Pascalle Burton, in collaboration with the Queensland Poetry Festival (Brisbane, Australia), has announced a special letterbox installation at this year’s festival. She requested five former/current poets in residence (Jacqueline Turner, Emily XYZ, Jacob Polley, Shane Rhodes, and me) to compose circle poems, which has subsequently been set on rubber stamps. These will be collectible during the festival.
Pascalle launched a website about the project today. There, you will find interviews with each poet. My interview– discussing cycles, narrative, structure, and material– is online here. An excerpt:
Your piece Ligature in G makes use of the circuits and interconnectivity of words and letters, bringing focus to both meaning and form. Could you talk us through the piece and how it came to be?
Ligature connects the first two letters of each word with the previous word’s two ending letters. As an additional governing structure, every word contains the letter G (with its ever attractive near-circle form). With the emphasis so heavily torqued to emphasize word similarity rather than syntax, readers are presented with a spaceless text that requests an engaged, focused reading. The discovery of words invites, then, the further consideration for the reader: how do these words relate to one another contextually? We are trained, as young readers, to search for narrative, for story, as the primary mode of relatability and interconnection in text-driven works. So this syntax-less ligature offers a reader the possibility to tease out narrative from what connects where, and/or to question the over-reliance on narrative structures in our engagements with text, with life. Someone who views the text outside of narrative might further extrapolate — if reflecting on the circular structure of the poem — an interrogation of cyclic ‘truth’ as well. Are the structures we’ve inherited or intuited as ‘fact’ (here using cycles as our example) the sole way of reading, viewing, comprehending?
The site also has detailed on how you can contribute, too.