Strange Cargo: Five Australian Poets
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Strange Cargo: Five Australian Poets

97  |  9781912196043

Price: £10

Poetry is an international language but it does not always have the opportunity to travel as widely as it might. This anthology is a vehicle for such travel, providing generous selections from the work of five acclaimed and award-winning Australian poets – Lucy Dougan, Cassandra Atherton, Paul Hetherington, Jen Webb and Sarah Holland-Batt – which deserves wider international representation and attention.

The publication represents an important partnership between UK Publisher smith|doorstop and the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI), based in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra.


Five poets jostle together here, strange and luminous, each of them caught by the world, each of them singing of that other life of words, the one that’s untameable, almost unbearable, always vivid, giving everything and nothing away. Be warned: this cargo is alive. — Kevin Brophy 

What so vividly connects these five poets is not that they come from a sizeable continent but that they inhabit a wide and multilayered world—not just in terms of geography but historical time and languages and cultures, through the range of human experience and beyond, into the non-human. They share this scope, and also the ability to respond to its sensations fluidly, immediately, as if in their own skin and at home. — Philip Gross


Paul Munden is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Canberra, where he is also Program Manager for the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI). He is Director of the UK's National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE). Two of his collections are published by smith|doorstop: Asterisk (2011) and Analogue/Digital (2015). A new collection, Fugue, will be published in Australia by UWAP in 2017.

Lucy Dougan’s books include Memory Shell (5 Islands Press), White Clay (Giramondo), Meanderthals (Web del Sol) and The Guardians (Giramondo). A past poetry editor of HEAT magazine and the current one for Axon, she works as Programme Director for the China Australia Writing Centre at Curtin University and for the magazine Westerly.

Cassandra Atherton was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University in 2016 and a Visiting Fellow at Sophia University, Tokyo, in 2014. She has published seventeen critical and creative books and has received many national and international research grants for poetry. Her most recent books of prose poetry are Exhumed (Grand Parade, 2015), Trace (Finlay Lloyd, 2015), and Pikadon: Post-atomic Alice (Mountains Brown Press, forthcoming). Cassandra was invited to judge the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry (2014, 2015) and the Lord Mayor’s Prize for Poetry (2016, 2017). She is the poetry editor of Westerly magazine.

Paul Hetherington has published eleven full-length collections of poetry, most recently Burnt Umber (UWAP, 2016) and Gallery of Antique Art (RWP, 2016). He won the 2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards (poetry), and undertook an Australia Council for the Arts Literature Board Residency at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome in 2015-16. He is Professor of Writing in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, head of the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) there, and a founding editor of the international online journal Axon: Creative Explorations.

Jen Webb works at the University of Canberra, and has been published in journals such as Mascara Literary Review, Hecate, New England Review, The Amethyst Review (Canada), Bathtub Gin (USA), The Lake (UK), and in translation, in Poetry and Thought (China). She has been widely anthologised, and her poems have been selected by Les Murray and John Tranter for Best Australian Poems. She has published six pamphlet collections, and is editor for the Australian Book Review’s ‘States of Poetry’ annual anthology.

Sarah Holland-Batt lives in Brisbane, where she is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Queensland University of Technology. She is the recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship and the W.G. Walker Memorial Fulbright Scholarship, among other honours. Her most recent book, The Hazards (UQP, 2015) won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her poems have been widely published in journals such as The New Yorker and Poetry, and have been translated into several languages. She is the editor of The Best Australian Poems 2017 (Black Inc), and Poetry Editor of Island.

More by Edited and Introduced by Paul Munden

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