Kevin Brophy

For Marianne J Boruch and David Dunlap


We walk past the ruined past
pasted to the Academy’s cloister walls,
past broken Latin stones’ fracture ...

Professor Kevin Brophy is author of fourteen books of fiction, poetry and essays, including This is What Gives Us Time ... (read more)

Prayers of a Secular World edited by Jordie Albiston and Kevin Brophy

January-February 2016, no. 378

In her introduction to Australian Love Poems (2013), Donna Ward wrote that poems 'are the prayers of a secular world'. Now, aided by editors Jordie Albiston and Kevin Brophy, she brings us a collection that tests this notion. The introduction by David Tacey states its case fervently, with, in this case, a bit too much determination that 'the sacred is inera ...

Now you have seen the elephant and heard
from an ex-student who blogs an elegy
to his lost left leg (his transfemoral amputation),
and a friend (you visit him in emergency)

... (read more)

Towns in the Great Desert, a New and Selected, may be the collection that defines Peter Boyle. Among Australian poets, Peter Boyle is an exotic, one who is likely to be read far into the future.


 Oz Lit at Melbourne University

Dear Editor,

The English program at the University of Melbourne has offered courses on Australian literature every year since 1982, when it was first introduced as a full seminar subject. Stephanie Guest’s article in last month’s issue of ABR, ‘Oz Lit in the Moot Court Room: Finding Australian Literature at the ...

at 86 and 91 they are still together
more or less
and greet me at the door
as if I am the punchline to a joke
they were just recalling

... (read more)

In his conclusion to this book, Kevin Brophy states a key principle of creative composition: ‘to be responsive to what happens, what is thrown into the mind, what one comes upon.’ This is at once a statement of advice for an artist at work, and a theoretical proposition. Through the course of the ten essays that make up the volume, Brophy develops a hypothesis about the kinds of brain function involved in creativity and, in particular, the role of consciousness in relation to other mental and sensory forms of intelligence. Without drawing the terms ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ into play – a great relief to those of us who have grown weary of that inevitable binary – he suggests that the work of an artist or writer may be facilitated by an exploratory interest in the operations of consciousness.

... (read more)

‘Some meteorites make it to the surface simply because they’re so small that they literally float to the ground. There are thousands of these interplanetary particles in the room you’re in now, stuck to your clothes, in your hair, everywhere.’ This startling piece of information introduces Aileen Kelly’s ‘Notes from the Planet’s Edge’ in her new book, City and Stranger (Five Islands Press, $16.95 pb, 88pp), whose cover features Russell Drysdale’s iconic image of Woman in a Landscape. This bushwoman, then, is stuck with interplanetary particles or, as Kelly puts it, ‘the invisible sift of space’. Drysdale’s woman is transformed from the Australian legend in the dirt-coloured smock, wearing those oddly impractical white shoes, into a figure framed by an immense and moving universe. We look for this in poetry – the breaking of frames, the pleasure of surprise and discovery, and the contest between language and experience.

... (read more)
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