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by Todd Turner
Co-winner of the inaugural Jean Cecily Drake-Brockman Prize for ‘Fieldwork’
Todd Turner writes a poetry of unfashionable warmth. Woodsmoke, which is an occasional motif throughout the book, refers to the ancient resins which fire draws upon in burning. The smoke is the signal, the equivalent of the poem. His unforced measured language yields deeply moving poems—whether on the death of a brother or the loss of market gardens. This is what a modern popular poet should read like. It is simple but takes a daring amount of craft to get there.
Todd Turner has produced a body of poems remarkable for the rich brocade of their language, their hard won lines, their hammered beauty. This is a poet who brings his work close to worship, who looks at the world and returns it clarified and finessed through his painstaking and elegant craftsmanship. Patience and a belief in the transformative power of poetry are at the heart of this most impressive debut volume.
In Todd Turner’s Woodsmoke memory is a potent force at work. His ability to delight and disturb, often within the one line, gives these poems a vibrant, edgy quality that leaves us with a sense of heightened expectancy and urgency.Anthony Lawrence
Turner’s language is at times rich with the savour of earth, stone, wood, at times as weightless as light falling over a field, which ‘passes for benediction’.Stephen Edgar
Luke Fischer’s poems startle me to wake again, to wake not only to the thriving details of the worlds surrounding us but to the power of language to reveal the music simmering and alive in every moment.
His lines fall as calmly and elegantly as snow, layer upon layer, and are just as transformative in their beauty.
A gaze that renders things present to us in new ways.
Black Pepper is a house that likes to take chances.
Australian Book Review, April 2013
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Exhibits of the Sun
Thicker Than Water
ESSAYS AND TALKS
author of Mullaway
and Reasons of the Heart|
THE AGE PICK OF THE WEEK
23 FEBRUARY 2013
$24.95 ISBN 9781876044770
author of Wimmera |
Winner of the Max Harris Poetry
$24.95 ISBN 9781876044794
author of Fuel|
$22.95 ISBN 9781876044763
This poignant gem of a memoir
This heartrending memoir by Bron Nicholls of her ‘strange mother’ is hard to put down
Rochford Street Review
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Classy vehicle for entertaining verse
Sydney Morning Herald
It’s out on its own. Simply the thing it is will make it live
Critical Survey (UK)
He writes as though for a circle of listeners sinking into their whisky around a fire that has settled into glowing coals, with a chuckle at times, and a solemn nod at others
The Weekend Australian
a refined and most enjoyable collection
Wimmera by Homer Rieth
THIS WOMAN BY ADRIENNE EBERHARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 TASMANIA BOOK PRIZE
FOR BEST BOOK
RRPAUD $25.95 POETRY
From the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Canton and the eighteenth century to the present, these poems investigate ways in which physical places create fundamental emotional spaces. They give us an intimate view of our earthly presence. The title poem reminds us of what it means to be human, and a woman.
An engrossing volume... Eberhard writes about the natural world as compellingly as any poet I can think of
Judith Beveridge, Westerly
The Peastick Girl
"A brave, sensuous and wildly original novel — I’ve never read anything quite like it."
The Peastick Girl
RRPAUD $34.95 AUS/NZ FICTION
The story of Teresa Matheson, her sisters Mollie and Cass, and the untimely and mysterious death of their mother. Teresa has returned to Wellington after five years in Melbourne where she has written a quest novel for younger readers, had two affairs, and met the demon Arkeum. The Peastick Girl is a complex tragi-comedy of manners.
MENTIONED AS A BEST BOOK FOR 2012 IN THE AGE
Where novels are concerned, a lot more attention should be paid to Susan Hancock's The Peastick Girl. Written in prose of eloquent intensity, this does for New Zealand passions and landscapes the kind of thing the Brontës did for Yorkshire.
Chris Wallace-Crabbe, The Age, 8 December 2012
The Age's Recommended Books of the Year
Wellington is as central to this novel as Egdon Heath is to Hardy’s Return of the Native... Katherine Mansfield’s city has become a wild place dominated by rain, light, wind and sound. Teresa’s house is a permeable membrane open to all weathers, a mere shack whose roof leaks and windows blow in, and through which disturbing memories swirl.
