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Attention Span 2011 | Pam Brown

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Adam Aitken | Tonto’s Revenge | Tinfish | 2011

‘You want to shout Fuck Tourism /but that would be nostalgic.’ A chapbook of poems written while Australian poet Adam Aitken was a visiting writer in Manoa, Hawai’i. Encounters with academic administration, homeless people, bus passengers, a lament for Danno from ‘Hawai’i 5 0’. A nice pocket-size mix.

Louis Armand | Letters From Ausland | Vagabond | 2011-08-02

Louis Armand says ‘We remain, as Zukofsky says, the toy of paradox’. Letters from Ausland brims with paradox and moves in and out of languages, places, thoughts and imagery with an uncontrived precision. These poems are so richly cognitive and intensely imaginative that they can be revisited, read and thought about many times.

Ken Bolton | Sly Mongoose | Puncher & Wattman | 2011

This book is veritably fecund with diverse ideas and references—from Baroque art to Althusser to Jackie Gleason to Juliet Greco to Ron Padgett—inventive notations, appreciation of relationship – both friendship and family—and plenty of terrific jokes. Ken Bolton writes like no-one else in Australia. I could exhaust the lexicon of positive superlatives in praise of these poems because Sly Mongoose is a wonderfully compelling collection.

Ken Bolton, ed. | Coalcliff Days 1979-1982 | Jellied Tongues | 2011

A collection of work by poets and artists who congregated at Coalcliff outside Wollongong, south of Sydney, at the beginning of the 1980s. A silk screen printed cover, drawings, photos, film stills, prose and poems. A big book of early 80s and contemporary gems.

Chris Edwards | People Of Earth | Vagabond | 2011

Playful typography, mistranslations of Mallarmé, renditions of Rilke, cut ups and collage, misquotation, and a long, definitive queer poem—’A revisitation of the plague’. As one critic put it ‘part Goons, part Proust’, this book collects Chris Edwards earlier chapbooks and presents new and ingenious experiments in poetry.

Michael Farrell | thempark | BookThug | 2010

Can’t better the blurb here—’Farrell is caught between a themepark designed by Ashbery and a “thempark” where the others live’ says Michael Davidson. Five stars!

Brian Henry | Lessness | Ahsahta | 2011

More thoughtfulness, exactness and redaction from Brian Henry. Poems that sneak up on your consciousness and lodge there for ages after you’ve read them. A collection of work written over thirteen years from 1995-2008.

Duncan Bruce Hose | One Under Bacchus | inken publisch | 2011

The first poem ‘lyrebird’ and the last ‘An Allegory of Edward Trouble’ are parodic fragmentary rewritings of the legend of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly, including the 1970 film with Mick Jagger as the hero. Also poems that parody Laurie Duggan’s (a parodist in his own right) intellectual-Australiana series ‘Blue Hills’ and a homage to Ted Berrigan and more. To quote one poem’s facetious title, this collection is ‘Anglo but Cosmic’.

Kate Lilley | Round Vienna | Vagabond | 2011

A sequence of poems thinking (and joking) about ‘Fraud’s Dora’ and other clever feminist sleights. Illustrated beautifully with Melissa Hardie’s C19 croppings.

Astrid Lorange | Eating and Speaking | Tea Party Republicans Press | 2011

‘One is also chips’ both the sawyer’s, the potato’s and the fictional teacher, Mr. Chips.

This fast set of poems by Stein scholar Astrid Lorange is a tangy gremolada in the bubbling, simmering pot of current innovative poetry.

Dubravka Ugresic | Baba Yaga Laid An Egg | Canongate | 2007

A witty, post modern novel. An adventurous take on the fantastic Slavic legend of Baba Yaga.

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Pam Brown’s most recent title is ‘Authentic Local’ (soi3 modern poets, Papertiger Media, 2010). She has published many books, chapbooks, and an e-book, locally and internationally over four decades and is an associate editor of Jacket2, Polari and Rubric online journals. She lives in Alexandria in Sydney and blogs intermittently at The Deletions.

Brown’s Attention Span for 20102009200820072006200520042003. Back to 2011 directory.

Attention Span 2010 – Pam Brown

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Fanny Howe | Emergence | Reality Street | 2010

Poems from the 1970s to the 90s, out of print, now republished in this graceful, quiet (or ‘hushed’ as Ashbery says on the cover), yet tough-minded collection.

James Schuyler | Other Flowers : Uncollected Poems | Farrar | 2010

More James Schuyler, found by the editors James Meetze and Simon Pettet. These poems are often uncannily intimate, casual, campy, funny, sweet and, as usual, exact and intense.

Brian Henry | Wings without Birds | Salt | 2010

The long poem ‘Where We Stand Now’ written over a period of six months as the year turned in 2002-03 is the centerpiece of this wonderful collection about the complex beauties and restrictions of domestic life—fatherhood, sex, cleaning, work, neighbours. Living and writing poetry variously, Brian Henry is diversifying.

