Anna Couani is a Sydney writer and visual artist who runs The Shop Gallery in Glebe. Her recent publications of poetry (7 books in all) are Thinking Process, Owl Press 2017 and Small Wonders, Flying Islands Press 2012. She co-produced The Harbour Breathes with photomonteur Peter Lyssiotis. She was involved in the small press with Magic Sam magazine and Sea Cruise Books with Ken Bolton, Red Spark (with Kit Kelen & Mark Roberts) and co-edited various anthologies – Island in the Sun 1 & 2, No Regrets, Hidden Hands and To End all Wars. She edited a chapbook for Cordite called Falling Angels.
She was in the No Regrets Women Writers Workshop for 12 years and was an officer of NSW Poets Union for 10 years, organising readings at New Partz in Newtown, The Performance Space and other venues. She spent her working life teaching art and ESL in secondary schools, mostly in Intensive English Centres where she produced booklets of student writing and visual art and conducted collaborative script writing for plays written and performed by her students.
She has shown her artwork in various group shows at The Shop Gallery with The Pine Street Printmakers.
Flying Islands Pocket Poet Publications
translations and ink drawings by Debby Sou Vai Keng
In National Library of Australia
Some time ago I was staring through a microscope at a sample of seawater from the Great Barrier Reef. Affixed to the slide, long thin active strands of streaming protoplasm explored this barren and flattened landscape, groping for detritus, microscopic signposts. This new landscape is foreign, less than a millimeter deep and blasted from beneath by a white light as hot as a drowned sun. Tracking the strands, I found their origin, an individual amoeba reaching out from inside an elaborately sculpted shell, hundreds of body-lengths away from the tips of these exploratory strands, called poetically pseudopodia or ‘false feet’. The maligned outsider scientist Sheldrake argues that ‘the sense of being stared at’ is real, and the extended mind behaves like pseudopodia. Not only does light enter our eyes or other senses, but the mind reaches out through them, touching that which is distant, drawing together those objects, people, landscapes, even memories it has explored, generating a vast synthesis, a view of the world that centers on a unique space-time address and connects web-like to all it has touched.
The poems in this book are like that. From the centre of a web of extended mind the poems reach out, like protoplasmic strands, across time and space, touching simultaneously the near and the far, Kochi in India, the arms stretched towards Turkey, between lovers-to-be who stare out at the same eye level from different Sydney buildings, protoplasmic strands delicately touching the past, the personal, familial, political, macroscopic or microscopic, probing the relationship between surfaces, the interior, the exterior, the individual and the collective, between whole cities and the minutia of urban landscapes, extending between cultures, lovers, philosophies, art movements.
Review – Virginia Shepherd Rochford Street Review rochfordstreetreview.com
local concerns itself with the local environment of Glebe, an inner city suburb of Sydney and with other areas of the inner city. Some of the poems were written as part of 366 Poetry Project. It traces the author’s family history and connections to the inner city and also addresses issues of colonisation and the dispossession of indigenous people in Sydney. The book contains 13 artworks by the author.