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Philip Mead

Philip Mead

Philip Mead was born in Brisbane in 1953. From 1987 to 1994 he was Lockie Fellow in Creative Writing and Australian Literature in the English Department, University of Melbourne, and from 1995 to 2009, Senior Lecturer, then Associate Professor in English, at the University of Tasmania. Since 2009 Philip has been Winthrop Professor and inaugural Chair of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia, and Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science. In 2009-2010 Philip was Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack Visiting Chair of Interdisciplinary Australian Studies, at the Free University, Berlin.

From 1987 to 1994 Philip was Poetry Editor of Meanjin Quarterly magazine. He reviews poetry for various magazines and newspapers and edited, with John Tranter, the Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry (1992). This River is in the South (1984) was published by University of Queensland Press. His edited collection of essays, Kenneth Slessor – Critical Readings appeared with University of Queensland Press in 1997. He has also edited selections of poetry by Frank Wilmot, Selected Poetry and Prose (Melbourne University Press, 1997) and David Campbell, Hardening of the Light (Ginnenderra, 2007). He has been co-editor of JASAL (Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature) and is on the editorial advisory boards of Australian Literary Studies and the Cultural Studies Review.

In 2009 his book Networked Language: History & Culture in Australian Poetry (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2009) was shortlisted for the Association for Australian Literature’s Walter McRae Russell Award, and in 2010 it won the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Literary Scholarship.

Philip’s current research projects include Anglophone poetics, a transnational study of the commemoration of Shakespeare in Sydney and London, and the literature of mining.

His most recent poetry collection is Zanzibar Light (Vagabond Press, 2018).

Philip Mead reviews ‘Fragments From a Paper Witch’ by Marion May Campbell

April 2009, no. 310 01 April 2009
The last thing Marion May Campbell is, is laid back. From the beginning she has been a writer high on etymology, delirious with the possibilities of form and narrative, peculiarly subject to what Genet described as the ‘horizontal vertigo’ of writing. In her novels Lines of Flight (1985), Not Being Miriam (1988), Prowler (1999) and the most recent, Shadow Thief (2006), she has displayed a cons ... (read more)

Philip Mead reviews 'Barron Field in New South Wales: The poetics of Terra Nullius' by Thomas H. Ford and Justin Clemens

July 2023, no. 455 27 June 2023
Literary study tends to be characterised by bipolar episodes, swinging between enjoyment and judgement. There is reading for pleasure and learning to be critical, or making up your mind about how good, bad, or indifferent a literary work is. This way of thinking about literature still pervades all levels of the cultural and social scenes where readers talk to one another. We discuss with our frien ... (read more)

Déjà Rêvé, a new poem by Philip Mead

April 2023, no. 452 27 March 2023
This is not your life said the sushi train, but this is what happened, illusion and voyaging, all of it episodic-like, muted, a dantological trajectory,   advancing as a nebula of mental life. Your guide appearing as a figure from a pack of dreams, a guy who looked like Brecht,   and who only ever does what he wants, munching a cigar, telling the clouds how to process. But he w ... (read more)

Philip Mead reviews 'Judith Wright: Selected writings' edited by Georgina Arnott

May 2022, no. 442 23 April 2022
Georgina Arnott’s 2016 biography The Unknown Judith Wright was an absorbing exercise in discovering the facets of Judith Wright’s early life and formative experience that were unknown, hidden, or forgotten, by biographers as well as by Wright herself. It was a revealing study of a writer who had a love-fear relationship with the projects of biography and autobiography. In the 1950s, Wright wro ... (read more)

Philip Mead reviews 'David Campbell: A life of the poet' by Jonathan Persse

September 2020, no. 424 21 August 2020
To an older generation of Australian poetry readers, David Campbell (1915–79) was perhaps the best-loved poet of Douglas Stewart’s post-World War II ‘Red Page’, appearing there with what would become iconic poems of the new Bulletin school like ‘Windy Gap’, ‘Who Points the Swallow’, and ‘Men in Green’. Despite his frequent publication in that heritage venue, Campbell published ... (read more)

Philip Mead reviews 'A Kinder Sea' by Felicity Plunkett

April 2020, no. 420 20 March 2020
Felicity Plunkett has being doing good works in the poetry sphere for some time now. She has edited for UQP a recent series of new and established poets; she reviews a wide variety of poetry in newspapers and magazines, as well as writing evocatively, in this journal, about influential figures in popular Australian poetics like Nick Cave and Gurrumul Yunupingu. Valuably, she has also made practica ... (read more)

Philip Mead reviews 'Backgazing: Reverse time in Modernist culture' by Paul Giles

December 2019, no. 417 26 November 2019
Paul Giles is a critic for whom it is important where he lives, although not so much in terms of location as of literary and imaginative perspectives. He began as an Americanist literary scholar, in voluntary exile from the United Kingdom, where he was trained, writing about the global remapping of American literature and, more recently, having moved to Australia, about Australasia’s constitutio ... (read more)
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