RABBIT 22 – Jazz (within Australia)

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It seems that ‘jazz’ as a theme has struck a chord with the poetry community—Rabbit received an astonishing number of poems for this issue from poets from all over the globe, making the selection process particularly difficult but also exciting. The poems featured in Rabbit 22 are diversely ‘jazzy,’ taking cues from loved musicians or favoured instruments; playing jazz rhythms across lines; tapping out a path through cities or love or everyday life. A couple of the poems evoke the (supposed) etymological origins of ‘jazz’ in ‘jasm’—its signification of energy, vigour, ‘pep’—through quick-paced, sporty tackles and games.

Energy, vigour and pep are evident in the issue’s broader content, from Benjamin Laird’s interview with the extraordinary U.S. poet and activist Mark Nowak to the enthusiasm of each reviewer’s eye for their books of choice; from Hazel Smith’s essay on computational text generation and its relation to jazz improvisation to John Kinsella’s essay on football teams and Hölderlin. Also featured in Rabbit 22 are images by Melbourne-based poet and artist Leah Muddle, whose colourful, unusually moving collages were produced while listening to jazz, taking cues in particular from Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra. Perhaps you might listen to some jazz as you read this issue!