Martin Duwell

Martin Duwell reviews 'Afterimages' by Robert Gray

Martin Duwell
Thursday, 19 September 2019
Robert Gray’s new book continues the style of his previous one, Lineations, by interspersing poems with drawings: there are three panels of six drawings each, spaced throughout the book. It also contains a long meditation on things and thinginess, reality, consciousness (and all stops between) called ‘The Drift of Things’ ... ... (read more)

Martin Duwell reviews Geoffrey Lehmann's 'Poems: 1957−2013'

Martin Duwell
Thursday, 25 September 2014

A striking feature of this collection of Geoffrey Lehmann’s poetry of fifty-six years is how few loci of interest there are: ancient Rome, a farm in rural New South Wales, parenthood. His characteristic mode seems to be to explore these exhaustively by holding them up to the light and investigating every facet. Wallace Stevens’s ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a ...

Martin Duwell reviews Ron Pretty's new book of poetry

Martin Duwell
Sunday, 19 January 2014

It is reasonable that poets, by the time they reach their mid-seventies, should be involved in projects which re-evaluate their current lives and poems in the light of early experience and expectations. This most recent book of Ron Pretty’s – and it is by some distance his best – is built around the Swedish proverb, ‘The afternoon knows what the mornin ...

Martin Duwell reviews 'It Comes From All Directions'

Martin Duwell
Thursday, 28 November 2013

There aren’t any Australian poets quite like Rae Desmond Jones, whose distinctive, unusual, and sometimes unsettling voice has been an important, though undervalued, force in Australian poetry since the early 1970s.

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There are some poets whose works only seem to come alive when seen in the light of their other poems. Andrew Sant may well be one of these. A Sant poem, read on its own, can often seem thoughtful but rather lightweight; embedded in one of his books, given a context by the surrounding poems, it becomes animated by a set of consistent themes and obsessions.

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Martin Duwell reviews 'Cumulus: Collected Poems'

Martin Duwell
Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cumulus describes itself as a ‘Collected Poems’, and though it isn’t quite that – far too many good poems from the earlier volumes have been omitted – there is a strong sense of cumulation and self-evaluation about it: it is a lot more than a set of copied contents pages sent to a publisher. And it is satisfying that the result, thanks to the high d ...

This new book of Vivian Smith’s is really quite a surprise. If it were the case of any other poet approaching his eighties you might think of it as rather a grab bag, knocked together out of odds and ends. It is made up of an imaginary biography of ‘Ern Malley’; another set of sonnets, ‘Diary Without Dates' ...

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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 ...

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The title of Bruce Dawe’s first collection, No Fixed Address (1962), pointed to an early working life of innumerable casual jobs. This was covered to some extent in Stephany Steggall’s excellent biography, Bruce Dawe: Life Cycle (2009). As the working life of an Australian poet, this would be ...

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First books often suffer most in a Selected Poems as the poet who finally emerges from the possibilities explored in the poems of the first book retrospectively weeds out those poems that are not in what becomes the dominant mode. This certainly happens in the case of Dennis Haskell’s Acts of Defiance ...

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