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It had to happen. Carnaby Street was the centre of fashion in the 60s. The 70s belonged to Haight-Ashbury’s flower children. Then in the 80s Melbourne gave birth to Brunswick Street — epicentre of an emerging arts movement. Three subcultures — grungers, bohemians and radical feminists collided and brought forth a dynamic that changed the face of the inner city. The meteoric rise of Brunswick Street was a cultural explosion of art, theatre, fashion, grunge, music, drugs, diverse sexuality, celebrity and politics.

 - Maz Wilson

Brunswick Street, Art & Revolution  is the story of a street that became a culture. Written by Anne Rittman and Maz Wilson, it consists of a series of interviews and colour photographs with and of the people who brought about that transformation. It teems with characters: baristas, hair-cutters, potters, comedians, painters, singers, poets, restaurateurs and more.

It evokes iconic places: the Black Cat, Pigtale Pottery, The Flying Trapeze, T F Much Ballroom, Bakers, Circus Oz , Scully & Trombone and the list goes on.

It bursts with visual impact: performances, artworks, architecture and the Waiters’ Race for example. Here it is in its true form as a cultural, social and political history.

It was a pioneering spirit which created its own centre of gravity. Early on the street had a frisson of excitement. Artists rubbing shoulders with criminals in a quarter acre block.
- Rod Quantock.

Laughter is the shock absorber of life!
- Tim McKew

It was love at first coffee.
- Sandra Goldbloom Zurbo

Click here for a small sample of the book (updated 20 September).


The Garden of Earth
Homer Rieth

Out on the river you’ll see there are swifts and babblers
     and other assorted thieves

all of whom have their own bush telegraphy, a kind of
passing quietly
from one landmark to the next, disappearing and
     reappearing with wild insouciance at the waterline
     —some, in fact, say that’s where

another life begins, more secret than you know,
     to do with the keeping alive

of memory, all those residual mysteries that tend
     to hang around towns,

theirs are stories the river dwells on the longest, which
     it passe on surreptitiously to creeks,
     dams and waterholes—


The Garden of Earth  is told in Thirty Five Books. Each canto is a long-breathed sentence that takes you in its flow. They gather all the hues of nature, history, culture and philosophy like  metaphorical rivers gathering majestic detritus. It invites us to consider the plenitude of the world, but also how precious and precarious a thing this is.
Homer Rieth’s first epic Wimmera gave voice to the history, legend and folklore of the Wimmera region of north western Victoria, and to ideas of 'place' and 'country' not only as cultural markers, but as ciphers of an enduring mythos. In his new companion epic, he turns his gaze to the larger arena of the Murray Darling, to this oldest of continents more broadly. He offers a vision of the natural environment and the human world as bound together on a global scale.
The Garden of Earth is a hymn to and argument in defence of the future of the planet. It is the poet's final assay of our age-old dream vision of the world, only here it is as something at once luminous and exceptionally Australian.


The Sea Palace Hotel
Patrick McCauley and Raffaella Torresan

Travel art can be a way of seeing. In The Sea Palace Hotel Patrick McCauley poems and Raffaella Torresan’s paintings refresh such seeing. Past narratives which persist in memory and collide with the shock of the present through the viewing of new unfamiliar landscapes and cultures. The confusion of ideas and stories which are already with us, merge with the first hand stories and images never before viewed first hand. This phenomenology allows the perception of the artist to apply itself differently—as it seeks to find its truth or beauty within the new environs. We search for new words (or colours or lines) to describe what we see ‘en plein air’. Words tumble through each other. Time can be felt to expand and contract.

"In a sequence of verbal and visual responses to the Mumbai stream of consciousness flowing around them, Mc Cauley's poems and Torresan's paintings and photographs achieve a kind of syncopation, working as ciphers of a shared experience, rather than simply being versions of each other. As a result we are given access, both as readers and as viewers, to a world that meets us on several dimensions at once."
Dr Homer Rieth

The Truth is Longer than a Lie
Kieran Carroll

The Truth is Longer than a Lie tells the crossover stories of the separate families of Amy and Spiderman, and of an anonymous child, whose story we hear in voiceover. It is a family drama.
The adults Ben and Andrea or Rod and Paula are depraved, complicit or disbelieving. Andrea’s denial is particularly affecting. The family culture that Kieran Carroll’s drama unveils is that of child abuse. It is the children we come to know: their shame, their fear of disclosure, their urge to self-harm, their small window to healing given by counsellors and by their chance meeting. The authority of their young voices in Carroll’s dialogue will grip your heart. They are heroic.

