The Best Australian Poems 2008
Black Inc., $24.95 pb, 181 pp
A poet friend, getting wind that I was reviewing the two latest ‘Bests’ and wishing to satirise the reviewing platitudes that sometimes greet the arrival of such anthologies, offered the following advice: ‘Remember to say that both collections are a welcome addition to the literary landscape and that both editors have included some welcome new voices in Australian poetry.’ Peter Rose’s The Best Australian Poems 2008 and David Brooks’s The Best Australian Poetry 2008 provide commendable surveys of a year in Australian poetry. Both include ‘new voices’ as well as sonorous old ones. Variations in quality inevitably occur, but many of the ‘new’ offerings are excellent and few, if any, are duds. This can only be welcomed.