David Brooks



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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Natural Selection: Ecological Postcolonialism as Bearing on Place

Australian poetry reminds us that we cannot encounter the natural world except by cultural means. As Tom Griffiths writes, the idea of the natural world as a ‘cultural landscape acknowledges that an area is often the product of an intense interaction between nature and various phases of human habitation, and that natural places are not, as some ecological viewpoints suggest, destined to exist as climax communities or systems untouched by human hands’ (1996, p 277).

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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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Review Short: David Brooks’s Open House

In Open House, David Brooks makes it look easy. These poems appear to be simply set down, flawless panes of glass framing scenes from a life. For the attentive reader, however, even one who doesn’t know the extent of Brooks’s work as a poet, a novelist, an editor, a translator, a researcher and writer of books about other poets and poetries, there are clues to the years of deep thinking, constant writing and serious, engaged living that Brooks brings to his own practice.

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Paul Hetherington Reviews The turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry

John Kinsella is an Australian poet with a high profile and a long record of achievement, including winning the 2013 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry. He is also an assiduous anthologiser. Most notably, he edited The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2008), one of the more successful of recent attempts to establish an indicative canon of Australian poetry (although this was not, perhaps, Kinsella’s avowed intention with that book).

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Notes about the INDONESIA Special Issue

When I approached major Indonesian poet Sapardi Djoko Damono – godfather of that sprawling nation’s contemporary poetics and a renowned translator of English-language works into Bahasa Indonesia – about working with me on a kind of ‘translation exchange’ to then …

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Ali Alizadeh Reviews David Brooks

The Sons of Clovis: Ern Malley, Adoré Floupette and a secret history of Australian poetry by David Brooks University of Queensland Press, 2011 ‘Ern Malley? Again?’ asks David Brooks at the outset of this new reading of what is, arguably, …

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Matt Hetherington Reviews David Brooks

The Balcony by David Brooks University of Queensland Press, 2008 In a review originally published in Heat #6, David Brooks praised Peter Boyle’s The Blue Cloud of Crying as being influenced by the tradition of Cante Jondo or deep song, …

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Text and Paratext: Ern Malley and the Function of the Author

The immediate target of the Malley hoax was Max Harris and those associated with Angry Penguins, but McAuley and Stewart also had ‘bigger fish’, as it were, in mind. Herbert Read in particular, the English poet and critic—whose writings were a significant influence on Max Harris’ own poetry and aesthetics—was very much in the hoaxers’ sights.

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Between Virtue and Innocence: In Defence of Prose Poetry

Each virtue responds to a specific form of innocence. Innocence is moral instinct. Virtue is prose, innocence is poetry. – Novalis Long before Romanticism, poetry was thought to whisper with a sound which was the sound of Nature purified; poetry …

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