U.S. Reporting

by
February–March 1987, no. 88

U.S. Reporting

by
February–March 1987, no. 88

Contemporary Australian literature was among the less obscure topics discussed at the recent Modern Language Association convention held in New York. About 15,000 delegates came to the bazaar, some looking for jobs or friends, others attending a boggling array of literary discussions on bat fantasy in Dickens, the future of East European nature poetry and the shape of language in Thea Astley’s work. This last one was a fine lecture given by Robert Ross, tireless president of the American Association for Australian Literary Studies, which will hold its own conference in March at Penn State University. Marcia Allentuck gave a lively talk about Australian Yiddish literature – in particular Herz Bergner’s Light and Shadows, which portrayed the bitter angst of the immigrant almost thirty years before the current wave of immigrant writing.

A group of actors from Pirra Arts Centre near Geelong will tour California, Kansas and Minnesota later this year to present a program called ‘Australian Sounds and Images’. Organizer of the trip is playwright Keith Harrison, now at Carleton College in Minnesota. Harrison hopes the program will go beyond the image of Australia which is presented in Crocodile Dundee. Talking of which People magazine chose Paul Hogan as one of its people of the year. Among its other choices was Sarah Ferguson…

Richard Allen is a young Australian poet currently living in New York. He recently returned to Sydney for the launching of his book, The Way Out At Last & Other Poems (Hale and Iremonger), and now has a busy schedule of performances of his mixed-media  poetry/dance/video works in New York and around the country. Enthusiastic reviewers have praised Allen’s ‘bold physicality’ and Twyla Tharp-style post-modernism.

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