New work: Collyer, Boyle, Wolf, Verrall, Fischer

All we want to do is make books
 
We're a small literary press based in Sydney, Australia. For two decades we have published a range of established and emerging poets from Australia, Asia-Pacific, and elsewhere. Our books have won most of the major literary prizes for poetry in Australia, been praised by critics and taught at universities around the world.
 
We love making books. For twenty years we have been devoted to fostering new writing and increasing the range and diversity of Australian literature and bringing literature from Asia Pacific to English-language readers for the first time. We have taken risks and published books that otherwise would not have been published.
 
Right now, we're struggling to continue to do what we love most: making books.
 
This campaign will support the publication of five new collections of Australian poetry:
 
  • Emilie Collyer, Do you have anything less domestic?
  • Peter Boyle, Ideas of Travel
  • Misbah Wolf, Carapace
  • Suzanne Verrall, One Day I Will Go There
  • Luke Fischer, A Gamble for my Daughter
 
Funding will also cover some of our overheads in 2022, including keeping our backlist housed and heading out to readers.
 
By supporting this campaign, you will see five new collections of Australian poetry professionally published and keep us publishing over 2022.
 
Why GoFundMe?
 
Unfortunately, poetry publishing is not a business. The readership is too small. Unlike many other presses or arts institutions our size, we don't have institutional support from a university or private/corporate benefactors.
 
In the last month, we have had grant applications with the Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW rejected. Covid has smashed the arts industry and chewed up the limited funding the government provides. As one of the smaller more independent publishers in Australia we are facing the very real possibility we might end up being collateral damage. This campaign will stop that happening.
 
Unlike the last campaign, where we failed to reach our campaign goal, but went ahead anyway, we have to reach our campaign goal to publish all five books.
 
What will you be supporting?
 
We are the only press of our size and impact in Australia without the institutional support of a university and/or a staff of interns, assistants, editors etc, to keep everything running. It's hard. And it's hard asking for help, but we stubbornly love making books.
 
Funding will contribute to the costs of producing the following five collections of Australian poetry: Emilie Collyer's Do you have anything less domestic?; Peter Boyle's Ideas of Travel; Misbah Wolf's Carapace; Suzanne Verrall's One Day I Will Go There; and, Luke Fischer's A Gamble for my Daughter.
 
Three of these collections — Emilie Collyer, Misbah Wolf, Suzanne Verrall — are debut full-length collections. Alongside them, we'll publish Luke Fischer's third collection and what will be our eighth collection (including translations and a chapbook) from Peter Boyle.
 
We've stripped the budget back as far as we can. Averaged out, it works out to $6,450 per book [full budget is $32,250, we adjusted the target here as we received some direct support from a donor]. The budget covers design, offset printing, section-sewn binding, a decent sized initial print run, shipping, author advances, prize entries in the main literary awards, and launches. Our books are some of the most beautifully made in Australian literary publishing. We print offset and use section-sewn binding so the books will last. We want them turning up a hundred years from now, finding new readers.
 
Timeline and thanking our supporters
 
Our printers are ready and waiting and we're ready to send the books to press as soon as we hit the goal. We want to get the books out as soon as possible. We have to hit our campaign goal to make it happen.
 
We like to sing the praises of our supporters, and will do so on our website and inside the books themselves, both for individuals and larger sponsors (and of course, you can remain anonymous if you prefer). For larger institutional supporters, we're happy to discuss including logos as we have in the past for government-funded books.
 
New Year, New Books
 
Without the support, our future will become even more precarious. This campaign will not only ensure we can publish five new titles by five brilliant Australian poets, it will ensure we can weather whatever 2022 throws at us and keep our backlist available.
 
The printers are waiting and we're ready to go as soon as we hit our goal. We would love to have to work through Christmas and the new year.
 
We've been making books for twenty years, over a decade with the same printers. We've stripped the budget back, our printers have kicked in with discounts to make it possible, we've been lining up shipping dates for early 2022, we have an independent distribution network with bookshop partners in place, and a dedicated community of readers. We love making books and seeing them to readers.
 
These five titles significantly expand what's going on in Australian poetry now, as much as any of the books we've published. We want to see them find readers.
 
If you're able, please help us keep creating new space for new Australian writing in 2022.
 
We hit the campaign target, and early 2022 the books appear.
 
