I am lucky enough to count alicia sometimes as a friend, so when I heard she was reviewing my debut poetry collection We Will Disappear, it felt like all my bulk aces had come at once.
And now it’s real! The review, for the ABC Radio program The Book Show, has been broadcast and is now also online. Click here for transcript and audio.
Here’s a taster of what alicia 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!