Fiction + Poetry
From the woman who wanders the halls of a department store and tests the water in the empty baths, to the man who dances in his garden with a mysterious partner, eyeing his escape, the characters in Matthew Smith’s poems match those in his debut novel The Waking (Wundor Editions 2017) for the strangeness and the unsettling quality of the lives they lead. Smith’s poetry has been published in Acumen, Envoi and Poetry Salzburg Review. He won second place in The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2018. He has been shortlisted for numerous national competitions, including the PENfro Open and the Nottingham Open.
"A rewarding collection of poems which range from vivid word-pictures evoked with a Japanese-inspired tonal delicacy through perceptively treated domestic scenes to often mysterious narratives of dreaming, memory and the recurring search for something beyond the physical realities and constraints of everyday life. An authentic voice... a capturing of people at a crossroads in their lives."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Smith is a poet... not a single word is wasted – his prose is direct, intimate and immediate.”
The Book Bag
"No slouch at suspense, Smith is adept at pulling the rug from under his reader’s feet… Overall, it’s a gripping narrative, a smart and pacy literary thriller which explores the indelible scars of loss."
A Life In Books
The Bath Fugues is Castro at his best, in a wonderful performance wrought from intrigue, romance, deception – and comedy. The book is composed of three interwoven novellas, the first centred on an ageing art forger; the second on a Portuguese poet, opium addict and collector; the third told by a well-connected doctor, with a cabinet of venom, and an art gallery on the north Queensland coast. Around these characters circle others, in the contrapuntal manner of the fugue suggested by the book’s title.
Brian Castro is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Acknowledged for his prose style and brilliant use of language, Castro’s work has received wide critical acclaim and won major Australian literary prizes. Three of his works have been awarded the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. In 2014, Castro was given the Patrick White Award for Literature for his contribution to Australian Literature.
Read his Wundor Author Essay here.
"Brian Castro has been a great innovator in Australian fiction for decades."
"His way of working has produced startlingly original storytelling, the sort that reminds me, with joy, again and again, that anything is possible in literature."
Sue Bond, Asian Review Of Books
Elena Rubik can’t seem to stay dead. She persists: as a set of corneas, as a newsletter subscriber, as a member of fanfiction forums. Her best friend Jules Valentine meanwhile is unwittingly inveigled into an indie-film turned corporate branding stunt. When Jules leaks information about the true story behind the video – by then an overworked viral meme – wannabe investigative reporter April Kuan is assigned the case. But as April trails Jules all over Perth she too becomes ensnared in the machinations of shady corporate interests as the very laws of physics and time begin to bend.
A hit in Tan’s native Australia, and now developing a following Stateside too, Rubik is a brilliantly entwined novel-in-stories that slips outside the borders of realism. Spotted with disappearances, mysteries and told with a sharp-edged wit and cutting social commentary, it is an original and ingenious reflection of technological anxiety, loneliness and connectivity in the internet age.
"Recalling the wit and social commentary of Julie Koh’s Portable Curiosities alongside the surreal connected-universe storytelling of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad, Rubik is a shot in the arm of Australian fiction, one that will undoubtedly reveal more secrets on successive rereads."
Books and Publishing
Yoshimasu Gozo’s groundbreaking poetry has spanned over half a century since the publication of his first book, Departure, in 1964. Much of his work is highly unorthodox: it challenges the print medium and language itself, and consequently Alice Iris Red Horse is as much a book on translation as it is a book in translation.
Gozo has won many of Japan’s most prestigious literary awards, including the 50th Mainichi Art Award for Poetry. Since the late ‘60s, he has collaborated with visual artists and free-jazz musicians. In the 1980s he began creating art objects engraved on copper plates and later produced photographs and video works.
Alice Iris Red Horse contains translations of Gozo’s major poems from the Japanese, representing his entire career. Also included are illuminating interviews, reproductions of Gozo’s artworks, and photographs of his performances. The book is edited by Forrest Gander.
"Gozo Yoshimazu, an experimental Japanese poet, painter, musician, and shaman, is interested in breaking the written word open. A new career-spanning volume, Alice Iris Red Horse, gives a sense of his powers... [His] inclusiveness includes the universe and he invites us along."
Emily Wolahan, The Quarterly Conversation
"Gozo’s poems often explore, like Basho’s, moments in journeys that are at once physical and spiritual. His work sprawls, expanding and contracting like the universe."
American novelist John Manderino’s latest work is a sparkling, hilarious novella, Bopper’s Progress. Told over the course of a day in the life of Bopper, a directionless young man who has found himself on a month-long Zen Buddhist retreat, Manderino probes life’s most challenging questions with sharp observations, uproarious dialogue, and a clarity of prose rarely found.
