Noel Rowe, poet and critic, was something of an enigma to me. It is hard to believe that he was still in his thirties (just) when I met him in 1990 at the University of Sydney, he a lecturer, I a postgraduate student. Noel seemed to have an enormous wealth of experience, though he was never showy with it. In 1990 he was still a member of the Catholic religious order the Marist Fathers. (He left in 1992.) He had grown up on a farm, and prior to becoming a priest he had intended to be an actor. He had travelled, and he seemed like a far more senior academic than his recently acquired associate lectureship now indicates. (Like most students, I was largely ignorant of the profoundly hierarchical nature of academia.) Despite the fullness of his life, Noel always seemed essentially young, if youth can be defined by an openness to experience. It seems too cruel that such a man should have died at the age of fifty-six, of cancer, in 2007.
David McCooey reviews 'A Cool and Shaded Heart: Collected Poems' and 'Ethical Investigations: Essays on Australian Literature and Poetics' by Noel Rowe
A Cool and Shaded Heart: Collected Poems
by Noel Rowe
Vagabond Press, $33 pb, 192 pp, 9780980511307
Ethical Investigations: Essays on Australian Literature and Poetics
by Noel Rowe
Vagabond Press, $33 pb, 240 pp, 9780980511314
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
David McCooey is a prize-winning poet and critic. His latest collection of poems, Outside (2011), was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards, and was a finalist for the 2012 Melbourne Prize for Literature's 'Best Writing Award'. His first collection, Blister Pack (2005), won the Mary Gilmore Award and was shortlisted for four major national literary awards. McCooey is the deputy general editor of the prize-winning Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (2009). His album of 'poetry soundtracks', Outside Broadcast, was released in 2013 as a digital download. He is a professor of literature and writing at Deakin University in Geelong, where he lives. His forthcoming poetry collection, Star Struck, will be published in late 2016 by UWA Publishing. His website is: www.davidmccooey.com
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.