Knox Street Bar

21 Shepherd Street, Chippendale
Saturday 13 July
6:00pm for 6:30pm

Some food platters and drinks will be provided.

Come along for a night of performance, prophecy, and vanguardist deviltry. 

You are warmly invited to the launch of three new poetry books from Vagabond Press:


Toby Fitch’s Where Only the Sky had Hung Before

a.j. carruthers’ AXIS Book 2

Jessica L. Wilkinson’s Music Made Visible: A Biography of George Balanchine


Launched by Pam Brown
with readings from the poets and ensemble performances.

Where Only the Sky had Hung Before disassembles and reassembles language found in the textual wastelands of the internet and the literary canon. Across many spectrums, from slippery lists of factoids to indices of figurative language, from a pantoum of #staywoke tweets to deep cuts and collage treatments of The Waste Land, The Argonauts, and The Left Hand of Darkness, these poems mobilise tensions and continuities between form and fluidity, gender and genre, literature and spam, childhood and adulthood, the virtual and the real.

Toby Fitch is the author of four poetry collections: Rawshock (Puncher & Wattmann 2012), which co-won the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry; Jerilderies (Vagabond 2014); The Bloomin’ Notions of Other & Beau (Vagabond 2016); and ILL LIT POP (Flying Islands 2018). He is a lecturer in creative writing at USYD and poetry editor of Overland.


The facts: AXIS Book 2 follows from AXIS Book 1: Areal as the second installment of my lifelong long poem. Written mostly on an ACER Aspire S 13 computer between 2015 and 2019, Book 2 is made of 3 microbooks – Blazar, Chorastics, Disk – & comprises 30 poems in total. Blazars; black hole objects with jet axes pointing towards earth. Chorastics; a chorus, a human cluster. Disk; the shape of some galaxies but also a compact storage device. Each microbook; equal number of lines for each register. Blazar in 3 registers (258 lines), Chorastics in 4 (680 lines), Disk in 5 (360). Ends with music. ‘AXIS forges an architecture of meaning, pattern and sound that functions like the mind of the poet in process. Brilliant, rigorous and enigmatic.’ ―Rochelle Owens

a.j. carruthers is an Australian-born experimental poet and critic living in Shanghai, where he teaches Australian literature and poetics at SUIBE.


Music Made Visible is a poetic biography on the life and works of George Balanchine, one of the most influential choreographers of the twentieth century. Jessica L. Wilkinson explores the possibilities and imaginative leaps that poetry can offer to the writing of a life. Her poetic series of Balanchine ‘ballets’ unfold from his early life as a student at the Imperial Ballet School in St. Petersburg, through his engagement at Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, to his later co-founding and development of the New York City Ballet. Wilkinson’s poems are attuned to the ephemeral qualities of music and movement that were so vital to her subject’s life.

Jessica L. Wilkinson is the author of marionette: a biography of miss marion davies (2012) and Suite for Percy Grainger: a biography (2014), both published by Vagabond Press. She co-edited Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter Publishers, 2016) and is the founding editor of Rabbit: a journal for nonfiction poetry. She teaches in the Creative Writing program at RMIT University, Melbourne.