‘I could give ’em / enough social comment to fill a car park’ proffers the narrator in ‘Busking’, halfway through Tim Thorne’s I Con. In many ways, this book delivers on that promise. Thorne’s targets include war, colonisation, inequality, political deception, capitalism and celebrity. One moment he juxtaposes Dannii Minogue’s career with descriptions of police brutality; the next he bowls a bouncer at former Australian cricket captain Kim Hughes for touring South Africa during the apartheid era.
Thorne has published twelve books of poetry over four decades, founded and directed the Tasmanian Poetry Festival for seventeen years, and read his work throughout Australia. Yet many on the mainland might still be unfamiliar with his poetry. This New and Selected Poems presents Thorne’s work in roughly chronological order and brings the uninitiated up to speed.