Rod Edmond, New Zealand Studies Network (UK)
A brave, sensuous and wildly original novel — I’ve never read anything quite like it.
A constant living presence on practically every page... as intense a story as one could imagine.
Susan Hancock’s debut novel is ambitious and extraordinary... The novel’s scale and scope are Joycean.
Felicity Plunkett, The Canberra Times
Hard not to be blown away by this staggeringly beautiful novel... by the scale of this superb work of art... An impressive cast of finely nuanced characters...
Narratives of violence and dispossession.
A brief summary can’t really do justice to the complexities of this highly gifted novel... All this is given a lustre and intensity by her precise, musical prose, with its matchless evocations of the weather and the landscapes around Wellington and the fugitive subtleties of her characters’ inner lives.
Owen Richardson, The Age
A rich and complex work that incorporates themes of feminism, national identity and transnational socio-politics into a hugely compelling narrative.Michelle Austin, Transnational Literature
An absorbing story of youth, secrets, nature and the agony of relationships... The Peastick Girl has just hit the shelves here in NZ.
Wellington features almost like a character in it. It’s just incredibly Gothic and it’s got all these descriptions of the weather and the wind sweeping across the harbour and all the people in it are quite troubled and Gothic as well. It’s really beautiful... I’m a really big fan, I just loved it, I think it’s beautiful.George FM (Auckland)
It took longer than I expected to read The Peastick Girl - because it is just soooo good to read.ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
Cairo Paris Melbourne
Maher Abou Elsaoud
RRPAUD $29.95 AUS FICTION
Cairo Paris Melbourne is three novels in one, translated from the Arabic. It assumes poignancy with today’s Arab Spring. Young Zoheir, tormented by ghosts, escapes Cairo’s poverty in the City of the Dead. He travels to Paris, falls for the obsessive Caroline, is betrayed and finally propelled to Melbourne. Above a café, he finds a reason for living. A novel of the getting of responsibility.
The author's many Arabic novels have been sold throughout the Middle East.
See his interview on the Nile TV breakfast show.and Behind the Words (on YouTube)
Readers will be reminded of Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March, Kerouac’s On the Road, or the novels of Norwegian author Agnar Mykle.
RRPAUD $20.00 GRAPHIC NOVEL
"At first glance, Mirranda Burton's art room is a hidden world full of strange eccentric characters and mysterious minds. But stay a while and in that room you'll find all the joy and sadness of life, the pain and comfort of community, and the ultimate meaning of art. In Hidden Mirranda Burton is writing about what matters most, and she does so with such gentle humanity and wisdom. It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read."
Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville
PUBLISHED IN FRENCH BY LA BOÎTE À BULLES (2013)
A PORTUGUESE EDITION BY POLVO PUBLISHING
FORTHCOMING IN 2013
WINNER OF THE 2011 AUREALIS AWARD FOR GRAPHIC NOVEL (ANNOUNCED 12 MAY 2012)
A BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OF 2011 WINNER
BUY HIDDEN AS AN EBOOK FOR THE KOBO VOX
In a simple yet effective visual style reminiscent of Persepolis but wholly its own - and peppered with some pictures so vivid as to be photographic - local artist Mirranda Burton draws on her time spent as an art teacher for those with intellectual disabilities. Her tales are hopeful, dramatic, always emotionally involving, and never condescending. – Fiona Hardy, Readings Carlton
$39.95 by direct order (including postage & handling within Australia)
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Black Pepper Publishing
403 St Georges Rd, North Fitzroy VIC 3068
SEE 'HOMER'S EPIC' ON
OVER 5,000 COPIES SOLD
"Homer Rieth's 359-page epic sequence dizzyingly gobbles up the landscape with its catalogues of towns and surnames, jamming information and history into a weird semi-religious commemoration of place: 'Chanceless ghosts wander the haunted
plains/ looking for a breach in a dog-and
-post fence... walking sublunary into a
Wimmera mirage.' Lines hurtle down the
centre of each page with descriptions and remembered tales rushing into each other
in densely decorative, often repetitive
language bunched with Australianisms: 'The water drags its feet at Litchfield/
it's a Mallee mood he says/ squinting at the sun/ they can all go to blazes.'"
