We Will Disappear: the First Anniversary!

It’s a quiet kind of milestone but my book We Will Disappear was launched one year ago this weekend at the Melbourne Writers Festival. Quiet in the sense that I am about ten thousand miles from this year’s MWF, where some class acts and friends will be performing at the MWF Festival Club and elsewhere; a milestone in the sense that one year is a heck of a long time in the life of anyone and everyone, let alone a book. Anyway, just when I was beginning to think that We Will Disappear had fulfilled the prophecy of its own title and had quietly disappeared from the world of people and books, I got a message from an old friend saying:

I bought your book of poems in Brunswick Street last week. I’m really enjoying it. I like the one for the unknown waitress.

And you know, of course this made me feel a lot better. So for those who missed it, here’s “(On the Tomb of) the Unknown Waitress”. Happy birthday “We Will Disappear”!

We Will Disappear reviewed in the Weekend Oztraylian!

My debut poetry collection We Will Disappear has been reviewed in the Weekend Australian, alongside Event, the debut collection from Judith Bishop. The review, by Justin Clemens, was positive about both books, so I’m thrilled! Here’s a snippet:

If Bishop favours the high aesthetic road, Prater — editor of the online journal Cordite Poetry Review — prefers the mass-media superhighway. We Will Disappear pops and buzzes with references to drugs (Dexedrine, grass and cigarettes), military hardware (atom bombs, Semtex, F-15s and Minutemen) and virulent diseases (SARS), not to mention communications technologies, both current and defunct (satellites, radio, daguerreotypes and computer coding). Relentlessly racy, Prater hits hard and fast in his attempts to keep up with the wrenching juggernaut of our times.

Justin Clemens

Woot!

I’ve just checked out Judith’s website and while I think it’s fair to say we’re very different poets, it’s nice to see a review of two books by people born in 1972 in Australia’s only national newspaper! Oh, and in the Year of the Rat, too!

I just wish the Oztraylian would post the review on their website, so that I could link to it. Personally, I had to go through Swinburne’s library homepage to get to it. In any case, I assume a copy of the full review will be available on the papertiger media website in due course.

UPDATE: One other double-plug I forgot to mention before comes from the avant-garde online poetry journal foam:e. In its latest issue, guest editor Louise Waller notes:

Unfortunately foam:e received more books than it is possible to review this issue, but I would like to suggest David Prater’s We Will Disappear published by soi 3 modern poets, and Sue Stanford’s Opal, published by Flat Chat Press are well worth a read.

Thanks Louise! And I can heartily recommend foam:e to all good poets!

We Will Disappear: the second review!

Poet, criminologist, anti-fascist and paranoia merchant alicia sometimes has written and recorded a bulk ace review of my book for ABC Radio National’s The Book Show. Click here for transcript and audio. Here’s a taster of what she has to say:

One striking thing about this collection is how deeply Prater is influenced by the internet and the various dialects and languages that emerge within this medium. He seems driven to mash language, experimenting with HTML and modern computer language. This could easily be cliche but Prater makes this process electric. Prater says his poems are similar to hyperlinks that teleport the reader quickly to somewhere else. Instead of clicking a mouse, he wants you to see one image or word or phrase and transport you to another poem or another place as easily as it can in be achieved in the cyber world. This is a bold statement but one I expect from the playful and experimental Prater. To measure the truth in this statement is difficult. In ‘Search Poem #9’, he writes that he is ‘viewing in google page rank order’. This poem is a mess of words that would seem at home in email spam headers and indeed the first line of each Google search finding. But he is also commenting on the web as machine, the internet as the impersonal and the idiosyncrasies of each user. As editor of the online literary magazine Cordite, Prater would be exposed to all styles of web poetry and the problems and eccentricities associated with it. The collection ends with the piece ‘5 Haiku SMS’ playing around with the modern speech of texting as the new haiku. Here again he is both ironic and commentator all at once.

Aww, shucks. It’s a crime wave, move on!

We Will Disappear: the first review!

In somewhat amazing news, Cordite has just published a double review of We Will Disappear and MTC Cronin’s book (we recently also published a single review of Barry Hill’s book).

I should point out that the review was not commissioned, edited or posted by me but by our reviews editor, Ali Alizadeh. Further, the review itself was written by Ryan Scott, a Czech-Republic based poet whom I have never met or corresponded with. Still, I feel a slight twinge of discomfort and potential embarrasment to see a review of my own book in a journal of which I am the Managing Editor.

While it’s not quite in the same league as Walt Whitman writing reviews of his own book, Leaves of Grass, under false names and then using these reviews to create testimonials, it’s still, well, a bit strange. What do you think?