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Category Archives: poetry

Cross-purposes: On cruciverbalists, cryptopoetics and the difficult pleasures of reading poetry

To a greater degree than any other literature, poetry is famous for going unread. Poems – and the poets who write them – can seem elite, demandingly obscure, too hard. In his essay ‘The Obscurity of the Poet,’ Randall Jarrell writes that ‘the poet seems difficult because he is not read, because the reader is not accustomed to reading his or any other poetry’. Read more »

‘As if the top of my head were taken off’: The digital possibilities of poetry

‘When Emily Dickinson says, “If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry,” I can’t help but think she would be stupefied by the possibilities of digital literature.’ Read more »

Slams in schools

Does taking poetry slams into schools ignite students’ appreciation for traditional poetry and literature in general? Irma Gold chats to experienced poetry slammer Will Small and 17-year-old student Sam Francis about dynamic ways of teaching the canon, including the links between hip hop and performance poetry. Podcast production by Gold Music Productions.

It’s love and it’s Australian and it’s here: an interview with Donna Ward

I married eight weeks ago. Earnestly searching for the right words at the right moment with the right man, I pleaded help from poetry aficionado and friend Donna Ward. Donna, in turn, asked Mark Tredennick – a poet I had met when we were co-panellists at a … Read more »

The beginnings of a professional lunatic

I went mad in 1976. It changed my life beyond recognition. Doors closed. I lost my identity. I was so invisible in the world I walked in the shadows of others and cast none of my own. My friends around me got on with their lives and … Read more »

Podcast: Around the block

Are you a narcissist and an exhibitionist? Or just a peeping Tom? If you’re a writer, you’re probably all of the above. Or at least, psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler would have thought so. He coined the phrase ‘writer’s block’ – that dreaded affliction that interferes with productivity and … Read more »

On Writing: Fiona Wright

Apparently there’s a look to it. A kind of half-smirk, with a stare that’s a bit glazed and hazy, a tilted head. To me, it sounds like the face of a fox terrier with chewtoys on its mind. But my friend calls it the Poemface, and has … Read more »

On Writing: LK Holt

In Killings’ On Writing column, we ask writers we admire to reflect on what and how they write. Our first contributor is LK Holt – poet, publisher at John Leonard Press and editor of the magazine Blast Poetry and Critical Writing. In Randall Jarrell’s poem ‘A Sick … Read more »

Recommended Reading: Joel Deane, author of The Norseman’s Song

Welcome to the first Killings Recommended Reading post. Recommended Reading is literary voyeurism at its most gratuitous, a reader’s stickybeak. We investigate into the reading habits of writers we admire. Our first subject, Joel Deane, is a poet and journalist. His first novel, The Norseman’s Song, is … Read more »