Sunday, 30 March 2014

a new oystercatcher

Peter Hughes's wonderful Oystercatcher Press has just issued a new book by Michael Farrell, packed with this poet's wit and joie de vivre. It joins a now longish list of Oystercatcher titles well worth investigating.

A different matter: I've just revisited this blog's list of other sites, knocked out a couple of long-silent ones and added several others that should have been up there long ago if it weren't for the doings of the goddess Inertia.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

an occasion

Editor Mark Roberts says he‘d figured at some stage in the early 1990s that his magazine p76 was of its nature occasional. Thirty-one years after the magazine began issue 7 appears, and it is a tribute to a single person: poet and visual artist Cornelis Vleeskens, who was born in the Netherlands in 1948, moved to Australia in 1958 and died in 2012. Pete Spence curates the issue which contains samples of artwork, poems and an essay together with tributes and memoirs by Scott Bugbird, Jenni Mitchell and Mark Roberts plus a start on a bibliography. One of Vleeskens’ earliest books was Hong Kong Suicide, published by Makar press in 1976. Another book, The Day the River, appeared from University of Queensland Press but most of the later works listed here over three pages came out with much smaller presses or under the author’s own imprint (and Vleeskens was not, for the most part, anthologised). p76, by the way, was named after a car produced by British Leyland for sale in the Australian market. It was a turkey that sold badly but later became a collector’s item.


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

notes for the translators

Belatedly I mention this wonderful project edited by Chris ‘Kit’ Kelen and Jo You Chengcheng published in Macau in December 2012 by ASM. Chris Kelen has lived and taught in Macau for several years now and is constantly involved with translation alongside his own work as a poet and visual artist (the cover is his work). The book is an anthology of Australian and New Zealand poets directed at English-speaking Chinese translators. Each poem has notes (of widely varying length) made by the poets in the hope of facilitating translation. The notes tackle unfamiliar idioms and usages that could prove obscure but they also go some way towards giving a sense of where the poets felt the work was heading. It’s an interesting and timely exercise. Kelen had previously edited an anthology of translations (Fires Rumoured About the City). I have work in both of these volumes. Having no Chinese I can’t judge translations of my own or others poems in Fires but I’ve felt encouraged by the English translations of Chinese work done in other publications by many of the young poets at work here.