The ABR Podcast

The ABR Podcast 

Released every Wednesday, the ABR podcast features our finest reviews, poetry, fiction, interviews, and commentary.

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Peter Tregear


 Current episode:

Peter Tregear on Australian Universities

Australian universities are doing it tough – hit hard by the pandemic, compelled to find new ways of teaching during lockdown, and confronted by a federal government ostensibly unsympathetic to much of their work, especially in the humanities. International education – formerly one of Australia’s most lucrative export industries – is haemorrhaging. In today's episode, Peter Tregear – academic, author, critic – reads his review of Australian Universities: A history of common cause by Gwilym Croucher and James Waghorne, published by UNSW Press.

 

 

   

 

Recent episodes:


Peter Tregear on Australian Universities

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Australian universities are doing it tough – hit hard by the pandemic, compelled to find new ways of teaching during lockdown, and confronted by a federal government ostensibly unsympathetic to much of their work, especially in the humanities. International education – formerly one of Australia’s most lucrative export industries – is haemorrhaging. In today's episode, Peter Tregear – academic, author, critic – reads his review of Australian Universities: A history of common cause by Gwilym Croucher and James Waghorne, published by UNSW Press. 

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Paul Kildea on Musica Viva and Benjamin Britten

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Paul Kildea is a man of many parts – author, musician, new artistic director of Musica Viva – and a regular contributor to ABR. In this week’s podcast, he talks to Peter Rose about the challenges of programming Musica Viva’s season during a pandemic and about Benjamin Britten, whose opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a highlight of the 2021 Adelaide Festival. Paul Kildea – who will conduct the opera – is the author of a biography of Britten.

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Naama Grey-Smith on Daniel Davis Wood

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 27 January 2021

In today’s episode, Naama Grey-Smith reads her review of At the Edge of the Solid World, the second book of fiction by the Australian writer Daniel Davis Wood. The novel follows the breakdown of the lives of a man and wife in the aftermath of the death of their firstborn. Naama Grey-Smith, an editor, publisher and critic based in Fremantle, Western Australia, reviews the book for ABR’s January-February issue – describing it as ‘a masterclass in wedding form to content’.

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Tim Byrne in conversation about Mark Mordue's 'Boy on Fire'

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 20 January 2021

In today's episode of the ABR Podcast Tim Byrne discusses his review of Mark Mordue's new biography of Nick Cave with ABR Digital Editor Jack Callil. 

Tim Byrne’s review of Boy on Fire appears in the January-February issue.

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Samuel Watts on the assault on the US Capitol

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The events of January 6 shocked the world. In this episode of the ABR Podcast Samuel Watts reads his article 'This Is America' and offers a historical perspective. As Watts notes, 'To view the assault on the US Capitol as the climax of a dramatic, but brief, period of authoritarianism in the US is a potentially dangerous mistake. This attack was just the latest iteration in a long-lasting tradition of anti-democratic, white supremacist violence that has plagued the Republic since, at least, the Civil War.'

Samuel Watts’s article ‘This Is America’ is one of a series of commentaries funded by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

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The Porter Prize shortlisted poets read their poems

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 06 January 2021

The Peter Porter Poetry Prize, now in its seventeenth year and worth a total of $10,000, this year attracted more than 1300 entries from 33 different countries. It’s our pleasure now to present the five shortlisted poets, who introduce and read their shortlisted poems. Their poems appear online and in the January–February print edition of ABR. Single print issues can be bought here.

The overall winner (who will receive $6,000) won’t be known until the Porter Prize ceremony on January 27. Join us then at 5 pm Melbourne time for this online ceremony. This is a free event, but bookings are required via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (an access link for the event will be sent to you via email closer to the date).

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Jon Piccini on the Palace Letters

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Earlier this year, the National Archives of Australia – after an epic legal battle – finally released the Palace Letters, a substantial cache of correspondence shedding light on the involvement of Buckingham Palace in the lead-up to the dismissal of Gough Whitlam in 1975. In today's episode, Jon Piccini talks with Peter Rose about two new books that interrogate the significance of the letters: The Truth of the Palace Letters by Paul Kelly and Troy Bramston, and The Palace Letters by Jenny Hocking. Piccini reviews both titles in his review in our upcoming January–February issue.

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Peter McPhee on 'Napoleon and de Gaulle' by Patrice Gueniffey

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle are two of the most polarising figures in French history. In today’s episode, Peter Rose talks to leading historian Peter McPhee about Patrice Gueniffey’s new book on the lasting impact of these two leaders and the French people’s fascination with ‘great men’.

 

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Books of the Year with Beejay Silcox, Billy Griffiths and Peter Rose

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 09 December 2020

In today's episode, Peter Rose talks to writers Beejay Silcox and Billy Griffiths about what they’ve been reading during this tumultuous year. They also speculate about some highlights of 2021. For those looking for a more extensive listing of this year's finest works, our Books of the Year features more than 30 different ABR critics nominating their favourite releases.

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Amanda Laugesen on swearing and the art of the euphemism

The ABR Podcast
Wednesday, 02 December 2020

Amanda Laugesen, historian and lexicographer, is director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre at the ANU. In her latest book, the evocatively titled Rooted, Amanda considers the bountiful history of bad language in Australia. Her column in the December issue of ABR is devoted to the quaint old euphemism. Amanda talks about the inventive ways in which writers and editors have tried to placate the censor while also celebrating profanity. 

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