Owen Bullock

Owen Bullock
University of Canberra · Faculty of Arts & Design

PhD

About

61
Publications
9,842
Reads
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31
Citations
Introduction
Owen Bullock's research interests are writing and trauma; poetry and process; semiotics and poetry; prose poetry; collaborative poetry; and haikai literature. His scholarly writing has appeared in Antipodes, Axon, Journal of New Zealand Literature, Ka Mate Ka Ora, New Writing, Qualitative Inquiry, TEXT and Westerly. He has published three collections of poetry, five books of haiku, a novella and a collection of tanka. www.Poetry-in-Process.com.

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
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This article introduces the term‚ Tanka intrigue, for examples of tanka that accentuate an element of mystery. Tanka intrigue accommodates the Japanese aesthetic of yūgen, described below, which is its nearest existing term. Not all tanka possess this quality – perhaps five per cent – but those that do so are notable for their suggestive powers. Ta...
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Haiku are grounded in the appreciation of nature and specific experiences. They lend themselves to being workshopped and to initiating, more broadly, editing strategies that may also be useful in other contexts. This essay, about an immersive teaching practice, focusses on the qualities of haiku for maximum engagement in a short period of time. The...
Article
We present here an account of the way we employ the reading of poetry in engaging participants of an intensive four-week creative arts programme known as ARRTS (Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills) for wounded, ill or injured serving military personnel people with injury or illness, to prepare and assist them in writing their own sto...
Article
This paper reports on the use of four poetry writing exercises in the Creative Writing stream of the four-week intensive residential programme, Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS), with Australian Defence Force participants diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety disorders. The programme is hosted twic...
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Three poet-researchers conduct three different readings of Tishani Doshi’s poem A Fable for the 21st Century. We ask how as creative practitioners and critics we can negotiate the desire for mastery of a text, and the dangers a semiotic reading presents, allowing for difference, indecision, and complexity. We present our initial readings of the poe...
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This paper reports on a residential creative-arts program for wounded, injured and ill Australian Defence Force personnel. The program aims to assist in recovery, build resilience, and help participants forge an identity beyond their ill or injured status, to assist with either reintegration into the military or transition into civilian life. The p...
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This hybrid critical/creative essay discusses the vocation of being a poet and the attendant problems of earning a living. It describes the lure and attraction of writing poetry, employment history, barriers to the academic world and an eventual, fruitful encounter with it, as well as ideas associated with creativity and play. The original poems in...
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Hello poets and readers, In our recent podcast with poet Merlinda Bobis, she notes that consciousness of process comes about after the fact. While writing, she is too busy leaping from one thought to another to allow for this kind of reflection. Something captures her and makes a poem possible. She describes the initial impetus as an accident-her b...
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Christian acknowledges that his ten rules discussed in the podcast build on centuries of knowledge about writing, and he notes the particular contribution of Ezra Pound to this kind of schematic for poetry. Christian's rules are concise, illuminating and full of great examples, some of them from his own students. It's best not to take the word 'rul...
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Hello poets and readers, In our recent podcast with experimental poet Christian Bök, I spoke with a poet who has a truly scientific approach to poetry, who 'conducts experiments through language.' He accepts that some experiments won't work, but is commi ed to seeing them through, even if they represent decades of work through complex processes. Hi...
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Hello poets and readers, How does one become a poet? This perennial and intriguing question is in part answered by recent research in Australia. Interviewing 76 poets, Jen Webb, Paul Magee, Kevin Brophy and Michael Biggs isolated key factors which help to foster excellence in poetry. Although my research here emphasises process rather than end resu...
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The original poetry in this hybrid critical/creative paper seeks to find acts of making that are equivalent or complementary to those of other art forms and to construct poems which respond not just in their content but in their structures, leading to a radical € ekphrasis. € It argues that this strategy makes for invigorated writing. € The topic o...
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This critical/creative work responds to a call from Krauth and Watkins for a more radical form of the scholarly paper. Its hybrid form presents poems written in response to events at the second Poetry on the Move festival at the University of Canberra in 2016. Key ideas about the intersections between poetry and knowledge from David McCooey and Wil...
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Hello poets and readers, In our recent podcast, Australian poet Melinda Smith gave us a wonderful variety of insights into the processes that make up her writing practice. Can we learn from poets such as Melinda and adapt ways to update or invigorate our own writing? Melinda talks about having to be in a semi dream-like state when pu ing pen to pap...
Experiment Findings
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Chapter
The success of books such as Charles Simic’s The World Doesn’t End: Prose Poems (1989) seem to have helped establish the genre of prose poetry, but acceptance seems to have taken longer in the UK. Only recently have UK interviewers, editors, critics and judges embraced the concept of the prose poem. At the same time, readers and poets may talk abou...
Experiment Findings
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This experimental haibun juxtaposes urban, beach and rural settings in rapid structural movements.
Conference Paper
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This hybrid paper of creative and critical writing reflects on my explorations of poetry. I write in what I call ‘response mode’, which is a group of behaviours, beginning with impersonation, and also open to understandings gained from other art forms. After studying the style and techniques of other poets, I move towards a mid-point between anothe...
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Characteristics of the prose poem emphasised by Stephen Fredman include a focus on language for its own sake, openness and the employment of the long poem. These facets are strongly present in Alan Loney’s prose poem sequences ‘The erasure tapes’ (1994) and ‘Gifts’ (2005). The paper argues that these concepts are intimately connected. It evaluates...
Experiment Findings
The influence of music.
Experiment Findings
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The experience of music and inspiration.
Experiment Findings
The social ambiance of music.
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Imagined music in the prose poetry form.
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This long form haibun celebrates place, including the bush, a sense of retreat, and the experience of inhabiting someone else's living space to write within.
