/ (forward slash)
Matthew Hall (editor), Jeremy Balius (editor)

Out of print

forward slash is a Black Rider collage of Australian and Canadian innovation.

Edited by Matthew Hall and Jeremy Balius, the first edition features Duncan Hose, Michael Farrell, a.rawlings, Louis Armand, Kemeny Babineau, Astrid Lorange and Jay Millar.

Forward slash was launched at by poet Corey Wakeling as part of the Poetry Symposium 2012 at Deakin University in Melbourne, which was themed The Political Imagination: Contemporary Postcolonial and Diasporic Poetries. The launch featured readings by Michael Farrell and Duncan Hose.

As part of the Sound of the Black Rider podcast series, a podcast of the launch can be downloaded at Am I the Black Rider? Yes. You can also read a transcript of Corey Wakeling’s launch speech.

What they’re saying

Balius and Hall have not so much edited as curated a powerfully critical, vital, and ranging assemblage of poetries as environmental archeologies, retracing colonial violences and suppressions’ “chiasma?/e/merging in the present…” – Trisha Salah, author of Waiting in Arabic, Contributing Editor EOAGH

This is an uncommon collection of writing. Jarring yet hypnotic, raucous yet intimate, staccato yet sustained — forward slash prods the conventions, premises and assumptions of ‘mainstream’ poetry. Set in a transhemispherical and postcolonial context, this anthology of experimental Canadian and Australian poetries should be of interest to anyone intrigued by language — its possible trajectories, its pliant spatiality, its capacity for expression beyond steady imagery and common narratives. - John Ryan, editor, Landscape, from International Centre for Landscape and Language Research Group

forward slash is a wonderful poetic antidote to much of the polite verse presented today in traditional journals. It is like being in a strange calligraphic city where around every corner there is a surprise. And fortunately not all of them are happy ones. – Glen Phillips, retiring poet.

forward/slash invites your eyes and ears – music is diction here. Score on the page, thought on the tongue. if there is a single / direction / the reader will discover that it is plural (LA) To make new language, tune it differently and play it taut :: it will create new thought. Am I behind these lines? (ajr) Tradition? There is no going back in the way / You fancy (DH) Get off the pedestrian walk: [these poems] are boneless and make good eating. (MF). ‘The best way to find out about poems is to read the poems.’ Louis Zukofsky, ‘A statement for poetry’ in Prepositions, 1950 (Uni of Cal Press). Of course he’s right. – Andrew Burke

“A forward slash / can be a substitute for a line break/ pause/ fracture in thought./ A forward slash / can break a word/ divide alternatives/ either/or. A forward slash is playful as the poet’s words/ skirts the border between letter / line./ A forward slash is furtive/ tempting/ mysterious./ In this first of many issues, forward slash celebrates the written word through the vision/s of seven innovative poets/mischievous word-players/from Australia/Canada/ who share/ revel in the ‘habitat’ of language.” – Jessica Wilkinson, Editor of Rabbit Poetry

“In showcasing seven of the most exciting writers either side of the Pacific, this collection demonstrates just how strikingly resonant Australian and Canadian contemporary poetries are in challenging pretexts of language, nation, and the interior. Here we have undressed affect, meddlesome crossings of intimate and ideological landscapes, and ebullient spurs against aesthetic and political complacency. It is, in short, redactive iridescence.” – Ann Vickery

“At a time the term ‘innovation’ has become very much a part of the jargon of business and capitalism, the editors of forward slash attempt to reclaim its disruptive, discomforting potential. There is nothing anaesthetically or conceptually comforting or lyrical about any of the poems published in forward slash: here Duncan Hose unleashes the “blackbirds squalling in your pants”; Michael Farrell finds himself “fretting, frediting, freaking, fumbling”; a. rawlings howls “wolves! wolves! wolves!”; Louis Armand illustrates “the destruction of form”; Kemeny Babineau celebrates “the death of the sonnet”; Astrid Lorange enjoys “illegal working the dirt speaking”; and Jay Millar “bounces off an influential object in the sky”. A vibrant dose of dispruption.” – Ali Alizadeh