Manderino lives in Maine with his wife Marie, where he teaches college writing. He has published three novels, two short story collections and a memoir with Academy Chicago. A stage version of his memoir Crying at Movies was produced.
“Manderino’s work is able to poke fun at the fear that so ably sparks our imaginations, while simultaneously revealing a shared feature of humanity that is both reassuring and haunting in its own right.”
Cory Johnston, Books Editor, The Literary Review
Amanda Merritt has been awarded the Sungayka/Cadboro Bay prize for poetry among many others. Most recently, she was presented with the 2015 Anstruther Poetry Award.
In Canada, she has been published in Descant, Grain, Prairie Fire, Hart House Review, Qwerty, and Untethered. In the UK she has been published in Stand and Aesthetica’s 2017 Creative Writing Annual Anthology.
Merritt is based in Victoria, Canada. The Divining Pool is her debut collection.
‘‘The Divining Pool unites restless and edgy inventiveness with a sense of the classical that seems to me rare in a first collection. This is the rich, tender, carefully crafted work of a poet who dares to soar, in the sure confidence that, should she fall, she has the imaginative gifts to document the enterprise in poignant detail."
"Lyrical yet laced with more than a hint of menace, these subtly cadenced poems register with intense precision moments of parting and recognition. Amanda Merritt's first collection establishes her as deftly alert to hurt and beauty, and as a compelling new voice in Canadian poetry."
Himmer is a Senior Lecturer of Writing at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and is the author of three novels: The Bee-Loud Glade, Fram and Scratch. These works, along with short stories and essays, have earned him comparisons to writers as diverse as David Foster Wallace and Jules Verne. Steve also runs the highly-regarded web journal, Necessary Fiction. Wundor Editions is proud to be publishing Scratch...
After an aimless life, Martin Blaskett is ready to settle down, unaware of the rising tension between the wild and the domestic in his new home town in New England. When he draws the attention of a shape-shifter from local legend, his world is shaken, and he is led across the slippery border of the feral wilderness which has a history all its own.
“Scratch is not only a ripping tale—of dreams and darkness, humans and houses, and the creatures those houses are meant to keep out—but a contemplation of the beautiful dark mysteries of nature. Like a strange old story you overheard when you thought you were alone in the woods, Scratch is beguiling, haunting, and wild.”
Kate Racculia, author of Bellweather Rhapsody
"Steve Himmer has written a story of such incomparable originality, both in content and style, that you might find yourself a bit awestruck by the time you read the last page…"
This Is Horror
Sam Bully-Thomas is an exciting new Caribbean-American poet. Born in upstate New York and mentored by Sir Derek Walcott, she is now based in the creative’s haven of Athens, Georgia in the United States.
This book traces the journey of sugar through the world and through history, making many imaginative stops along the way, via her original, restless poetic style. Sam Bully-Thomas’ work has been published in a wide range of US journals, including the legendary Threepenny Review.
She works as a writer of screenplays and an author of microfiction. Cane is her debut collection of poetry. Read her Wundor Author Essay here.
"Her work is strong, rhythmic and confident, and continues the discourse of multicultural identity in the past and newly evolving".
Sir Derek Walcott
"Sam Bully-Thomas has the rare gift of turning history into lyric – these are poems that make the past present and the present vibrant, sinewy and stark".
DONALD MACE WILLIAMS
Donald Mace Williams was born on Black Thursday, 1929, in Abilene, Texas. The former academic and newspaper editor now resides close to the Palo Duro Canyon.
Wolfe is a modern retelling of the story of Beowulf, which relocates the action to Texas in the late 19th Century.
When a strange, beguiling creature is found to have slaughtered first the cattle of a lonely ranch, then one of its labourers, the fate of the locals is placed in the hands of an out-of-towner, a calm and confident young man by the name of Billy Wolfe.
Rattle originally published the work as a limited chapbook in the US, and it has come to be seen by many as a modern classic. It has been studied in schools in Texas. It is a captivating adventure tale and it reads as a compelling examination of the shadow side of the United States, in the past and in the present.
Wolfe is published here alongside a collection of Williams’ short poems in book form for the first time.
Read Donald's Wundor Author Essay here.
“Donald Mace Williams’ ‘Wolfe’ is a flawless epic, and in turning the legend of Beowulf into a critique of man’s encroachment on nature, it has a chance at ringing the bell of the current zeitgeist.”
Timothy Green, Editor of Rattle
"A book that set my imagination on fire… we can rejoice at the appearance of Wolfe’s epic as the centrepiece of a collection of his work, beautifully designed, all of it as keenly connected to the workings of the human heart and the observation of the natural world as the title poem."
Barbara Brannon, Lone Star Literary Life
Photo by James Barrington
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