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Gregory Day

Gregory Day

Gregory Day is a novelist, poet, and composer from the Eastern Otways region of southwest Victoria, Australia. His novel A Sand Archive was shortlisted for the 2019 Miles Franklin Award and his essay 'Summer on The Painkalac' was also shortlisted for the 2019 Nature Conservancy Nature Writing Prize. He was joint winner of the 2011 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize for 'The Neighbour's Beans'. 

Gregory Day reviews 'Telltale: Reading writing remembering' by Carmel Bird

September 2022, no. 446 27 August 2022
In 1985, the American poet and essayist Susan Howe deftly jettisoned any pretensions to objectivity in the field of literary analysis with her ground-breaking critical work My Emily Dickinson. The possessive pronoun in Howe’s title says it all: when a writer’s work goes out to its readers, it reignites in any number of imaginative and emotional contexts. What rich and varied screens we project ... (read more)

Gregory Day reviews 'Save As' by A. Frances Johnson

January–February 2022, no. 439 22 December 2021
‘The flag’s taking off for that filthy place, and our jargon’s drowning out the drums.’ A. Frances Johnson’s new collection begins with this quote from Rimbaud, which immediately betrays her appreciation for both the European avant-garde and the viral nature of the context from which it emerged. Johnson is a poet, painter, novelist, and academic acutely sensitive to such colonial haunts, ... (read more)

Gregory Day reviews 'Barbara Hepworth: Art and life' by Eleanor Clayton

October 2021, no. 436 23 September 2021
Constantin Brâncuşi famously said that making a work of art is not in itself a difficult thing: the hard part is putting oneself in the necessary state of mind. Eleanor Clayton’s new biography of English sculptor Barbara Hepworth is in its own way a celebration of just how devoted Hepworth was to maintaining that elusive state of mind to which Brâncuşi referred. Unlike Sally Festing’s Hepw ... (read more)

Gregory Day reviews 'The Book of Trespass: Crossing the lines that divide us' by Nick Hayes

December 2020, no. 427 26 November 2020
The concept of ‘trespass’ first entered English law records in the thirteenth century. That this appearance fell between the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066 and the reformation of the English church by Henry VIII in 1534 is no accident. As Nick Hayes shows in The Book of Trespass, the process by which the English commons were enclosed by the statutes of the wealthy landowning class wa ... (read more)

Gregory Day reviews 'Field of Poppies' by Carmel Bird

November 2019, no. 416 23 October 2019
When Claude Monet lived in Argenteuil in the 1870s, he famously worked in a studio-boat on the Seine. He painted the river, he painted bridges over the river, he painted snow, the sky, his children and his wife, and, famously, a field of red poppies with a large country house in the background. Argenteuil is to Paris roughly what Heidelberg and Templestowe are to Melbourne. Once a riparian haven f ... (read more)

Gregory Day reviews 'Incredible Floridas' by Stephen Orr

April 2018, no. 400 02 March 2018
Despite the detailed excavatory art of the finest biographies, sometimes it takes the alchemical power of fiction to approximate the emotional geography of a single human and his or her milieu. Stephen Orr’s seventh novel, a compelling and at times distressing portrait of a twentieth-century Australian painter and his family, is one such book. Roland Griffin’s resemblance to that of Russell Dr ... (read more)

Gregory Day reviews 'The Best Australian Poems 2017' edited by Sarah Holland-Batt

December 2017, no. 397 24 November 2017
When W.H. Auden took the cue for his poem ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’ from Brueghel’s Fall of Icarus, he did not presume the reader’s knowledge of the iconography of the painting but rather sprang open its central and universal theme, which touches all our lives: how ‘dreadful martyrdom must run its course’. It is easy to think our lurid times are perhaps unsuited to such universalities, g ... (read more)

'The 900s Have Moved', a new story by Gregory Day

January-February 2015, no. 368 01 January 2015
Georgie heard it too. On the very first morning of this story, though so much had gone beforehand. The usual warbling of the typical magpies, if anything so mysteriously complex as a magpie’s song can be called typical. There she’d lie, day after day, alongside Muir in their countless beds, in cramped corner flats and large creaking homesteads, in cold fibro shacks and bedsits baking for the l ... (read more)

Jolley Prize 2011 (Winner): 'The Neighbour’s Beans' by Gregory Day

October 2011, no. 335 27 September 2011
In the weeks and months after his Moira died he’d whittled off the callers, one by one, until even gentle Dave O’Donnell, his oldest friend, felt like a stranger when he came by to drop off a family-size pie. This was an unlikely turn of behaviour. In the resolute stare he gave Dave at the side door of the house, there was a grief that could brook no niceties, despite their history together. ... (read more)