Paul Kane

Paul Kane

Paul Kane is poetry editor of Antipodes and artistic director of the Mildura Writers’ Festival. His most recent book is A Passing Bell: Ghazals for Tina (George Braziller 2019). He divides his time between New York and rural Victoria.

'A Geology of Contemporary Australian Poetry' by Paul Kane

August 2001, no. 233 01 August 2001
I Scheme: The Good, the Bad, and the Bland Rhetoric has a bad name. And for good reason. Not only does it suggest insincerity and verbal manipulation, it also has a strong odour of scholasticism about it. It is with some trepidation, therefore, that I turn to ancient rhetoric to urge upon you two terms I find useful in thinking about contemporary Australian poetry. I will make it as palatable as ... (read more)

'To Make a Desert' a poem by Paul Kane

February 2007, no. 288 01 March 2004
‘They make a desert and call it peace.’Calgacus, on the Romans, AD 83 How will they remember us, the dead?As a cause – a just cause – or simply an end? And when we, like traces of shootingstars, have visited our stripes upon the world and in our turn are gone, how will webe remembered by those who follow, those who will have overcome us? The victorswho write also read the history o ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'It Feels Like Disbelief' by Paul Hetherington

July–August 2007, no. 293 01 July 2007
Paul Kane reviews 'It Feels Like Disbelief' by Paul Hetherington
This is Paul Hetherington’s eighth book of poetry, his first full collection since his selected poems, Stepping Away (2001) and his verse novel, Blood and Old Belief (2003). The publication of a selected poems can sometimes have what the poet Richard Howard refers to as a ‘tombstone effect’, bringing creative work to a pause or halt, but Hetherington’s new book is very much a carrying forw ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'Götterdämmerung Café' by Andrew Taylor and 'Russian Ink' by Andrew Sant

June 2001, no. 231 01 June 2001
Paul Kane reviews 'Götterdämmerung Café' by Andrew Taylor and 'Russian Ink' by Andrew Sant
Wallace Stevens once remarked: ‘One of the essential conditions to the writing of poetry is impetus.’ It’s a statement worth keeping in mind when confronting a new book of poems, because thinking about impetus helps us locate the concerns of the poet and the orientation of the book. Since poems are not objects so much as events, what drives a poem helps govern how it arrives at its destinati ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'Silicon Literacies' edited by Ilana Snyder

December 2002-January 2003, no. 247 01 December 2002
Paul Kane reviews 'Silicon Literacies' edited by Ilana Snyder
Although the World Wide Web was begun in 1990, it didn’t really get going in a big way until 1994, with the First International World Wide Web conference held at CERN in Switzerland. That was less than a decade ago. And that should give us pause. Think how important the Web has become in those few years. Consider, too, what sort of computer you were using in 1994 and compare it to what you deplo ... (read more)

'Festival Days: Mildura Writers’ Festival 2001' by Paul Kane

April 2001, no. 229 01 April 2001
Coming upon the fertile fields of Mildura after miles of dry Mallee shrub you have the sense of entering an oasis. For a writer, arriving at the Mildura Festival elicits a similar response: here, at last, is a place to be refreshed and fed, metaphorically and literally. It is a friendly and delicious affair, where writers are fêted because their work is valued and where enjoyment seems raised to ... (read more)

'In the Luxembourg Gardens', a new poem by Paul Kane

May 2020, no. 421 27 April 2020
The languid water of a fountainrises to a steady height, collapsesupon itself, splashing a stone bowl on a pedestal.The elliptical pool ripplesin the afternoon’s light air. This is where people gatherto be alone or with others,where children lend their exuberance – festive – tothe otherwise tranquil scene.We are in the midst of a plague, but you wouldn’t know it, just aswe don’t know ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews ‘The Poetry of Les Murray’ edited by Laurie Hergenhan and Bruce Clunies Ross, ‘Les Murray’ by Steven Matthews, and ‘Poems the Size of Photographs’ by Les Murray

May 2002, no. 241 01 May 2002
You might expect a book of eighty-eight new poems by Les Murray to be sizeable (most of his recent single volumes run to about sixty poems each). But Poems the Size of Photographs (Duffy & Snellgrove, $22 pb, 106 pp, 1876631236) is literally a small book, composed of short poems (‘though some are longer’, says the back cover). A few are only two lines, and most would fit on a pos ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'Collected Poems' by Mark Strand

March 2015, no. 369 02 March 2015
Paul Kane reviews 'Collected Poems' by Mark Strand
It is tempting to say that when Mark Strand died last November American poetry lost one of its most distinctive voices. But it isn’t quite true. First, Strand had already retired from poetry several years earlier (before Philip Roth and Alice Munro caused a stir by doing so from fiction). Strand returned to his first career as an artist (a very talented one, according to his teachers at Yale’s ... (read more)

Paul Kane reviews 'Braiding the Voices: Essays in Poetry' by Peter Steele

October 2012, no. 345 26 September 2012
Paul Kane reviews 'Braiding the Voices: Essays in Poetry' by Peter Steele
Peter Steele once described his teaching and writing as ‘acts of celebration’. He is – and was – quite literally a celebrant: in his role as a Jesuit priest, and as a poet of praise. Those acts of celebration extend to his prose works as well, both his homilies and his literary essays, especially those that take up the matter of poetry. Peter Steele passed away, after a long illness, in Ju ... (read more)
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