Declan Fry

Declan Fry is a writer, poet, and essayist. Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, in 2020 he was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and awarded the 2021 Peter Blazey Fellowship for the Meanjin essay 'Justice for Elijah or a Spiritual Dialogue With Ziggy Ramo, Dancing'. His work has appeared in Australian Book Review, Liminal, The Monthly, The Guardian, Overland, Westerly, and elsewhere.

Declan Fry reviews '7½' by Christos Tsiolkas

November 2021, no. 437 25 October 2021
Declan Fry reviews '7½' by Christos Tsiolkas
On page 20 of my advance copy of 7½, I insert a line in the margin: ‘Starting to sound like Sōseki’s Kusamakura here’. I had met the author of the passage – a man named Christos Tsiolkas – at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in May, sidling up to the Clare Hotel breakfast bar at an enviably early hour each morning to enjoy fruit and festival conversation. As my pen hovers, I wonder how t ... (read more)

Declan Fry reviews 'Crossroads' by Jonathan Franzen

October 2021, no. 436 23 September 2021
Declan Fry reviews 'Crossroads' by Jonathan Franzen
‘The cult of love in the West is an aspect of the cult of suffering – suffering as the supreme token of seriousness (the paradigm of the Cross).’Susan Sontag, ‘The Artist as Exemplary Sufferer’   ‘Don’t be afraid to catch feels.’Calvin Harris, ‘Feels’ Back when it was all beginning, when everything was new and makeshift and oddly tentative; when the sounds of Faye W ... (read more)

Declan Fry reviews 'On Thomas Keneally: Writers on Writers' and 'With the Falling of the Dusk' by Stan Grant

June 2021, no. 432 26 May 2021
Declan Fry reviews 'On Thomas Keneally: Writers on Writers' and 'With the Falling of the Dusk' by Stan Grant
希望本是无所谓有,无所谓无的。这正如地上的路;其实地上本没有路,走的人多了,也便成了路。Hope is an intangible thing. It cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is like a path. Originally, there is none - but as many people come and go, a path appears. Lu Xun, ‘My Old Home’ We both unsettled when the boats came.Briggs, ‘The C ... (read more)

Declan Fry reviews 'Inside Story' by Martin Amis

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
Declan Fry reviews 'Inside Story' by Martin Amis
During a 1995 television interview on Charlie Rose soon after the publication of Martin Amis’s The Information, another long novel, there is a moment when, as Rose begins to read the opening passage, Amis’s mouth visibly slackens. Silently he intones the first lines. His hand (often tentatively raised toward his chin in interviews) searches out his forehead. There is a spectral waver in his ga ... (read more)

Declan Fry reviews 'After Australia' edited by Michael Mohammed Ahmad

September 2020, no. 424 10 August 2020
Declan Fry reviews 'After Australia' edited by Michael Mohammed Ahmad
Acknowledging the limits of Acknowledgments of Country, the Wiradjuri artist Jazz Money once wrote: whitefellas try to acknowledge thingsbut they do it wrongthey say           before we begin I’d like to pay my respectsnot understandingthat there isn’t a time before it beginsit has all already begun The sentiment is salutary for an anthology like After Austr ... (read more)

Declan Fry reviews 'Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today' edited by Alison Whittaker

August 2020, no. 423 15 June 2020
Declan Fry reviews 'Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today' edited by Alison Whittaker
‘The constant loss of breath is the legacy.’ So wrote poet Ali Cobby Eckermann in 2015 for the anthology The Intervention. The eponymous Intervention of 2007 in the Northern Territory was, in the long history of this continent, the first time that the federal government had deployed the army against its own citizenry. As I write this review, in the United States police are using tear gas, trad ... (read more)

Declan Fry reviews 'Elephants with Headlights' by Bem Le Hunte

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
Declan Fry reviews 'Elephants with Headlights' by Bem Le Hunte
Perhaps reflecting the long gestation period of Bem Le Hunte’s third novel, the term ‘Asian Century’ occurs early on in Elephants with Headlights. The sobriquet is certainly apt. Induction into this vaunted space does not befall a country haphazardly: its temporal aspect serves to remind us that the fate is written in centuries-old geopolitical legacies. Before there was an ‘Asia’ to epo ... (read more)