Features

There is no reconciliation

"So Good" (2011) and "Self Portrait" (2010) by Brandon Downing
"So Good" (2011) and "Self Portrait" (2010) by Brandon Downing

Jacket2 features a review of Brandon Downing’s Lake Antiquity by Luke Bloomfield, and a gallery of recent collages by Downing.

Look and look again

Twelve New Zealand poets

Emma Smith, "Hecate" (2010).
Emma Smith, "Hecate" (2010).

I once heard a story about a biology teacher who asked a student to look closely at a fish, then write a description of it. The student took a good look at the fish, then wrote down everything he could think of to say about it.

After the student had brought back his description, the teacher told him to look at the fish again, and to write another description of it. This time the student took it home and went into real depth about everything he could find out about that species of fish, as well as this particular specimen.

Fifty-one contemporary poets from Australia

Louis Armand, “Merz is Dead.”

When it comes to poetry anthologies, I agree with David Antin’s long-ago quip — “Anthologies are to poets as zoos are to animals” — and I think that journals and magazines are probably better indicators of what’s current in any country’s poetry than grand, often agenda-driven anthologies. Here I am presenting the work of fifty-one contemporary poets from Australia. My aim was to make it broadly representative by including innovation and experimentation alongside quasi-romanticism, elegy, and the almost-pastoral. No one in this group writes like another. The common link is simply that each poet is an Australian whether by birth, residence or citizenship.