Non Fiction

Richard Broinowski reviews 'North Korea'

Richard Broinowski
Thursday, 25 September 2014

North Korea always gets media attention for negative reasons: a border skirmish with its southern neighbour; a missile trial launch or nuclear test; vitriolic propaganda attacks on South Korea, Japan, or the United States; or the appalling findings of some human rights group like Michael Kirby’s recent UN Commission of Inquiry on North Korea’s human rights abuse ...

Stephen Atkinson reviews 'Visiting the Neighbours'

Stephen Atkinson
Thursday, 25 September 2014

It was timely that halfway through reading this book, I glanced up to see Clive Palmer on Q&A vowing to stand up to ‘the Chinese mongrels’. It was as if a columnist from the Bulletin circa 1895 had risen from the grave to thump a battered tub and warn us about the monster intent on destroying ‘our Australian way of life’. Imag ...

Cassandra Atherton reviews the new issue of 'Axon'

Cassandra Atherton
Thursday, 25 September 2014

Axon’s commitment to publishing new research in creativity and the creative process is highlighted in this issue on poetry. Lucy Dougan, consultant editor, introduces its exploration of ‘how poetry constitutes knowledge; how it is made; how poets think about their work’, and one of the exhaustive questions in the academy: ‘how poetry may be understood ...

Graeme Miles reviews 'The Unspeak Poems and Other Verses'

Graeme Miles
Thursday, 25 September 2014

TheUnspeak Poems, Tim Thorne’s fourteenth collection, is characteristically politically engaged and international in its scope. The best of these poems make use of Thorne’s acute ear for everyday speech. ‘Gettin’ there’, for instance, sad and memorable, creates through jumpy fragments of wry observations and narrative a picture of misguided h ...

Geoff Page reviews 'Circle Work'

Geoff Page
Thursday, 25 September 2014

Just over fifty years since the death of the great American poet William Carlos Williams, it ispleasing 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 impo ...

Martin Duwell reviews Geoffrey Lehmann's 'Poems: 1957−2013'

Martin Duwell
Thursday, 25 September 2014

A striking feature of this collection of Geoffrey Lehmann’s poetry of fifty-six years is how few loci of interest there are: ancient Rome, a farm in rural New South Wales, parenthood. His characteristic mode seems to be to explore these exhaustively by holding them up to the light and investigating every facet. Wallace Stevens’s ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a ...

Anthony Lynch: tributes to Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Anthony Lynch
Thursday, 25 September 2014

The title of Cassandra Atherton’s anthology, Travelling Without Gods, alludes to the particular brand of agnosticism that has run through Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s work over many decades. Journeying sans deity is evidenced strongly in the poet’s latest collection, a book which, like Atherton’s, has been published to coincide with Wallace-Crabbe’s eight ...

Eloise Ross reviews 'The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan'

Eloise Ross
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

‘I get awful intense about these movies I do. I become, in fact, obsessed with them.’ So Elia Kazan (1909–2003) wrote to his daughter in 1957. A workaholic, Kazan was both extremely self-assured and plagued by self-doubt, terrified he would produce mediocrity. He rarely did. As a stage and screen director he achieved remarkable success. Kazan was an egotist, a ...

Desley Deacon reviews the new biography of Shirley Temple

Desley Deacon
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Lucky Shirley Temple! Film star biographies are usually made up of a chronology laced with doubtful studio publicity and salacious gossip. But The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression is written by a reigning scholar of American culture, John F. Kasson. A professor of History and American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kass ...

Dina Ross reviews 'A Pianist’s A–Z'

Dina Ross
Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The concert pianist Alfred Brendel is one of the leading twentieth-century interpreters of music, with a special interest in the German repertoire. When he retired in 2008 after six decades of performing, he did so not through loss of stamina, but because of crippling arthritis in his hands. Brendel continues, at eighty-three, to teach, lecture, and write. (His poet ...

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