Gig Ryan's citation for Wimmera as a shortlisted title for The Age
Poetry Book of the Year 2010. Photo: Homer Rieth, 2010
One of Australia's finest poets
Tim Lee, ABC Landline
In its spiritual vision, it is reminiscent of the
cosmic speculations of Wordsworth and Whitman
Justin Clemens, University of Melbourne
An impressive achievement, and a remarkable piece of work
Paul Kane, Vassar College
Wimmera is quite extraordinary
Geoffrey Lehmann, The Weekend Australian, 7 November 2009
Grand in conception and impressively detailed in execution, this is
a significant achievement indeed, and a major contribution to
That Homer Rieth is one of the finest lyric poets writing in Australia
was apparent with the publication in 2001 of The Dining Car Scene
Brian Edwards, Australian Book Review, December 2009
Relay-Reading of Homer Rieth's Epic Poem at the Nati Frinj Festival -- Saturday 29 October 2011 -- at the Nattimuk Pub -- from 12 Noon to 12 Midnight
Wimmera was shortlisted forThe Age Poetry Book of the Year 2010
Anne of the Iron Door
RRPAUD $26.95 FICTION
A tale of Gutenberg and his mistress, Anne of the Iron Door, set in Strasbourg in 1436. In this extraordinary novel historical records weave the remarkable life of Anne. A world of deceit, betrayal, disease, unicorns, playing cards, the birth of printing and a strange tale of mutually unrequited love.
Alan Loney’s work has always been at the cutting edge of New Zealand’s place in world literature
I have seen a Gutenberg Bible at the British Library, but it’s only now - having read this work of invention that keeps reminding me that it’s not true - that I feel as if I know the man - and the brave, honourable woman who loved him
ALAN LONEY ANNOUNCED THE WINNER OF THE 2011 JANET FRAME AWARD FOR
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT IN POETRY
6 MAY 2011
History of the Day by Stephen Edgar
author of Other Summers
His poems are more sheerly beautiful from moment to moment than those of any other modern poet
Clive James, Times Literary Supplement
Here is a work which dares, in a postmodern, Microsoft era, to entertain serious aesthetic contemplations
Michelle Cahill, Mascara Literary Review
On the short list of the best living practitioners of verse, rhymed or blank
Joshua Mehigan, Poetry (Chicago)
RRPAUD $26.95 FICTION
From the acclaimed novelist and winnerFor anyone who thrills to a hypnotic
of The Age Short Story Competition
comes his much-awaited collection of
short fictions. He makes the familiar seem eerie, like a Jeffrey Smart painting. In these satirical tales and fables of the outer suburban hinterland he imaginatively explores the margins of our culture.
prose style and incisive social satire,
I would urge you to discover his work
Martin Shaw, Readings Monthly
This book isn’t just a good collection of short stories;
it’s an exceptional work of Australian literature
Emmett Stinson, 'The Genius of Wayne Macauley'
Wayne Macauley should be recognized as one of Australia’s best living writers – that he isn’t is an indictment of Australian literary culture. This is one of the best books by an Australian I’ve read all year. Do yourselfEmmett Stinson, 3RRR and Known Unknowns
a favour and go buy it now
Macauley is a compelling voice in contemporary Australian literature... Other Stories showcases his willingness to see - and interrogate - aspects of Australian culture that normally pass under the radar. Macauley is a spry and compassionate humorist of the postmodern soul. In lamenting the marginalisation of art from politics, he writes it back into the picture.Cameron Woodhead, The Age, 23 October 2010
(Pick of the Week, Fiction)
His fiction deals in parables and allegories, satirical fantasies of the bureaucratised, neo-liberal world, and yarns that read like the dreams of some collective suburban unconscious; he is a writer of great purity, combining social critique, fertile imagination and the highest aesthetic scruples. His work is some of the best fiction Australia has to offer... the sardonic exaggerations of these stories have such clarity of outline, and the writing is so controlled, that they have the graphic power of the very best cartoons. Macauley’s work is dark and more than tinged with melancholy; it is also often wildly funny. Like Bail and Murnane, he is one of Australia’s deadpan visionaries, a teller of tall and cerebral tales.Owen Richardson, The Sunday Age, 24 October 2010
(Review of the Week, Books: "He is one of Australia's deadpan visionaries")
"In the dog days of summer, when the earth rolls and
sighs and a heat shimmer wobbles and distorts
everything in the middle distance and beyond, who has
not wanted, as evening falls, to take their mattress and pillow outside and sleep like a well-heeled vagabond
under an open sky? In Boxstead Court, in Keilor Downs,
as evening fell and the stars came out on just such a
night as this, Michael Ebeling, the panel beater, who
had not had a very good day, decided to do exactly that.
