Deakin University

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posted on 2022-12-14, 01:00 authored by Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton, Alyson MillerAlyson Miller, P Day
An illustrated collection of prose poetry that examines the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, and the ways in which its memorialisation overlapped with celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.



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Research statement

Background Since the dropping of the atomic bomb, Hiroshima has been completely rebuilt. Aside from a few remaining monuments, visitors to the city find no real trace of the horrors which occurred. But it is impossible to think of the city & not consider its devastating past. On the 70th anniversary, confronting images of an unreal landscape dominated the media, bizarrely often overlapping with celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The authors of Pika-don drew parallel conclusions: trying to understand the destruction of Hiroshima was akin to going through the looking glass into an unfamiliar & violent world. Contribution Pika-don is a unique collaborative project, an illustrated book of prose poetry that displaces Carroll’s Alice from Wonderland to Hiroshima. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with the 70th anniversary of the bomb, which coincided in 2015. Iglesias argues prose poems offer a transgressive space open to conflicting expressions of ‘grief and mischief, terror and outrage’. The prose poems here demonstrate the abject ruptures & trauma of atomic warfare &, as hybrid experimentations, mirror the complex shifts in Japanese poetry after the A-bomb, particularly in moving away from more traditional forms. Significance Pika-don was funded by a Victoria Arts grant, published by Mountains Brown Press – an emerging leader of small press poetry in Aust. and worldwide, & illustrated by highly respected artist, Phil Day. Poems from the collection appeared in noteworthy journals such as Westerly, Softblow, & Otoliths, while the book led to contracts for other national and transnational pubs. Significance is also shown by critical publications emerging from the research, including articles in Axon, arcadia, and TEXT. Further, research for Pika-don informed a co-edited collection, The Unfinished Atomic Bomb: Shadows and Reflections, published by Lexington.

Publication classification

JO3 Original Creative Works – Textual Work


NTRO Major

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