Munich to Berlin: Art, music, & literature
Australian Book Review in Germany
June 2–15, 2018
ABR’s third international cultural tour, in partnership with Academy Travel, took us to Germany. Once again the tour was led by Peter Rose, ABR Editor and CEO, and Christopher Menz, ABR Development Consultant and former gallery director. The two week tour commenced in Munich at the beginning of June and then headed north, visiting Bayreuth, Weimar, Dresden, and Berlin where it concluded. It was a great success with a marvellous itinerary that included walking tours and visits to art galleries, museums, and libraries, as well as taking in opera and musical performances, capped off by major literary event at the Australian Embassy in Berlin. The highlights were many but included visits to the Glyptothek, Alte, and Neue Pinakotheks in Munich; Goethe’s House and the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar; and the magnificent collections and buildings of Dresden (including the rebuilt Frauenkirche) and Berlin. Among some great opera performances, we were fortunate hear Simone Young twice, first conducting Janáček’s From the House of the Dead in Munich and then a superlative Tosca, staring Elena Stikhina, in Berlin. Other musical highlights in Berlin were Offenbach’s Bluebeard at the Komische Opera and a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic in Simon Rattle’s final season, which included the world première of Notturno inquieto by Brett Dean. During the final week, the Australian Embassy in Berlin hosted a special literary event ‘Australians in Germany – A Cultural Exchange’ at which writer Anna Funder and artist Brook Andrew were in conversation with Peter Rose. Around one hundred guests enjoyed the stimulating exchange and the Embassy’s hospitality.
Shakespeare: Australian Book Review in England
June 14–25, 2017
ABR's second international tour, in partnership with Academy Travel, was a twelve-day Shakespeare-themed visit to England. We visited Stratford-upon-Avon, the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and London. Highlights included performances of Antony and Cleopatra and Salome by the RSC in Stratford, Brett Dean's new opera Hamlet in its premiere season at Glyndebourne, and Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe in London. The tour included a fascinating walking tour of Stratford, as well as visits to Charleston, house of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and to Middle Temple Hall, where Twelfth Night was performed in 1602. In London we also visited the National Portrait Gallery, The Wallace Collection, the Courtauld Institute and the British Library. The tour was led by Peter Rose and Christopher Menz.
Endorsements from ABR’s 2016 US tour.
‘My recent experience travelling on the east coast of the United States with the inaugural ABR tour group was a truly exceptional one. The knowledge and expertise of the tour leaders meant our itinerary took us to places, and even introduced us to people, not usually accessible to ordinary travellers. In all, it was truly memorable!’
‘ABR’s small group tour to the United States in 2016 focused on literature, history, art and theatre. The program was well-thought-out, varied and balanced. The tour leaders were attuned to particular interests of individual group members and helped them where necessary to further explore those interests in the different venues we visited. One of the excellent features was the number of private viewings and guided tours specially tailored for our group.’
Australian Book Review in the United States
Australian Book Review’s sixteen-day US tour – led by Peter Rose and Christopher Menz – took us from Washington, DC to New York City. It was the first of its kind undertaken by the magazine. Our aim was to take ABR on the road with a party of keen readers and supporters. The tour began at the Australian Embassy in Washington, where the Editor was in conversation with Geraldine Brooks (newly gonged at the Ambassador’s residence an hour earlier) and Anna Funder, before a capacity audience.
Along the way we visited writers’ homes (Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton’s opulent The Mount), great libraries (Morgan, Beinecke, Library of Congress, the New York Public Library), and several new or reopened art museums, including the Met Breuer and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the magnificent Art Museums in Cambridge, as well as several museums that weren’t known to everyone in the group (Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, Wadsworth Atheneum, Philip Johnson’s Glass House, Yale Center for British Art, and the Clark in Williamstown, with Tadao Ando’s superb new extension).
There was also much theatre and opera, all in a spirit of enquiring conviviality. We met writers, librarians, publishers, journalists, curators, and diplomats. Two highlights on our penultimate day in New York were visits to the offices of the New York Review of Books (where Peter Rose and Robert Silvers exchanged copies of their magazines) and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, whose president and publisher, Jonathan Galassi, spoke about his new books and his keen interest in Australian writers.
Photographs from ABR's US tour
Proust and Montaigne – Writing the Self, May 15 at 6.p.m
Please note this event is now booked out.
Investigative Reporter of the Spirit: The Search for Five Women
Presented by Jeffrey Meyers
Renowned biographer Professor Jeffrey Meyers delivered the eighth annual Seymour Biography Lecture – on the craft of biography, autobiography, and memoir. In his work on Joseph Conrad, Wyndham Lewis, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Robert Frost, Meyers was fascinated to learn that each of these married writers had an intriguing, but elusive, lover. He found that these mysterious lovers assume an independent existence and had extraordinary lives worthy of a full-length study. In this lecture, Meyers reveals what happens when minor characters take on lives of their own.
Jeffrey Meyers – one of twelve Americans who are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature – is one of the most respected scholars in his field. He has published fifty books and 800 articles on modern American, English, and European literature, has edited two collections of essays on biography and has lectured at numerous universities across the world. His interests include bibliography, editing, literary criticism, art history, and film. Based in Berkeley, California, Meyers is the author of several works on T. E. Lawrence and George Orwell and has written about the lives of Katherine Mansfield, Robert Lowell, D.H. Lawrence, Edgar Allan Poe, Edmund Wilson, Humphrey Bogart, Errol and Sean Flynn, Somerset Maugham, Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, Samuel Johnson, and John Huston.
Jeffrey Meyers delivered the lecture at Australian Book Review on 17 September 2012.
Seymour Biography Lecture 2012, recorded at the National Library of Australia on 13 September 2012.
Supported by John and Heather Seymour, Australian Book Review, the State Library of New South Wales, and the National Library of Australia.
The Seymour Biography Lecture was also presented in Canberra and Sydney at the National Library of Australia and the State Library of New South Wales respectively.
2019 Peter Porter Poetry Prize ceremony
Australian Book Review is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2019 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. First presented in 2005, the Porter Prize is one of the world’s leading prizes for a new poem. It is worth a total of $8,500.
This year, our indefatigable judges – Judith Bishop, John Hawke (chair of the panel, and Poetry Editor of ABR), and Paul Kane – had almost 900 poems to assess before choosing the shortlist. Five poems have been shortlisted.
'The Mirror Hurlers' by Ross Gillett (Vic)
'Searching the Dead' Andy Kissane (NSW)
'63 Temple Street, Mong Kok' by Belle Ling (Qld/Hong Kong)
'Raven' by Mark Tredinnick (NSW)
Please join us as we announce the winner of the 2019 ABR Peter Porter Poetry Prize. After readings from the poetry of Peter Porter, the shortlisted poets will introduce and read their poems. A special guest will announce the 2019 winner, who will be awarded $5,000 and an Arthur Boyd etching from the series ‘The lady and the unicorn’.
When: Monday, 18 March 2019, 6 for 6.15 pm to 7.30 pm
Where: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
The five shortlisted poems will appear in our March 2019 issue. Copies of the magazine will be available for purchase on the night and can also be ordered via our website. Subscribers can read the March issue in full on our website from February 28. Click here to find out more about subscribing to ABR