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Paul Hetherington

Paul Hetherington has published seventeen volumes of poetry and prose poetry and won or been nominated for more than forty national and international awards and competitions, recently winning the 2021 Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize. He co-wrote Prose Poetry: An introduction (Princeton, 2020), and co-edited Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (MUP, 2020). He is Emeritus Professor of Writing at the University of Canberra.

Paul Hetherington reviews 'Press Release' by Lisa Gorton

February 2008, no. 298 01 February 2008
In Lisa Gorton’s first collection of poetry, somewhat ambiguously entitled Press Release, light, absence and doubt are major preoccupations. The poems speak of ‘a weight of light’, ‘neon expectation’, ‘ruined cities overrun with light’ and ‘all that falling light’ – in just the first of this volume’s four sections. Light, for Gorton, is a sometimes mesmerising and often overw ... (read more)

Paul Hetherington reviews 'The New Dark Age' by Joan London

May 2004, no. 261 01 May 2004
Over the last couple of decades in Australia, short fiction has been a poor cousin to the literary novel. While this country continues to produce fine writers of short fiction, many of them struggle to achieve book publication of their works. Larger publishers often seem no more interested in collections of short fiction than they are in poetry collections. Their argument: short fiction, like poet ... (read more)

Paul Hetherington reviews ‘The Poet: A novella’ by Alex Skovron

February 2006, no. 278 01 February 2006
The Poet is an unusual book. Dispensing with many of the conventions that underpin most extended works of prose fiction, such as significant characterisation, it presents a central protagonist, Manfred, who is ‘honest’ – as the author repeatedly states. Manfred is also a poet. The novella is written in formal and refined prose, as if the narrative style is designed to reflect Manfred’s ob ... (read more)

Paul Hetherington reviews 'Some Things to Place in a Coffin' by Bill Manhire

June-July 2017, no. 392 30 May 2017
Poetry books that focus on memory, recuperation, and loss are common, but it is rare to find poems that speak about such matters as sparely and eloquently as these do. Bill Manhire’s new poems are bony and sinewy, resonating with an awareness of public and personal grief. Although these works often speak by indirection, many of them pack a real punch. As Manhire probes the awkwardness of memory ... (read more)

Paul Hetherington reviews 'Towards the Equator' by Alex Skovron

June-July 2015, no. 372 29 May 2015
Alex Skovron’s impressive volume of new and selected poems, Towards the Equator, drawn from all of his published work to date, shows him to be a writer of recurrent and abiding preoccupations. He cares passionately and sometimes rather fastidiously about culture (particularly European culture), and continually worries about words, books, and their import. He is formally accomplished, writing son ... (read more)

Road trip to Piccadilly

November 2013, no. 356 31 October 2013
Ninety years after ‘An Exhibition of Australian Art’ was held at Burlington House, London, home of the Royal Academy of Arts, the exhibition Australia opened on 21 September 2013. Touted as the biggest exhibition of Australian art to be staged in the United Kingdom, it is an ambitious undertaking – nothing less than a survey exhibition encapsulating the response of Australian artists to land ... (read more)
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