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Gregory Kratzmann

Gregory Kratzmann

Gregory Kratzmann, formerly Associate Professor of English at La Trobe University, has edited the letters and poetry of Gwen Harwood. He has published extensively in medieval and early modern literature, and is the editor of Imagination, Books and Community in Medieval Europe (Macmillan and State Library of Victoria, 2009).

Greg Kratzmann reviews ‘The Universe Looks Down’ and ‘Read It Again’ by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

February 2006, no. 278 01 February 2006
Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s essay ‘Poetry and the Common Language’, in his collection Read It Again, begins: ‘If there is one thing we can say about poetry, it is this: like it or not, poetry turns out to be something special, an intensified bag of tricks with certain rules of its own.’ The deceptively casual style of the writing underscores its argument about the centrality of ‘voice’ in ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'Medievalism and the Gothic in Australian Culture' edited by Stephanie Trigg

June-July 2006, no. 282 01 June 2006
In her essay in this collection, Jenna Mead quotes from the work of a co-contributor, the Australian medievalist David Matthews. He tells a story which is likely to resonate in the memories of many of us who have, by choice or otherwise, studied medieval culture at university in this country. His tutor at the University of Adelaide, in the course of a seminar on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'Other Summers' by Stephen Edgar

December 2006–January 2007, no. 287 01 December 2006
Commendations from celebrities and authorities have become a standard feature of cover designs for books of poetry: sometimes one wonders whether the writers have actually read what they puff so assiduously. How refreshing it is, then, to find Clive James and August Kleinzahler recommending Stephen Edgar’s latest volume so perceptively. Kleinzahler’s phrase ‘voluptuous elegance’ goes to th ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'Book Self: The reader as writer and the writer as critic' by C.K. Stead

September 2008, no. 304 01 September 2008
C.K. Stead’s new collection of non-fictional prose confirms his reputation as New Zealand’s grand old man of letters, still swimming, aged seventy-six, against the tide. The author of fourteen books of poetry, as many novels, and several critical works which followed from his highly influential The New Poetic in 1964, Stead continues to be under-read and under-appreciated outside his own count ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'Harbour City Poems: Sydney in Verse 1788–2008' edited by Martin Langford

November 2009, no. 316 01 November 2009
‘Sydney in verse’: this anthology, arranged chronologically, presents the country’s oldest European settlement in a variety of guises – from place of exile (‘Botany Bay’) to site resistant to the colonising discourses of English Romanticism (W.C. Wentworth, Charles Harpur) to new city viewed through the lenses of symbolism (Christopher Brennan) and modernism (Kenneth Slessor), and from ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'The Best Australian Poems 2009' edited by Robert Adamson

December 2009–January 2010, no. 317 01 December 2009
Reviewing Martin Langford’s Harbour City Poems in the November 2009 issue of ABR, I remarked on the absence from the anthology of new young voices. This is a criticism that cannot be made of Robert Adamson’s selection for this year’s Black Inc. Best Australian Poems. Adamson, distinguished poet and Hawkesbury fisherman, has cast a very wide net, departing from the practice among recent edito ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
Chris Wallace-Crabbe has always had a good ear for a title, but Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw is surely his best. Half a century older than Shakespeare’s ghost-ridden poet–hero, he rings the changes on Hamlet’s high-fantastical play with language, by turns delighting and disconcerting an audience which might sometimes struggle to keep up with his leaps and ellipses. Ghosts and shadows abound ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'By the Book: A literary history of Queensland', edited by Patrick Buckridge and Belinda McKay

September 2007, no. 294 08 November 2022
The ten essays in this volume revisit the achievement of the late Cecil Hadgraft, whose Queensland and Its Writers, published nearly fifty years ago, is a masterly and non-doctrinaire exposition of a century of writing in Queensland. Hadgraft was one of the pioneers of the teaching of Australian literature at a time when academics trained in British traditions joked about what the hapless students ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'The Cambridge History of Australian Literature' edited by Peter Pierce

February 2010, no. 318 07 October 2022
A suitable motto for any prospective compiler of a large-scale history of a national literature might be ‘No Place for a Nervous Editor’ (to adapt the title of Lucy Frost’s study of nineteenth-century women’s journals). A few of the portentous questions for this imagined figure include: how is ‘literature’ to be conceptualised at the beginning of the twenty-first century (witness the B ... (read more)

Gregory Kratzmann reviews 'Vincent Buckley: Collected Poems' edited by Chris Wallace-Crabbe and 'Journey Without Arrival: The life and writing of Vincent Buckley' by John McLaren

July-August 2009, no. 313 01 July 2009
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 d ... (read more)
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