 
MORE ABOUT THE BOOKS AND THE WRITERS
 
Emilie Collyer, Do you have anything less domestic?
Navigating the world, inheriting the gender of woman, feeling more or less comfortable with that, trying to find the ways in which the word is inhabited and where it slips away; wondering where the domestic bleeds into the public; whose place is where and what are the rules? These questions form the basis of Do you have anything less domestic? The poems within whisper quietly behind closed doors at night; take trips out into daily life with a sharp eye and worried tongue; tease at generalities and assumptions about what a woman’s body of work is, what it does, how it looks, reads and feels. The collection is structured into five sections that each take one of these utterances as their heading (each said to or about the author at one time): Do you have anything less domestic; Don’t write about your family, nobody cares; It's important to keep up weight bearing exercise; You have a nice smile, you should use it more; I hope I won’t put anyone off by saying this is genuinely feminist work. The poems move from the intimate and domestic, through family and social themed works, and out to broader themed pieces that are overtly feminist in how they interrogate language, content and form.
 
'Individual, staunch, and always engaging, Emilie Collyer’s Do you have anything less domestic? is the work of years, and its publication will bring a strong new voice into Australian poetry.' Lisa Gorton
 
Emilie Collyer lives in Naarm/Melbourne’s west, on Wurundjeri land, where she writes poetry, plays and prose. Her work mines the intersection of the personal, the existential and the socio-political and she is interested in bringing different forms into conversation with each other. Her writing has most recently been published in anthologies including House of Ideas: Modern Women (Heide & Rabbit), Not Very Quiet: The Anthology and Borderless: A Transnational Anthology of Feminist Poetry (both with Recent Work Press) and in journals Booth (USA), The Blue Nib (Ireland), The Ekphrastic Review (USA), Rabbit, Axon, TEXT, Imagined Theatres, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Overland and The Lifted Brow. She was the 2020 recipient of a Varuna Publishing Fellowship with Giramondo Publishing and recent accolades include shortlisting for Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Competition 2019 & 2020 and runner-up Ada Cambridge Poetry Prize 2019. Recent plays are Contest, Dream Home and The Good Girl which has been produced in New York, Hollywood and Florida. Emilie’s plays have won and been nominated for multiple awards including the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award (London), Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Green Room Awards, George Fairfax, Patrick White and Malcolm Robertson. Emilie also works as a dramaturg and text consultant. She has a Masters in Writing for Performance from VCA and is a current PhD candidate in creative writing at RMIT where she is researching contemporary feminist writing practice. She is a member of Australian Association of Writing Programs, Asia Pacific Writers and Translators, Theatre Network Australia, Writers Victoria and Varuna Writers’ Centre Alumni.
 
Peter Boyle, Ideas of Travel
Ideas of Travel builds in significant ways on Peter Boyle's previous two books, his award-winning Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness and Notes Towards the Dreambook of Endings. This collection again taps into a deep dreamlike symbolism and directs this to great existential effect. The book maintains the difficult balance between dark and light, grief and joy, despair and affirmation, endings and beginnings. It also possesses the distinctive existential openness of Boyle's poetic voice, in which boundaries between states of mind and being are permeable, shifting and traversable.
 
'Peter Boyle is one of the best and most fascinating of Australian poets ...' Martin Duwell
 
Peter Boyle is a Sydney-based poet and translator of poetry. He is the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness, which won the 2020 Kenneth Slessor Prize, Ghostspeaking which won the 2017 Kenneth Slessor Prize and was shortlisted for the Adelaide Festival Award for Poetry. In 2017 he was also awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Excellence in Literature. Other poetry collections by Peter Boyle include Towns in the Great Desert (2013), Apocrypha (2009) which won the Queensland Premier's Prize and the Judith Wright (ACT) Award, Museum of Space (2004) and The Blue Cloud of Crying (1997) which won the Adelaide Festival Award and the National Book Council (Banjo) Award. Peter Boyle's poetry has appeared in journals, poetry magazines, ezines and books in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Macedonia, Germany, Sweden and China. He has presented his poetry at International Festivals in Colombia, Venezuela, France, Canada, Macedonia, Nicaragua and El Salvador. His poems have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Macedonian, Swedish, Vietnamese and Chinese. As a translator of poetry from Spanish and French he has had six books published. His translations of poetry by José Kozer, Marosa di Giorgio, Olga Orozco, Eugenio Montejo and René Char, among others, have appeared in anthologies, magazines and journals in England, the United States and Australia. Recent books as a translator include Jasmine for Clementina Médici by Marosa di Giorgio and Poems of Olga Orozco, Marosa di Giorgio, Jorge Palma (2017), and Índole/Of Such A Nature by José Kozer. In 2013 Peter received the New South Wales Premier's Prize for Literary Translation. Peter has recently completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at Western Sydney University, focussing on the relationship between the tradition of heteronymous poetry and poetry translation.
 
