Posted on

Bonfire of the Vanity Presses

My article on self-publishing, entitled “Bonfire of the Vanity Presses” has been published in the latest issue of the Weekend Australian. Unlike the review of my book We Will Disappear, which was published last weekend, this one is available online and you can read the whole thing, in all its ragged glory, here.

As is often the case, I now find myself unable to read the article itself, mainly due to the fact that I wrote it at least six months ago and I’m no longer sure what I was thinking about back then. In addition, the argument I make, which was at the time central to my PhD thesis, has now been superseded. Or maybe I’m just trying to have a bet both ways.

Nevertheless, as it’s an article written as part of the Weekend Oz’s “Forum” (aka “What Cheeses Me Off”), I suppose one should read it as an attempt to be provocative, and to generate discussion. Which is a shame, as there’s no opportunity for others to do so via the News Limited website.

I did notice, however, that the’ve installed a neat little set of buttons whereby “you can use the Social Web links to save Bonfire of the vanity presses to a social bookmarking site”. So, here’s hoping somebody does.

Your comments are of course welcome here, as ever.

Posted on

We Will Disappear reviewed in the Weekend Oztraylian!

My debut poetry collection We Will Disappear has been reviewed in the Weekend Australian, alongside Event, the debut collection from Judith Bishop. The review, by Justin Clemens, was positive about both books, so I’m thrilled! Here’s a snippet:

If Bishop favours the high aesthetic road, Prater — editor of the online journal Cordite Poetry Review — prefers the mass-media superhighway. We Will Disappear pops and buzzes with references to drugs (Dexedrine, grass and cigarettes), military hardware (atom bombs, Semtex, F-15s and Minutemen) and virulent diseases (SARS), not to mention communications technologies, both current and defunct (satellites, radio, daguerreotypes and computer coding). Relentlessly racy, Prater hits hard and fast in his attempts to keep up with the wrenching juggernaut of our times.

Justin Clemens

Woot!

I’ve just checked out Judith’s website and while I think it’s fair to say we’re very different poets, it’s nice to see a review of two books by people born in 1972 in Australia’s only national newspaper! Oh, and in the Year of the Rat, too!

I just wish the Oztraylian would post the review on their website, so that I could link to it. Personally, I had to go through Swinburne’s library homepage to get to it. In any case, I assume a copy of the full review will be available on the papertiger media website in due course.

UPDATE: One other double-plug I forgot to mention before comes from the avant-garde online poetry journal foam:e. In its latest issue, guest editor Louise Waller notes:

Unfortunately foam:e received more books than it is possible to review this issue, but I would like to suggest David Prater’s We Will Disappear published by soi 3 modern poets, and Sue Stanford’s Opal, published by Flat Chat Press are well worth a read.

Thanks Louise! And I can heartily recommend foam:e to all good poets!