Peter Kenneally

Some things just don’t appear to go together, unless you are good at puzzles. A fox, a goose, and a bag of beans, for instance; or maybe a wolf, a goat, and a cabbage. Then there are Australia, love, and poetry. Australians and poetry can’t be left alone together, can they, and don’t expressions of love ...

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Peter Kenneally on 'Southerly Vol. 72, No. 3'

Peter Kenneally
Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Elizabeth McMahon is afflicted with the love of islands. In editing this issue of Southerly, her introduction tells us, she wanted to explore our fascination with them, in our imaginations and in our reality as an island continent surrounded by island nations.

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Beast Language' by Toby Davidson

Peter Kenneally
Monday, 27 May 2013

‘Poetry is a long apprenticeship,’ says Toby Davidson at the start of his first collection. He is certainly a poet who has mastered far more than the basics. Beast Language is only seventy-seven pages long, but feels far more substantial. Davidson has travelled a long way: from west coast to east, from novice to scholar ...

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Confessional Box'

Peter Kenneally
Sunday, 28 April 2013

It’s simple. A young woman, her love for her partner slipping away, looks at their suburb, and him, and their relationship, and writes bronze-clad poetry about it. Then she takes to the bush, describing its towns and picking at its history with the same clear eye she uses to examine her lost love. She combines a photographic exactness with a resounding turn of phr ...

Peter Kenneally reviews the new biography of Werner Pelz

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 26 March 2013

In 1985, at La Trobe University, a sociology undergraduate is in a tutorial with his supervisor. He has chosen to write 6000 words on the role of art and the artist in capitalist societies and his sixty-four-year-old tutor has, rather surprisingly, encouraged him.

In fact, as the student, Roger Averill, comes to know the older man, he realises that ‘ ...

In Alan Wearne’s new collection, his not-quite-self-appointed role as chronicler of Australian mora et tempores continues, more overtly than before. Prepare the Cabin for Landing pays homage to the Roman satirist Juvenal and his eighteenth-century heir, Samuel Johnson ...

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Autoethnographic'

Peter Kenneally
Friday, 26 October 2012

Michael Brennan has looked into the future in his new poetry collection, Autoethnographic, and come to the obligatory dsytopic conclusions. There is global warming, social breakdown, closed airports and borders, and so on, and, of course, a mysteriously catalytic event – in this case it is called The Great Forgetting. It would be a mistake, though, to think ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'open sesame'

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

 Michael Farrell was the 2012 winner of the Peter Porter Poetry Prize, awarded by this magazine. open sesame is his latest collection of poetry, and an earlier version of it won the inaugural Barrett Reid Award for a radical poetry manuscript, in 2008. It has 123 pages.

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'Rawshock' by Toby Fitch

Peter Kenneally
Monday, 24 September 2012

As a result of the public works of Puncher & Wattmann, it has been established yet again that a book of poetry can andshould combine meaning and design in a shock of pleasure. Toby Fitch’s first full-length collection, especially the central title poem, does this in spades. Orpheus returns to ...

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Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Sunlit Zone' by Lisa Jacobson

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 10 July 2012

It is 2050 in Melbourne. The seas have risen, full of accidental genetic mixtures and cloned versions of extinct favourites, while the land is dried out and life is a tense combination of techno-affluence, terror, and normality ...

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