Peter Kenneally

Jessica L. Wilkinson won the 2014 Peter Porter Poetry Prize with ‘Arrival Platform Humlet', a phantasmagoria of typographical and lexical invention whirling around a tune of the same name by Percy Grainger. This book performs the same service for his whole life and oeuvre, to stunning effect.

Grainger (188 ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Blue Note' by Richard Havers

Peter Kenneally
Friday, 27 March 2015

A four hundred-page Thames & Hudson hardback stuffed with photographs? A coffee table book, you might think. And you would be right, since this is a history of the most famous label in jazz – with no discography. But it is gorgeous, full of great images, the design matches the label’s style, and the book tells Blue Note’s history well for the lay ja ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Wild' by Libby Hart

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Libby Hart’s new collection is ornate and knotty in a way that the reader would never divine from its cover, which is clear and white, with ‘wild’ in plain green typescript. It is essentially a bestiary, with birds of all kinds, as well as other creatures, including humans, in wild places, blown by winds and salt spray, or bringing wildness to ‘settled’ hu ...

Of all the books published in the United States last year, only three per cent were of foreign origin. This year is hardly likely to be any different. So it is something of a wonder that this considerable and imaginative collection of modern Australian poetry was produced in the unlikely setting of the University of Louisiana. Professors Jack Heflin and William Ryan ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Devadatta’s Poems'

Peter Kenneally
Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Seeking perfection or ‘enlightenment’ requires a monastic devotion to the life of the spirit and a rejection of material comforts. Judith Beveridge’s writings about the young Buddha and his cousin Devadatta bring out all the intricacies and contradictions inherent in such a quest.

This new volume, Devadatta’s Poems, holds up a kind of mirror t ...

Peter Kenneally: 'Cordite Poetry Review'

Peter Kenneally
Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The latest edition of this exclusively online poetry journal has no theme, but Cordite’s managing editor, Kent MacCarter, makes a virtue of its lack of subject. He builds the edition around a chapbook he has collated that is called ‘Spoon bending’, arguing a ...

Kevin Brophy's Walking

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Melbourne often seems an indeterminate place, with one flat suburb leaching into another. Writers tend to use place as local colour, the places themselves having little to say, in most cases. Kevin Brophy is an exception, and, especially in this ‘new and selected’ collection, a revelatory one. John Leonard have done great work in putting so many of Brophy’s po ...

The end of the year tends to bring a small and exquisitely formed avalanche of Australian poetry, including Best Poems from Black Inc., Best Poetry from the University of Queensland Press, and the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthology. Sadly UQP gave up the ghost with its annual after 2009 ...

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Ephemeral Waters' by Kate Middleton

Peter Kenneally
Thursday, 28 November 2013

‘As if cuffed by the ear, the Colorado river pulled me onward.’ The current that seized Kate Middleton can be felt throughout Ephemeral Waters, as she takes us from the headwaters of the Colorado, through the Grand Canyon, over the Hoover Dam, until the great river, all its water plundered along ...

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Bowra'

Peter Kenneally
Thursday, 31 October 2013

Australia is one of the most urbanised and docile societies on earth, but its cities are hemmed in by a vast, poetry-laden hinterland. There is Kinsella in the west, Adamson on the Hawkesbury, and, in this book, the western Queensland of B.R. Dionysius. No one ever seems to be matter of fact about the landscape in Australia. It is politically charged, or Gothi ...

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