Misbah Wolf, Carapace
Carapace takes for its title an extension of the idea of shelter, protection and home and attempts to crack the outer shell of language to reveal the vulnerability of language forms, relationships, and safety. It archives the journey of a young girl towards developing, losing, and leaving relationships within share-houses. This book is a follow on from Rooftops in Karachi, where the young girl has left her family home in Australia to begin at the age of 15 to navigate the world of relationships within the boundaries of temporary share-housing. Further responding to Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space is the conviction that there are traceable transcendent possibilities of personal poetic phenomenology within the realm of the house. This work is distinctly a meditation on experiences of share-housing and seeks through the dimensions of the house, an archive of her encounters with sex, mental health, and identity, as experienced distinctly by a young POC woman in Brisbane from the mid 90s. The recollections are a new dialectic of inhabiting temporary space and relationships best expressed through a creature who is developing an outer shell, which is the only home she really embodies. The archive is intensely invested in corporeal experience, and is, sometimes explicit and forthright in its explorations. It makes a vital and original contribution to feminist writing, particularly POC Queer writing and to the Australian literary landscape since it invests and insists on narrative that gestures towards the beautiful and transcendental experiences.
 
'There is a diamond-like depth to the work, each piece a perfect prism of recollected reels and flesh-fable scapes. Survival, belonging, sex and identity are some of the dorsal points which weave through Carapace.' Annie Te Whiu
 
Misbah Wolf is a Melbourne based poet. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of QLD. The author of one chapbook, Rooftops in Karachi (Vagabond Press 2018), she has for over 15 years published poetry, performed as an artist and musician both within arts festivals like Queensland Poetry Festival, Sydney Writers Festival, Brisbane’s Slam Poetry Festivals, and more recently as costume and art developer for theatre in the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2019. As well as contributing her considerable creative talents to running writing workshops, radio shows on Melbourne’s RRR and performing in the underground music scene of the mid 2000’s in Brisbane, she performed and collaborated for many years with world renowned bands like Daevid Allen’s Gong and performed alongside the famous vanguard of spoken-word poetry and award-winning poet David Stavanger, aka Ghostboy. Her first book Rooftops in Karachi was highly commended in the Shapcott Poetry Prize and acclaimed by Thomas Shapcott, Bronwyn Lea, and John Kinsella. Both Lea and Kinsella have referenced and further commented on her important contribution to the new poetic voice of the Australian poetry scene in The Australian, and in Lea’s essay Australian Poetry Now in 2016, and in Polysituatedness: A poetics of displacement by John Kinsella in 2017. Her work has also been discussed by the award-winning American Poetry Professor and Poet, Timothy Yu in his review of the Journal Contemporary Asian Australian Poets, for Cordite Review. Her work went on to be commended in the same year Kinsella won the Wesley Michel Poetry Prize in 2018. Wolf also acted as a guest deputy editor for Mascara Literary Review in 2014 and has published her work through Peril Magazine, Australia Poetry Journal, Cordite, Slow Canoe, Solid Air: Australian and New Zealand Spoken Word, Mascara Literary Journal and has featured on ABC’s Radio National Poetica. Her fiction has appeared both in Peril and been longlisted in the Liminal Fiction Prize and subsequently published in an anthology Collisions-Fictions of the Future: An anthology of Australian writers of Colour in 2020. She was commissioned by Cordite in 2019 to be a guest contributor and respond to the theme of ‘resistance’. Again, Wolf in the same year was asked to respond as a guest contributor to this same theme in Australian Poetry Journal, Volume 7, 2019, edited by Kinsella.
 
Suzanne Verrall, One Day I Will Go There
Welcome to the city, like Adelaide but not Adelaide, with its office buildings, restaurants, cinemas. Big enough to boast a park where one may row a boat across a cement-bottomed lake, small enough to feel safe at night. The suburbs are nearby with their backyard gardens – fruit trees and veggie patches, the beach not much further. People go about their daily business: working, playing, having families, visiting the dentist, taking night classes, building boats in their basements. Cats and dogs are favoured pets. The circus comes to town. Equal parts realistic and unconventional, the 77 poems in One Day I Will Go There portray a world within touching distance of our own, where the familiar is made extraordinary and commonplace experiences resonate with metaphysics. A neighbour glimpsed leads to a realisation of loneliness, an unsatisfactory day at work becomes a celebration of parenthood. As these moments build so too does a vision of the modern urban world that is at once comic and heartbreaking, challenging and bittersweet. The collection is in three parts. Part 1 is an examination of childhood and family: joy and discovery, learning and play, ageing parents, familial role reversal, self-doubt and the burden of unrealised potential. In Part 2 the focus shifts to the practical difficulties and emotional hauntings we encounter throughout life: hidden agendas, human error, feelings of inadequacy; but also life’s possibilities and wonders. Part 3 centres around ideas of the sacred and our yearning to move beyond everyday trappings towards a more profound level of understanding and a greater appreciation of beauty. Singly, each poem is an imagistic microcosm, encapsulating in miniature an element of human life. Read together, they create a composite portrait of existential questioning and a playful reflection of the world in which we live.
 