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This practice-led paper discusses an ongoing creative and conceptual collaboration between three authors, in which poetry is approached as a means of exploring how lived experience and language are being transformed by the rapid evolution of digital devices and technologies. We reflect on our use of poetry to explore and interrupt the increasing in...
Experiment Findings
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Research
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A bibliography of publications relating to creative arts therapies and combat-related PTSD.
Thesis
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This PhD by exegesis and creative project examines the poetry of three contemporary New Zealand poets: Alistair Paterson, Alan Loney and Michele Leggott in the context of the relational axes, comprising syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations. It addresses the question of what the relational axes can tell us about poetry which can then be used in pr...
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The line is arguably the most defining feature of poetic structure. Discussions of prosody are prone to the limitations of convention, though the poet may strive for more freedom in the line. This paper begins by noting an example of a radical use of page space from Mallarmé and goes on to describe recent innovations and experiments with line break...
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The poem has the capacity to represent moments and transitions in time, creating a time experience for the reader or listener. Just as our perspective on past and/or future events may change, the poem can accompany us through those changes, as well as seeming to halt or distort time. Our paper is a hybrid of theory and creative practice. We discuss...
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This article shares an experimental poem created by three poet-researchers using an online word processor to collaborate within a single document. We attempt to blur the line between creative and academic writing, focusing on the possibilities for writing as a method of inquiry and the opportunities for different perceptions of being that it sugges...
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The collaborative writing of free verse poetry is a rare endeavour in any country but perhaps particularly so in New Zealand. The field of haikai literature, however, offers frequent examples of collaboration, through various forms of renga, and its influence on poets who collaborate has been significant. Following the example of Octavio Paz, this...
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The paper will consider syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations in the poetry of Michele Leggott. The syntagm is a sequential lexical unit, including anything from a compound noun to a line or stanza; it is seen as occupying a horizontal axis, and concerned with the positioning of words. The paradigmatic is a vertical axis and concerns possible subs...
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Evening in the Plaza, Jeffrey Woodward, Detroit: Tournesol, 2013, 94pp. Reviewed by Owen Bullock I read the collection on a wet and windy day overlooking an estuary; its profound silence and emptiness was the perfect backdrop for an appreciation of this masterly collection of haibun and haiku. I later read it in the throes of travelling and after a...
Article
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This paper considers poetic practice which emphasises an intuitive approach, through the poetry of Sylvia Plath, poetics and assemblage theory. Poets tend to write intuitively, attempting to say, despite the limitations of our use of language and of language in general, what we barely understand about life and ourselves. This is sometimes achieved...
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Resonator: Unearthing Poetry Research Statement: The poems in Resonator are a selection from the creative project of my PhD, 'Understanding Poetry – How semiotic concepts can help reader and practitioner'. The poems respond to my research into syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations; ideas from Derrida, Barthes and Kristeva on the situating of poeti...
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On Contemporary Haibun 13 Contemporary Haibun 13, ed. Jim Kacian, Bruce Ross and Ken Jones. Red Moon Press, ISBN: 978-1-936848-11-9; 106pp, US$17.00. I recently heard Jim Kacian speak at the Haiku Aotearoa Festival in which he made the penetrating comment that much of what is published in the haiku world is based on recognition of the familiar. It...
Experiment Findings
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This piece of tanka prose - a variation on haibun which employs tanka instead of haiku for the poetic element - narrates the experience of a Bob Dylan concert.
Experiment Findings
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This haibun describes the details of estuary life near the Bowentown Head, Waihi Beach, Aotearoa /New Zealand.
Experiment Findings
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This haibun describes scenes in Rotorua, Aotearoa /New Zealand, especially beside the lake itself. The haibun was the subject of a lengthy discussion by poet Cynthia Roew in the subsequent issue of the journal in which it appeared: Haibun Today, http://haibuntoday.com/ht61/R_Rowe_Bullock_Rotorua.html
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This elegant book is designed and produced by Giselle Maya, with brushwork illustrations by Isabelle Bastiche. Haibun and tanka prose by five poets is printed on handmade A4 paper inside a generous and thick paper cover, torn edges intact, and bound with linen thread. When I received this collection I found myself handling it with a sense of revere...
Experiment Findings
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This haibun celebrates ancient lineages as it describes a walk between St Ives and Zennor in Cornwall.
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The experience of improvised music.
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This experimental long form haibun begins as a piece of urban writing which morphs into an ekphrastic work as it takes in exhibitions at the Auckland City Gallery.
Article
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Thesis
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This thesis analyses the poetry contained in anthologies published between the 1940s and 1980s in New Zealand and that of some later anthologies that retrospectively covered the same period. I wanted to find out what subject matter preoccupied poets during these times, to monitor changes in the content of that poetry and to observe what techniques...

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Projects

Projects (9)
Project
To test the efficacy of creative arts interventions to support wellbeing, in particular expressive writing. This includes my participation as a Creative Writing Mentor in the Arts for Recovery Resilience Teamwork and Skills, a 4-week intensive program with members of the Australian Defence Force diagnosed with PTSD or anxiety disorders (2016-2020).
Project
To investigate through theory and practice the possibilities of this hybrid form which juxtaposes terse prose with haiku. Though this genre is closley related to the prose poem, its hybridity makes it an even more malleable vehicle, both in its traditional manifestations (often related to travel writing - Basho's first great works in this genre were travel sketches) and as a model for other contemporary hybrid forms. This project includes a number of reviews of haibun collections and anthologies, as well as examples of the variation of tanka prose.
Project
To investigate through theory and practice the possibilities of this short lyrical form in English originals and in translations.