In their foreword Neerosh Mudaly and Chris Goddard from Child Abuse Prevention Research Australia, state: ‘If we are a moral and just society, we must protect children. If we are to protect children, we have to listen to them.’

The Truth is Longer than a Lie wrenches us into listening.

"I was riveted by The Truth is Longer than a Lie.  The acting, staging, choreography, screenplay and directing were first class.  This is a powerful story, brilliantly portrayed.  And important.  I can only hope that it will be presented in other cities, and one day internationally.
Dr Alan Finkel

Sandy Jeffs

The world is a place full of dark and light as is that of Sandy Jeffs. She explores this tension with a clarity that is troubled by shadows. Humour and sadness intermingle in a show that must go on. Popular culture and parodies of classic poems are used to illuminate the world for what it is. St Jerome in his study prepares a reader’s report on the Bible. Clancy is contacted at theoverflow.

Celebrity and the economic market are equally dismantled in poems that examine the absurdity and cravenness of their power. She feels how we are compromised by our own selfishness when we make a Sophie’s choice to buy a book of Rilke’s poems rather than a copy of Big Issue from a homeless vendor. She breaks out from her own darkness and light, her personal chiaroscuro, to reveal a poet with a keen sense of observation and a soft sensitivity. It allows her to bring a bristling anger to bear on social injustice.

Alan Gould

...with scarcely a disruption to her rhythm, a gaunt Indian woman in purple sari voided the contents of her nostril onto her hand then cast the necklace of silvery substance aside. O, Boon was a proper enough schoolboy, instructed in the use of the British handkerchief, and yet the gaunt woman’s action lodged in my mind, an image repellent, beautiful, troubling.

Claude Boon and Henry Luck, young poets in quest of their muses, cut a swathe through the cultural capitals and byways of Europe and Asia towards the end of the Cold War.

The Poets’ Stairwell revitalises the picaresque novel. Vibrant, sensuous and layered, it has a tumble of characters and pranks.

Anarchist puckish Beamish, the Isadora Duncan-like Eva, class warrior, Branca, a libidinous translator of poems with Jelena, her iconoclast daughter, Luc Courlai a jailed French philosopher, Titus the Yankee acrobat who cradles his gun like a baby, Mr Hark a saintly Irish funeral director, Willi a German truck driver versed in Thomas Aquinas and sensible Rhee, Henry’s girlfriend—amongst others.

Stephen Edgar


Look, look, exhorts the opening poem of this dazzling new collection. The discoveries of observation, both physical and intellectual, ravishing and harrowing, are recounted across a broad sweep of experience. Edgar returns habitually to the character of light. Exhibits of the Sun moves from the ghostly Ferris wheel of Saturn’s rings to the beach pavilion wrapped in ochre fog during Sydney’s dust storm, from the glimpses of a lover’s light-shaped body in the passage of the moon to a vision of a whole lifetime between one eye blink and the next. Presiding over all is Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History, swept away into the future as he looks back on the unravelled pageant of humanity.

On the short list of the best living practitioners of verse, rhymed or blank.
Joshua Mehigan, Poetry (Chicago)

They said of his last book Eldershaw: a brilliant piece of ‘uncanny fiction… alive and convincing at every point, crackling with engagement and intensity.
Martin Duwell, Australian Poetry Review

[A] wonderful love poem and elegy… [of] almost unbearable poignancy. The final dateless narrative, ‘The Pool, is a high point of Australian poetry.
Geoffrey Lehmann, The Weekend Australian

Judith Colquhoun

As her mother Kate lay dying, Lucy O’Connell had learnt of a rape committed in Carlton by a young Italian boy. Not the best introduction to the parent she had never known and, yes, it was a long time ago, but Lucy believes it is never too late for justice. Wary of the amorous Stefano’s assistance, she battles her way through Italian bureaucracy and finally traces her father, Paolo Esposito, to his restaurant by a beach in southern Italy. There she meets his wife Silvana and her own half-siblings: cheeky Andrea, studious Chiara, scatty Rosaria. She lives an uneasy lie with this new family. She obsesses over how to punish her father without hurting the others. Violent forces gather. Still she ignores the friends, who insist that penitence can be more real than a mumbled rosary might suggest. That la vendetta is not the work of gods but of devils.

