Past Fireside Chats


New Poetry with Michael Farrell and Peter Rose – Wednesday 12 September

It was a wild and windy night for our second Fireside Chat at Boyd. Some of our high old nineteenth-century windows (newly automated) chose to open of their own accord for the first time, which rather added to the atmosphere, but our two readers persisted in this first of many straight readings at ABR’s new headquarters.

The readers were Michael Farrell and Peter Rose, both of whom have recently published new poetry collections. Earlier this year Michael Farrell won the Peter Porter Poetry Prize. This was a good opportunity to celebrate ABR’s long and rich association with Peter Porter. Michael Farrell read from his latest book, open sesame (Giramondo, 2012). Peter Rose read mostly from Crimson Crop (UWA Publishing, 2012), which has just won a Queensland Literary Award.




Michael Farrell grew up in Bombala, New South Wales, and has lived in Melbourne since 1990. Recent publications include a raiders guide (2008), thempark (2010) and thou sand (2011). He co-edited Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (2009), and his latest book, open sesame, is published by Giramondo. Michael is the winner of the 2012 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.

Peter Rose has published five poetry collections, most recently Crimson Crop (UWA Publishing, 2012). His family memoir, Rose Boys (2001), won the National Biography Award in 2003, and his latest novel is Roddy Parr (Fourth Estate, 2010). He has been Editor of Australian Book Review since 2001.



A Night with Jonson, Donne and Shakespeare – 15 August 2012

On August 15 a capacity audience gathered in Studio 2 at Boyd – Melbourne’s new venue for books and ideas. Lisa Gorton and Ian Donaldson spoke about their specialities – John Donne and Ben Jonson, respectively – and the general ‘Shakespeare moment’. They read from their works and discussed the marked differences in temperament and style between these two commanding figures of English literature.

This was the first of our Fireside Chats, which will take place in Studio 2 on the second Wednesday of each month. Keep an eye on the website for more details of ABR’s fast-growing list of events.


A Night with Jonson, Donne and Shakespeare – podcast


Press the play button to stream the podcast.

{audio}Fireside Chat No. 1|Fireside_Chat1.mp3{/audio}

Click the link below to download the podcast as an mp3.

mp3 Fireside Chat






Lisa Gorton studied at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford, completing a doctorate on John Donne’s poetry and prose. A Rhodes Scholar, she completed a Masters in Renaissance Literature and a Doctorate on John Donne at Oxford University, and was awarded the John Donne Society Award for Distinguished Publication in Donne Studies. Her poetry collection, Press Release, won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry in 2008.

Ian Donaldson is a former President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He is General Editor of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson, and author of Ben Jonson: A Life, which has just been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.


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