Nicholas Birns

Nicholas Birns is Editor of Antipodes and co-editor of Companion to Australian Literature Since 1900 (2007).

Nicholas Birns reviews 'Helen of Troy and Other Poems' by Dimitris Tsaloumas

July–August 2007, no. 293 01 July 2007
Nicholas Birns reviews 'Helen of Troy and Other Poems' by Dimitris Tsaloumas
Dimitris Tsaloumas is often thought of as a poet writing between two languages. In his English poetry, this emerges in the way that the everyday diction of Greek often functions as the learned register of English. ‘Nostalgia’, as a compound word, is a modern Western coining, but when Tsaloumas opens the volume with ‘Nostalgia: A Diptych’, he evokes the Greek components of the word, particu ... (read more)

Nicholas Birns reviews 'Necessity: Poems 1996–2006' by Barry Hill

October 2007, no. 295 01 October 2007
Nicholas Birns reviews 'Necessity: Poems 1996–2006' 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 wo ... (read more)

'Antipodes and the dark hemisphere: Beyond the bilateral?' by Nicholas Birns

April 2010, no 320 01 April 2010
Antipodes: A North American Journal of Australian Literature was founded in 1987 as the journal of the American Association of Australian Literary Studies, itself founded the previous year. Both institutions are products of the Hawke era, when the still-simmering question of Australian identity and the Australian film boom of the early 1980s created an ideal state for Australians to be interested ... (read more)

Nicholas Birns reviews 'Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful' by John Kinsella

June 2008, no. 302 01 June 2008
Nicholas Birns reviews 'Shades of the Sublime and the Beautiful' by John Kinsella
Another poet might invoke Edmund Burke’s famous treatise on the Sublime and the Beautiful as a piece of phraseology or a pleasing adornment, but with John Kinsella, such a title is dead serious. Elliot Perlman’s superb novel Seven Types of Ambiguity (2003) ingeniously makes the reader think of William Empson’s, and the idea of plural signification it evokes, but not instantly to reread it. K ... (read more)