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Book of the Week

Stone Yard Devotional

Stone Yard Devotional by Charlotte Wood

'Arrive finally at about three.’ The opening sentence of Charlotte Wood’s seventh novel does a lot in five simple words, emblematic of her gift for compression. With the direct, truncated prose of a diary entry, we are suddenly on intimate terms with another mind, impatient to begin. The unnamed narrator is a woman alone, returning to the country town where she grew up and where her parents are buried. ‘Your bones are here, beneath my feet,’ she thinks, standing at their graves for the first time in thirty-five years. So begins her reckoning.




From the Archive

June 2011, no. 332

Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed edited by Ruth Pullin

This is the second major retrospective of the art of Eugene von Guérard (1811–1901). In 1980 he was seen as Nature-inspired, like the German Romantics and the Humboldtian visionaries Frederick Church and Thomas Moran (American painters of von Guérard’s own generation). This time, the viewpoint is science.

From the Archive

October 2007, no. 295

Necessity: Poems 1996–2006 edited by Barry Hill

Barry Hill’s latest collection is both delightful and substantive. Australia has a minority tradition of the urbane, exuberant, even bouncy poet – Andrew Sant, Peter Porter. It is a constant in American poetry – early John Hollander, Frederick Feirstein, L. E. Sissman, John Frederick Nims, X.J. Kennedy – with the difference that, as the above examples show, urbanity in the United States would be less romantic and would have rejected romanticism outright, severed, as it were, Ezra Pound’s famous pact with Walt Whitman.

From the Archive

December 1996–January 1997, no. 187

Chemical Bodies by Rhyll McMaster

There are two reasons for celebrating this chastely elegant slim volume. One is the arrival of a publisher prepared, when major firms are retreating from the field, to declare that poetry is central to a flourishing literary culture, and to match that declaration by commitment to a new series, Brandl & Schlesinger Poetry. The other is the appearance of a new and striking collection from that fine poet Rhyll McMaster.