Sunday, March 31, 2013

Poetry Monday: Anna Kerdijk Nicholson

Just by way of one last reminder (here on this blog anyway) that next Saturday from 2:00pm to 3:00pm, I'll be talking about The State of Australian Poetry (state, states, status, standard - with such an amazing group of people, anything can happen) with David Musgrave, Jean Kent, Philip Salom and Anna Kerdijk Nicholson at the The Lock-Up Cultural Centre (Gallery) on 90 Hunter St as part of the inaugural Newcastle Writers Festival.  This is a free event, and you, of course, are invited to join us. I've been profiling my the wonderful poets that are joining me next weekend here on the blog and Anna Kerdijk Nicholson is the last (but definitely not least). Not only does Anna work as a lawyer, but she's also the director of Australian poetry and an amazing poet (which completely undermines my theory that poetry and law are opposites).  Her latest full length poetry book Possession, which won the 2010 Wesley Michel Wright Prize and the Victorian Premier's Prize for Poetry, is a poetic exploration of the voyage of James Cook in the Endeavour 1768 -1771, and moves through time and space to give us a very different kind of history - one that cuts, burns and ultimately moves us in ways that no prosaic narrative could.

The following poem, "Desert", published in Cordite 41, Transpacific, goes deep into the heart of the Australian desert.  The voice is deeply Australian (though Anna is a migrant, like me), delicate and sharp at the same time, reminding us of the transience and beauty of nature coupled with the sharp, angry politics of detention and fear.  Following is a snippet, but you can (and must) read the poem in full here:
allows wildflower murders the momentary, untouched granular, hidden
has emu-light, river gum, sockets of stone huts, is always being left

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