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Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan

Brendan Ryan grew up on a dairy farm at Panmure in Victoria. His poetry, reviews, and essays have been published in literary journals and newspapers. He has had poems published in The Best Australian Poems series (Black Inc). His second collection of poetry, A Paddock in his Head, was shortlisted for the 2008 ACT Poetry Prize. His most recent collection of poetry, Travelling Through the Family (Hunter Publishers), was published in 2012 and was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Awards. He lives in Geelong, where he teaches English at a secondary college.

'Wilderness' a poem by Brendan Ryan

December 2008–January 2009, no. 307 01 December 2008
Past the final service stationinto the green beyond of paddockssoon to be carved up, quartered,then watched over by streetlights.In the post-work haze, nostalgia reigns:lonely crossroads, abandoned weatherboards,paddocks stretching down to the sea.The involved stares of other drivers –resolute, familiar, alone.The busyness of the day explaining itselfyet like a student in an afternoon classI’m ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'A Father's Silences' by Brendan Ryan

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
Were you with a girl at the footy?my father asks while weighing downon a milker. His large, freckled handlike a stone on the claw of the machinesdraining a back quarter of an old Jerseyreluctant to give. I lean against a postdarkened and polished by our shoulders.No, I was just going for a walk. He looksat me, adds, I saw you behind the trees.My mouth begins to dry and my heartpicks up its beat. N ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'The Things They Carry' by Brendan Ryan

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
‘The things they carried were largely determined by necessity.’ Tim O’Brien The beeping of horns, the relentless waves of scooters – a whine that spirals to a high-pitched roarscooting down alleys and footpathsflowing like oil around taxis, through roundaboutsacross bridges. Nobody has time for burnouts. The sound of the streets is the growl of purposethe 6 am momentum of fathers and son ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Farmer's Wife' by Brendan Ryan

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
Cracks in the clay, locusts flittering over bleached stalksold couches in the herringbone, ribbons of bird shit down the walls. She married into the district, thin as a whispera woman who was summoned to the front rows at Mass. Each day the wind passes, paddocks of rye grass sway.She smiled through luncheons, gatherings made the small talk that fertilised a district.This year’s heifers watchi ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'The Internet Is Poorer Without You' by Brendan Ryan

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
In memory of Max Richards Somehow you found the articles and poemsI needed to read.Your key word searches driven by connection,of passing it on.Whether it be through the nodes of ADSL2or the poetry of Heaney, Murray, or MacFarlane’snature writing,whether you be in Doncaster or Seattleor your shelves of books and manilla foldersat La Trobe,you were always passing it on. Whateveryou found for me ... (read more)

States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Driving to Debating' by Brendan Ryan

States of Poetry Victoria - Series Two 06 June 2018
Lights over the rail yards are sparklersthat never die down. Every day is a drug test day. All that’s left at Fordis the security lights, shadows on the pedestrian overpass.George Pell is refusing to leave Romawhere girls were once named after their fatherswho could, if so desired, sell them at fourteeninto slavery. George is cantankerousas the music I listen to is old, out of date,timeless. Geo ... (read more)

Brendan Ryan reviews 'Fire Diary' by Mark Tredinnick

September 2011, no. 334 22 August 2011
Mark Tredinnick’s much-anticipated first collection of poetry, Fire Diary, is an examination of place and how to respond to it. The title provides a clue to the form of the book; many poems chart the daily exigencies of living within nature. More importantly, the collection explores the moods and aspirations of the self, of a person grappling with meaning in life, and with language itself. In th ... (read more)

'Philip Hodgins – A Dream', a new poem by Brendan Ryan

February 2011, no. 328 04 May 2011
Philip Hodgins – A Dream   I walk toward a paddock bordered by cypress trees. Philip Hodgins is on a tractor harrowing forty acres. I can’t see his face but I know it is him methodically going about his business, navigating the terrain, driving into a diminishing square, like the farmer in Dispossessed mowing lucerne, driving rabbits and snakes into a disappearing centre. Except here, w ... (read more)