The mis-translations, mis-quotations and bricolage poetry of Sydneysider Chris Edwards has made several appearances in Jacket magazine.
In 2001 Jacket published three of his poems that are recombinations of David Baratier talking with Simon Perchik and Ward, Lock & Company's illustrated Great Inventors and other poems made from diverse sources including Isaac Asimov, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Arthur C. Clarke, Marilynne Robinson, Richard Wright, Roland Barthes and a number of other writers. There is a terrific sense of play in Chris's work and unlike many experimenting postmodern projects it is always uncannily engaging. Chris is also a typographer and graphic designer (designing, among other things, many of the books published by the irrepressible Vagabond Press) something that is evident in the careful arrangement in cascading poems like 'Aha!', from his own recent Vagabond collection People of Earth -
In early 2006, Maged Zaher emailed me at Jacket and asked to have one of his poems considered for publication. As often happens, he forgot to attach the poem. A pithy correspondence ensued and it continued between us even after the poem, my software mission, was published in Jacket issue 29. At some stage in our email exchange Maged asked me if I’d be interested in writing a poem in collaboration with him. So began a project that continued over a year or so and resulted in twenty-one poems that can be read as a continuing long poem. Susan Schultz published the poems that we’d assembled and titled farout_library_software as a Tinfish Press chapbook in 2007.
I first read about Mina Loy in 1987, in Shari Benstock's book about twenty-odd women artists and writers living and working in Paris in the decades 1900 until 1940 - Women of the Left Bank (University of Texas Press, 1986). Of course Gertrude Stein was the prominent or most-known figure in this community. It took many years for some of her less widely read contemporaries to gain notice. London-born Mina Loy was a painter, poet, essayist, sculptor, collagist and a member of the prestigious Salon d'Automne in early twentieth-century Paris. She was in a relationship with the proto-Dadaist poet and pugilist, Arthur Cravan until he disappeared, mysteriously, possibly into the ocean, off the coast of Mexico in 1918. She became involved in the Italian Futurist movement but soon became disillusioned by it and began to write satirically about Futurists' attitudes towards women. Her poetry was praised in journals by T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and, later, by Kenneth Rexroth. She lived for three decades in France and Italy moving, in 1936, to Lower Manhattan and the Bowery in the United States of America.
To complement the current feature on 'tabis' - Aboriginal song poetry from the Pilbara, I want to revisit the first issue of Jacket, published in 1997, in which Philip Mead, poet, anthologist and then an academic at the University of Tasmania, interviewed the contemporary Australian indigenous poet, Lionel Fogarty.
Lionel Fogarty talks about growing up on a government controlled reserve in Queensland, Cherbourg Aboriginal settlement, and about the effect of Christianity and white state education on Aboriginal traditions. He also relates the death of his brother, Daniel Yock, a dancer and song man who died in a police van, after being roughed up by the Brisbane police. Lionel was engaged in fighting for justice for his brother's death in custody.