News

  • 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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  • Heartfelt thanks to the Australia Council for the Arts for supporting 5 new vagabond titles.

    We're really pleased and grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts for funding five upcoming collections. The funding makes a massive difference in terms of the pragmatics of paying the poets and printers and getting the books as beautiful as can be. Alongside that and as equally important is the recognition and boost, the sense that what we're doing as crazy as it is to be publishing poetry in the twenty-first century--and as necessary as it is while the world's crazy laps us over and over--is wanted, that the ride is worth the ticket. The support isn't simply financial...

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  • Noel Rowe Poetry Award 2017: Shortlist and Winner

    Noel Rowe Poetry Award 2017 Shortlist Chris Armstrong – SilageChris Brown – Hotel UniversoShey Marque – Keeper of the RitualAudrey Molloy – Envy is a DaylilyKerri Shying – Know Your CountryThom Sullivan – Carte BlancheWinner: Thom Sullivan – Carte Blanche Judges: Vivian Smith, Jane Gibian, Elizabeth Allen. ___________________________ Chris Armstrong – Silage Bio Note: Chris Armstrong's poetry has appeared in numerous Australian literary journals including Griffith Review, Cordite, Foam:e, Overland and Plumwood Mountain. Chris was runner-up in the 2015 Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets and received an ASA Emerging Writers Mentorship in 2014 for the poetry manuscript The...

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  • Noel Rowe Poetry Award 2017: Judges' Report

    The judges, all former friends, colleagues and students of Noel Rowe, feel that it has been a great pleasure to be associated with this year’s Award, named in his honour. Noel was a great supporter of emerging poets at a time when creative writing was not as established in schools and universities as it is at present. He was a pioneer in this respect and his support and encouragement are still remembered by writers who are now part of the literary scene.
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  • Extract#5 from Eliza Vitri Handayani's 'From Now On Everything Will Be Different.' Ubud Peaceful Protest Tshirt #5.

    Eliza Vitri Handayani with Teju Cole.   Julita looks up at the antique cuckoo clock behind her. Rizky is now one and a half hours late. He won’t show up, she is certain. Reluctantly she finishes the last drops of the meatball soup, which she ordered so she wouldn’t have to stare into the empty chair in front of her. Her coffee is finished as well, and the kind waiter takes away her cup, bowl, and condiment bottles. Once again there was nothing on the table to keep her from feeling alone. She takes out her Box of Unfinished Projects...

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  • Extract#4 from Eliza Vitri Handayani's 'From Now On Everything Will Be Different.' Ubud Peaceful Protest Tshirt #4.

    Just two weeks before their final test in July, a scandal whipped the nation into frenzy. A couple’s private sex tape had been leaked and overnight became the best selling VCD sensation on the streets. The lovers were students in Bandung, West Java, who had made the tape to celebrate their three-year anniversary together. The boy took his Camcorder to a shop to transfer the content to VCD format. The shop technician then copied and recopied the tape and made a small fortune. The news invaded the headlines, pushing away coverage about the attacks on a syiah community in Palu...

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  • Extract#3 from Eliza Vitri Handayani's 'From Now On Everything Will Be Different.' Ubud Peaceful Protest Tshirt #3.

    Wednesday after class Desti suggested they go somewhere together for lunch. “Let’s go to the med school across the street,” said Julita. “My best friend said the hut behind the geriatrics building served the best pecel ayam in town.” Although the day was much too hot for spicy food, everyone agreed, except Bowo, who had to go home and be with his mother. The road in front of the cultural center shimmered, creating a mirage. Cars were dashing through like steel sharks in silver water. On the far side of the road Julita saw police officers carrying sticks and shields. She...

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  • Eliza's Tshirt extract for Ubud Day 2

    November, during the Extraordinary Meeting of the People’s Representatives, students stormed the streets once again to demand the trial of Soeharto, the removal of the military from politics, and the investigation of the former first family’s wealth. At the start thousands, then tens of thousands filled the central areas of Semanggi, Sudirman, and Kuningan. Rizky volunteered in the hospital every day tending to fellow students who were wounded, beaten, or shot. He picked up stories about army snipers and radical infiltrators, he saw the military police forcing their way into the hospital and people throwing lit cigarettes at them, he...

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  • Eliza Vitri Handayani's Ubud launch cancellation & a peaceful good-humoured protest...

    After warnings from local police, the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival 2015 has had to cancel the launch of Eliza Vitri Handayani’s novel From Now On Everything Will Be Different. The festival organizers have kindly kept open an invitation for Eliza to attend the festival, which she has accepted. Each day she will wear a t-shirt with different extracts from her novel as a form of peaceful protest. We will  republish the extracts here each day.  Please show your support for Eliza Handayani by sharing within your networks and don’t be afraid to order a copy of her novel via...

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  • 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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