35.2: OZKO (한국-호주 | HANGUK-HOJU) cover image by Ivy Alvarez

Cordite 35.2: Oz-ko (Hanguk-Hoju)

The thirty-fifth issue of Cordite features new poetry from Australia and Korea. Timed to coincide with the Australia-Korea Year of Friendship, which celebrates fifty years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Cordite 35: OZ-KO aimed to stimulate creative collaborations between Australian and Korean poets and readers, and features one hundred new poetic works, plus a variety of features and other articles.

Contributors:

KO Un, KIM Kyung Ju, KIM Ki-Taek, KIM Myung-in, KIM Sa-in, KIM Sun-Woo, KIM So Youn, KIM Un, KIM Hyesoon, RA Hee-duk, PARK Ra Youn, PARK Hyung Jun, SONG Kyung Dong, SIN Yongmok, SHIN Hae Wook, SHIM Bo Sun, LEE Seong-bok, LEE Si-young, JIN Eun-young and HWANG Tong gyu.

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Cordite 35.1: OZ-KO (HOJU-HANGUK) cover image by Ivy Alvarez

Cordite 35.1: Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hanguk)

Contributors: 

David Prater, Sebastian Gurciullo, Barry Hill, Ivy Alvarez, Terry Jaensch, Jane Gibian, Fiona Wright, Jill Jones, Pascalle Burton, Daniel O’Callaghan, Luke Beesley, Michelle Cahill, Corey Wakeling, Liam Ferney, David Stavanger, James Stuart, Stuart Cooke, Ouyang Yu, Christine Armstrong, Michael Farrell and Ali Alizadeh.

It’s kind of hard to believe, and in fact I’ve been feeling slightly delirious for the last few days, but I’ve finally managed to put together the second part of Cordite’s Oz-Ko issue devoted to all things Australian and Korean. While the first part of the issue, released in April, was a teaser or Envoy in the form of twenty poems in English, Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hanguk) is a full-blown bi-lingual exercise featuring forty new poems in English, and Hangul translations by 김재현 (Kim Gaihyun) and 김성현 (Kim Sunghyun).

Poets featured in this stage of the issue include our three touring Hojunauts (Ivy Alvarez, Barry Hill and Terry Jaensch) as well as a motley crew of contemporary Australian poets including Fiona Wright, Jane Gibian, Jill Jones, Pascalle Burton, Liam Ferney, Michael Farrell, Luke Beesley, David Stavanger, James Stuart and heaps more. In addition, we’ve been assembling a series of features on Australian and Korean poetry and culture, which you can now read at your leisure.

While I’m proud of each of the thirty-odd issues of Cordite that I’ve produced in my time as editor of the magazine, there will always be a special place reserved in my heart for Oz-Ko, no doubt partly because so much of my life has been invested in Korea. Having undertaken Asialink residencies in Seoul in 2005 and 2009, this third visit is really a culmination of all I once hoped to achieve in Korea, and perhaps that’s why I’m now feeling delirious. In any case, it’s a real thrill to see some Hangul finally make its way onto the Cordite site, and I really hope that some Korean readers get to experience contemporary Australian poetry in all its ragged glory.

Speaking of which, I’ve written two editorials for this issue. Well, three actually, if you include the Introduction to Oz-Ko (Envoy). Compared to that, the introduction to Oz-Ko (Hoju-Hangul) is a lot shorter, possibly due to fatigue. But the piece I’m actually really proud of is the Oz-Ko meta-poem I wrote and which features hyperlinks to each of the sixty poems already published in the issue (you can also view the Hangul version here, complete with URLs – don’t get me started on how long it took to format those!). Of course, for some readers I’m sure it will be a case of TL;DR but who cares what they think.

Here’s what I think: that the process of producing this truly bi-lingual issue has been just as important as the contents of the issue itself; that translation in this sense includes not just translation between languages but between electronic formats and systems; that Hangul script looks way cool; that Cordite 35: Oz-Ko is perhaps just the first step of a much larger and longer journey; and that after all this coding, formatting, stressing and navel-gazing, it’s time for a well-deserved soju or two.

David ‘Bek-Ho’ Prater, signing off for now.

Cordite 35.0: OZ-KO (ENVOY) cover image by Ivy Alvarez

Cordite 35.0: Oz-Ko (Envoy)

My one sharp-eyed reader will recognise the image to the left as being based on Paju Book City, a photo that featured on this blog last month. I’m not sure why I bothered mentioning that but the fact remains that if you click on that image, you’ll be transported instantly to Cordite 35: Oz-Ko, a special issue devoted to new poetry from Australia and the Republic of Korea.

