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Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Chris Wallace-Crabbe AM is the author of more than twenty collections of poetry. His most recent books of verse include The Universe Looks Down (2005), and Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw (2008). He is Professor Emeritus in Culture and Communication at Melbourne University. Also a public speaker and commentator on the visual arts, he specialises in ‘artists’ books’. Read It Again, a volume of critical essays, was published in 2005. Among other awards he has won the Dublin Prize for Arts and Sciences and the Christopher Brennan Award for Literature. His latest book is Rondo (2018).

'Obituary of A.D. Hope' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

September 2000, no. 224 25 October 2019
As physical as he was metaphysical, his playful courtesy equal to his reflectiveness, Alec Hope has mortally gone from us now. In his time, which was far from short, he was like nobody else in our literary landscape. Coming from an age in which subject matter mattered, Hope became a poet of astonishingly wide range, as of remarkable intensity. His burning star has been clouded a little in recent d ... (read more)

Chris Wallace-Crabbe reviews 'The Annotated Such is Life' by Joseph Furphy and 'The Life and Opinions of Tom Collins: A study of the works of Joseph Furphy' by Julian Croft

July 1991, no. 132 01 July 1991
At last, books about Such is Life and its endearingly attractive, quixotically sophisticated author, Joseph Furphy, are coming out. Three in the last few months is a welcome harvest, certainly a happier response than Furphy got during the prolonged Wilcannia showers of his life. The history of Furphy’s reputation is well known, and yet its rough outlines will bear repetition. His dauntingly int ... (read more)

Chris Wallace-Crabbe reviews 'New Selected Poems' by Peter Goldsworthy

July 2001, no. 232 01 July 2001
Peter Goldsworthy, doctor and poet, is a writer of significant style and concision. This new selection of his lyric poetry lives up to its jaunty, graffitied, lavender cover; it bespeaks lightness. And lightness is damned hard work. You don’t get there just by smiling and going to book launches. The New Selected Poems bears out my harvested sense of his zest and pith. If Andrew Marvell had ever ... (read more)

Chris Wallace-Crabbe reviews 'Arabesques: A tale of double lives' by Robert Dessaix

October 2008, no. 305 01 October 2008
Who is, or rather who was, André Gide? I ask this because a distinguished editor warned me, on hearing that I was about to review Robert Dessaix’s enticing new book, that nowadays nobody would remember who Gide was. Ah, the years, the years! It was another story in the time of my youth. When I was playing out my student days, you couldn’t help knowing about Gide. He was part of the flav ... (read more)

Chris Wallace-Crabbe reviews 'Dark Palace' by Frank Moorhouse

December 2000–January 2001, no. 227 01 December 2000
Relations between the public arena and the private are what the novel is all about. This loose, generous prose form was developed in early-modern Europe to enable a vigorous bourgeois imagination to ask the question: what is public, in fact, and what is private. If this could no longer be determined by titles and duties, properties and subservience, countesses and clowns, a kind of unrolling narra ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Heidi-Ho' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
Below great ears like galleon sailshangs an off-grey trunk – odd word –more than the puny dangling tailmarking this leatherjacket.So much overcoat in our tropics, then?But why is any creature as it is? The ark’s gangplank must have been sturdy,shipping creatures from those Turkish hillsbefore due discipline on deck. Sailing,the very devil: not a Tasmanian one,since that’s not in the book, ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Nuages' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
Ah, the ever-lyrical, even ifstared into from a cabin up above:snowy cloud-sonata which thenrecedes into softness with its airy iceberg flocks can be the stuff of verse orcounterpoint, say, but can’tfeed serious fiction forthe yarnspinner has to eatthe heavy middle of our sandwich rampaging all the way fromBaghdad Prepares for Attackto an ashtray smell orpuckered brocade on a chair.Novels know ... (read more)