John Mateer

John Mateer was born in Johannesburg, and is based in Perth, Australia, but travels frequently. He has published books in Australia, the UK, Austria and Portugal, and smaller publications elsewhere, including Sumatra and Macau. His latest books are The West: Australian Poems 1989-2009, Emptiness: Asian Poems 1998-2012 and Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’. Forthcoming are a selection of his Australian poems in German, The Scar-tree, and a Portuguese version of Unbelievers. His only work of fiction, The Quiet Slave: a HistoryRead more

emptiness – guest post by John Mateer

“In Buddhist and Taoist philosophy emptiness is a key concept, yet in English it becomes either something banal, ’empty of meaning’, or something haunting, frightening, bleak – almost as echoic and disturbing as the notion of death. But its more usual, shallower impression in English reminds me that language itself might give the impression of being shallow and slight even as it conveys concepts that can shape one’s world.” From OED: empty, From Old English, meaning ‘at leisure, not occupied; unmarried’,Read more