robert adamson

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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Ekphrasis as ‘Event’: Poets Paint Words and the ‘Performance’ of Ekphrasis in Australia

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Newcastle Region Art Gallery (NRAG) in 2007, Lisa Slade and Peter Minter co-curated the exhibition Poets Paint Words. The two curators commissioned some of Australia’s best poets to write poems in response to a selection of paintings held in the NRAG archive.

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Review Short: Robert Adamson’s Net Needle

Net Needle begins with the thoughtful interlacing of seven poems. The first poem, ‘Listening to Cuckoos’, highlights the bird’s ‘two unchanging notes’ during the start of spring. Then, ‘Summer’, with its ‘pallid cuckoo call’ through the poet’s garden threads into ‘Garden Poem’ and how sunlight spans the course of a day until ‘patches of moonlight’ travel into the next poem, ‘Dorothy Wordsworth’. Here, we find the Romantic poet’s sister ruminating near a window where the moon moves ‘across the star-decked dark’.

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Adam Aitken Interviews Martin Harrison

I’ve known Martin Harrison since 1985, when I first met him in Newtown, New South Wales. I had been an undergraduate and aspiring poet at the University of Sydney, and we were neighbours.

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Shining Worlds: On the Artist’s Book of Robert Adamson and Peter Kingston

I’m sitting in the Rare Books room of the State Library of Victoria, lost in time and strangely joyous as I encounter one of its new acquisitions, the late 2012 ‘artist’s book’ and collaboration between poet Robert Adamson and well-known …

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The River Caves

We were keen young cubs, members of 3rd Mosman Bay Sea Scouts. Twelve years old and full of excitement, collecting donations for the club house charity. On bob-a-job week we walked up and down steep streets around the harbour, mowing …

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Three Poems and Webb Lecture by the Inaugural CAL Chair of Poetry

Robert Adamson“Robert Adamson began his post as the inaugural CAL Chair in Australian Poetry at UTS in February 2012. Funded by the Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) for three years, the Chair in Australian Poetry is the first of its kind in Australia.”

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Internal Weather, for Randolph Stow

I dwell in this bone-cave     rocking cup of skull histories constantly re-writing themselves     weaving ‘brain-waves’          thoughts drift out from a fatty backwash   veins crawl with grainy information blood-cells pushed into the white country in multiples of ten                           you know nothing is lost we remembered     sand streamed …

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Driving through Kangaroo Valley I glimpsed a low slung animal in my headlights; pulled over and recognized a wombat — fog lifted its gauze, a clump of ferns moved apart. Another animal trundled out, then a third came into view, …

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Listening To Cuckoos

Two unchanging notes; to us, words—always those high elongated notes. Red-eyed koels with feathered ear-muffs, downward ending notes that pour through a falling of night coming over the distances, words that don’t change. The two notes remain, a split phrase, …

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Chair Insider: An Intimate Access in Photo Narratives


“Andrew Sayers, director of the National Portrait Gallery, wrote of my work, ‘Trust is an important quality in portraiture. Trust is self evident in Juno Gemes’ photographic portraits’. The portraits published here were created in trust with literary friends.”

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Jal Nicholl Reviews Best Australian Poems 2010

Best Australian Poems 2010 edited by Robert Adamson Black Inc., 2010 It’s hard to write about a collection as diverse as this. It has no theme really except what Adamson mentions in his introduction, quoting Baudelaire’s poem ‘Correspondances’, a poem, …

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