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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)

Seeing People

January-February 2015, no. 368 06 January 2015
Seeing people who remind you just a little of the dead is always mildly disconcerting – something in the face, the gait, the shoulders from behind,those likenesses that don’t surprise ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Selected Poems' by Evan Jones

January-February 2015, no. 368 16 December 2014
Evan Jones’s Selected Poems is more than timely: its author was born in 1931. In an introduction (or ‘Personal Appreciation’), fellow Melbourne poet Alex Skovron complains that ‘Evan’s work has not always received the attention it deserves, especially in recent years’. It is worth pausing a moment to consider why this should be so. Jones is one of several highly talented poets associa ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Circle Work' by Cameron Lowe

October 2014, no. 365 01 October 2014
Just over fifty years since the death of the great American poet William Carlos Williams, it is pleasing to see so much of his spirit still alive in Cameron Lowe’s third collection, Circle Work. Williams was often short-changed by poets who, mistakenly, thought his short, ‘photographic’ poems easy to imitate. Lowe, by contrast, fully understands the importance of close observation and imagin ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Woodsmoke' by Todd Turner

September 2014, no. 364 26 August 2014
Todd Turner’s first collection, Woodsmoke, evolves intriguingly. It starts in the ‘anti-pastoral’ mode founded by Philip Hodgins. Here the poet, long since relocated to the city, looks back with tellingly evocative detail but a divided sensibility on the life he (it’s normally a ‘he’) has now abandoned. ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Radiance' by Andy Kissane

August 2014, no. 363 23 July 2014
Andy Kissane’s fourth collection, Radiance, is a heartening answer to those who, like publisher Stephen Matthews, lament that ‘many modern poets choose to shroud their work in point-scoring obscurity at a time when clarity and accessibility might encourage more people to read poetry’. Kissane doesn’t address this issue directly, but his book is an important negative instance. The first vi ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Personal Weather' by Peter Bakowski

May 2014, no. 361 30 April 2014
Personal Weather is Peter Bakowski’s seventh collection, yet he remains impossible to categorise. His is a distant relative of Ken Bolton’s conversational style, while also a close cousin to central European poetry. His poems can be three-page narratives or urbanised haiku. Above all, Bakowski is a poet of wonder – wonder at the contradictions and complexity of life as it passes him by. He i ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'From the Trenches', edited by Mark Dapin

April 2014, no. 360 28 March 2014
Mark Dapin’s anthology, From the Trenches, is a timely but not opportunistic book. At more than 400 pages, it is long enough to suggest the sheer scale of the war and its centrality to European (if not world) history ever since. It samples all the relevant genres (letters, memoir, journalism, fiction, poetry) and offers a multiplicity of viewpoints (senior ranks, subalterns, NCOs, privates, and ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Recurrence' by Graeme Miles

February 2014, no. 358 19 January 2014
Graeme Miles, born in Perth in 1976, has lived and studied in India and Europe, and now teaches Classics at the University of Tasmania. His work, though various, is highly distinctive. Much of it exists at the difficult-to-imagine intersection of philosophy, mythology, and surrealism. Its rhythms and cadences are highly accomplished; its erudition effortless and unpretentious. ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews '150 Motets' by Homer Rieth

April 2013, no. 350 26 March 2013
Although the Melbourne publisher Black Pepper has a stable of major Australian poets (Stephen Edgar and Jennifer Harrison among them), it is also a house that likes to take chances. The favourable reception accorded Homer Rieth’s 359-page epic poem, ‘Wimmera’, in 2009 was definitely a punt that paid off. The book was shortlisted for The Age Book of the Year and became an ABC television progr ... (read more)

Geoff Page reviews 'Apollo in George Street' by Michael Sharkey

October 2012, no. 345 25 September 2012
David McKee Wright is a curious figure in Australian poetry – and in New Zealand poetry, for that matter. As editor of the Bulletin’s Red Page from 1916 to 1926, he was a well-liked and -respected figure in his own time (1869–1928), but he has seriously faded since. He is thinly represented in a number of anthologies, both here and in New Zealand, and was omitted altogether from Robert Gray ... (read more)
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