Old blog

the deciBels series 1: introduced by editor Pam Brown

Back at the beginning of this century Michael Brennan invited me to guest-edit four poetry chapbooks in Vagabond Press's Rare Objects series. I asked Australian poets Ken Bolton, Lidija Cvetkovic, Ted Nielsen & Samuel Wagan Watson to participate. Working on that project with the poets & with Vagabonds Liz Allen & Jane Gibian, Kay Orchison & Michael Brennan was a real buzz. Earlier this year Vagabond published its 100th Rare Object chapbook which marked the end of the series. Not long after that Michael revved the press up again with various projects. He asked me if I was interested in...

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deciBels series 2 introduction: Notes on the New Lyric

Editors' introduction to deciBels series 2 'Notes on the New Lyric' While many of the formal elements, conventional lineations, and stylistic strategies of poetry have been abandoned in modern times, the voice persists as an identifying—and unifying—feature, which hews poetry to its origin as song. But how can this lyric be made new or, more appropriately, how can it be relevant to contemporary times assailed by social media, populist leaders, fake news, and alternative facts? Perhaps, it would be productive to enter the mind of Philippine literature in English, After being a Spanish colony for more than three hundred years...

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Michelle Cahill introduces deciBels series 3

Introduction to deciBels series 3  by Michelle Cahill One of the most powerful essays that I read last year was Andy Butler’s ‘Safe White Spaces’, a radical critique of existing cultural spaces in Australia. Addressing the visual arts industry he writes: Whiteness, in an Australian context, is the set of colonial values from Northern-Europe that were transplanted to Australia and have taken on a life of their own in this country. We can see it in the Melbourne arts community – there is an implicit racial hierarchy that is evident in the sheer absence of non-White people and their practices;...

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