Todd Turner Woodsmoke Australian Poetry WOODSMOKE  
Todd Turner

Todd Turner writes a poetry of unfashionable warmth. Woodsmoke, which is an occasional motif throughout the book, refers to the ancient resins which fire draws upon in burning. The smoke is the signal, the equivalent of the poem. His unforced measured language yields deeply moving poems—whether on the death of a brother or the loss of market gardens. This is what a modern popular poet should read like. It is simple but takes a daring amount of craft to get there.

Todd Turner has produced a body of poems remarkable for the rich brocade of their language, their hard won lines, their hammered beauty. This is a poet who brings his work close to worship, who looks at the world and returns it clarified and finessed through his painstaking and elegant craftsmanship. Patience and a belief in the transformative power of poetry are at the heart of this most impressive debut volume.

Judith Beveridge

In Todd Turner’s Woodsmoke memory is a potent force at work. His ability to delight and disturb, often within the one line, gives these poems a vibrant, edgy quality that leaves us with a sense of heightened expectancy and urgency.
Anthony Lawrence

Turner’s language is at times rich with the savour of earth, stone, wood, at times as weightless as light falling over a field, which ‘passes for benediction’.
Stephen Edgar

Luke Fischer Paths of Flight Australian Poetry Black Pepper Publishing

Luke Fischer

An assured new poet sprung fully formed in his first collection.

Luke Fischer’s poems startle me to wake again, to wake not only to the thriving details of the worlds surrounding us but to the power of language to reveal the music simmering and alive in every moment. 
Pattiann Rogers

His lines fall as calmly and elegantly as snow, layer upon layer, and are just as transformative in their beauty.

Judith Beveridge

A gaze that renders things present to us in new ways.
Kevin Hart


Stephen Edgar

A children’s game in an overgrown garden is the first hint of a troubling presence in the old house ‘Eldershaw’. But is the haunting a memory of the past inscribed in the stonework or a discord the occupants have brought with them?

At the heart of Stephen Edgar’s compelling new collection are three interlinked narrative poems ranging forwards and backwards in time from the Second World War to the present day. Drawing on personal experience, reimagined and transformed through the lens of fiction, they enact those charged episodes which shape and scar the lives of several characters. From the dim rooms of ‘Eldershaw’, to the recollected infernos of war, to the uncanny waters of a seaside pool, these narratives affect us with a moving and haunting power.

A Co-winner of the Colin Roderick Award
(Stephen Romei comments here in The Australian)

Eldershaw has been short-listed for the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Poetry. This what the judges said:

Jordie Albiston

Prize-winning poet Jordie Albiston’s third book is dramatic. It spotlights the crunch times in the life of Jean Lee 1919-1951 from adventurous girl to hanged woman. It captures the times, the completion of the Harbour Bridge, the youth culture of the milk bars, the 'overpaid, oversexed, over here’ American servicemen during the War, the invasion of petty crims for the 1949 Melbourne Cup won by Faxzami. Above all, it understands. Jean's last God-troubled speeches raise her mean life to suburban tragedy.

In this richly magical procession of poems, Albiston re-imagines how the grim life of Jean Lee stepped along its course to her execution. The book is a triumph of grasp and sympathy.
Chris Wallace-Crabbe

The God poems are terrific - they have unafraidness and tension that is sheer coiled energy. The Hanging of Jean Lee is strong, it’s passionate, it’s truthful and it’s complex. And it’s tremendously disciplined poetry.

HIDDEN - A Graphic Novel
Mirranda Burton

At first glance, Mirranda Burton's art room is a hidden world full of strange eccentric characters and mysterious minds. But stay a while and in that room you'll find all the joy and sadness of life, the pain and comfort of community, and the ultimate meaning of art. In Hidden Mirranda Burton is writing about what matters most, and she does so with such gentle humanity and wisdom. It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read.
  Dylan Horrocks, author of Hicksville

In a simple yet effective visual style reminiscent of Persepolis but wholly its own - and peppered with some pictures so vivid as to be photographic - local artist Mirranda Burton draws on her time spent as an art teacher for those with intellectual disabilities. Her tales are hopeful, dramatic, always emotionally involving, and never condescending.

