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Jennifer Strauss

Jennifer Strauss

Jennifer Strauss is a poet, anthologist, and retired academic.

Jennifer Strauss reviews ‘The Best Australian Poems 2005’ edited by Les Murray

March 2006, no. 279 01 March 2006
Annual anthologies of Australian poetry are, or should be, a good way to get an overview of the local poetry scene, as well as an opportunity to greet new poets and to keep in touch with established ones. This selection from more than a hundred poets fulfils that function pretty well, having a range of old and new names, styles and themes, even if the sourcing of the poems does seem weighted in fa ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews 'Stressing the Modern: Cultural politics in Australian women's poetry' by Ann Vickery

June 2008, no. 302 01 June 2008
I have commented before in ABR that literary criticism is a rara avis in Australia’s publishing world, so perhaps it is not surprising that Ann Vickery has had to find an overseas publisher for this important contribution to Australia’s literary and cultural history. Whatever its provenance, I have a particular reason for welcoming this contextualising study of the work and times of six women ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews ‘The Passenger’ by Laurie Duggan

September 2006, no. 284 01 September 2006
How to convey the pleasures of a whole collection of Laurie Duggan’s poetry? They are so various, one reason why Duggan is a source of perplexity to anthologists in search of a definitively characteristic poem. Anything as long and wilfully extravagant in spacing and layout as the anti-rhapsody ‘September Song’ almost automatically excludes itself; something epigrammatic then, say ‘A Littl ... (read more)

'‘Sing, Memory’: A new edition of the inimitable Gwen Harwood' by Jennifer Strauss

October 2009, no. 315 01 October 2009
The new English edition of a selection of Harwood’s poems comes with an excellent editorial pedigree. With his co-editorship of Gwen Harwood: Collected Poems 1943–1995 (2003) and his editorship of A Steady Storm of Correspondence: Selected Letters of Gwen Harwood 1943–1995 (2001), Gregory Kratzmann has established himself as the foremost of Harwood scholars. As a major critic of Australian p ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews 'The Poetry of Judith Wright' by Edward Walker

April 1981, no. 29 09 March 2023
In one way, this is a book to unnerve the teaching academic: it is so eminently cribbable. As a ‘handbook’ of Wright’s poetry, it ranges widely rather than intensively, offering lucid expositions and firmly delivered judgements. If these latter are sometimes, by the nature of the book, more asserted than demonstrated, they nonetheless seem usually sound and sensible: the lines quoted from ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews 'Chemical Bodies' by Rhyll McMaster

December 1996–January 1997, no. 187 01 January 1997
There are two reasons for celebrating this chastely elegant slim volume. One is the arrival of a publisher prepared, when major firms are retreating from the field, to declare that poetry is central to a flourishing literary culture, and to match that declaration by commitment to a new series, Brandl & Schlesinger Poetry. The other is the appearance of a new and striking collection from that f ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews 'The Best Australian Poetry 2006' edited by Judith Beveridge and 'The Best Australian Poems 2006' edited by Dorothy Porter

February 2007, no. 288 01 February 2007
Seeing these two anthologies side by side in that obscure corner allocated to poetry by so many bookshops, a casual browser might note that both begin with Robert Adamson’s ‘A Visitation’ and conclude that uniformity rules and one volume will suffice. Not so: a full savouring of the past year’s poetic crop requires both. In fact, ‘A Visitation’ is the only poem common to both selection ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews 'Wolf Notes' by Judith Beveridge

March 2004, no. 259 01 March 2004
Admirer’s of Judith Beveridge’s distinctive talent have had a long wait between collections (it’s eight years since Accidental Grace), although she has been published consistently in anthologies and journals, and poems from the central sequence of this collection, ‘Between the Palace and the Bodhi Tree’, won the 2003 Josephine Ulrick National Poetry Prize. Patience is rewarded: this is a ... (read more)

Jennifer Strauss reviews 'Flashing Eyes and Floating Hair: A reading of Gwen Harwood’s pseudonymous poetry' by Cassandra L. Atherton

July–August 2007, no. 293 01 July 2007
Literary criticism is a rara avis in Australia’s publishing world, perhaps only to be hoped for under an imprint such as Australian Scholarly Publishing. Yet a search of its recent publications shows that among nineteen titles this is the only instance – and one facilitated by a Melbourne University publishing grant. Rightly so, for Cassandra L. Atherton’s is academic writing in the best sen ... (read more)
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