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Featured Poet: Claire Potter

Eyewear is very pleased to welcome the Australian poet Claire Potter (pictured) to its pages this ash-plumed Friday. Potter grew up in Perth, Western Australia and moved to Sydney when she was twenty. There she completed an Honors degree in English Literature, before being awarded a French Embassy Scholarship to complete a Masters in Paris, concerned with psychoanalysis and tragedy.

In 2006 she was awarded an Australian Young Poet Fellowship from the Poet’s Union and the Australian Council for the Arts. Her first chapbook, In front of a comma, was published and launched at the 2006 Sydney Poetry Festival. In 2007, her second chapbook of poetry, N’ombre, was published by Vagabond Press. Potter is currently reading a joint doctorate at the University of Western Australia and the Universit√© de Paris VII, where she is writing about Thomas Hardy. Potter’s first full-length poetry collection, Swallow, will be published by Five Islands Press in October 2010.

Robert Adamson has written of her work: "Claire Potter is a born poet, expressing passion along with ideas in the ‘open field’ of her work. Her forms dance with the intelligence of her choice of imagery. Her lines, laced with flight and song, double back through the poems, then unfold extra meanings on second or third readings."

I had the pleasure of meeting Potter a few years back when we read together in Paris. Her work is polysemous, thoughtful, and less lyric than experimental, perhaps taking bearings from European thinkers like Blanchot, but also a certain line of Australian poets, such as Kevin Hart - and of course, writing with an awareness of ecriture and Language poetics. She is recommended to you.

Within The Visible, A Garden

Within the visible, a garden widens, deploys wonga vines along telephone wires, draws threads of rain water into the circumference of invisible spider lines.

Down the spout, a tiny sugar glider prone on a cushion of breeze: scribbly gums, molten in sunset, bow inwards to a circle of soft green leaves, rubbing their backs against the wind, swaying ceremoniously from stone to star.

poem by Claire Potter

photo by Elena Heatherwick
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