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Julian Croft

Julian Croft

Julian Croft was first published in Australian Letters in 1962 and has been writing ever since. He has published a novel, several books of poetry, critical studies of Joseph Furphy, and the Anglo-Welsh poet T.H. Jones, as well as edited collections of poetry. He has been an active reviewer over several decades. He lives in the New England region of NSW.

Julian Croft reviews 'Seriatim' by Geoff Page

February 2008, no. 298 01 February 2008
Seriatim, the poems are in order, though not subdivided into marked divisions indicating common themes with some compelling logic to them, but a series of observations, dot points, which may or may not be part of a larger argument. It is like a conversation. No one knows exactly where it will end when it starts, but it goes on with an order, sometimes determined by logic, otherwise by association, ... (read more)

Julian Croft reviews 'The Way It Is' by Michael Sharkey

May 1985, no. 70 01 May 1985
On page 87 of Michael Sharkey’s The Way It Is, there is a photograph of the poet reading the National Farmer (a weekly rural newspaper), which shows what happens when you lock up the well-read in a small rural town. Armidale mightn’t Pontus or Bandusia, and you don’t have to have crossed Augustus or have been befriended by Maecenas to get there, but once you are, it certainly changes your id ... (read more)

Julian Croft reviews 'Dog Fox Field' and 'Blocks and Tackles' by Les Murray

November 1990, no. 126 01 November 1990
Both the poetry and prose are different from what has gone before. Les Murray tells us what he thinks the difference is in his cover note: Rhyme is used far more often than in the past … The poet also sets out to recover, or learn, the arts of brevity. In his fight against prolixity, in fact, he has even dropped his middle initial. The reasons for rhyme, and the rhyme of his reasons, can b ... (read more)

Julian Croft reviews 'Selected Poems, 1960–1980' by Andrew Taylor

June 1984, no. 61 01 June 1984
Andrew Taylor’s Selected Poems opens with rain and a quote from Rilke’s first elegy, collects new poems from 1975–80, touches his The Cool Change (1960–70), Ice Fishing (1970–72), and The Invention of Fire (1973–75), and ends with an epilogue the final image of which is a night watchman whittling a wooden deify which ‘Glows like a storm lantern / burning all night’. It’s night an ... (read more)

Julian Croft reviews 'The People’s Otherworld' by Les Murray

July 1984, no. 62 01 July 1984
What is more common than the indicative mood, and what is more uncommon than the way Les Murray uses it? His Christian finger ‘scratches the other cheek’ (‘The Quality of Sprawl’) but more often points out tracks seen from the air, but invisible on the ground: a hibiscus becomes ‘the kleenex flower’ (‘A Retrospect of Humidity’); the shower an ‘inverse bidet,/ sleek vertical corus ... (read more)

Julian Croft reviews 'Fresh Linen' by Gary Catalano, 'The Hooded Lamp' by Roland Robinson, and 'At Valentines' by Ken Taylor

November 2010, no. 326 07 October 2011
These three volumes, reprints of books published in the 1970s and 1980s, appear in the Art Box Series by Picaro Press. Reasonably priced, they will give contemporary readers a sense of the seedbed of Australian poetry a few decades ago. These volumes do just that. It would be hard to imagine a more eclectic selection of styles and approaches. Read together, they communicate the dynamics of the cha ... (read more)