Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett

Felicity Plunkett is a poet and critic. Her latest work, A Kinder Sea, is published by UQP. Her first collection of poetry Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was shortlisted for several other awards. She has a chapbook Seastrands (2011) in Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects series. Felicity was Poetry Editor for University of Queensland Press and edited Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011). She has a PhD from the University of Sydney and her reviews and essays have been widely published in The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Book Review, Sydney Review of Books etc. Her essay ‘Sound Bridge’, a portrait of Indigenous Australian musician Dr G. Yunupingu, was first published in Australian Book Review and anthologised in Best Australian Essays 2015 (Black Inc, ed. Geordie Williamson).

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'This House of Grief' by Helen Garner

September 2014, no. 364 01 September 2014
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'This House of Grief' by Helen Garner
In August 2013, Robert Farquharson was denied special leave to appeal to the High Court against his conviction for the murder of his three young sons Jai, Tyler, and Bailey, aged ten, seven, and two. This was the final legal chapter in the lengthy story Helen Garner explores in This House of Grief. Garner begins with the ‘Once’ that prefaces fairy tales – stories we think we know well enoug ... (read more)

Bloody good blokes

July–August 2013, no. 353 27 June 2013
Bloody good blokes
The shattered narrative of Evie Wyld’s second novel returns to themes of violence and its aftermath that were central to her first, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice (2009). Its protagonist, Jake Whyte, remembers just one moment of pure beauty. At fifteen, waiting after school for her sister, she is confronted by bullies Hannah and Nerrida. Into the exquisite torture of prods, yanks, and taunt ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Emperor of All Maladies' by Siddhartha Mukherjee, 'Tales from the Cancer Ward' by Paul Cox, 'Waltzing with Jack Dancer' by Geoff Goodfellow, and 'Cancer Four Times Removed' by Dudley Bradshaw

February 2012, no. 338 20 January 2012
In 2004 Carla Reed, a thirty-year-old kindergarten teacher, began to experience a cluster of mysterious symptoms. Bruises appeared and vanished ‘like stigmata’, and a numb headache and sudden exhaustion suggested that something was ‘terribly wrong’. Her pains were ghostly and mobile. When her doctors suggested migraines and prescribed aspirin, she demanded blood tests. She received a ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Romantic' by Kate Holden

November 2010, no. 326 15 November 2011
For a book featuring a lot of sex, The Romantic – whose title could be ironic, acerbic, or hopeful – disgust is not the most obvious predominant motif readers might expect. Yet it punctuates the text, cutting the protagonist, Kate, as she travels through Italy with a stack of Romantic poetry and a desire for freedom – to be ‘a ghost’. Il buon tempo verrà: the good time is coming, she re ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'My Blood’s Country: In the Footsteps of Judith Wright' by Fiona Capp

December 2010–January 2011, no. 327 01 December 2010
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'My Blood’s Country: In the Footsteps of Judith Wright' by Fiona Capp
Late in My Blood’s Country, Fiona Capp describes a dream that Meredith McKinney had after the death of her mother, Judith Wright, poet, activist, and the subject of Capp’s book. In the dream, McKinney is at Calanthe, the Queensland home where she lived with her mother and father, philosopher Jack McKinney. A literary festival is under way. In the front room of the house, the study where Wright ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Five Bells' by Gail Jones

February 2011, no. 328 06 May 2011
At the heart of Gail Jones’s Five Bells is a hymn to Kenneth Slessor’s dazzling elegy of the same name, published in 1939. Slessor wrote his poem after the death of journalist Joe Lynch, who fell from a ferry and drowned in Sydney Harbour. The poem imagines the death and harbour burial of Lynch, and evokes grief and memory through fractured images of water, submersion, and storm. It is a poem ... (read more)
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