Anthony Lawrence


While there are other words I’d prefer to break down into the sum  of their syllabic parts, contraband, for example, or corollary, for now this catch-cry for the age  will do, and so I begin, and when  I have taken each sound …

Posted in 96: NO THEME IX | Tagged

Ekan the Tiler

Ekan called his work truck Morph for its ability to shift between function and elegant lane-changer. His dog was called Owl on account of her origin, O,O, and her ability to approach in silence. Naming his daughter was easy: Bubble …

Posted in 83: MATHEMATICS | Tagged


to Paul Hetherington A list and commentary on plains-country denizens might begin with the meat ant and its clay-pan mound, peppered by grains and beads of sand and stone, each entrance a departure point from an underground fortress and nursery …

Posted in 82: LAND | Tagged


I will summon again the wise, unreliable counsel of what remains of childhood memory, to make what I can from the times I saw myself in the eyes of the animals who lowered or turned their heads to me. I …

Posted in 80: NO THEME VI | Tagged

Review Short: Anthony Lawrence’s Headwaters

Headwaters is Anthony Lawrence’s fifteenth collection and his first with Pitt Street Poetry, whose website memorably suggests the humble reader should ‘Find yourself a shot glass, take a seat, and take a shot.’ This is the first time I’ve seen a publisher suggest their books be read thus, though in their defence, they do so in relation to lines from Lawrence’s ‘Wax Cathedral’. Ah well, when in Rome … a thimble of Lagavulin scotch as required and I’m finally ready to review. Non-drinkers may read on as they are.

Posted in BOOK REVIEWS | Tagged ,


In a country town, the doors and poor boxes of churches left unlocked, I would steal away in cricketing heat. The Baker sisters – veiled spinsters in black, were gardening like keepers of bees and secrets. Inside the church the …

Posted in 78: CONFESSION | Tagged


I did it like you said I would in terms of how we thought things would go accord- ingly. And yes there’s blood in family, love and sport or making from our words a tight, confused assembly of musical notation, …

Posted in 74: NO THEME V | Tagged

Review Short: Anthony Lawrence’s Signal Flare

Some months back, I ended up sitting next to a fairly eccentric white-bearded bloke on a Sydney bus. Upon hearing I was an Australian poetry researcher, my new acquaintance exclaimed ‘Australian poetry!’ with obvious distaste, followed by ‘Fu–ing Anthony Lawrence!’ He went on to detail how feral Aussie upstarts like Lawrence and ‘bloody Adamson’ were bastardising the great tradition of English Romanticism. As he rose to hop off, I asked for his name. He cheerfully declined.

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Review Short: Mark Reid’s Looking out from Bashan: the republic of Og

Mark Reid’s poetry has always delighted and challenged me. His distinctive voice and finely-tuned ear for just the right music has given his work a potency that’s been hard-won. Reid is a craftsman. His tight phrasing and impeccable sense of where to break a line give even his more narrative poems an intense lyrical presence – particularly evident in these marvellous new poems. Reid’s invocation of and ruminations on the biblical giant Og never resort to parody or impose themselves as alternatives to autobiography. It’s hard to pin these poems down, and that’s what makes them so fresh and compelling.

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The Glance Returned

When you are seven years old, lying in the back of a station wagon while your parents play night tennis; when the knowledge that you are going to die one day comes through the rallies, players’ voices, and songs from …

Posted in 03: NEXT WAVE | Tagged

Chapman River

At dusk, on a narrow path by the Chapman River, trying to locate myself, I peel the skin from a honey-locust thorn, and watch black ants move along a branch. The ants have made a dark stain on the bark …

Posted in 01: UNTHEMED | Tagged