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Adrian Caesar

Adrian Caesar

Adrian Caesar was born and educated in England, but has lived and worked in Australia for more than thirty years. He is the author of three books of literary and cultural criticism and an experimental 'non-fiction novel', The White, which won the Victorian Premier's Award for Non-Fiction in 2000 and the ACT Book of the Year in 2000. His novel, The Blessing, was published by Arcadia in 2015. He has also published five books of poetry, the latest of which is, Dark Cupboards New Rooms (Shoestring Press, 2014). High Wire (2005) was shortlisted for the Judith Wright Prize in 2007. His work has recently featured in The Best Australian Poems 2014 and Dazzled – an anthology of poems long-listed for the inaugural University of Canberra's Vice Chancellor's International Poetry Prize.

Adrian Caesar reviews 'Glass Cathedrals: New and selected poems' by Nicolette Stasko

September 2007, no. 294 08 November 2022
Nicolette Stasko’s poetry is as far from the postmodern baroque as it is possible to be. This is not to say that her work lacks awareness of contemporary theories of art, but rather that her style eschews self-consciously clotted imagery, radical syntactical dislocation, and the production of high-sounding obscurities. There is nothing rebarbative here. At their best, the limpid surfaces of thes ... (read more)

Adrian Caesar reviews 'Transit' by Mike Ladd

December 2007–January 2008, no. 297 01 December 2007
In his poem ‘Reunion’, Mike Ladd takes us back to his old school in Adelaide. Three stanzas recapitulate the journey before another four talk us through the fate of the poet’s former schoolmates. Some of these outcomes are predictably neat: ‘How the wild girl became a matron, / and the prim one, a single mum, at seventeen.’ The ‘cop’s son’ ‘was shot dead in Afghanistan, / a merce ... (read more)

Adrian Caesar reviews 'Slicing The Silence: Voyaging to Antarctica' by Tom Griffiths

May 2007, no. 291 01 May 2007
Last year I was invited to a literary festival celebrating writing about Antarctica. At the opening drinks session, I fell into conversation with a woman who, when she learned I was a participant, asked me if I had been ‘down south’. I said I hadn’t. She replied somewhat ungraciously, I thought, that she felt few would take me seriously in this forum because I hadn’t made the trip. I was t ... (read more)

'Charlotte's Grace' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

States of Poetry ACT - Series One 22 February 2016
(For my grand-daughter) Coming in with stones from the gardenyour first impulse is to make them shine.Washing rocks, you call it, and give themfull treatment, soap and flannel and rinse,your three year old hands and eyes intent,absorbed, and this not a one-off game;it becomes a favourite as ifto establish your own ritualyou show the specimen to me gleamingin your eyes and palm the offer of a gift ... (read more)

'A Salutation' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

States of Poetry ACT - Series One 22 February 2016
Some months after the funeral,checking emails from the other hemisphere,there's one from Pauline; subject: Hell.It's not promising. My mind traversesthe last five years, their litany of loss –a son, two friends and mentors,then you, lovely sister, and like some grimcomedic postscript even Frankiethe cat succumbed. Suffice to sayI am well acquainted with grief.So on a bright morning of frost spar ... (read more)

'Shell Burial' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

States of Poetry ACT - Series One 22 February 2016
Without bucket or spade we buildthe sandcastle, dragging and gatheringpiling and patting our little Camelot.I excavate a moat, shape a drawbridge,a sloping road leading to the keep,while you look for shells to decoratethe edifice, or so I thought, the way we'ddone last holiday some months ago.But this time you have another purpose:instead of rendering the fortsilently intent you bury your troveben ... (read more)

'Crafting Consolation' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

States of Poetry ACT - Series One 22 February 2016
Your kind friend sent a condolence cardand in the envelope a small white featherwhich, she said, seemed to come from nowhere.Angel's wings obviously, I wrote in my reply.And for days after everywhere I wentI found small replicas, as if some tinyfeathered thing had scattered its moultingon urban pavements, in shops and unlikelybathrooms, as well as in gardens shockedwith loss. I fingered the delica ... (read more)

'Spring Fall' by Adrian Caesar | States of Poetry ACT - Series One

States of Poetry ACT - Series One 22 February 2016
I see you stand with your back to meat the French window as you did last Marchlooking at early flowersyellow and crimson, pansy and primrosepeeping from their crust of snow andabove them the steel-sculpted angelrearing from a wooden plinth: guardianof the courtyard. In those bleak days I knewyou were reading the cemetery metaphorof your blighted time; your death-sentencedelivered too early before ... (read more)