David Brooks

David Brooks, a vegan and animal rights advocate, who lives in the Blue Mountains of NSW, is co-editor of Southerly, Honorary Associate Professor of Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, and the 2015/16 Australia Council Fellow in Literature. His The Book of Sei was described as ‘the most exciting debut in Australian short fiction since Peter Carey’s The Fat Man in History’. His second novel, The Fern Tattoo, was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin. His fourth collection of poetry, The Balcony (2008) was called ‘an electric performance’ by the Sydney Morning Herald. His latest is Open House (UQP, 2015).

Possession, Landscape, the Unheimlich and Lionel Fogarty’s ‘Weather Comes’

A great many Australian poets are in an interesting and ironic state of dispossession, although perhaps only a small proportion of them actually feels that way – that proportion, let’s say, whose subjects and predispositions draw them towards the landscape, its flora and fauna, and their human experience thereof and thereupon.

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J S Harry’s ‘tunnel vision’, Vicious Sydney and The Car Story

As I began this essay on J S Harry’s poem ‘Tunnel Vision’ several years ago (2006) the radio drive shows in Sydney were full of opinions, mainly angry, concerning a report that a male teacher, in an English class, encouraging students to find as many words in ‘Australia’ as they could, had led the way by showing them how it contains the word ‘slut’, and then, when asked what that meant – it must have been a young primary-school class – had told them that it was a word used to describe women.

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2015 Val Vallis Winners

Winner: ‘Precedent‘ by Andrew Last That rare thing: a non-ponderous sonnet sequence full of surprising imagery, humour and light touches. The poet is obviously at home with the form, the way they vary stanzas and run meaning from one sonnet …

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