Vishvarūpa, Michelle Cahill’s second collection, is a convocation of untouchables and deities – unbelieving, irreverent, and sardonic – each a proxy for an aspect of the poet’s (post-colonial) self; each a stand-in, even, for a moment in every human life.... (read more)
‘To choose the best, among many good,’ says Dr Johnson in his ‘Life of Cowley’, ‘is one of the most hazardous attempts of criticism.’ The truth of this maxim is borne out nicely in the controversy surrounding – or perhaps emanating from – Rita Dove’s new selection of twentieth-century American poetry ...... (read more)
Who is Ozymandias? And Other Puzzles in Poetry
by John Fuller
Random House, $36.95 hb, 256 pp, 9780701184575
Those who write about poetry these days don’t go in much for lightness. More often their solemnity spring ...
Fun with flux
by David McCooey
Salt Publishing, £9.99 pb, 74 pp, 9781844717590
Philip Larkin at thirty-one asked ‘Where can we live but days?’ It shouldn’t take half a lifetime to learn that we have night and day, yet l ...
I first discovered Australian literature in Argentina. While I was there studying Argentinian literature at the University of Buenos Aires in 2009–10, I spent many nights hunched over the table in our dingy kitchen with one of my housemates, Teresa. We would pick over the politically infused vernacular of the short stories ...... (read more)
With the recent focus on new anthologies in the Australian poetry community firmly placed on UNSW Press’s Australian Poetry Since 1788 (edited by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray) and the publication of two anthologies dedicated to the work of younger poets (UQP’s Thirty Australian Poets and ...... (read more)
Selected Prose of Dorothy Hewett
edited by Fiona Morrison
UWA Publishing, $32.95 pb, 282 pp, 9781921401626
Best known for her poetry and plays, Dorothy Hewett was also the author of novels, short stories and numerou ...
Dream. Drive. Drizzle.
by Fiona Wright
Giramondo, $24 pb, 92 pp, 9781920882754
Knuckled, poet and editor Fiona Wright’s highly anticipated first collection, arrives with an assuredness of style and voice that ...
Although it has been almost half a century since 1968, a year readily mythologised in Australian poetry, the so-called Generation of ’68 are still the most talked-about contemporary poets. There have been few attempts to define the next generations of poets. Forty-three years is a long definition of what might be deemed ‘contemporary’ ...... (read more)
Stumbling round the house absent-mindedly or in the off-hours, I wonder where the economy-sized fish tank came from; or the dictionary of some unexpectedly eloquent Oceanian language; or the errant slab of copper sulphate (did some friend or enemy leave it?). Then I remember that it’s the new Australian poetry anthology I am reviewing, the thick end of 1100 large ...