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Paul Kane

Paul Kane

Paul Kane is poetry editor of Antipodes and artistic director of the Mildura Writers’ Festival. His most recent book is A Passing Bell: Ghazals for Tina (George Braziller 2019). He divides his time between New York and rural Victoria.

'A Whiter Shade of Pale' by Paul Kane

April 2006, no. 280 01 April 2006
… although my eyes were open In ’68 I sported a Panic Button on my blazer – pushed, it read ‘Things will get worse before they get worse.’ After the assassinations, I threw it away. On edge, we were now living on the edge. Across the hall, Drexler, the quiet kid from Belgium, played Procol Harum full blast whenever ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry' edited by John Leonard

May 2010, no. 321 01 May 2010
‘Posterity is so dainty,’ complained the American essayist John Jay Chapman, ‘that it lives on nothing but choice morsels.’ Chapman was writing about Browning, whose work for his contemporaries meant life, not art. But, Chapman predicts, ‘Posterity will want only art’. It is a nice distinction when considering our penchant for anthologies. This daintiness goes all the way back to the f ... (read more)

'Doo Town', a poem by Paul Kane

March 2004, no. 259 18 November 2022
Just off the A9, en route to Port Arthur, Here close by the Blowhole, Tasman’s Arch and the Devil’s Kitchen,  the little settlement of Doo revels in its punning nomenclature. The vying houses try to outdo one another: Doo Drop In, Nothing to Doo, Diggery Doo, Morning Doo – we are the punning species, looking for ways to escape enclosures of language, the incarcerations of ide ... (read more)

'A Geology of Contemporary Australian Poetry' by Paul Kane

August 2001, no. 233 01 August 2001
I Scheme: The Good, the Bad, and the Bland Rhetoric has a bad name. And for good reason. Not only does it suggest insincerity and verbal manipulation, it also has a strong odour of scholasticism about it. It is with some trepidation, therefore, that I turn to ancient rhetoric to urge upon you two terms I find useful in thinking about contemporary Australian poetry. I will make it as palatable as ... (read more)

'To Make a Desert' a poem by Paul Kane

February 2007, no. 288 01 March 2004
‘They make a desert and call it peace.’Calgacus, on the Romans, AD 83 How will they remember us, the dead?As a cause – a just cause – or simply an end? And when we, like traces of shootingstars, have visited our stripes upon the world and in our turn are gone, how will webe remembered by those who follow, those who will have overcome us? The victorswho write also read the history o ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'It Feels Like Disbelief' by Paul Hetherington

July–August 2007, no. 293 01 July 2007
This is Paul Hetherington’s eighth book of poetry, his first full collection since his selected poems, Stepping Away (2001) and his verse novel, Blood and Old Belief (2003). The publication of a selected poems can sometimes have what the poet Richard Howard refers to as a ‘tombstone effect’, bringing creative work to a pause or halt, but Hetherington’s new book is very much a carrying forw ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'Götterdämmerung Café' by Andrew Taylor and 'Russian Ink' by Andrew Sant

June 2001, no. 231 01 June 2001
Wallace Stevens once remarked: ‘One of the essential conditions to the writing of poetry is impetus.’ It’s a statement worth keeping in mind when confronting a new book of poems, because thinking about impetus helps us locate the concerns of the poet and the orientation of the book. Since poems are not objects so much as events, what drives a poem helps govern how it arrives at its destinati ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'Silicon Literacies' edited by Ilana Snyder

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247 01 December 2002
Although the World Wide Web was begun in 1990, it didn’t really get going in a big way until 1994, with the First International World Wide Web conference held at CERN in Switzerland. That was less than a decade ago. And that should give us pause. Think how important the Web has become in those few years. Consider, too, what sort of computer you were using in 1994 and compare it to what you deplo ... (read more)

'Festival Days: Mildura Writers’ Festival 2001' by Paul Kane

April 2001, no. 229 01 April 2001
Coming upon the fertile fields of Mildura after miles of dry Mallee shrub you have the sense of entering an oasis. For a writer, arriving at the Mildura Festival elicits a similar response: here, at last, is a place to be refreshed and fed, metaphorically and literally. It is a friendly and delicious affair, where writers are fêted because their work is valued and where enjoyment seems raised to ... (read more)

'In the Luxembourg Gardens', a new poem by Paul Kane

May 2020, no. 421 27 April 2020
The languid water of a fountainrises to a steady height, collapsesupon itself, splashing a stone bowl on a pedestal.The elliptical pool ripplesin the afternoon’s light air. This is where people gatherto be alone or with others,where children lend their exuberance – festive – tothe otherwise tranquil scene.We are in the midst of a plague, but you wouldn’t know it, just aswe don’t know ... (read more)
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