John Leonard’s anthology of young Australian poets, showcasing the work of an exclusive septet, comes hot on the heels of Felicity Plunkett’s more accommodating Thirty Australian Poets (reviewed by Fiona Wright in the December 2011–January 2012 issue of ABR). Young Poets: An Australian Anthology also adopts an unfortunately polemical relationship to its predecessor. Leonard provides a Preface – originally published in So Long Bulletin, the often-polemical blog of three poets included in his anthology – in which he implies that this new anthology provides something of a corrective gesture. He claims that his anthology puts aside ‘eagerness at some newness’ for ‘more lasting consideration of artistic reach and achievement’.
Maria Takolander reviews 'Young Poets: An Australian Anthology' edited by John Leonard
Young Poets: An Australian Anthology
edited by John Leonard
John Leonard Press, $27.95 pb, 170 pp, 9780980852332
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Maria Takolander is an Associate Professor in Literary Studies and Professional and Creative Writing at Deakin University in Geelong, Victoria. She is the author of a book of short fiction, The Double (Text 2013); three books of poetry, The End of the World (Giramondo 2014), Ghostly Subjects (Salt 2009), and Narcissism (Whitmore Press 2005); and a book of literary criticism, Catching Butterflies: Bringing Magical Realism to Ground (Peter Lang 2009). Her poetry and fiction have been widely published and anthologised. She is the recipient of a 2014-2015 $40,000 Australia Council grant and is currently working on a novel for Text Publishing.
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