Received the inaugural copy of the Australian Poetry Journal this week. This is the new journal to be published bi-annually by the Australian Poetry Ltd group and it’s a nice start.
I haven’t read it all yet but the first edition pretty much contains a ‘who’s who’ of contemporary Australian poets: Tracy Ryan, Robert Adamson, Sarah Day, Brook Emery, Paul Kane, John Kinsella, Mike Ladd, Anthony Lawrence, Les Murray, Geoff Page, Ron Pretty, Peter Rose, Alex Skovron et. al. If I have a tremor of doubt it’s because it is such a typical sounding line-up in some ways, but I’m hoping to find some new voices too.
I suppose that’s the tight-rope a journal walks: to balance the new writers with the established and well known. The back cover lists four writers: Robert Adamson, Christian Bok, Maria Takolander, Clive James and Les Murray.
It’s mainly poetry too, with a ‘spotlight’ feature on Robert Harris and three pieces of lit-crit. The editor is Bronwyn Lea and it’s a nice start though how it stands up agains the new ‘gorgeousness’ of the new Meanjin or even Island is up for grabs. It doesn’t look as good; in fact, this is defiantly text-only and I’m not convinced of the paper either, nice recycled idea, but a bit plain somehow. Like the cover, which may be doing some kind of academic retro thing and mimicking an early edition of Poetry Australia or New Poetry. It will be interesting to see how it develops.
Available here http://www.australianpoetry.org/australianpoetryjournal/