Non Fiction

Craig Wilcox reviews 'Boredom is the Enemy '

Craig Wilcox
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

W hat book would you want to read in hell, or in one of humanity’s remarkably competent imitations of it? Tristram Shandy seemed about right to one young Yorkshireman who reached the Western Front in 1915. A year later he found an anthology for soldiers edited by Robert Bridges, the poet laureate, but it seemed so lofty in purpose, so earnest in its moral ...

Colin Steele

Colin Steele
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dr Johnson wrote in his review of Soame Jenyns’s A Free Enquiry into the Nature of the Origin of Good and Evil: ‘The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.’ One could argue, in the context of contemporary scholarly writing, that increasingly the only end is to satisfy the evaluative demands of research ...

Ellena Savage reviews 'Island 129: Women'

Ellena Savage
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Editing a ‘women’s edition’ of a literary journal is bound to be fraught with semantic problems. What is women’s writing? By women? About women? As Island ’s fiction editor, Rachel Edwards, editorialises, ‘there is nothing that defines women’s fiction apart from the sex of the author. Nothing!’ The politics of contriving a women’s edition ...

Rose Lucas reviews 'Australian Poetry Journal Volume 2.1'

Rose Lucas
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Australian Poetry Journal, the biannual publication published by Australian Poetry, offers a national focus for poetry and criticism. It includes contributions from established writers and from new voices. All in all, APJ indicates a cheering and cohering centre of gravity for all things poetic in contemporary Australia.

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Gig Ryan reviews two poetry titles by Ken Bolton

Gig Ryan
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ken Bolton has published twenty books of poetry in the past thirty-five years, including a verse novel, The Circus (2010), and an earlier Selected Poems (1992), as well as seven often hilarious poetic collaborations with John Jenkins. An art critic, Bolton edited the seminal magazines Magic Sam and Otis Rush; and he has been a publisher w ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'open sesame'

Peter Kenneally
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

 Michael Farrell was the 2012 winner of the Peter Porter Poetry Prize, awarded by this magazine. open sesame is his latest collection of poetry, and an earlier version of it won the inaugural Barrett Reid Award for a radical poetry manuscript, in 2008. It has 123 pages.

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Colin Nettelbeck on 'The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir'

Colin Nettelbeck
Tuesday, 25 September 2012

As the maker of the nine-and-a-half hour film Shoah (1985), Claude Lanzmann created a work of major and enduring historical importance. Through its electrifyingly tense interviews with victims and perpetrators, it opens an indispensable, if harrowing, dimension to our understanding of Hitler’s Final Solution. A work that unrelentingly has as its subject dea ...

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Rawshock' by Toby Fitch

Peter Kenneally
Monday, 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 ...

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Bernadette Brennan reviews 'Wild Card' by Dorothy Hewett

Bernadette Brennan
Thursday, 30 August 2012

Dorothy Hewett’s Wild Card: An Autobiography 1923–1958 was first published by McPhee Gribble in 1990. Now, a decade after Hewett’s death, UWA Publishing has reissued this extraordinary autobiography in a beautifully packaged, reader-friendly format. Reviewing Wild Card for ABR in October 1990, Chris Wallace-Crabbe drew attention to H ...

Jane Goodall: Remembering Robert Hughes (1938–2012)

Jane Goodall
Thursday, 30 August 2012

When Gore Vidal died a few weeks ago, his publisher issued a statement calling him the last survivor of a postwar crop of American literary giants. ‘It is hard to think of another … who cut as dashing and visible a figure in various public realms,’ said Vidal’s Doubleday editor, Gerald Howard. Less than a week later the obituary columns were taken over by ju ...

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