'Suzanne's work is careful, understated, and insistent. This is a poet who has taken her time to decide what matters in her writing life and what she will resist. Reading this collection, I thought about how few books sound like this at the moment—how it's always the quiet person at the dinner party I most want to talk to.' Alice Allan
 
Suzanne Verrall works for the Adelaide Plains Council library service. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Adelaide. She specialises in short form writing: poetry, microfiction and essays. Her writing has been published online and in print, nationally and internationally, including in Australian Poetry Journal, foam:e, Bluepepper, Friendly Street Poets, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, Flash Frontier (NZ), The Interpreter’s House (UK), Atlas and Alice (USA), The Hawai`i Pacific Review (USA) and The Southampton Review (USA). In 2018 she collaborated with audiovisual artist Dani Burbrook to create Heart Pieces, an installation of text, sound and moving image which exhibited at the Prospect Gallery during June and July of that year. In 2017 she was a panellist in the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s and State Library’s Tangent Talks series, speaking about the life and work of author Patricia Highsmith. In 2016 she was a presenter at the Adelaide launch of Archer Magazine, reading her essay 'Over the rainbow: The history of the PRIDE flag'. The audio production, by Dani Burbrook, of her noir flash fiction story 'The Big Sneeze' is a finalist in the Missouri Review’s 2021 Miller Audio Prize (USA), with winners to be announced early 2022. One Day I Will Go There is her first poetry collection.
 
Luke Fischer, A Gamble for my Daughter
A Gamble for my Daughter takes its title from the final poem in Luke Fischer’s third full-length collection, which addresses the dilemmas of raising a child in a world fraught with political unrest and environmental catastrophe. This contemporary situation is historically contextualised by other poems in the collection, including the five-part sequence ‘Orphic Elegy’ that opens the first section of the book. In its retelling and revision of myths about Orpheus, this poem sheds a unique light on the historical breakdown of a holistic vision of the universe in modernity and the resulting alienation of humanity from nature and the divine. Parts I and II reimagine ancient Orphism. Part III focuses on the integration of art and science in the Renaissance. Part IV centres on the twentieth century and addresses the question famously formulated by the philosopher Theodor Adorno about whether it is possible to write poetry after Auschwitz. Part V revises myths about Orpheus’s magical ability to charm animals (and his relationship to the dead), in connection with the mass extinction of animals that is currently taking place. The poems in the book’s second section speculate in a mythopoetic and embodied way on the possibilities of establishing new forms of interconnection between art and the environment, mind and nature. The third section addresses the human relationship to animals, the ecological crisis, and the violence of colonisation, and wrestles with questions about how to bring up a child in the face of the challenging future that she will inherit. This collection takes the synthesis of poetry and philosophy to a new level of sophistication, insight and empathy previously unseen in Australian poetry.
 
'Luke Fischer’s poetry is intellectually exciting, emotionally affecting, dense, yet simultaneously lucid and welcoming. It is naked, vulnerable poetry which seeks the timeless and urgent.' Brook Emery
 
Luke Fischer is a prize-winning poet and philosopher. He has authored and co-edited seven books, including two poetry collections A Personal History of Vision (UWAP, 2017) and Paths of Flight (Black Pepper, 2013). Judith Beveridge speaks of his ‘seemingly effortless ability to blend visual detail and imaginative vision’ and Robert Gray considers him ‘outstanding among a new generation of Australian poets.’ His honours include the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize (winner), the Anne Elder Award (commended), Newcastle Poetry Prize (shortlisted several times), Red Room Poetry Fellowship (shortlisted), anthologised poems in The Best Australian Poems (several times), Award-Winning Australian Writing, and Contemporary Australian Poetry, and an international writers’ residency at the Château de Lavigny, Switzerland. Fischer is a leading scholar of Rilke’s poetry and author of The Poet as Phenomenologist: Rilke and the New Poems (Bloomsbury, 2015). He frequently collaborates with artists and musicians and has been an invited speaker at conferences and events at the International Literature Festival Berlin, Oxford University, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Johns Hopkins University (USA), Tübingen University (Germany), the MCA (Sydney), Poetry on the Move, and the Goethe-Institut. Fischer holds a PhD in philosophy and is an honorary associate of the University of Sydney.
  • Laura Fisher 
    • $10 
    • 2 d
  • Kathryn Adams 
    • $150 
    • 2 d
  • Helen Symon 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Rosalind McFarlane 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • Debbie Lim 
    • $50 
    • 6 d
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Organizer

Vagabond Press 
Organizer
Marrickville NSW
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