'Jesus don't want me for a sunbeam', UK Frederick, 2017

Material poetics is not a new concept. The last century has seen the boundaries between creative genres dissolve, allowing attentiveness to materiality — once the exclusive concern of sculpture and craft — to pervade and tantalise less tangible practices. The development of a digital realm has not destroyed materiality, as originally feared, but served to foreground it; and the collaboration that can take place between digital and analogue, verbal and visual, is what drives this issue.

The Boat by Stephanie Morris

When we first announced the international symposium, Inside/Outside/Carnival, that took place at the University of Winchester, UK, in June 2017 (a collaboration between the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra, and the University of Winchester, with invited guest speakers from the USA, Australia and the UK) we prefaced it with, ‘Into the cauldron of 21st century writing - Tipping a hat at Bakhtin the word Carnival is ambiguous.

Caren Florance and Melinda Smith, Detail from 1962: Be Spoken To (2014-17). Photo: Brenton McGeachie

This issue of Axon is the second to relate directly to Poetry on the Move, the series of festivals run by the International Poetry Studies Institute based within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. The theme of the festival in 2017 was Boundary Crossings, and it was offered – in a slightly expanded version, as a focus for poets and academics to interpret in their own fashion within this issue.

Detail of text art by Kelly Malone

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 7, No 1, April 2017


“[P]lay is the laboratory of the possible. To play fully and imaginatively is to step sideways into another reality, between the cracks of ordinary life. Although that ordinary world, so full of cumbersome routines and responsibilities, is still visible to us, its images, strangely, are robbed of their powers.” (Henricks 2006: 1).

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 6, No 2, November 2016


Axon Capsule 1 (Special Issue), August 2016

Poetry on the Move was initiated in 2015 as a three-year poetry project hosted by the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) based within the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR), Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra (UC). 

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 6, No 1, March 2016


The question of collaboration is one that arguably can't be ignored in contemporary academia, creative fields, or current philosophical and critical landscapes. The word ‘collaboration’ at once brings to mind the conspiratorial nature of crime as well as the cooperative nature of teamwork and the harmonious meeting of minds and practices. It is, then, a slippery word, and for this reason serves as a fertile provocation for the inquiries unpacked and developed in this special issue of Axon.

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 5, No 2, November 2015


This issue brings together various explorations of assemblage theory with a number of critical and creative works that relate to it in subtle and surprising ways.

The pull towards poetry is strong. Owen Bullock approaches the theme with reference to Sylvia Plath, Page Richards offers a close reading of Derek Walcott, and Dennis Haskell brings in T. S. Eliot, Kenneth Slessor and Stephen Carroll. Lachlan Brown investigates the meeting of poetry and computer games.

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 5, No 1, March 2015

The Real Through Line

Axon: Creative Explorations, Vol 4, No 2, December 2014

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