Monday, November 05, 2007

Performing poetry reading at La Mama Poetica
Melbourne, November, 2006

Picture: Jen Jewel Brown
Picture: Joel Deane

My father

My father speaks
a foreign language—
shadow meanings,
sawn-off statements,
same old questions
about the car.

When I was home
he never hit me,
he never held me
(he never knew).

We just drove round,
never touching,
always watching
what we said.

My father is a model
one owner only,
straight, simple lines,
doors that clunk
when they close.

Previously published in Zadok Perspectives, broadcast on the ABC's Poetica program and collected in Subterranean Radio Songs.
Picture: Joel Deane

Melbourne poetry reading:
6pm, Saturday, December 1
Victorian Writers' Centre, 1/37 Swanston St, Melbourne

My old publisher, Interactive Publications, has invited me to a reading as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations. I'll be reading poems from my 2005 collection, Subterranean Radio Songs.

One of the other readers is Paul Mitchell, who is a rather cool hombre.
Picture: Joel Deane

New poems

Some new poems of mine have been posted online.

Island has published Archimedes Principle, and Jacket has published Tuk-tuk. Both are from my second collection of poetry, Magisterium, which will be published shortly by Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Another publisher, Picaro Press, has agreed to publish a chapbook of assorted uncollected poems, which will be published in the next month of two.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Review of Another from Reading Time
"Perhaps there is no place more barren or bleak than a new subdivision on the edge of suburbia where no one but the poor would want to live. Toby's girlfriend Suzie is pregnant but doesn't know it yet. The tiny foetus is the novel's ocassional first-person voice, with a connectedness to the ghosts of the past and future. Beneath the concrete and tar were once trees, animals and a poisoned swimming-hole where Aboriginal children floated dead into the arms of their wailing parents. The unborn child is the sole flicker of hope in Another, with a will to live and love of its life-to-be.

"Suzie, on the other hand likes the idea of suicide, but it mainly content to cut herself with a razor, carving away all the ugly memories and forming careful patterns. She likes scars, and she like Toby for his scarred back, badly burned as a child. Toby does a bit of stealing and likes the sensation of striking an unconscious man's head repeatedly with a metal bar, for the unfamiliar feeling of power; an expression of the helplessness in his tormented past.

"Another is a brutal novel, full of violence and hatred. Yet everything about it is true and clearly recognisable, from daily news reports if not from one's own life. The characters are on a descending spiral and Joel Deane seems to know them better than they will ever know themselves.

"People like Toby and Suzie might never pick up a book to read, and they don't want to know or care what others think, but the rest of us need to know what makes them that way. Another is a book for young adults who love words put in the right order, often poetic, telling a shocking story with a profound clarity of voice and vision." - Margot Nelmes, Reading Time

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Subterranean Radio Songs review in Thylazine
"Joel Deane's free verse is direct and seemingly simple. What layers it possesses are of the emotional type. He doesn't hit us over the head with grim reality; rather he insinuates it into the reader's psyche in a way so artful that it appears artless...

"The poem 'Good Friday' (p.14), in four parts, introduces the nub of the collection, a child that is stillborn, whose ghost haunts the text, even the travel poems. Its second section, 'Residua', describes the pathos of packing up the waiting cot and putting it in the garage; in the third section, 'Postmortem', the poet and his partner debate the 'whys' of the situation. The poem ends abruptly with the devastating 'In Utero', a cremation scene, in which the fire becomes the welcoming womb for the stillborn baby: 'The womb of the incinerator / now holds you / at nine-hundred degrees / centigrade'. But this is not the end of the story. On page 20, the poem 'I build a little house where our hearts once lived' describes Deane's attempts to reassemble his life, to 'remake rooms I cannot find'. As an evocation of grief, it's hard to go past these heartfelt pieces...

"There are many fine poems in Subterranean Radio Songs, but they work best together as a collection, allowing us insight into the thoughts and feelings of a grief-stricken man seeking healing and understanding by jumping feet-first out into the world." - Liz Hall-Downs

Read the full review

Friday, June 01, 2007

Kris Hemensley's launch speech for Subterranean Radio Songs

Kris's speech is, as usual, bristling with critical ideas an insights about the world of poetry:
"Joel writes, 'There is no country. Only family.' This epigram informs the major structure of Subterranean Radio Songs: the family, history, Australian place of the 1st half, South; and North, in which the poet-narrator is travelling abroad in the USA & Latin America, in Britain --an acutely felt & observed travel-diary but one constantly interjected by the concerns, the Angels & Demons of Family.

"In a way it's all there in the first poem of the book, "The Bridge at Avenel." The crossing of water, the grave that water can be, the lure of crossing, the necessity (and I'm thinking now of the poetic rather than the economic or political necessity) --the necessity of crossing. In this poem Joel Deane states, "I cannot find a way across" because of the particular reasons for that poem. But the poet will --and certainly will attempt that crossing again & again in his career --a career begun tonight with this collection." - Kris Hemensley

Read the full speech

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another reviewed in Compulsive Reader

My first novel, Another, which was recently reprinted and is now available internationally through Amazon, has just been reviewed by Compulsive Reader:

"Like its striking cover, Joel Deane’s Another is a book that pulls hard and instantly on its reader. Pick it up and start flipping through the pages, and you’re suddenly drawn into the intense intimacy of its narrative. Don’t fight it. This is an important novel and worth sacrificing a few meals for. It draws a very soft line between poetry and prose, blurring the timeframe between past, present and future, and taking us as deep below his character’s skin as it is possible." - Magdalena Ball, Compulsive Reader

Read the full review

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

New poem

Text has published a new poem of mine, reading. About, in their April, 2007 edition.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Comment on Overland lecture

'This morning’s report on the ABC news regarding the account of one of the alleged plotters against the Ashes tour having scrubbed the idea because he was a cricket fan made me think of Joel Deane’s mild and rational and non-defensively Labor speech published in Overland. He spoke of cricket’s reflection of cultural difference.' - Paul Voermans, Leftwrites

[Untitled] by Sophie Deane
New poems

Poems from my new manuscript, Magisterium, which is currently looking for a publishing house, are beginning to appear online.

Two poems, 'Book of numbers', and 'Mid-town', have been published at Bluepepper.

One poem, 'Hansard', is on Cordite.

Some older poems, which appeared in Subterranean Radio Songs, can be found here, here, here and here.

You can also hear me read a poem, '33 Kilohertz', here.
Review of 'Subterranean Radio Songs' in Island 107
"This is an impressive collection, a first-hand glimpse of other countries, other lives. ...

"The culminating poem in the first section, "Under Westgate", is a tour de force where rhythm builds the momentum of a breakneck departure from Melbourne, from a broken relationship through a disintergrating relationship.

"In [the second section], the style becomes more cinematic, with its rapid pace and accuracy of observation (Hemingway and Kerouac come to mind). There's spontaneity and freshness in evocative images. ... The discovery of new places triggers rediscovery of places deeper in the psyche. ...

"This is raw, unrefined narrative poetry, demotic, energetic and ultimately optimistic. It has strong rhythm, some fine imagery, ironic objectivity; above all, it is first-hand and unpretentious. It's poetry in primary colours." - Janet Upcher