Fiona Hardy, Readings Carlton

COLOMBINE New and Selected Poetry
Jennifer Harrison

unusually contains two sets of ravish new poems, the title sequence and another called Fugue. The poems selected from her previous collections, from the Anne Elder Award-winning Michelangelo's Prisoners to her fourth book, Folly & Grief, illustrate the depth of her talent.
Jennifer Harrison is astonishing. She comes from a place that was previously unknown

Alan Loney

Susan Hancock

The story of Teresa Matheson, her sisters Mollie and Cass, and the untimely and mysterious death of their mother. Teresa has returned to Wellington after five years in Melbourne where she has written a quest novel for younger readers, had two affairs, and met the demon Arkeum. The Peastick Girl is a complex tragi-comedy of manners.

A brave, sensuous and wildly original novel —  I’ve never read anything quite like it.
Helen Garner

A brief summary can’t really do justice to the complexities of this highly gifted novel... All this is given a lustre and intensity by her precise, musical prose, with its matchless evocations of the weather and the landscapes around Wellington and the fugitive subtleties of her characters’ inner lives.
    Owen Richardson, The Age

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Bron was Phyllis Nicholls’ first child. An Imaginary Mother is an open-hearted memoir of her mother and their intense relationship over fifty-six years.

Phyllis was a secretive, complex and unpredictable woman. Before her marriage, Phyllis worked happily as a designer in Vida Turner’s pioneering textile company. After World War II, with a young family, she had to cope with the isolation of a struggling subsistence farm, the tumult of her husband’s conversion to a rigid religion, and her own increasing mood changes between despair, melancholy and joy.

Yet to the end of almost eighty years, Phyll was also a stoic. She saw her ‘madnesses’ as the inevitable ups and downs of a full life, to be worked around with a mixture of courage, stealth, ingenuity and, whenever possible, with humour. An Imaginary Mother is a portrait in which the sitter and the painter are both revealed.

This poignant gem of a memoir
The Age

This heartrending memoir by Bron Nicholls of her ‘strange mother’ is hard to put down
Rochford Street Review

Homer Rieth

Motet: a composition adapted to sacred words in the elaborate polyphonic church style; an emblem. Addressed to and inspired by the time-honoured figure of a mistress or muse, Homer Rieth’s sonnets cascade into each other across rocks of autobiography, memory and desire. From the young man’s yearning for the religious life to the poet’s mature ruminations he sings to his American Lola and to us. His unaccompanied voice becomes its own choir.

Rieth’s poems often read like overheard private rhapsodies, in which the arcane and everyday mingle. He employs an ebullient, rococco language in long, breathless sentences.

Geoffrey Lehmann & Robert Gray
Australian Poetry Since 1788

A convincing sense of a lifelong spiritual quest
Australian Book Review

Energy, natural and man-made, is at the heart of Andrew Sant’s The Bicycle Thief & Other Poems - energy released at the speed of an escaping cyclist or through the planet’s eruptions and metamorphoses in geologic time. Either way, here is the second law of thermodynamics writ large, creation and destruction in a binary tussle. The mischievous title poem, a fast-moving narrative, is a robust celebration of ‘good-for-the-planet transport’, while elsewhere motor vehicles depicted in a ‘personal history’ are drolly seen as harbingers of an apocalypse. Many poems are monologues that give voice to characters whose identities are fluid and circumstantial. These are poems that get about - lively, unfettered and expansive.

Classy vehicle for entertaining verse
Sydney Morning Herald

It’s out on its own. Simply the thing it is will make it live
Critical Survey (UK)

He writes as though for a circle of listeners sinking into their whisky around a fire that has settled into glowing coals, with a chuckle at times, and a solemn nod at others
The Weekend Australian

....a refined and most enjoyable collection

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Homer Rieth reads Wimmera
Homer Rieth: Interview ABC Radio Darwin Sunday 17 January 2016
Jennifer Harrison: Interview and reading, 3CR 1 April 2014
Sandy Jeffs: Interview and reading, Writer's Radio on Radio Adelaide June 27th 2015

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