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Vivian Smith

Vivian Smith was a professor at the University of Sydney until his retirement in the early 2000s. His first poetry collection, The Other Meaning, was published in 1956. He has edited several poetry anthologies.

Vivian Smith reviews ‘The Collected Verse Of Mary Gilmore, Volume 1: 1887–1929’ edited by Jennifer Strauss

February 2006, no. 278 01 February 2006
Mary Gilmore is one of the most acclaimed figures in Australian writing. A cultural icon, she appears in important paintings and sculptures and on postage stamps, not to mention the ten-dollar note. Her biography has been published, her letters collected, and now the first volume of her complete poems, edited by Jennifer Strauss, has appeared in the prestigious Academy Editions of Australian Liter ... (read more)

Vivian Smith reviews ‘David Campbell: Hardening of the light: selected poems’ edited by Philip Mead

November 2006, no. 286 01 November 2006
David Campbell published a dozen volumes of poetry between 1949 and his death in 1979, as well as joint selections of Russian translations, collections of short stories and anthologies. Perhaps the purest lyricist of his time, he remained faithful to the few literary forms – the ballad, the song, the sonnet – that first engaged his attention, and never tried to force his range beyond its limit ... (read more)

'Train to Leura' by Vivian Smith

July–August 2008, no. 303 01 July 2008
The train to Leura early Sunday morningand our compartment full of total strangers,Russian-speaking hikers, boots and shorts,and four Americans, I’d say, late sixties,calling out the stations as they pass:‘Melbourne was more interesting than this’,‘The trees looked better across Portugal’,‘I want to see a kangaroo today’. ... (read more)

Vivian Smith reviews 'Authority and Influence: Australian literary criticism, 1950–2000' edited by Delys Bird, Robert Dixon and Christopher Lee

May 2001, no. 230 01 May 2001
The problems that have bedevilled Australian literary criticism and literary history over the last twenty years have been worldwide. Histories, even quite short ones, now have to be written polyphonically, by committees of dozens of contributors. It is taken for granted that no single person could cover the whole field and the variety of critical perspectives, movements, genres, institutions and i ... (read more)

Vivian Smith reviews 'The Heart of James McAuley' by Peter Coleman

April 2007, no. 290 01 April 2007
It is now thirty years since James McAuley died, and more has been written about him in that time than about any other Australian poet. Poets are not usually of great biographical importance unless they are also caught up in historical and political events, or are a kind of phenomenon like Byron or Rimbaud. McAuley was not a man of action, but he was associated with a number of events which were s ... (read more)