The Lee Marvin Readings: An Evening with Edmund Gwenn

By | 2 December 2012

The Lee Marvin Readings

'The Lee Marvin Readings are terrific.

They happen in Adelaide at Dark Horsey,

the bookshop of the Australian Experimental

Art Foundation. We go to them. 

You would, too ...'

                —Yolande Sharpe & Kerry Urquhart-Neue

A chapbook curated by: Yolande Sharpe and Kerry Urquhart-Neue.

Featuring: Christine Collins, Shannon Burns, Tim Wright, Ella O’Keefe, Pam Brown, Jill Jones, Cath Kenneally, Laurie Duggan, Doug Mason, Steve Brock, Kelli Rowe, Yolande Sharpe and Kerry Urquhart-Neue.

The Lee Marvin Readings series has run, off and on, since the 1990s. The venue has changed a number of times – from Adelaide nightclubs like Supermild, to the Iris Cinema, to the charmingly Zurich-1917, bo-ho De La Catessan and the more robustly hard-drinking and confrontational Dark Horsey bookshop at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, where it now takes place. The sessions have been organised, run, staffed and emceed by poet and art critic Ken Bolton.


The Lee Marvin Readings format generally features two sets per night, comprised of two readers in a set with a break between for the audience (writers, students, artists, general readers, the curious, the pin-headed, the counter-intuitive) to talk, look at books or listen to the intermission music. Occasionally, nights are devoted to a single prominent writer – designed to give a career overview, or to give context to and show the development of some particular run of work.

The readings are held on Tuesday nights in approximately every second month, starting in May. The AEAF’s Dark Horsey Bookshop specialises in new literature and has great holdings in philosophy, politics, film, art, design and architecture. The gallery space adjoins the shop and ‘advanced art’ is in view during the sessions. Readers are introduced with a brief description of their careers to date, bulked up with apocryphal biographical detail. The philosophy of the Lee Marvin Readings is that it’s not about the comparison of career escutcheons and epaulettes, but new writing.


Some highlights of the 2012 season are selected here, somewhat at random. It was a good year. Who to chose? Ken Bolton said, ‘You do it!’ as he handed us his growing list of authors.1 Between us, we had attended most of the readings. This chapbook focuses on who we tracked down and what poetry/prose they’d read.

And now, our selections as a sampler of the work that featured in 2012. —Jo Sharpe & Kerry Urquhart-Neue

Christine Collins | I May Have to See You Again, Charlie

Shannon Burns | Transparent Things

Tim Wright | From Here On | Trick Light

Ella O’Keefe | Notebook Poems I—IV

Pam Brown | What’s the frequency, Kenneth? | More than a feuilleton

Jill Jones | Hindley Reverie | No, the System Did Not Work for Me

Cath Kenneally | A Little Rain | Charge Nurse | Dressed In Yella

Laurie Duggan | Bin Ends

Doug Mason | Ten Zen Poems

Stephen Brock | Night Works

Kelli Rowe | (Failing)

Yolande Sharpe and Kerry Urquhart-Neue | The Lives of the Writers, their Vicissitudes, Proclivities, Highs and Lows

All pictures by Martin Xmas

  1. Authors featured at Lee Marvin Readings in 2012: Linda Marie Walker, Cath Kenneally, Shannon Burns, Gretta Mitchell, Christine Collins, Nicholas Jose, Rachael Mead, Rory Kennett-Lister, Ken Bolton, Lauren Lovett, Carol Lefevre, Pam Brown, Aidan Coleman, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Steve Brock, Jill Jones, John Jenkins, Chelsea Avard, Mike Ladd, Joshua Nash, Mick Searles, Juan Garrido-Salgado, Anna Solding, Tom Sullivan, Joey Sharpe, Amy Matthews, Peter Goldsworthy, Querida Neue, Francesca da Rimini, Zanesh Catkin, Miriel Lenore, Ella O’Keefe, Heather Taylor Johnson, Tim Wright, Brian Castro, Sergio Holas, Kelli Rowe, Irmina Van Niele, Matt Gabriel, Margaret Merrilees, Geoff Page, Jennifer Liston, Doug Mason, Naomi Horridge, Jade Foster, Jules Leigh Koch, Harry Freeman, Alison Flett and Laurie Duggan.

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