Laurie Duggan | The Epigrams of Martial | Pressed Wafer | 2010

Marcus Valerius Martialis and Laurie Duggan know a lot about the things that detract from the vocation of poetry writing. This conveniently pocket-sized book is witty, funny, droll, wry, incisive. “As a writer of epigrams/ my royalties are minimal/ though I keep Arts Bureaucrats/ in well-paid positions./ But remember this:/ I’ll be on open access/when they’re buried in the stacks.” And “Why do you call me an old fucker?/ Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”

Simon Leys | With Stendhal | Black Inc | 2010

Simon Leys introduces and translates into English for the first time three linked pieces: the recollections of Stendhal’s famous friend Prosper Mérimée, the impressions of novelist George Sand and a recently discovered whimsical list of the supernatural powers he wished he possessed, by Stendhal himself.

Lisa Samuels | Tomorrowland | Shearsman | 2009

A book-length poem. Lisa Samuels sustains a conceptual post-colonial premise. The poem is political, intense, serious and gives a great sense of a gradual building of mixed ideas and images as the new arrivals explore ‘Tomorrowland’. Impressive.

Justin Clemens | Villain | Hunter Contemporary Australian Poets | 2009

The book’s title is a homonym for “Villon”—François Villon, the fifteenth century French poet, thief, and vagabond who died young at 32. Whirling around many forms—villanelle, couplet, free, sonnet, experimental—the poems are melodramatic, atmospheric, sometimes hallucinatory. There are some villainous and violent thoughts and scenes—dreams and acts that include everything from a hangover to a very funny art critique. Clemens has an affinity with the mythical underworld and its darknesses and here he writes his sonnets to Orpheus.There is a kind of antic energy in Justin Clemens’ poems as they leap from the risky edge of his intellect. He dares to push boundaries. There is little elegy here – anxiety and an often ludic tone dominate sweeter thoughts.

Ken Bolton | A Whistled Bit Of Bop | Vagabond | 2010

Embracing the abstract via collage. Here are Bolton’s usual concerns—art, time, friendships, family, books, blues and jazz. And there is also ‘Australian Suburban Garden’ a meandering poem that easily extrapolates out from the view of the garden from a front porch into art, Europe and, philosophically, time.

Havi Carel | Illness : the cry of the flesh | Acumen | 2010

Philosophers have paid a lot of attention to death but rather less to illness. Yet illness is an almost universal human experience and can make us think deeply about who we are and what our relationship is to our bodies and to the world we live in.

What is illness? Is it a physiological dysfunction, a social label, or a way of experiencing the world? How do the physical, social and emotional worlds of a person change when they become ill? And can there be well-being within illness? Philosopher Havi Carel draws on the French phenomenological philosopher, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s distinction between the biological body and the lived body, as well as the German philosopher, Martin Heidegger’s ideas about existence, in order to challenge the way we understand illness

Carrie Etter, ed. | Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by U.K. Women Poets | Shearsman | 2010

Twenty-five experimental women poets. Includes brief poetic statements. An exciting collection of what could be called the ‘non-Mainstream’ in contemporary U.K. poetry.

Christine Wertheim, ed. | Feminaissance | Les Figues | 2010

Identity is dead. The 21st-century subject is an unstable fiction with no identifiable features or group affiliations. He’s a man without inherent qualities, a post-human ideal. But those who have long been hailed as Other exist in a different relation to this ideal. Unlike those traditionally self-possessed I’s, these Others may find themselves split between a yearning to be contemporary and unqualified, and longing for a continued allegiance to their qualitative, albeit constructed, group identity.

‘It is with an awareness of this more ambiguous and refined notion of self that ‘Feminaissance’ approaches questions of femininity and its relation to writing. Topics include: collectivity; feminine écriture; the politics of writing; text and voice; the body as a site of contestation, insurgence and pleasure; race and writing; gender as performance; writing about other women writers; economic inequities; Hélène Cixous; monstrosity; madness; and aesthetics.’—from the blurb.

More Pam Brown here. Her Attention Span for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003. Back to directory.

Attention Span 2009 – Pam Brown

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Laurie Duggan | Crab & Winkle | Shearsman Books | 2009

Robert Purves & Sam Ladkin | Complicities: British Poetry 1945-2007 | Litteraria Pragensia | 2007

Adam Aitken | Eighth Habitation | Giramondo | 2009

George Alexander | Slow Burn | University of Western Australia Press| 2009

George Stanley | Vancouver: A Poem | New Star Books | 2008

Brian Henry | In The Unlikely Event Of A Water | Equipage | 2007

Lisa Robertson | Magenta Soul Whip | Coach House Books | 2009

Rae Armantrout | Versed | Wesleyan | 2009

Rachel Loden | Dick of the Dead | Ahsahta Press | 2009

Eileen Myles | The Importance of Being Iceland | Semiotexte | 2009

Jennifer Moxley | Clampdown | Flood Editions | 2009

More Pam Brown here.