Watching the World

By Paul Hetherington and Jen Webb

Paperback: $12.50 + p&h

Watching the World presents a variety of engaging and stimulating photographic views of the quotidian and unexpected aspects of Canberra, while also including new perspectives on some of Canberra’s more recognisable vistas and landmarks. The poems complement the images, providing a shifting and reciprocal chemistry throughout the book—nothing less than a fascinating and eddying dialogue between word and image.

Release: July 2015
ISBN: 9780994250827
87 pp. pbk
Category: Poetry and Photography

"It won’t surprise anyone familiar with Canberra to hear that the majority of these poems have a pastoral element. But before looking at Hetherington’s language more closely, it’s important to acknowledge the role of Webb’s photographs. Rather than offering a single answer to each poem, they act more as counterpoints, suggesting multiple interpretations of Hetherington’s lines. Human subjects are very few, with Canberra’s planned and unplanned landscapes the dominant theme."
Alice Allan in Cordite Poetry Review (read full review)

"Now truly is a time to ‘watch the world’—surveil it even, ‘like a hundred hauntings’. Happily, Paul Hetherington and Jen Webb—in this luminous volume—are equable and responsible. At a protean time in Australian poetry, here is another most original artistic collaboration. Quotidianism in the authors’ hands is responsive, democratic and inspired."
Peter Rose

"Watching the world is a quietly subversive work that looks at Canberra from an insider’s point of view – with a lot of affection but a willingness to cast an acerbic or questioning eye at times too."
Whispering Gums (read full review)

Paul Hetherington has previously published eight full-length collections of poetry, three poetry chapbooks and a collaborative book of poetry and digital imagery with Anita Fitton. He won the 2014 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards (poetry) and was a finalist in the 2014 international Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition. He was also shortlisted for the 2013 Newcastle Poetry Prize and the 2013 Montreal International Poetry prize. In 2014 he was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Residency at the BR Whiting Studio in Rome. He is Professor of Writing in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra and head of the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) there.

Jen Webb is Distinguished Professor of Creative Practice at the University of Canberra and Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research. She has published 18 books, some creative, most of them scholarly, with several translated and republished for Chinese, Korean and Indian readerships. Her scholarly work for the most part deals with art, visual culture, and representation. She also makes and exhibits artist books, incorporating her photographs and fragments of creative writing, and has published and performed her poetry across Australia and New Zealand, and in Canada, the UK and the USA.