The Welfare of My Enemy is an unusual experiment in narrative poetry. Taking as its theme ‘the disappeared’, it is a set of narratives, a kind of anthology that imaginatively documents the myriad ways in which (and the different reasons for which) people go ‘off the radar’ and end up as missing persons. It is made up of fifty-odd individual poems, all in loosely rhymed couplets, few more than two pages long and almost all monologues.
Martin Duwell was born in England in 1948. He taught for thirty-five years in the School of English, Media Studies and Art History at the University of Queensland, where he received his doctorate in 1988. He is the author of A Possible Contemporary Poetry (1982) and an edition of the selected poems of John Blight. He was one of the editors of the Penguin New Literary History of Australia (1988) and has edited, with R.M.W. Dixon, two anthologies of Aboriginal Song Poetry. He has written extensively on postwar Australian poetry and publishes monthly reviews of new books of Australian poetry on his website.
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November 2001, no. 236
A Steady Storm of Correspondence: Selected Letters of Gwen Harwood 1943–1995 by Gregory KratzmannReviewed by Brenda Niall