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Julie Ducournau Raw 2016 (RTV)

See the work from wherever you’re situated, so why not read these sisters as eating the patriarchy, baring teeth to the cult of stolen flesh. Vindication, cold despair, waxing fingers nibbled to the bone and a two-finger (what a waste) hairball choke.

Melbourne Chicken Save 2016 Rally (Bourke Street Mall)

Some give two hours, I give less, yet there despite scaredy-cat excuses. Walking past is hard but people manage. A mum and two little ones duck-run, a manboy chicken-walks. One brochure taken for thirty-plus refusals. It’s hard. To receive is to change.  

Claire-Louise Bennett 2015 Pond (Picador)

Nails, like me/us, sullied with scrabbling from those ‘dank and wretched’ (17) ditches that life creates. The expressiveness of jam stains, soaring shifts in syntax. I am the protagonist’s friend, I  put my loving hand on this book, declare myself ‘ensorcelled’ (151).

Dinesh Wadiwel 2015 The War Against Animals (Brill)

Political grace, comprehensively argued, to the songbook of Derrida, Foucault and Girard. Harmony with Adams, descant with Haraway. Depicts nonhuman resistance in prose that weeps. Inspired call for a move beyond sacrificial eating. A day of truce from killability, following Andrea Dworkin. Pecking (new) order

CCDisco 2017 Club Coco by Day (Evelyn Rooftop)

Dancing in Melbourne sunshine like eating dark chocolate the moment I wake up. Strong sweet luscious love. Much depth in the groove, all of us digging in hard for the dance. Only CCDisco could get my arms up to the Bee Gees.

Joy Williams 2016 Ninety-Nine Stories of God (Tin House Books)

99 titles a poem. 99 short furious flashes of fiction. Truths. 49. “One should not define God in human language” but rather descend “ever deeper into the darkness of unknowing.” Then 73’s divine that stays away from the lonely world of humans.

Stavrina Dimitriou, George Malliaros, Achilles Yiangoulli, Dean Georgalas, Con Kalamaras, Ilias Gilos 2017 Stelios Kazantzidis – A Live Tribute (Caravan Club)

Men of love throw their heads back and sing of bitter lips, white shirts. Sweeping selection of 1,500 songs recorded by Kazantzidis, some from long before his time. After his time, here we are. Octogenarian up on a table, clicking, swaying with song.

Close the Slaughterhouses 2017 (Streets of Melbourne)

Compassion 101 under the guidance of activists who speak of love, respect, creativity, nonviolence. Patty Marks from ALV reminds us the killpit has a glass ceiling now (click) and James Aspey sits us down, allows us, animals that we are, to rest.

Jo Anne McArthur 2017 We Animals (University of Melbourne)

Emotional address contextualises the work of animal advocates. ‘Solutionaries.’ She thanks those who do not turn away, asking we animals to ‘confront our own complicity’. Finishes with inspiration. Take actions that resonate with what you love most, to give your advocacy longevity.

Garth Davis 2016 Lion (Nova)

A film that makes me hug my spawn tight. One mother loses a son, seeks a son, shares a son. Another mother seeks a son, gains a son, shares a son. And the son himself finds himself. A loan askew (The Prophet).