Bronwyn Lea reviews Collected Poems by Les Murray

Bronwyn Lea reviews Collected Poems by Les Murray

Sprawl, as defined in the classic Les Murray poem, is ‘the quality of the man who cut down his Rolls-Royce / into a farm utility truck’. Sprawl is also ‘doing your farming by aeroplane’ or ‘driving a hitchhiker that extra hundred miles home’. Murray says he learned the term from his father who used it […]

Australian Poetry Now

Australian Poetry Now

Once asked what poets can do for Australia, A.D. Hope replied: “They can justify its existence.” Such has been the charge of Australian poets, from Hope himself to Kenneth Slessor, Judith Wright to Les Murray, Anthony Lawrence to Judith Beveridge: to articulate the Australian experience so that it might live in the imagination of its […]

A gift adrift: what the loss of RN’s Poetica means to poets

A gift adrift: what the loss of RN’s Poetica means to poets

Australia’s long-running literary flagship program – Poetica on Radio National (RN) – is slated for axing in 2015. It’s one more casualty of the cuts to the ABC budget, announced last week. For the first time since 1946, ABC Radio will be without a dedicated poetry program. Barry Hill, a poet and radio critic for […]

Bronwyn Lea reviews The Doll’s House directed by Lally Katz

Bronwyn Lea reviews The Doll’s House directed by Lally Katz

When Jane Caro compared traditional marriage to prostitution on a recent episode of Q&A, she did not mean to conflate today’s stay-at-home mothers with sex workers. But that didn’t stop the loud handful who had missed (or ignored) the historical frame from airing their consternation at Caro’s perceived denigration of “housewives” as “whores”. Clearly those […]

Escape artist

Escape artist

Maria Takolander Reviews The Deep North: A Selection of Poems (with a note by Paul Kane) (New York: George Braziller, 2013) by Bronwyn Lea. This review appeared in Cordite.org.au
(20 December 2013).

Foreword: australian poetry journal 3.2 #concrete

In everyday scale, a letter of the alphabet is usually no bigger than a freckle or an iris, and a word is not much wider than a thumbnail. The tiny components of written language are rendered almost invisible to us in our race to extract all-important ‘meaning’. But in concrete poetry, language stands in our […]

Booker-Prize-winner Eleanor Catton and male critics aging badly

You could forgive a reader for thinking that journalists were writing about 16 year-old Lorde who topped the US charts last week with her song Royals, not a 28-year-old writer who already has an award-winning book under her belt, as well as a degree in English from the University of Canterbury, a Masters from Victoria […]

Foreword: australian poetry journal 3.1 #animal

Foreword: australian poetry journal 3.1 #animal

Humans may prefer to distinguish themselves from all other multiccellular, eukaryotic organisms but ‘humans’ live only in the philosopher’s imagination. In the minds of biologists we are Homo sapiens of Kingdom Animalia. Questions of nomenclature notwithstanding, the human relationship to animals is under the microscope in the #animal issue of Australian Poetry Journal. In addition to the myriad roles animals […]

Pleasures of aporia: Paul Hetherington’s Six Different Windows

Pleasures of aporia: Paul Hetherington’s Six Different Windows

Seen through one window, Paul Hetherington’s Six Different Windows appears to be a collection of poems concerned with the death of art. Such a theme is perhaps not surprising given that Hetherington, in addition to his seven books of poems, edited three volumes of Donald Friend’s diaries for the National Library of Australia, the last […]

Floodtide in the heart: vale Seamus Heaney

The world of letters is in shock to learn that Seamus Heaney, Ireland’s best-loved poet, died on Friday at age 74. “The death has taken place of Seamus Heaney,” publisher Faber and Faber said on behalf of the family. “The poet and Nobel Laureate died in hospital in Dublin this morning after a short illness.” […]