He took the mattress from his bed and laid it down in the street, away from the fluorescent streetlight that threw down a cold-hearted glow. He took off his shirt, his
pants, his socks and lay with his arms by his side."
from 'One Night'
JENNIFER HARRISON IS WINNER OF THE 2011
CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN POETRY
Colombine, New & Selected Poems
RRPAUD $28.95 POETRY
Colombine unusually contains two sets
of ravishing new poems, the title sequence and another called Fugue. The poems selected from her previous collections, from the Anne Elder Award-winning Michelangelo's Prisoners to her fourth book, Folly & Grief, illustrate the depth of her talent.
Jennifer Harrison is astonishing. She
comes from a place that was previously
SHORT LISTED FOR THE 2010
WESTERN AUSTRALIAN PREMIER'S
"A major contribution to Australian poetry which demonstrates Harrison’s evolving career and mastery. Its depth of intellectual and emotional registers, in addition to its sustained craft, makes this poetry demanding yet also immensely rewarding and enjoyable."
demonstrates a fine capacity for registering sensuous life while taking the reader on a variety of compelling intellectual and imaginative journeys.
Australian Book Review Book of the Year citation 2011
BLACK PEPPER PICK OF THE SEASON
EMMA LEW'S POETRY COLLECTION
The Wild Reply
shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Prize, co-winner of The Age
Book of the Year and winner of the Dame Mary Gilmore Prize
He was already the least curable, most diminished of people.
Civilization increased his moments of sadness.
I knew this from the nature and number of scars.
Let them be collected. Let them be classed with method.
Reading Emma Lew’s poetry is like entering a cinema after the movie has started. Mysteriously, you arrive just at the climax. The characters are in full flight: the urgency of their need and demand for recognition is immediately apparent. In its scale and intensity hers is an essentially dramatic art, one which claims its own right to speak, with a defiant gesture and powerful assertion, against hosility, disappointment or - worse still - indifference. This is a first collection of uncommon strength justly called The Wild Reply.
In The Wild Reply, Lew projects the cinematic mystery and baroque wit of Cocteau and Buñuel.
