Les Murray describes his poetry as ‘a celebration of life; a contemplation of life in ways that interest and delight people and make them reflective’. Poetry, he says, is ‘primarily not to be studied, it is to be read’. Few people could disagree with Murray that the most desirable response to poetry is for it to be read out of love rather than out of a sense of obligation. But inspiring t ... (read more)
Fiona Capp trained as a journalist before working as a freelance writer and university tutor in English, journalism, and novel writing. She is the author of three works of non-fiction including the award-winning memoir That Oceanic Feeling, and three novels. Her most recent book, My Blood's Country (2010), explores the landscapes which inspired Australian poet Judith Wright.
June 1998, no. 201 • 01 June 1998
For the eighteen months or so that I taught novel writing a few years back, I was haunted by a remark of Somerset Maugham’s: ‘There are three rules for writing a novel, unfortunately nobody knows what they are.’ In his teasing way, Maugham is suggesting that while the novel has a recognisable form, it cannot – for a multitude of reasons – be reduced to a formula. What escapes definition ... (read more)