It’s relatively easy to hear about the major books by the major poets coming out around the world; similarly, within Australia’s writing community, it’s easy enough to keep up with the newer names emerging. What we don’t often get to read about are the volumes published by independent presses internationally—especially those that focus on poetry. In addition to the essays and interviews on this site I want to offer a glimpse of some of the books appearing around the globe, especially work by poets in the early stages of their career and poetry in translation.
The Forest of Sure Things
by Megan Snyder-Camp
USD $16.95, 978-932195-88-0
The poet Megan Snyder-Camp opens her debut volume The Forest of Sure Things  with boisterous, sock-it-to-me apostrophe in the book’s prefatory poem “Sea Creatures of the Deep”: “O sockeye O rock sole O starry flounder.” This playfulness shows a poet willing to take delight in slightly absurd moves; similarly, the book’s second and final section is preceded by the poem “Church” in which a preacher tells his congregation that “Wile E. Coyote’s lifelong quest/ for the Road Runner was like us hungering for Jesus.” These poems, however, are at odds with the quieter and more opaque tone of the body of the book; nonetheless, both “Sea Creatures of the Deep” and “Church” play an important role in The Forest of Sure Things, creating a rapport with the reader that will carry their trust into the poems whose pleasures are not so immediate, but arguably more lasting. This debut collection takes the story of the first birth in a century in a small seaside village (followed by the couple’s second child arriving stillborn), and weaves through it Snyder-Camp’s impulse to take up elements of this story in a novel, as well as glimpses of her own marriage and entry to motherhood. Though these elements recur through the book, and it is roughly divided between the first section’s engagement with this external story and the second section’s more personal poems, the book doesn’t strictly present a narrative, instead creating a series of stills which allow the reader room to fill in the gaps in between.