Vincent Buckley: Collected poems
John Leonard Press, $29.95 pb, 550 pp
Journey Without Arrival: The life and writing of Vincent Buckley
by John McLaren
Australian Scholarly Publishing, $39.95 pb, 387 pp
Amnesia about writers of the past, even the not too distant past, is one of the besetting ills of our culture. How many readers of poetry under forty have more than a nodding acquaintance with the work of A.D. Hope, Francis Webb, Douglas Stewart or Vincent Buckley? All are fine poets, remembered now (if at all) through a handful of anthology pieces, partly because their published volumes usually disappear from print within a few years. Poets are particularly susceptible to the culture of forgetting, but the malaise extends to novelists and others who have made major contributions to our cultural, political and social life.