The New Australian Poetry
Makar Press, 330 pp, $12.75 pb
The intention of this anthology is to sharpen our understanding of what was distinctive in the poetry of ‘the generation of ‘68’ (Tranter’s label).
Though he himself, as well as Robert Adamson, Michael Dransfield, and Tim Thorne, were publishing before 1968, and the ‘senior’ figures (Bruce Beaver, Ken Taylor) were certainly fully formed, the tag is useful. It raises more questions, but they are potentially fruitful ones: ‘What really happened in the decade preceding 1968?’, or ‘How much of the new movement’s innovations were fully laid down in the first three years, say by Charles Buckmaster’s death in 1972?’