Adam Aitken, The Australian’s Review of Books
An extraordinary book as well as an extraordinary first book
Bev Roberts, Australian Book Review
(FOR DETAILS CLICK HERE)
STEPHEN EDGAR WINS THE INAUGURAL 2013 AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY LITERATURE AWARD
VIVIAN HOPKIRK DIES
HOMER RIETH WINS THE 2013 MAX HARRIS POETRY AWARD FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SHELTON LEA VIDEO AVAILABLE
STEPHEN EDGAR MAKES A CONTRIBUTION TO THE RAILWAYMAN'S WIFE (ALLEN & UNWIN, 2013)
AN IMAGINARY MOTHER IS CHOSEN AS THE AGE PICK OF THE WEEK FOR NON-FICTION
WAYNE MACAULEY'S NEW NOVEL THE COOK PUBLISHED WITH TEXT PUBLISHING HAS BEEN REPUBLISHED BY QUERCUS (UK) AND ITHAKI (TURKEY) (TEXT HAS ALSO REPUBLISHED BLUEPRINTS FOR A BARBED-WIRE CANOE AND CARAVAN STORY). OTHER STORIES BY MACAULEY IS STILL AVAILABLE AT BLACK PEPPER) - THE STORY 'A HAIR OF THE DOG' FROM OTHER STORIES HAS BEEN BROADCAST ON RADIO NATIONAL SUNDAY STORY
THIS WOMAN BY ADRIENNE EBERHARD
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 TASMANIA BOOK PRIZE FOR BEST BOOK
JENNIFER HARRISON HAS BEEN APPOINTED A BOARD MEMBER OF THE NEW INTERNATIONAL POETRY STUDIES INSTITUTE BASED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA
MIRRANDA BURTON AUTHOR OF HIDDEN APPEARED AT THE NONFICTIONOW CONFERENCE NOVEMBER 2012
MAHER ABOU ELSAOUD INTERVIEWED ABOUT HIS NOVEL CAIRO PARIS MELBOURNE ON NILE TV BREAKFAST SHOW ON 10 OCTOBER 2012
HOMER RIETH WINS $10,000 RESEARCH GRANT FOR THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY SORROWS (SEPTEMBER 2012)
MIRRANDA BURTON AUTHOR OF HIDDEN AT THE MELBOURNE WRITERS FESTIVAL 2012
JENNIFER HARRISON'S POEM 'AUS-LAN' INSPIRES VISUAL WORKS BY ANNETTE IGGULDEN
MIRRANDA BURTON AUTHOR OF HIDDEN AT THE GOING WEST BOOKS AND WRITERS FESTIVAL IN SEPTEMBER 2012 IN TITIRANGI NEW ZEALAND
MIRRANDA BURTON'S HIDDEN WINS 2011 AUREALIS AWARD FOR GRAPHIC NOVEL
JENNIFER HARRISON WINS THE CHRISTOPHER BRENNAN AWARD FOR EXCELLECNCE IN POETRY
MRRANDA BURTON'S HIDDEN TO BE PUBLISHED IN FRENCH BY LA BOÎTE À BULLES
MIRRANDA BURTON'S HIDDEN NAMED A BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL OF 2011 BY READINGS BOOKS
JENNIFER HARRISON CITED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR 2011 IN AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW (PAUL HETHERINGTON)
ALAN LONEY ANNOUNCED THE WINNER OF THE 2011 JANET FRAME AWARD FOR POETRY
OTHER STORIES BY WAYNE MACAULEY CHOSEN AS PICK OF THE WEEK (FICTION) BY THE AGE AND REVIEW OF THE WEEK (BOOKS)
WIMMERA RECEIVES HEAD NOTICE IN ONLINE POETRY JOURNAL THE CHIMAERA
HOMER RIETH SHORTLISTED FOR THE AGE POETRY BOOK OF THE YEAR 2010 AND THE BLAKE POETRY PRIZE 2010
ADRIENNE EBERHARD’S POEMS FEATURE IN TRANSLATION ON NEW FRENCH AUDIO LITERATURE SITE SECOUSSE
ANDREW SANT POEM FEATURES IN ELIZABETH BISHOP'S HOUSE FOR HER CENTENARY
Launch Speech highlights
for The Peastick Girl
Marion Campbell (author and winner of the WA Premier's Book Award)
14 June 2012
The peastick scaffolding is left in the untended vegetable patch, in the wake of the father’s disappearance, revisited after the mother’s death, many years later. This is no Eden... Teresa, having lost her secret husband and running from the insights of her Russian lover Nikolai, chooses to return to Wellington, offering herself up to breakdown. Around her unravelling the many stories of this colossal work unfold.
A marvellously mobile play of identifications as you travel elastically across the narrative fronts in a ride of the highest exhilaration... Hard not to be blown away by this staggeringly beautiful novel and the worlds it conjures through the return of the principal character, Teresa, to Wellington - to confront the demon which has brought her to the brink... These demon winds blow through the cracks of the presentable, through the wounds in flesh; they hiss through the grasses and fissures of the land; they provoke the palpable, audible, and kinesic sense of things unravelling beyond the visible...
