Dead Poem Office (2012), originally published via Scribd in late 2012, contains thirty-odd poems in English, all of which previously appeared in journals and magazines. It’s the successor to the original version of Dead Poem Office (2007) which never ‘appeared’ as a printed chapbook.
While the 2007 version was ostensibly conceived as a companion volume to my first full-length poetry collection, We Will Disappear, it bore no resemblance to the latter in terms of layout, and was not really comprehensive in any similar way.
The 2012 reiteration sought to address this by using a completely different cover and interior design, which is much closer in look and feel to the style used by Papertiger Media in designing We Will Disappear.
The cover image is one of two photographs I took with a disposable camera in an old carpark on Dudley Street in West Melbourne, Australia in 2000. I used the other one on the cover of We Will Disappear.
Perhaps even more pertinently, Dead Poem Office (2012) labels itself as a collection of ‘B-sides compiled’, thus reinforcing this echoing in terms of the original pun in the chapbook’s title, a reference to the 1987 R.E.M. compilation album, Dead Letter Office.
The contents of the chapbook are actually reverse chronological in terms of the date of writing and/or publication. I’m not actually sure why I made this decision at the time, as I think a reader gets a stronger sense of poetic development with a chronological ordering.
At the same time, the ordering of the poems in We Will Disappear is not chronological either, and was in fact largely decided by the editor, Paul Hardacre.
The ‘b-sides’ compiled in Dead Poem Office previously appeared in a number of venues, including FourW, Meanjin, Island, Famous Reporter, Going Down Swinging, The Age, Overland, PFS Post (USA), Snorkel, The Otoliths, Textbase, Eyewear (UK), Luzmag (Spain), Cordite Poetry Review, nthposition (UK), JAAM (NZ), Gutcult (USA), ABC Radio National, Vibewire, Gangway (Austria), Slope (USA), The Red Room Project, Divan and Voiceworks, as well as in Future Welcome: the Moosehead Anthology X (Canada).
Dead Poem Office (2012)
Great Big Star
New Space Seasons
The Day Britney Died
More Sun Than Clouds/Sprinkles Early
She’s an Autarky
The Boys Who
Eight Miles High
Why Do You Cry Run Lola Run
Dead Poem Office
The Night I Met Beck
Last Night Betty