Hesiod’s Five Ages famously provides a vision of the decline of human society that has resonated for many centuries. In this anthology, five poets take Hesiod’s versions of the golden, silver, bronze, heroic and iron ages as their starting points to craft five individual ‘chapbooks’ of prose poetry—not only exploring notions from Hesiod but also venturing into many new concepts that reconceptualise these ages. These twenty-first century poems challenge many of the archaic Greek poet’s assumptions and ideas, writing back to the ancient world with bravura while employing quintessentially contemporary inflections and preoccupations.
Recent Work Press, 2021
2021 is the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, author of the long narrative poetic trilogy, The Divine Comedy. In a time of global pandemic, Dante’s exploration of the relationship between the physical and spiritual worlds and humankind’s responsibilities to each other seems particularly relevant, and to commemorate Dante’s anniversary we invited 70 poets from around the world to respond to Dante’s famous work, assisted by a team of seven contributing editors: Paul Munden (UK), Nessa O’Mahony (Ireland), Paul Hetherington (Australia), Alvin Pang (Singapore), Priya Sarukkai Chabria (India), Moira Egan (Italy) and David Fenza (US).
Edited by Paul Munden and Nessa O’Mahony. Recent Work Press, 2021.
C19: Intertext | Ekphrasis
Prose poems by Cassandra Atherton, Paul Hetherington, Paul Munden and Jen Webb – presenting their individual chapbooks within a single volume.
This latest project of ‘authorised theft’ amongst poetic friends sees them raiding the 19th century for inspiration—across a variety of artforms. But C19 here is not just a past century; it is also the terrible present moment in which we live, and in which this remarkable collaborative work has been written.
No News: 90 poets reflect on a unique BBC newscast
On 18 April, 1930, at 8.45pm, the BBC announced: ‘There is no news.’ Piano music played for the rest of the 15-minute bulletin.
90 poets from across the world reflect on a moment in time before the 24-hour news cycle began to haunt our daily lives.
The Six Senses
Prose poems by Cassandra Atherton, Paul Hetherington, Paul Munden and Jen Webb – the ‘authorised theft’ collective gathered for the first time in a single volume.
Whether one wants to understand touch, taste smell hearing, intuition or sight, this volume provides myriad avenues enabling a rich appreciation of sensory experience.
Fifty poets reflect on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and beyond.
On 21 July, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon, uttering those famous words: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’ To mark the anniversary, 50 poets from around the world were asked to reflect upon the achievement of Apollo 11 and our constantly evolving notions of ‘space’.
It was the great modernist poet Willian Carlos Williams who famously suggested ‘no ideas but in things.’ Completely ignoring his advice, we asked 10 poets to respond to 10 separate abstractions. The 100 poems in this book are the result. Inside you will find poetry on conjecture, obligation, nonsense, space, pleasure, identity, rhythm, accuracy, cost, and youth, by poets Vahni Capildeo, Monica Carroll, Katharine Coles, John Foulcher, Paul Hetherington, Andy Jackson, Paul Munden, Melinda Smith, Shane Strange and Jen Webb.
Edited by Paul Munden and Shane Strange. Recent Work Press, 2018. Signed copy (inc. p&p, UK) £10
Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid
In AD 17, Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet Ovid, died in exile in the Black Sea port of Tomis (now Constanta in Romania). His offence had been to offend the emperor, Augustus, for verses that may have touched on scandals in the imperial court. Famously griefstricken, he burnt his manuscript of what would become one of the world’s most celebrated anthologies of verse tales. That work was Metamorphoses, which only survived because friends he had made copies for circulated it. To celebrate Ovid’s 2,000th anniversary, 100 poets were invited to respond to Metamorphoses with new poems that explore the many contemporary resonances in that seminal work.
Tract is the third anthology of prose poems from the Prose Poetry Project, a group of over twenty poets from across Australia, Singapore, and the UK who collaborate on writing in this fluid form. This anthology features two sequences of prose poems: one characterised by the single moment; the other reflecting longer durations. Placed on opposing pages, the conversation between the two echoes the vibrant and enduring poetic practice of this group.
Edited by Paul Munden and Monica Carroll. Recent Work Press, 2017.
Strange Cargo: Five Australian Poets
If poetry is an international language, it is nevertheless sometimes lost in transit—if indeed transport is available. This anthology presents the work of five Australian poets acclaimed in their own country, but perhaps less known elsewhere: Lucy Dougan, Cassandra Atherton, Paul Hetherington, Jen Webb and Sarah Holland-Batt. Their vibrant, award-winning work deserves the appreciation of a UK audience clearly keen to consume Australian culture on other fronts. The publication represents an important partnership between Smith|Doorstop and the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI), based at the University of Canberra.
Ten Cities, Ten Poets
Cities are as complex and unknowable as they are familiar and unsurprising. We can feel as if we know a city intimately, or merely indicate its mysteries to our fleeting perceptions. Here we have Sydney, Kyoto, Singapore, Mumbai, Moscow, Haifa, Capetown, Rome, New Orleans – and the Anonymous City – through the poetic eyes of: Cassandra Atherton, Niloofar Fanaiyan, Ross Gibson, Paul Hetherington, Subhash Jaireth, Paul Munden, Pooja Nansi, Alvin Pang, Shane Strange, Jen Webb.
