The riches of Australian poetry: five exciting releases from 2012

2012 was a year of riches, with some stunning Australian poetry collections released. Some of these books have not left my bedside, their words always circling. So before 2013 kicks into top speed, let me share with you a handful of books that would make fine companions to the books already on your shelves.


asymmetry_avenuescover.qxdAidan ColemanAsymmetry

Asymmetry is a book that celebrates the exhilaration of language and life. Written in the year after Coleman had a stroke that left him without language and the full use of his body; the poems in Asymmetry provide ‘lightning flashes’ of insight into the poet’s healing process. I have read this collection cover to cover many times over and with each reading, comes a release of pure joy.

Here’s a link to an interview with Aidan, a review of the collection and where you can buy it.


Water MirrorsNicholas PowellWater Mirrors

Winner of the 2011 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, Powell’s words step lightly through the natural landscapes of Finland and Australia and the luminous landscapes of intimacy, desire and memory. Justin Clemens nails it when he describes the work as, ‘at once domestic and cosmic, these poems burgeon like ferns in the bitumen.’

Here’s a link to a review of the collection and to where you can buy it.


Eye_to_EyeMatt HetheringtonEye to Eye

Here’s what I wrote for the back cover… says it all!

Hetherington’s writing has a spell-like quality, revealing gashes of pleasure in moments where you thought only darkness existed. it looks beyond truth into the deeper unknown, to turn the key on the ‘deadlocked heart’. Muscling toward the light, each poem creates its own clamouring music. This is a work of uninhibited force – a bloodletting of language.

Read a poem from the collection here and get in touch with Matt to pick up a copy.


TWP-jpgJean KentTravelling with the wrong phrasebooks

I can’t say it better than Paul Summers, so here’s an excerpt from his review of the collection:

Jean Kent’s poetry is both gentle and powerful. It is tender and brutal, gossamer and robust, like ‘an argument with air’. The palette of her reference shifts effortlessly between continents, between epochs and psychologies, from Rilke to The Animals. She is a poet ‘swinging on the ropes of curiosity and hunger, gifting us distilled studies on belonging and separateness, on trauma & repair.

Here’s the link to the review and to where you can buy a copy.


home{sic} front cover1Julie Beveridgehome{sic}

I will finish with a book that is very dear to my heart, yes, it’s one that I published. So I’ll hand over to Michael Fitzgerald-Clarke to capture the essence of the collection:

home{sic} is a book of journeys: we are taken to a number of places on the planet, to both Australian locations and North American ones.  Beveridge’s perceptive powers of observation are acute. These are travelogues with hard, sometimes jagged edges.  Yet these edges are leavened with a wisdom that resonates with deep psychological truths. As home{sic} reaches its climax on the other side of the Pacific, Beveridge invites us to be, if not defacto God parents for her as a 21st century Eve, then, in a secular sense, partakers of her future journeys with her to-be-born son.  This is an invitation proffered with rich humanity, and a powerful, overarching sense of the joy of life.

Here’s a link to the full review and to where you can buy a copy.


Filed under poetry & publishing

8 responses to “The riches of Australian poetry: five exciting releases from 2012

  1. Thanks for this! All too often it’s hard to find good Australian poetry (especially when bookstores are notorious for lining ‘poetry’ shelves with plays).

    Some of these I’ll definitely be adding to my reading list!

    Here’s to a prolific 2013!

    • gnunn

      Pleasure Miguel!

      Any of these books will enrich your shelves.

      Let’s hope 2013 tips the creative scales in the best possible way!

      • Graham – my partner and I just finished reading Julie Beveridge’s home{sic} cover to cover. We couldn’t believe ‘San Francisco’ in particular – it happens to be an uncanny description of our own trip there in 2010 – right down to Columbus and Stockton and mozzarella, and the busker singing only of the bay… and of course the floorboards of City Lights where I sat in the poet’s chair and wondered the same thoughts. Just amazing.

        What a wonderful collection that can paint new pictures as well as old memories. Thanks again to you both

  2. Looking forward to getting my hands on some of these titles. I’m still revelling in Jules’ latest collection. Tis little wonder why you’re such a proud husband 🙂

  3. I have noticed that Australia seems to have a very supportive environment for poetry.

  4. many thanks for putting me up there, graham — i’m in some fine company! nick’s book is amazingly consistent and relentlessly right-on, and you know what i think of jules’ collection… 🙂 aidan and jean i know a LITTLE bit of, [have read a chapbook of his], but everything of theirs i’ve come across is pretty quality-juice, too. yowza!

  5. So many good collections, so little time.I’m going to take Julie’s to Europe, some people dread 25 hours of flying, I’ll have a pile of books filling my carry on bag.

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