Black Inc

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 lack’ into something even more elusive.

... (read more)

‘Lending printed eloquence to a poem’ comes from ‘Alas’, Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s elegiac tribute to Seamus Heaney. There is eloquence aplenty in this fine collection of more than a hundred and twenty poems edited by poet Geoff Page, someone who understands that eloquence speaks in many tones and in various formal structures. This variety is generously repre ...

The Best 100 Poems of Gwen Harwood by Gwen Harwood, edited by John Harwood

by
December 2014, no. 367

In ‘Late Works’, the last poem in Black Inc.’s new selection of Gwen Harwood’s poetry, a dying poet, determined to pen her ‘late great’ poems, calls from her hospital bed for paper. The nurse, misunderstanding, brings toilet paper, much to the poet’s chagrin. It is a typical Harwood inversion ...

... (read more)

Whether you love or hate lawyer–activist Noel Pearson’s ideas, you have to admire his chutzpah, his willingness to put his ideas out there for public discussion and debate, even if his own dogmatism sometimes limits his diplomatic engagements ...

... (read more)

The Best Australian Poems 2013 edited by Lisa Gorton & Now You Shall Know by Hunter Writers Centre

by
February 2014, no. 358

The end of the year tends to bring a small and exquisitely formed avalanche of Australian poetry, including Best Poems from Black Inc., Best Poetry from the University of Queensland Press, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology. Sadly UQP gave up the ghost with its annual after 2009 ...

... (read more)

Tim Bowden, ABC journalist and historian, hosted a television program called BackChat between 1987 and 1994. Viewers could write in with their comments on Aunty’s offerings. One correspondent criticised the Rob Sitch-inspired spoof of the commercial current affairs programs, Frontline ...

... (read more)

Mark Latham rose to the leadership of the Labor Party unexpectedly, lost the 2004 federal election, retired to sulk from the sidelines, and has done so ever since. Whether he or Graham Richardson has done more damage to the party that nurtured them is a question I leave to the blogosphere. Before Latham became leader in 2003, he published considerably more abo ...

Weary of the standard Hollywood pap, Samuel Goldwyn reportedly told his writers, ‘Let’s have some new clichés.’ In Reframe: How to Solve the World’s Trickiest Problems, his first book, Eric Knight sets about recasting corporate culture’s platitude to ‘think outside the box’. ...

At some stage in every workshop on the art of memoir somebody raises the question of ethics, of privacy, and of who has the right to tell a version of a story. How far, the author of Reaching One Thousand asks, is she prepared to ‘sacrifice other people’s privacy’? What betrayals will she ‘perpetrate on others’?

... (read more)

Panic: David Marr by Black Inc., $29.95 pb, 262 pp, 9781863955515

by
February 2012, no. 338

David Marr is not on the list of Australian living treasures, but perhaps he should be. Among our best journalists, he stands out as someone who has consistently challenged the powerful, at his best with forensic skill and deep research. Like other journalist–authors such as Anne Summers and George Megalogenis ...

... (read more)