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 'Demi-Gods' by Eliza Robertson

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Demi-Gods' by Eliza Robertson
In the preface to Demi-Gods, a boy burns moths with a magnifying glass. A girl – the novel’s narrator, Willa – watches ‘khaki wings’ that seem to be ‘folded from rice paper’. She imagines ‘ten moths circling a candle to form a lantern’, cries later, but does not stop Patrick. The wings ignite ‘like dog-eared pages in a book’. Like dog-eared pages, Willa’s memories are fold ... (read more)

State Editor's Introduction by Felicity Plunkett | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

States of Poetry Queensland - Series Two 16 October 2017
In his luminous paean to poetry, modestly titled How to Read a Poem, Edward Hirsch writes that ‘poetry is made of metaphor’. This lucid statement is beautiful enough, but as a poet, Hirsch continues, making music, elaborating, forever taking the idea onwards, upwards and outwards, with poetry’s relentless energy: ‘It is a collision,’ he writes, ‘a collusion, a compression of two unlike ... (read more)

Reading Australia: 'by the river' by Steven Herrick

Reading Australia 02 November 2016
Buy this bookby the river evokes the textures of a small Australian town in 1962 through lean episodic poems that drift along gently until moments of intensity break their banks. Through a leisurely accumulation of detail – houses on stilts, fruit bats, a blotchy carpet of mango pulp, wisteria, cricket, bags of lollies – the town comes into focus, along with the lives of its people, especially ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Memory Artist' by Katherine Brabon

August 2016, no. 383 21 July 2016
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Memory Artist' by Katherine Brabon
For Pasha Ivanov, memory is 'a warped wound, with a welt or bruise that had arrived inexplicably late'. As the son of political dissidents in Moscow during Brezhnev's rule, his childhood memories wend between impressions of his mother leaning over the typewriter, her back's incline 'like a mountain, severe and strong', and the activists who gather in their small flat copying banned poems and artic ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Midnight Watch' by David Dyer

May 2016, no. 381 22 April 2016
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'The Midnight Watch' by David Dyer
Two headlines, a day apart, evoke the confusion surrounding the fate of the Titanic in April 1912. New York's Evening Sun reported, 'ALL SAVED FROM TITANIC AFTER COLLISION'. Twenty-four hours later, The Boston Daily Globe added: 'TITANIC SINKS, 1500 DIE.' From there, the sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic has been the subject of conflicting accounts. Books, films, and nightmares, survivors' stori ... (read more)

State Editor's Introduction by Felicity Plunkett | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

States of Poetry Queensland - Series One 22 February 2016
Prismatic and dynamic, Australian Book Review's States of Poetry anthologies are about refraction as well as brilliance, shade and trace as much as what is lit. If anthologies generate disagreement, it is because of an illusion that they set or express the fixed amidst a mobile and vibrant set of practices. The recurring, multifarious nature of States of Poetry dispenses with that illusion. That t ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'M Train' by Patti Smith

December 2015, no. 377 25 November 2015
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'M Train' by Patti Smith
The writer is a conductor, opines the 'vaguely handsome, intensely laconic' cowpoke who speaks to Patti Smith as she lingers at 'the frame of a dream'. His words shape Smith's days. 'It's not so easy writing about nothing,' this companion tells her, and she scratches these words over and over onto a wall in her home with a chunk of red chalk. ... (read more)

ABR Sidney Myer Fund Fellowship: 'Sound Bridges: A Profile of Gurrumul' by Felicity Plunkett

June-July 2015, no. 372 27 May 2015
In April 2011 the Australian edition of Rolling Stone featured a cover photo of Yolngu multi-instrumentalist and singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu. The headline ‘Australia’s most important voice’ crawls along the sleeve of Gurrumul’s pinstriped suit, while the band names The National and Primal Scream hover above his shoulder. In the midst of so much noise, the portrait by Sydney photogra ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'A Short History of Richard Kline' by Amanda Lohrey

March 2015, no. 369 01 March 2015
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'A Short History of Richard Kline' by Amanda Lohrey
A prefatory note to this striking novel tells us that it is Richard Kline’s memoir of ‘a strange event that intervened in my life at the age of forty-two’. The following ‘short history’ interleaves sections of first- and third-person narration, shuffling the pieces of a reflective Bildungsroman that charts Richard’s emergence from a vague but oppressive childhood ‘apprehension of lac ... (read more)

Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Bapo' by Nicholas Jose

December 2014, no. 367 01 December 2014
Felicity Plunkett reviews 'Bapo' by Nicholas Jose
In Charles Simić’s book about Joseph Cornell’s assemblages, Dime-Store Alchemy (1992), he quotes his own translation of Croatian poet Slavko Mihalić to describe Cornell’s sculpture ‘Deserted Perch, 1949’, noting ‘the very tiny crack in which another world begins and ends’. Simićmarvels at this ‘Illusionist art ... sleight of hand’. In the absorbing introduction to the stories ... (read more)
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