David McCooey

David McCooey reviews 'Cocky's Joy' by Michael Farrell

David McCooey
29 May 2015

As popular culture has long understood (hello Priscilla, hello Muriel), there is something queer about Australia. Michael Farrell’s latest collection of poems, Cocky’s Joy, rewrites Australia as a site of almost-inherent queerness. ‘Cocky’ is antipodean slang for a farmer, but the term’s evocation here is surely a camp subversion of traditional, mas ... More

David McCooey is Poet of the Month

27 April 2015

WHICH POETS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOU?

Countless contemporary Australian poets, Tomas Tranströmer, Weldon Kees, Elizabeth Bishop. I could go on, but it’s not just poets. I would love to write a poem as ‘poetic’ as Michelangelo Antonioni’s films. I wish I could be as funny as Pierre Étaix. And th ... More

'Sack' by John Kinsella

David McCooey
26 February 2015

The eponymous poem in John Kinsella’s latest book recounts a group of teenagers witnessing a sack being flung from a speeding car. The sack, they discover, is filled with tortured kittens. This shocking poem of human cruelty begins a collection concerned with Kinsella’s great themes: the degradation of the environment, human violence (particularly towards animal ... More

David McCooey reviews 'The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, Fourth Edition' by Roland Greene et al.

David McCooey
27 September 2013

It’s not just history that is written by the victors, but the encyclopedias, too. The eighteenth-century encyclopedias, such as Diderot’s Encyclopédie, were the projects More

David McCooey reviews 'The Collected Blue Hills' by Laurie Duggan

David McCooey
27 May 2013

In The Resistance to Poetry (2004), James Longenbach claims that ‘Distrust of poetry (its potential for inconsequence, its pretensions to consequence) is the stuff of poetry.’ T More

David McCooey reviews 'On Poetry' by Glyn Maxwell

David McCooey
28 January 2013

‘T his is a book for anyone,’ begins On Poetry, by the English poet Glyn Maxwell. It is a bold gesture, returning an ancient art to ‘anyone’ interested in it. Inasmuch as any book can be for everyone, On Poetry is such a book. It is funny, original, and doesn’t presuppose expertise on the part of the reader. It is the best book on reading and ... More

David McCooey reviews the new biography of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons

David McCooey
28 November 2012

One day in 1984, Leonard Cohen played his latest album to Walter Yetnikoff, the head of the music division of Cohen’s record label, Columbia. Yetnikoff listened to the album, and then said, ‘Leonard, we know you’re great, we just don’t know if you are any good.’ Columbia subsequently decided against releasing the album, Various Positions (1985), in ... More

David McCooey reviews '100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss' edited by Jamie Grant

David McCooey
21 April 2011

100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss is the companion volume to Jamie Grant’s 100 Australian Poems You Need to Know (2008). The title of the new anthology shies away f More

David McCooey reviews 'A Cool and Shaded Heart' and 'Ethical Investigations' by Noel Rowe

David McCooey
14 April 2011

Noel Rowe, poet and critic, was something of an enigma to me. It is hard to believe that he was still in his thirties (just) when I met him in 1990 at the University of Sydney, he a lectur More

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