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VLAK magazine launch in Sydney

Wednesday 12th August at 6:00 pm

Common Room
John Woolley Building
Science Road
University of Sydney

Readings by Louis Armand & local contributors

Not conforming with a recent Aussie trend to one-size-fits-all-A4 magazine formats (with minor fractional differences, according to two of the editors of the aforesaid large format matte-glossies), the square format bulky magazine VLAK : Contemporary Poetics & The Arts has published its fifth annual issue. Founded by Louis Armand & based in Prague in the Czech Republic, the magazine has a twelve member editorial committee (including myself) comprising several countries in both hemispheres. Issue 5 has 167 contributors & is 663 pages in length. If it matters (it does to me) it can definitely claim 'experimentation' as an editorial tag. See the contributor list on the back cover. (Click on the images to enlarge them). An issue of VLAK costs just under twice as much as an average Aussie A4-ish quarterly but it is an annual & its diversity is extraordinary. In a quick comparison with several A4-ish mags, there is four times as much content per issue of VLAK with photos, drawings, & collage by filmmakers, artists & photographers, & essays, interviews, anecdotes & poems by political-aesthetic critics, film writers, philosophers, novelists & poets. In my opinion it's worth the cover price &, prospectively, has a lengthy magazine-rack or shelf life.

If you can't come the launch
(where it will be offered at a discounted price)
VLAK costs 20 euros ($29 aud) & can be ordered here

Louis Armand is currently visiting Australia and there will be a launch party in Melbourne with readings from local contributors :

VLAK - Launch in Melbourne:

Wednesday 29th July at 6:00 pm

Collected Works Bookshop
Nicholas Building Level 1
37 Swanston Street

What Rachel Blau DuPlessis did next ...

Having spent just over a quarter of a century working through a poetic grid, last year Rachel Blau DuPlessis published a book of optimistic yet judicious or canny poems that, as a way to 'unbegin', seemed to emerge from spaces in-between the frames of a grid. It was called Interstices (read my review here). Now she has made GRAPHIC NOVELLA - a big American Quarto sized book of collaged found texts (often news reports), images and poems.

Canadian poet and translator Erin Moure says : In GRAPHIC NOVELLA, Rachel Blau Duplessis goes further than any poet in working with how the brain actually thinks, borrows language as scraps, does not then read them from left to right but upwards or sideways, using language as pictures, words as cartilege, pictures as linguistic ligaments and sinews. And she works always in and through a compelling modesty: it is a novella, not a novel; it is a little theatre, not the internet. It is the street and sign and tree and head. Blau Duplessis, in this latest form and affect, finds a new way to reflect, to let language think us, stare back at its reader, blink. The book is sustenance, a survival manual "acknowledging unpresentable facts," "so naked it was empathy." As she says early on, “this whole book is a detective story on how to write."

GRAPHIC NOVELLA is published by Xexoxial Editions
Visit Rachel Blau DuPlessis' website here

Saturday 13th June

at 55
55 Sydenham Rd Marrickville Sydney

For information & directions click here

A night dedicated to
the ego-less ethic of poet and artist Jackson Mac Low.

There will be reading
reading through,
reading before
reading after
reading with
reading to
reading on
reading at
reading by

Andrew Brooks
+ Emilia Batchelor
+ Pam Brown
+ A J Carruthers
+ Benjamin Forster
+ Brian Fuata
+ Elena Gomez
+ Astrid Lorange
+ Rhiannon Newton
+ Kailana Sommer
+ more
+ you
= us


The latest volume of Ken Bolton's critical art writing can be found here. Read what he says about recent exhibitions by photographer Trent Parke, video artist Bill Viola, Simon Pericich, Ian North, James Tylor, Lisa Roet, Paul Sloan, Dan McLean, Christian Lock, Nicholas Elliot and Anna Horn.

And for extra material on art, life, culture & poetry in book form check out Ken Bolton's Dark Horsey Bookshop here.

Exhibition in the Shoalhaven

The artist tangled up in blue and other colours in the photo, Kurt Brereton, will be having an exhibition of recent work at the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre in Nowra from June 6th until July 4th. Click on the invitation for the opening and gallery location.

For more information about Kurt Brereton's work visit his website here.
And for his recent series of paintings and accompanying monograph click here.

Toward. Some. Air.
If you're in need of a remedy for any kinds of disaffection or disappointments relating to paranoid and probably true perceptions of a stealthy anomie that could be creeping up on the Australian poetry 'scene' then Toward. Some. Air. could be for you. The title of the book is taken from US poet Carla Harryman's 2005 prose text Baby - connoting heading towards a breath of fresh air. Even though concerned with Anglo-American-Canadian poetries (including indigenalities) I think this collection of writings has parallels that are useful to contemporary Australian poetry in general. Rather than promoting solutions the book offers serious consideration of contemporary poetry as a relevant force in the world-at-large.

The publisher's website describes the contents:
Remarks on Poetics of Mad Affect, Militancy, Feminism, De/motic Rhythms, Emptying, Intervention, Reluctance, Indigeneity, Immediacy, Lyric Conceptualism, Commons, Pastoral Margins, Desire, Ambivalence, Disability, The Digital, and Other Practices

Edited by Amy De’Ath and Fred Wah

Toward. Some. Air. is a landmark collection of profiles of contemporary poets, statements, essays, conversations about contemporary poetry and poetic practice, and a few exemplary poems selected by up-and-coming poet and scholar Amy De’Ath and Governor General’s Award-winning, former Parliamentary Poet Laureate Fred Wah. The over 40 contributors to this anthology are renowned poets and academics from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Toward. Some. Air. is an open invitation to consider the various contours and meanings of Anglophone poetic practice, as a way of interpreting the world around us. An invaluable critical resource with unprecedented scope, this is a book that speaks to the future of contemporary poetics and writing poetry.

Contributors: Caroline Bergvall, Anne Boyer, Sean Bonney & Steve Collis, Andrea Brady, Dionne Brand, Nicole Brossard, Louis Cabri, JR Carpenter, cris cheek, CA Conrad, Maria Damon, Amy De'Ath, Jeff Derksen, Liz Howard, Peter Jaeger, Reg Johanson, Justin Katko & Jow Lindsay, Larissa Lai, Peter Manson, Roy Miki, Nicole Markotic & Michael Davidson, Daphne Marlatt, Fred Moten, Eileen Myles, Hoa Nguyen, Sina Queyras, Lisa Robertson, Steven Ross Smith, Kaia Sand, Dale Smith, Christine Stewart, Keston Sutherland, Keith Tuma, Catherine Wagner, Fred Wah, Darren Wershler, Rita Wong & Kateri Akiwenxie-Damm, Rachel Zolf, David Jhave Johnston, Rita Wong.

About the editors:
Amy De’Ath, born in Suffolk, UK, is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, where she researches Marxist Feminist poetics. She was previously based in London, UK and in 2011 was Poet in Residence at the University of Surrey. Her poetry books include Erec & Enide, Caribou, and Lower Parallel. She now lives in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories.

Fred Wah is from the Kootenay region of southeast British Columbia. He is best known for his biofiction, Diamond Grill (1966). Recent collections of poetry are Sentenced to Light, is a door, and The False Laws of Narrative. He was Canada’s fifth Parliamentary Poet Laureate and lives in Vancouver.

Published by Banff Centre Press - information here

thanks Eva-Lynn Jagoe for the book cover photo

        I Love the Whole World  Agnes Martin   1999