I’m really excited about this issue, not least because I’m one of the editors but also because in a Cordite first, we’ll be publishing it in stages. Yes, Oz-Ko’s so big that we’ve had to split it up. The first stage includes twenty new poems (an ‘Envoy’ of sorts – read my editorial for a slightly less vague explanation) plus a rolling series of features, beginning with Dan Disney’s passionate article about Ko Un’s Maninbo. Subsequent stages will feature more poems in English and Hangul and much more!

In the meantime, wrap your laughing gear around new poetry by the likes of Adam Ford, Jen Jewel Brown, Anne Elvey, Joe Dolce, Fleur Beaupert, Mark Young, David Howard, Patrick Jones, Tim Wright, Zenobia Frost and, ummmm, ten others! Oh and check back to the site over the coming weeks to check out features by Jackson Eaton, Daniel East, Lara Williams and mooooooooooore!

Ahem. I’ll get me coat.

VWC, Kurungabaa, Southerly (IWD)

Things have been pretty quiet in the Dreamnation of late, thanks mostly to my new life as a web editor and writer for NIMD, a political organisation in Den Haag (The Hague). Nevertheless, my old life as an Australian writer continues to come back to haunt me in the form of Zombie publications, both in print and online.

Actually that’s not entirely true: it’s first of all my previous incarnation as an Australian writer in Seoul that’s catching up with me, in the form of an article in this month’s Victorian Writers’ Centre newsletter entitled ‘Year of the White Tiger and Steam: David Prater describes his name-changing three months in Seoul’. While the article doesn’t actually ‘reveal all’, seeing my residency described in print does make it all seem less ‘unreal’, if that makes sense. It’s also nice that they’ve included an extract from my poem, Turtles for Myron Lysenko in the issue.

Another more surprising ‘re-animation’ event occurred two weeks ago when Wollongong-based surf literature magazine Kurungabaa contacted me by email to say that two of my poems – ‘Storm Girl’ (draft) and ‘Merry Weather’ – would be forthcoming in their next issue in print. As someone who lived in Wollongong as a teenager, and who even after a week-long surfing course could barely manage to kneel on a surfboard, it’s somehow gratifying that two of my only-vaguely surfing-related poems have made the cut.

It’s kind of ominous that the date of publication for Miscellaneous Voices: Australian Blog Writing 1 is April 1, particularly given that this is also the launch date for Cordite Poetry Review’s next issue, the undead-inspired Zombie 2.0. On the other hand, it’s great that two of my poems, namely ‘(On The Tomb Of) Agnes Smedley’ & ’I couldn’t agree with you, more’ (first posted here and here) will be included in the anthology and thus return from the dead in print.

In other dead poet news, two of my ‘Leaves of Glass’ poems – ’Gang Languid’ & ‘Algae’ – are forthcoming in Southerly‘s special poetry issue (69.3). Leaves of Glass is a book-length MS based on correspondence between Walt Whitman and Bernard O’Dowd. Three more from the same series – ‘Dawnward’, ‘Oz’ & ‘The Campfires of the Lost’ – have also found a home, but more on them soon. The Southerly issue will be launched at the University of Sydney (in the John Woolley Building Common Room, in fact), where twenty years ago this week I first started out as a student of English, and then Australian literature.

The return of the memory of myself as a tragic young (still seventeen, in fact) poet, moping around the corridors of the Woolley Building, penning painfully adolescent verses in the style of Kenneth Slessor or William Blake, fills me with a kind of cringe-worthy fakestalgia. The truth is, twenty years ago, when Southerly turned fifty, I’m pretty sure I never even heard about it. The magazine itself was just a concept to us – something that got produced at some upper echelon of the University, and which we were made to understand quite obliquely that we would have to wait a good twenty years to ‘get into’.

But all of this is just self-preening in the end. Today, on International Women’s Day, rather than just congratulating myself on all of my own publications, I’d like to salute the editors who made all of the above possible – all of whom just happen to be women.

Therefore, in the spirit of Oscars (TM) acceptance speeches, first of all, I’d like to thank Robin Deed of the Victorian Writers centre, who invited me to write an article for their newsletter. Thanks also to Rebecca Olive from the Kurungabaa editors’ collective for accepting my poems for publication in that journal. Miscellaneous Voices: Australian Blog Writing is edited by Karen Andrews and I’m grateful to her for her patient responses to my queries. The guest poetry editor for Cordite’s Zombie 2.0 issue is Ivy Alvarez, a fantastic poet and blogger, who also put me onto Kurungabaa in the first place via the excellent Dumbfoundry (RSS). Finally, props to Kate Lilley, Southerly‘s poetry editor, who first introduced me to contemporary American poetry in a course she taught at the University of Sydney in the early 1990s.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Respect.