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Philip Harvey

Philip Harvey is a Melbourne poet, essayist, reviewer, and editor. His day job involves running libraries. He is the Poetry Editor of Eureka Street. His most recent chapbook is a-Z (Honeyeater Press, 2015).

Philip Harvey reviews ‘The New Puritans: The rise of fundamentalism in the Sydney Anglican Church’ by Muriel Porter

June-July 2006, no. 282 01 June 2006
A couple of years ago I attended the patronal festival at St James’, King Street, Sydney. The preacher was the Dean of Newcastle, who, after the blessing, opened with ‘Greetings from across the Chasuble Belt!’ The large congregation erupted into laughter, then settled in for twelve minutes of civil gospel. This is because Sydney Diocese, alone in the Anglican Communion, requires its clergy t ... (read more)

Philip Harvey reviews 'The Hierarchy of Sheep' by John Kinsella

April 2001, no. 229 01 April 2001
What is the comparative of prolific? John Kinsella, in this latest extension of his ‘counter-pastoral’ project, manages a tricky balancing act between the extreme givens of the bush and the fashions of art gallery and English Department. A belligerent posturing is implicit in Kinsella’s term, while there is only so far a poet can be anti-Georgics or extra-Georgics or post-Georgics before the ... (read more)

Philip Harvey reviews 'The List of the Last Remaining' by Louise Nicholas, 'How to Proceed: Essays' by Andrew Sant, and 'Rupture: Poems 2012-2015' by Susan Varga

October 2016, no. 385 26 September 2016
Poetry as the solidifying of memory, poetry as a survivor's sanguine amusement, takes a lifetime. Louise Nicholas relates autobiography through strongly considered moments in time in The List of Last Remaining (Five Islands Press, $25.95 pb, 85 pp, 9780734051998). Her childhood is tracked by the small fears, confusions, and elations that only later feel like turning points:    &nbs ... (read more)

Philip Harvey reviews 'The Rise of the Machines and other love poems' by Peter Goldsworthy

March 2016, no. 379 24 February 2016
Speaking of the un-spoken, jokes are a smokysubspecies This near-haiku is not so much a final definition of jokes as one definition of poetry. It shows up in Peter Goldsworthy's sequence 'Ars Poetica'. What he means is that the wordplay of jokes we make every day is a microcosm, a type and model of the more grandiose verbal surprise packages known as poems. By this measure, Goldsworthy himself is ... (read more)

Philip Harvey reviews 'A Short History of Christianity' by Geoffrey Blainey

June 2012, no. 342 22 May 2012
Any recent ‘big picture’ church history will suffer by comparison with Diarmaid MacCulloch’s A History of Christianity (2009). That book discovers all manner of new evidence about this protean religion and opens up questions about its life in every age and across every continent. Even its subtitle, The First Three Thousand Years, wants us to appreciate that Christianity has to be understood ... (read more)

Philip Harvey reviews 'Outside' by David McCooey

March 2012, no. 339 01 March 2012
Philip Larkin at thirty-one asked ‘Where can we live but days?’ It shouldn’t take half a lifetime to learn that we have night and day, yet learning how to live with this arrangement, and that this is the arrangement, is something we keep adapting to all our lives. While not a dichotomy, night and day help form the dichotomous nature of our thinking, and inform especially the method of descri ... (read more)

Philip Harvey reviews 'A Local Habitation: Poems and Homilies' by Peter Steele, edited by Sean Burke

November 2010, no. 326 01 November 2010
Once in a seminar long ago, I heard Peter Steele quote one of Winston Churchill’s more disagreeable opinions, noting that Churchill was allowed to say such things ‘because he was Churchill’. This Churchillian self-definition, or certitude, or authority, or prowess, animates much of Steele’s own writings: Steele says this because he is Steele. Nor does he need to be disagreeable to do so. ... (read more)