Pornography, Poetry, Censorship & Identity in Kevin Rudd's Australia
When published in the pages of a prestigious Australian literary periodical in the early C21st, two erotic poems created a literary scandal. They were denounced as "pornography" tantamount to a human rights violation and their author was labelled a "pornographer" and accused of witchcraft. It was the first time since the 1950s case of Rosaleen Norton and Gavin Greenless that a poet was accused of witchcraft.
To denigrate the author pursuant to threats of physical violence, he was given the derogatory nickname "The Porno Poet" and his live readings were censored from South Australia's prestigious Friendly Street Poets. His increasingly sexually explicit and politically contentious work was accused of transgressing the form of poetry: but that was its intent all along.
"I have heard him read and I do think it is confronting and I can see why we are getting calls of complaint, because in my view it crosses the line and it’s not poetry either."
"Pornography in poetry’s clothing is still pornography." (Peter Eason)
"...A little Death in Pornotopia" is offensive to Christians and those who see the sex act as a sacred rite between two committed individuals. In its juxtaposition of orgiastic ritual and prayer, its assertion that ... I once was blind but now I see - comparing ejaculation to death and peace, it refers to ejaculation as magical and holds up pornography as the ultimate good. This is outright witchcraft." (Karla Tanti)