Pulse is the second anthology of prose poems produced by members of the International Prose Poetry Project, a group of over twenty poets from across Australia and the UK who collaborate on writing this most undecidable of forms. This anthology features two long sequences of prose poems, selected to resonate images, themes, ideas and connections. What develops is an immersive, multi-vocal reading experience that speaks not only to the collaborative nature of the project, but to prose poetry’s capacity to surprise and delight.
This is the first volume of work to be produced by members of the Prose Poetry Project, initiated by the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra in November 2014. The aim is to enable participants to engage in practice-led research into prose poetry and to write prose poems collegially and collaboratively. The project investigates the form and composition of prose poetry and has yielded both creative and research outcomes. Poets featured here are: Cassandra Atherton, Owen Bullock, Anne Caldwell, Monica Carroll, Jen Crawford, Lucy Dougan, Ross Gibson, Paul hetherington, Penelope Layland, Andrew Melrose, Paul Munden, Julian Stannard, Shane Strange, Jen Webb and Jordan Williams.
Feeling the Pressure: Poetry and science of climate change
This book includes new work by many of Britain’s leading poets, writing from highly individual perspectives but all deeply concerned about the theme of climate change and its implications for the world we live in. Also included are significant and important statements about current scientific research, by scientists working at Newcastle University and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Several of the poets featured are themselves scientists, belying the notion that art and science inhabit different worlds. Featured poets include: Andrew Motion, Philip Gross, Jean Sprackland, Maura Dooley, Michael Symmons Roberts, Graham Mort, Patience Agbabi and Neil Rollinson.
Edited by Paul Munden. British Council, 2011 Signed copy (inc. p&p, UK) £8
Reading the Applause
Reflections on performance poetry by various artists, including Bob Cobbing, Paul Claire, Adrian Mitchell, Roger McGough, and many more. As Ian McMillan describes it in his foreword: ‘friendly, accessible, immediate, democratic, historic, profound, and a damn good laugh’.
Edited by Paul Munden and Stephen Wade. Talking Shop, 1999.
A distillation of the best work from Staple’s First Editions project.
“Munden’s poems are like a succession of slides: click, switch, from one to the next … The cathedral is a continuing presence: there is a catalogue of misericords … and a memorial to The Winchester Diver, William Walker, who worked for five years in ‘the diseased swamp / of a graveyard’ to underpin the cathedral foundations. Munden makes astonishing connections: between a cinema organ and the Crucifixion; between a retriever puppy’s ‘cancer-riddled bone’ and ‘and Aero bar’. His eyes, like those of his Chameleon, are ‘speed-reading the world’. – Envoi magazine
Staple First Editions, 1993
The Gregory Anthology, 1987–1990
The Gregory Awards are the most prestigious and valuable prizes given in the UK for young poets (under 30). In 1987 I received an award together with Maura Dooley, Stephen Knight, Jill Maugham, Steve Anthony and Peter MacDonald. Other poets featured in the anthology include Simon Armitage, Lavinia Greenlaw and Don Paterson.
The awards are administered by the Society of Authors.
Edited by Alan Brownjohn and K.W. Gransden. Hutchinson, 1990.
Poetry Introduction 7
The aim of Faber’s Poetry Introduction series was to introduce, to a wider reading public, a number of young poets whose work had hitherto been available only in magazines or booklets with a limited circulated. The series launched the careers of many distinguished poets, including Andrew Motion, Craig Raine, Gillian Clarke, Wendy Cope, Tom Paulin and Paul Muldoon.
Several of the poems included in this volume were redrafted for inclusion in Analogue/Digital: New and Selected Poems.
Poetry in Translation
Poems by Cassandra Atherton, Jen Crawford, Niloofar Fanaiyan, Paul Hetherington, Paul Munden, Melinda Smith, Shane Strange, and Ellen van Neerven, translated into Japanese. The book was produced to accompany a tour of Japan. Sadly, I didn’t make the tour, but my poems ‘The Weathercock’ (from Chromatic) and ‘The Winchester Diver’ (from Analogue/Digital) are nevertheless included.
Edited and translated by Rina Kikuchi and Harumi Kawaguchi. Recent Work Press, 2018.
Poet to Poet: Contemporary Women Poets from Japan
Contemporary women poets from Japan, translated by Jen Crawford, Carol Hayes, Paul Munden, Jeffrey Angles Melinda Smith, Shane Strange, Niloofar Fanaiyan, Subhash Jaireth – in collaboration with Rina Kikuchi. The book was launched at the Poetry on the Move festival in Canberra, 2017, in which several of the Japanese poets took part.
I worked closely with Rina Kikuchi in translating poems by Ishikawa Itsuko, Rina talking me through the original poems in great detail, before allowing me considerable scope to create English versions that I hope do the originals some justice.
Edited by Rina Kikuchi and Jen Crawford. Recent Work Press, 2017.
Open Windows: Contemporary Australian Poetry
My first appearance as an honorary Australian, while at the University of Canberra. I was honoured to be included alongside established Australian poets such as Jordie Albiston, Judith Beveridge, Kevin Brophy, Lucy Dougan, Stephen Edgar, Dianne Fahey, Lisa Gorton, Judy Johnson, David Musgrave and Samuel Wagan Watson – all of whom I then had the privilege to engage with as part of my work for the International Poetry Studies Institute, whose mission fostered this book. My poems translated here into Mandarin are: ‘Analogue’, ‘Digital’, ‘Mind Your Head’, ‘Outback’, ‘Occasional Noise’, and ‘Instamatic’.
Translated by Tao Naikan. Edited by Jen Webb and Paul Hetherington, 2016.