Dennis Haskell



Introduction to Siobhan Hodge’s Justice for Romeo

Justice for Romeo, as a title, will seem both accurate and misleading for most readers; this is a book decidedly concerned with justice, and Siobhan Hodge’s sense of ethical responsibility pervades the poems. Hodge’s book includes as epigraph the exchange between Romeo and a servant in Act I, Scene ii of the most famous love story of all time; the servant asks, ‘I pray, can you read any thing you see?’, to which Romeo replies, ‘Ay, if I know the letters and the language.’

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Review Short: Dennis Haskell’s Ahead of Us

‘Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything,’ wrote C. S. Lewis in a work of prose, published soon after his wife died. Under such conditions poets are apt to explore their grief by way of lyricism, and, while it is uncommon in the Australian context, recent years have seen several international male poets producing collections in just these circumstances. From the United Kingdom, for instance, we have Douglas Dunn’s Elegies and Christopher Reid’s A Scattering, and, from the United States, Donald Hall’s Without.

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Review Short: Dennis Haskell’s What Are You Doing Here? Selected Poems

Dennis Haskell’s new selected is part of an interesting trend. In the past few months three other Australian poets (Adrian Caesar, Jan Owen and Robyn Rowland) have also had books published overseas that, in more congenial times, might well have been published here. In each case there’s a plausible explanation but it’s an interesting phenomenon even so.

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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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