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Philip Morrissey

Philip Morrissey

Philip Morrissey retired in 2017 after a career of thirty-seven years as an administrator and an academic. He is the co-editor of the essay collections Kim Scott: Readers, language, interpretation (2019) and Reading the Country: 30 years on (2018), and is the senior editor of Lionel Fogarty: Selected poems 1980-2017.

Philip Morrissey reviews 'Close to the Subject: Selected works' by Daniel Browning

October 2023, no. 458 24 September 2023
The vibrant state of Aboriginal intellectual life is immediately evident upon reading Melissa Lucashenko’s foreword and Daniel Browning’s introduction to his Close to the Subject: Selected works. Lucashenko combines insight with an engaging, colloquial style; Browning, without apology or artifice, weighs up the successes, failures, and resentments of almost three decades as a journalist. Lega ... (read more)

Philip Morrissey reviews 'Shadow Child' by Rosalie Fraser

July 1999, no. 212 01 July 1999
Rosalie Fraser, a two-year-old Aboriginal child, is taken from her family by Child Welfare authorities and fostered with a distant relation of her non-Aboriginal father. She suffers years of abuse at the hands of her foster mother. Occasionally she runs away but her foster mother is always able to charm her into returning. She finally leaves for good when she meets a young man named Stan whom she ... (read more)

Philip Morrissey reviews 'Jimmy Little: A Yorta Yorta man' by Frances Peters-Little

June 2023, no. 454 23 May 2023
The remarkable second act of Jimmy Little’s career commenced with the release of Messenger in 1999. The album was a selection of atmospheric renditions of classic Australian rock songs. In stark contrast to the reassuring homeliness of his earlier recordings, Little’s reading of them evoked an Australia of vast empty spaces, melancholy, and solitude. Those lucky enough to attend the concerts t ... (read more)

Philip Morrissey reviews 'Harvest Lingo: New poems' by Lionel Fogarty

September 2022, no. 446 27 August 2022
If nothing else, Lionel Fogarty’s longevity as a poet should bring him to our attention. Kargun, his first work, was published forty-two years ago amid the ferment of utopian Black Panther politics, discriminatory legislation, and racialised police violence. Fogarty’s finest work, Ngutji, published in 1984, drew on his experience growing up in Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement, but the breadth o ... (read more)

Philip Morrissey reviews 'Those Who Remain Will Always Remember: An anthology of Aboriginal writing' by Anne Brewster, Angeline O’Neill and Rosemary van den Berg (eds.)

April 2000, no. 219 01 April 2000
Those Who Remain Will Always Remember is a fitting successor to Paperbark, the Muecke, Davis, Shoemaker, Mudrooroo anthology of a decade earlier. Though it is a regional publication, restricted to Aboriginal authors from Western Australia, it follows the same catholic principles of inclusion that made Paperbark a book of its time. Its editors Anne Brewster, Angeline O’Neill, and Rosemary van den ... (read more)

Philip Morrissey reviews 'Oodgeroo' by Kathie Cochrane

November 1994, no. 166 01 November 1994
A striking black-and-white photograph on the front cover of Oodgeroo implacable and wise. And then the publisher’s blurb on the back cover: Oodgeroo – poet, human rights activist, conservationist, educator, artist – proudly saluted her people’s heritage, whose ‘long making’ was ‘so much of the past’, and gladly beckoned a brighter future. A great and passionate voice of Aborigin ... (read more)

Philip Morrissey reviews 'The Children’s Country: Creation of a Goolarabooloo future in north-west Australia' by Stephen Muecke

May 2021, no. 431 27 April 2021
In 1985, following the publication of their collaborative works Gularabulu: Stories from the West Kimberley and Reading the Country: Introduction to nomadology (with artist Krim Benterrak as co-author), Paddy Roe, possibly sensing that the young researcher would be of critical importance to his life’s project, suggested to Stephen Muecke that there needed to be a third book, The Children’s Cou ... (read more)