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A major work in ecopoetics from Astrid Lorange, one of the most important contemporary Australian poets.
RAW MATERIALS takes three of Australia’s top selling commodity exports – gas, beef, and iron – as the point of departure for three interconnected poem-essays. Each poem-essay attempts a reading of the raw material as a figure for understanding a companion structure or system: gas is read alongside gender, beef alongside settler sovereignty, and iron alongside ideology. Together, the three texts connect at various points inside the body of the author – in blood, fantasy, and identity – and build towards a autobiographical study of a life articulated by the most minor and the most epic material conditions. Each poem-essay develops a structure of argumentation application only to itself: in this sense, it borrows from the essay form a mode of rhetorical certainty, and from the poem a tendency towards, if not the irrational or illogical, then certainly the counterrational or counterlogical.
Poetry. Essay. Hybrid.
Astrid Lorange lives in Sydney, Australia. She is Senior Lecturer in Art Theory at the University of New South Wales. She is the author of How Reading is Written: A Brief Index to Gertrude Stein (Wesleyan University Press, 2014) and Homework (co-written with Andrew Brooks, Discipline, 2021). Her most recent poetry collection is Labour and Other Poems (Cordite Books, 2020). She is one half of the critical art collective Snack Syndicate and co-editor at Rosa Press.