Cordite, Zombies Launch! New Renku

With the launch of the new issue, Cordite is unleashing zombies across the land!

The issue, edited by Ivy Alvarez, features a wealth of material from a host of writers (I wonder if ‘host’ is the right collective noun for zombies?) and I’ve barely scratched the surface – and personally I’m pretty happy to announce the following 3 things: my poem man about town is featured, along with an article that I co-wrote with Graham Nunn The Death of Poetry in Australian Classrooms.

Lastly, I was lucky enough to be offered the role of ‘sabaki’ or leader by David Prater, for the new renku at Cordite, the Zombie Haikunaut Renga! If you like haiku and renga, please jump on over and submit, we’re open to all, and it’s going to be a really interesting, modern renku.

Here’s a link to some guidelines I set up, hope to see you there!

Zombie Renga Instructions

14 thoughts on “Cordite, Zombies Launch! New Renku

  1. Fantastic. I just commented on Graham’s blog so have a squiz at that (about the school stuff). What a great team you and Graham make regarding poetry in schools. You have credentials on both sides. Having a whole ezine about zombies is hilarious and I really like your poem. Zombies aren’t really my thing, I’m more a werewolf and vampire type gal! (but that’s a whole other story).

    • Thanks, Gabrielle! Graham is fantastic to work with, he pushed me and I reckon we compliment each other throughout. Loved working with him.

      Vampires used to be cool, huh? But then, they went all ‘teenage’ again!

  2. Same comment I made over at Cordite (who rejected my Zombie poem in which the humans win) – Brilliant article. It still stuns me that anyone (especially professional educators) think that you can teach language without teaching poetry. It’s not possible.

    • I agree! Thanks, Paul. It’s bizarre, isn’t it? But Graham and I have come across it a lot.

      I think the economic rationalism of current liberalist democracies (and this is me going way out on a limb with no evidence or backup whatsoever) has enforced business-speak as the standard for language, and thus other forms are relegated to the scrap heap.

      And thus, in many schools, the teaching of language reflects the language skills students need to operate in the outside world.

      (Actually, I’ve just done the same thing and copied the bulk of this post for cordite. Bless the copy button!)

  3. Ashley, your poem is fantastic! At first I thought maybe you had seen me at a party:) It is such a fun poem. All of the details are awesome, and it brightened up my day.

    I have been looking for some new ideas to excite teenagers about poetry. They love Ferlinghetti’s “Underwear.” Then I saw your poem and all of the others, and I’m definitely going to share the zombie poems with them, too. Thank you!

    I also love the article. The discussion you and Graham pose is right on, and even in a different country, I can relate. I think it’s a problem everywhere.

    It reminds me of how I used to get in trouble during language arts class. The teacher was so freaking boring. I made up parody poems about whatever it was we were studying. The rest of the class thought my poems were a riot. The teacher would yell at me for being a troublemaker. No wonder many kids grow up hating poetry. If she had one creative bone in her body, she could have used the parodies to get the class excited about what we were reading. I think she was a zombie:)

    Congratulations, Ash! It was a pleasure to read.

    • Thanks, Julie! Glad it gave you a small, had a terrific time writing it! I know ‘Underwear’ – wow, what an excellent one to use. I’m sorry I never thought of it now.

      And I’m really happy that you like the article too, and it’s disturbing to see the same problems exist elsewhere, but heartening to hear that people like you are trying to break those cycles!

      It sounds like she was very zombie-like. If I get a student willing to write and perform a parody poem I’d be through the roof with happiness!

  4. Hi Ashley!

    Relatedly, enjoying the way the Zombie Renga is shaping up. It’s building up quite a momentum — not to mention the suspense! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Ivy! Excellent! Having a great time looking after it, the contributors and keeping me thinking. It does feel like it’s building up to some sort of giant event, huh?

      Thanks too, for taking ‘Man About Town’ – you put together a ripper issue, I’ve only read a third and already, so many superb poems. And the humour! There’s so much there, it’s great

      • The feedback you’re receiving for your poem is well-deserved. πŸ™‚

        I’ve said this elsewhere but there were so many good poems to choose from and it was so difficult to go from almost 400 pieces to the 40 or so for this issue [some would’ve been so close]. But really, it’s all you poets and writers who do all the work and end up making me look good. The humour is simply icing. ;-D

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