John Tranter

John Tranter reviews 'Desert Mother' by Philip Collier

John Tranter
Thursday, 01 October 2020

Desert Mother is a collection of poems from a West Australian writer in his late twenties who now lives in Sydney. Many of the poems in it have a double layer of nostalgia – a personal one, for a lost adolescence, and a general one for small towns left on the edge of history.

... (read more)

John Tranter has published more than twenty books since 1970. They include long dramatic monologues, a type of verse novel (The Floor of Heaven, 1992), prose poems and traditional verse forms. Starlight, his new collection, continues his ‘evisceration’, as he calls it, of other poets.

... (read more)

The Sydney poet Bruce Beaver died in February 2004 after a long struggle with kidney failure that kept him on dialysis for more than a decade. He was seventy-six years old. Beaver was seen as a sympathetic older figure by many poets of my generation, born a dozen years later. I met him when I was in my twenties, and found him to be a generous friend. When the poet Michael Dransfield, younger still, called on him in the early 1970s, it was a natural meeting of minds. In one poem in The Long Game and Other Poems, Beaver says that ‘poor Dransfield draped / me with a necklet of dandelions / once and kissed my forehead / in what must have been / a satirical salute’. I have a feeling that the salute was heartfelt, but Bruce was painfully modest.

... (read more)

'The Puma in the Duma', a new poem by John Tranter

John Tranter
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

In my dream I was surrounded by seraphs
wearing morning suits, looking at me
quizzically in the crowded Parliament. Then I was being chased
by a Russian mountain lion who drooled a lot

... (read more)

'The Consonants', a new poem by John Tranter

John Tranter
Sunday, 28 April 2013

B, brave brown, C, icicle
pendant, D, dun though pale,
F for faint mauve, fish and bicycle,
G, gothic paint in a green pail

... (read more)

Open Page with John Tranter

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

When I was young I tried different things: drawing, painting, music, poetry, short stories, journalism, reviewing, but poetry turned out to be what I was best at.

... (read more)

'Least Said', a new poem by John Tranter

John Tranter
Tuesday, 25 October 2011

The ice-cream headache has you seeing double
as Goody Twoshoes calls by your table to arrange
some kind of smooth-talk conference full of limitless
possibilities, lots of cocktails, two naked men and naturally

... (read more)