order that we see other things more clearly.’
After admiring his work for many years, I had the chance to talk with David Brooks at his home in the Blue Mountains back in June. We talked about his latest book The Grass Library (Brandl & Schlesinger, 2019) along with the role of poetry in his life today, how he sees his previous collections, animal rights, ancient Chinese poetry, recognition and more.
Look, I don’t love e e cummings. But his influence is hard to ignore completely (even if I have ignored it for 104 episodes). Here I look at a poem of his – found handwritten in a very old anthology – and talk a little about springtime, legacy, old-school avant-gardism and future echoes.
Plastic orchids, a foggy morning, the differences between ‘basically’ and ‘literally’ – Pam Brown could make any material into a poem and it would somehow work. It was an absolute joy to talk to Pam about what she’s reading, how Sydney continues to change, how she puts her poems together, what it is to write poetry in the early 21st century, and what the purposes of such an activity might be.
- Pam’s recent books Click here for what we do and Missing up
- 2010’s Authentic Local
- Flux until sunrise by Esther Leslie and G Juarez
- Esther Leslie’s books Liquid Crystals and Synthetic Worlds
- Mez Breeze
- Amy Ireland
- The bit.fall at MONA
- Black Books: I ate all your bees!
- Chris Kraus
- Kim Hyesoon
- Don Mee Choi
- Lyn Hejinian
- Lisa Robertson
- Rachel Blau DuPlessis
- Susan M. Schultz
- February by James Schuyler
- Mary Karr’s Tropic of Squalor
- Amelia Dale’s Constitution
- Interview with A. J. Carruthers
- Tender Buttons