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Geoff Page

Geoff Page is based in Canberra. His books include 1953 (UQP 2013), Improving the News (Pitt Street Poetry 2013), New Selected Poems (Puncher & Wattmann 2013), Aficionado: A Jazz Memoir (Picaro Press 2014), Gods and Uncles (Pitt Street Poetry 2015), Hard Horizons (Pitt Street Poetry 2017) and PLEVNA: A Verse Biography (UWA Publishing 2016). He also edited The Best Australian Poems 2014 and The Best Australian Poems 2015 (Black Inc). His most recent books are in medias res (Pitt Street Poetry, 2019) and Codicil (Flying Islands Press, 2020)

Geoff Page reviews ‘The Sixth Swan’ by Diane Fahey and ‘Fiery Waters’ by Robyn Rowland

March 2002, no. 239 01 March 2002
Since 1982, Robyn Rowland has published three poetry collections at roughly ten-year intervals. She has also been an eminent, sometimes controversial, academic. Her poetry must have been a release from the stylistic and emotional restrictions of her academic work. Fiery Waters, her new collection, is a leisurely and deeply felt progress across most aspects of a middle-aged woman’s life. Both se ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews ‘The Man and the Map’ by Alex Skovron

November 2003, no. 256 01 November 2003
Alex Skovron has always been a clever poet, sometimes playfully so, more often seriously so. Skovron, who was born in Poland in 1948 and came to Australia, via Israel, in 1958, is steeped in the European intellectual tradition, though he wears his erudition lightly. Like almost everyone else, Skovron is troubled by the twentieth century: it seems to hang over the horizon of this book. He is also c ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Near the Border: New and selected poems' by Andrew Sant

January-February 2024, no. 461 19 December 2023
Andrew Sant is a substantial yet somewhat elusive figure in contemporary Australian poetry. Born in London, he arrived in Melbourne with his parents at age twelve in 1962. Over the years, he has published at least eleven collections, co-founded the literary magazine Island, and been, for a time, a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council. More recently, Sant has lived and worked in ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Growing Up with Mr Menzies' by John Jenkins

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
John Jenkins (especially in his collaborations with Ken Bolton) is normally thought of as an ‘experimental’ poet, but in Growing up with Mr Menzies he is on more traditional ground. Born in 1949 in Melbourne, Jenkins has created the fictional character Felix Hayes, who was also born in 1949 in Melbourne. In a series of poems, he traces Felix’s life from birth through to early adolescence. Ra ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Shore Lines' by Andrew Taylor

August 2023, no. 456 25 July 2023
Andrew Taylor has been an important figure in the Australian poetic landscape since his first book, The Cool Change, appeared in 1971. Identified with no particular group or aesthetic tendency, he has worked as poet and academic in Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth, and is now retired from teaching and based in Sydney. At the time of The Cool Change, Taylor looked to be the promising successor to Me ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'The Olive Tree: Collected Poems' by Mark O'Connor

October 2000, no. 225 01 October 2000
Mark O’Connor is a poet who has been in the news lately. Following in the steps of the ancient Greek poet, Pindar, he was appointed (by the Australia Council) as ‘official’ Olympic poet – though it seems inevitable that much of his work will concern only the Olympic flame on its way to the Games and the events to be seen on TV since neither SOCOG nor the Australia Council saw fit to give h ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Recognitions' by Evan Jones and 'The Aviary' by Peter Skrzynecki

May 1979, no. 10 01 May 1979
Probably not too many would quarrel with Evan Jones’ light-hearted description of himself as ‘one of our twenty best-known poets under forty in some views…’ Though closer now to fifty than forty, Jones in his three books so far has shown himself to be one of those academic poets of great fluency in traditional forms, capable of whipping up a cigar-and-port entertainment at a moment’s not ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Incarnation and Metamorphosis: Can literature change us?' by David Mason, and 'The Colosseum Introduction to David Mason' by Gregory Dowling

May 2023, no. 453 26 April 2023
American/Australian poet, David Mason, is also a verse novelist, librettist, and essayist. His latest collection of essays, Incarnation and Metamorphosis: Can literature change us?, is clearly the work of a man who enjoys literature as he finds it rather than as he is told to see it. He is not afraid to declare in his introduction that ‘[s]ome literary works are better than others’. It is the ... (read more)

‘Down with Beauty! Long Live Death!’, a poem by Geoff Page

May 2003, no. 251 18 November 2022
‘Down with Beauty! Long Live Death!’ Two gods share a single breath.   Their warriors can all agree on how to circumscribe the free   and are themselves in turn confined by being of the one small mind.   A Muslim and a Catholic phrase may equally distress our days;   the latter from the Spanish war, the former sure the hip’s a whore.   ‘Down with Bea ... (read more)
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