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ABR Arts

Book of the Week

The Asking: New and Selected Poems

The Asking: New and Selected Poems by Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield writes a poem on the first day of each year. ‘Counting, New Year’s Morning, What Powers Yet Remain to Me’ is one of the new poems in The Asking, along with poems selected from nine collections published since 1982. It begins with a question the world asks (‘as it asks daily’): ‘And what can you make, can you do, to change my deep-broken, fractured?

From the Archive

June 2008, no. 302

The Australian Popular Songbook by Alan Wearne

Having spent two decades or more writing massive verse novels – The Nightmarkets (1986) and The Lovemakers (2001, 2004) – it may seem that Alan Wearne, with his latest book of poetry, The Australian Popular Songbook, has finally returned to smaller forms and, as suggested by the title, a more lyrical idiom. But, as always with Wearne’s work, things aren’t that simple. The smaller forms were already present in the verse novels in the form of sonnets, villanelles and other verse forms buried in the sprawling architecture of the works’ narratives. The ‘lyrical idiom’ of The Australian Popular Songbook is ambiguous at best, offset as it is by Wearne’s characteristic attraction to the dramatic monologue, satire, vernacular culture and wrenched syntax.

From the Archive

May 2006, no. 281

Margaret Robson Kett reviews children's non-fiction books

History has never been so much fun,’ says the blurb of one of the books reviewed below. Welcome to the twenty-first century. Work is fun. History is fun. Writing is fun. Writing history must therefore be really fun!

From the Archive

July–August 2010, no. 323

'Finding ourselves in Australian films' by Brian McFarlane

Why on earth should Australian filmmakers want to try replicating Hollywood? No one can do Hollywood as well as Hollywood can, and the attempts to emulate it have usually, perhaps inevitably, led to flavourless or otherwise misbegotten enterprises. I know that this is the era of international co-productions, and that where the money comes from is undoubtedly influential, but where the creative personnel come from is surely still more so. I want to argue for the cultural significance of the small-scale filmmaking that doesn’t depend on US funding and thereby isn’t subject to the sorts of compromise that such involvement may entail.