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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 'Australian Love Poems 2013' by Mark Tredinnick

October 2013, no. 355 25 September 2013
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 lose something when uttered out of the side of the mouth? Donna Ward, publisher of Aust ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Beast Language' by Toby Davidson

June 2013, no. 352 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, and the book has much of this movement in it. ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally Reviews 'Confessional Box' by Vanessa Page

May 2013, no. 351 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 phrase and an ability to use a refr ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Exile: The Lives and Hopes of Werner Pelz' by Roger Averill

April 2013, no. 350 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 ‘for him, my over-reaching was a promising sig ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Prepare the Cabin for Landing' by Alan Wearne

February 2013, no. 348 26 January 2013
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. Both shared what Wearne describes as ‘that combination of bemusement, annoyance, anger and despair to which your country (let ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Autoethnographic' by Michael Brennan

November 2012, no. 346 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 that Brennan is some kind of post-ever ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Rawshock' by Toby Fitch

October 2012, no. 345 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 Hades to rescue Eurydice. In ten poems, each mirroring the original Rorschach ink blot on the page f ... (read more)

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Snowline' by Jo Langdon

September 2012, no. 344 28 August 2012
A childhood in Australia, safe and dry, but somehow incomplete: then time overseas defining the self against a different sky; finally, the return home, perhaps to start a family and begin the cycle all over again. This is the experience, recognisable to so many Australians, that Jo Langdon encompasses, with a crisp and clear eye, in Snowline, the latest in a series of small chapbooks from Whitmore ... (read more)
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