Peter Kenneally

Peter Kenneally

Peter Kenneally is a writer, editor and librarian based in Melbourne. In 2020 he was shortlisted for the City of Melbourne Creative Writing Award and longlisted for the BBC Radio 4 National Short Story Prize.

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Suite for Percy Grainger' by Jessica L. Wilkinson

June-July 2015, no. 372 29 May 2015
Peter Kenneally reviews 'Suite for Percy Grainger' by Jessica L. Wilkinson
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 (1882–1961) is generally known as an interesting character first and a composer second. Wilk ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Blue Note' by Richard Havers

April 2015, no. 370 27 March 2015
Peter Kenneally reviews 'Blue Note' by Richard Havers
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 jazz fan. We get anodyne liner notes rath ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Wild' by Libby Hart

January-February 2015, no. 368 01 January 2015
Peter Kenneally reviews 'Wild' by Libby Hart
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’ human habitations. There is a kind ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry' edited by John Kinsella

December 2014, no. 367 01 December 2014
Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry' edited by John Kinsella
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, who direct the creative writin ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Devadatta’s Poems' by Judith Beveridge

August 2014, no. 363 01 August 2014
Peter Kenneally reviews 'Devadatta’s Poems' by Judith Beveridge
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 to ‘Between the Palace and the Bodhi Tree’, ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Cordite Poetry Review', issue 46 edited by Kent MacCarter

June–July 2014, no. 362 01 June 2014
Peter Kenneally reviews 'Cordite Poetry Review', issue 46 edited by Kent MacCarter
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 around and against the proposition that ‘There’s no such thing as a good poem about nothing’, and opening with a splendidly efferve ... (read more)

The glorious mess of Sydney Road

May 2014, no. 361 29 April 2014
The glorious mess of Sydney Road
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 poems back into print, alongside n ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Best Australian Poems 2013' edited by Lisa Gorton

February 2014, no. 358 17 January 2014
Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Best Australian Poems 2013' edited by Lisa Gorton
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, but we have already had Australian Love Poems. Black Inc. shows no signs of abandoning Best Poems: in fact it g ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Ephemeral Waters' by Kate Middleton

December 2013–January 2014, no. 357 01 December 2013
Peter Kenneally reviews 'Ephemeral Waters' by Kate Middleton
‘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 the way, expires a hundred miles from the sea. The fate that the ‘mighty Murray’ has barely avo ... (read more)

Bowra

November 2013, no. 356 31 October 2013
Bowra
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 Gothic, or, most often, mythopoeic. Dionysi ... (read more)
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