Abstract:Bella Li’s writing engages in intertextual ways with philosophy, cartography and writing by other poets and from a diasporic perspective she also engages inventively with Australian literary tropes. Focusing on two poems from Li’s chapbook Maps, Cargo (2013), “Just Then” and “Drowning Dream,” I argue that these poems use intertextual references to enact a form of diasporic place-making through the creation of doubled places. Each of the poems references a poet from the United States of America, John Ashbery for “Just Then” and Anne Sexton for “Drowning Dream,” but each poem also complicates this reference via diasporic citational practices. In the poems this complication, and the act of place-making, is carried out through depictions of water. The doubled properties of water as depicted in these poems are able to offer transformation and reflection, something which allows the doubleness of diasporic place-making to emerge through the intertextuality of the poems. This artistic practice in turn adds a significant diasporic viewpoint to Australian literary criticism about place.

Keywords: diaspora, water, place-making, Asian-Australian, contemporary poetry

Copyright © Rosalind McFarlane 2018. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.