Great writing is unconcerned with fashion. It mines anachronism. It revisits forms, fables and myths to grapple with the unspeakable or unspoken... Teresa’s is a huge Persephone story into which an impressive cast of finely nuanced characters is drawn. It stages with astounding courage the fury of memory, historical and personal, grappling with desire, and how they can become mortally locked together. It dares again and again to crack open the exoskeletons of cliché, to forge a language of high libido, passion and embodiment, of raucous synaesthesia, speaking to all the reader’s senses, quickening in rhythm and achingly vivid in image-making to break from paralysis, from parlous repetition, to return one to the potential for connection, for love, and perhaps for redemption. Perhaps we hope, like Persephone, Teresa will move ‘out of the realm of shadow towards summer and the sun’.
The Peastick Girl eschews the facile feel-good ending; that sentimental sleight of hand. It participates in major works of the past as in a parallel but equally intensely invested life. It multiplies its own riches this way... This meditation on reinhabiting The Duchess of Malfi, Webster’s tragedy of betrayal and revenge, to address the Maori-Pakeha question leads to an intoxicating textual transfusion, from the physical, immediate night, to the night, equally teeming with life, of the inhabited text.
The writing creates several senses of time: the headlong rush into disaster past for Teresa, the suspended shards of the traumatic event in ‘that sealed chamber’ which rides within her, the relative time of the unfolding action experienced backwards and forwards by other characters as they are pulled into Teresa’s story, the leisurely time of a rolling, indifferent cosmos, but pervasive, beyond all of these is the sense of a time without end. Manifestly ‘Everything is in movement; everything flows’.
The writing doesn’t give you relentless heart-stopping fear in pulling you back into the stranglehold of trauma; it triggers a saving hilarity even at the eye of the mind-blowing storm. Everywhere wit and absurdist vision attend the characters’ passionate confrontations, a comic vision which has you hooting helplessly, even as you dread what wells up from the opening fissures... Shocking irony sharpens perception of the enormity of crimes of dispossession.
In this extraordinarily dynamic work, even sleepers are on the move: they are taken in the great inter-subjective flow, participating in a kind of collective unconscious; there is the sense of the Joycean riverrun of all those sleeping minds: ‘In the almost complete darkness she closes her eyes and out she goes on the rubbish-strewn river of sleep that flows through cisterns and culverts and systems everywhere until it comes to the wastes that lie along the edges of the conscious world.’ It handles huge Felliniesque scenes of complex social interaction, like the opening night of the Georgian play, or the feminist beach party, with the same bravura, verve and comic brilliance it brings to intimacy or solitude... People are tiny figures on the surface of this great pulsing organism. Tiny as Breughel’s Icarus.
Multi-tracked, the writing can give you layers of so-called inner and outer action at once through extraordinarily deft montage. There is no flatfooted scene-setting as mere background to action: concrete evocation works at several levels at once: character disposition, embodied perception, projection, intellect striving to navigate these, and thus action even in radical passivity. It is hard not to invoke genius for the hallucinatory awareness made available through the poetic powers and moral imagination of this writer.
As is the case with great works of art The Peastick Girl has a sense of inevitability about it. It also has the depth and resonance that only a work long decanted can have. The narrative weaves the enchantments of passionate encounter and mortal struggle, lending a local habitation to it all through the baroque music of the writing, that oceanic manifold. Dramatically unfolding action races you forward as the captivation of the writing swoons you back, achingly, breathtakingly.
I feel deeply humbled by the scale of this superb work.
Some of the finest lyric poetry
to have been written
anywhere in recent times
Gregory Kratzmann ABR
The printing of a masterpiece
This gem of a book...
reminiscent of writers such as
Italo Calvino and Umberto Eco
Fiona Capp The Age
The Invention of Everyday Life
As graceful and compelling
as Woolf’s early 20th-century
experiment with consciousness
Stella Clarke The Australian