Prose Poetry: An Introduction

With Professor Paul Hetherington
Princeton University Press, forthcoming

This book aims to be the definitive monograph on prose poetry in English. It provides systematic analysis of the prose poem, focusing on the historical trajectory of its use. It offers extensive and rigorous discussion of the key characteristics of prose poetry and it analyses a selection of key prose poems.

 

Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry

With Professor Paul Hetherington
Melbourne University Press, forthcoming

This anthology will chart the trajectory of the Australian prose poetry from its beginnings to the present day, and will include about 150 works.

 

Saving Face: The Atomic Bomb Maidens

This book is supported by an Australia Council Grant.

This book of prose poetry explores the plight of the Hiroshima Maidens with a secondary narrative exploring absence, brokenness, speechlessness and the atomic sublime.

 

Boston – A Fantasy

With Paul Hetherington

O'SheaTracing the life of Ziegfeld Follies dancer, Helen O’Shea, from archives held at Emerson College, Boston, this book of prose poetry and fragments reanimates her fantasies of Boston from insider and outsider points of view. It fuses ideas of Boston neighbourhoods with transformation and phantasmagoria in the shape of O’Shea’s Leda and the Swan dance.

 

Hiroshima’s Legacy

The book was sparked by the desire to explain and analyze the ways that the bomb has been remembered, and how the Japanese and the American people live with these memories. It will be divided into two sections. The first will comprise an exploration of politics and history—the way that the people of Hiroshima coped with and memorialized the bomb, and an analysis of attempts by historians and politicians to remember and explain the bomb. The second section will focus on literary and artistic responses to the bomb. This includes the way the bomb was written about in poetry and prose, first by bomb survivors (in Japanese, hibakusha), and then by newer writers who were not present or even born when the bomb was dropped.

 

Hibakusha Poets as Public Intellectuals

Noam Chomsky has argued that the most effective public intellectuals are dissident intellectuals who act from the margins.  The US censorship of public discussion of the bombings during the Allied Occupation of Japan ensured that the public did not understand all that had occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  This lack of discussion about the A-bomb and the scientific testing on hibakusha saw them stigmatised, however this marginalisation makes them powerful public intellectuals.  Hibakusha poets such as Toge and Kurihara offer a kind of authentic ‘evidencing’ and recording of the horror of the events of the atomic bombing.   The simplicity and accessibility of these poems are essential to the public dissemination of their message, however this has worked against their preservation in the literary canon.  This is, in part, because the literary canon prioritises a greater sophistication of language and range of poetic techniques.  This book examines the way in which hibakusha poets can be recognised as public intellectuals.  It hinges on a number of considerations centred on public intellectualism, canonicity and use of language.