A special issue connecting contemporary poetry from Aotearoa & Australia—
Last spring, catastrophic climate-altered bushfires brought freakish firestorms with huge walls of flame and smouldering debris to the east coast of Australia. Suffocating particulate smoke spread out across the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean as far as Aotearoa, Chile and Argentina. Then, in March, the stealthy corona virus pandemic wreaked further dislocation and consequent behavioural change on the entire planet. Ways of living were fractured as restrictions on movement and congregation were instituted by governments. Socialisation became almost completely virtualised.
Compelled to stay at home, I appreciated Chris Holdaway’s earlier invitation to choose some poems for Minarets during these time-bending disruptions.
Here, we present work that was selected from over two hundred local and international poems of diverse scope and enlivening attitude that we read, re-read and read again. Reluctantly surrendering to the exigencies of page space in a small print journal we reduced the scale to a concise cluster of poems that came, inadvertently, from Aotearoa, Singapore and Australia (give or take an expat or two).
I think we can parcel them up as ‘eastern hemisphere poems’ mostly engaged with ironic acts that push established meanings (as, in general, poetry must) into a variety of imaginative takes on disentangling language from its limits.
Let’s salute the minimal, the fragmentary, the acerbic, the complex, the indefinite and the conceptual. Here is Minarets 11—ready for reading, ruminating and reflecting.
Pam Brown has been writing, collaborating, editing & publishing in diverse modes both locally & internationally for decades now. Her most recent books are Missing up (2015) & Click here for what we do (2018) both published by Vagabond Press. She lives in Sydney on Gadigal land.