Tag: Ali Jane Smith

Reading Secondhand: Ruth Park at St Vincent de Paul

by Ali Jane Smith I am a keen, but not obsessive, op shopper.  I love bric-a-brac. A novelty biscuit tin, the toys from McDonalds’ Happy Meals, a jigsaw puzzle, cake forks, a milk jug. Tupperware! I’m wary of the books, unless I am in the shop where my neighbour, Dorothy-over-the-road, volunteers. It has the best organised, and tidiest, book section of any op shop I’ve ever been to, better than many for-profit secondhand bookshops. There’s always something worth buying, and it is great for kid’s books. I’ve written elsewhere about a really wonderful book that Dorothy found for me at her…

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Reading Secondhand: Susan Hampton at Sappho Books

by Ali Jane Smith The walk from Sydney’s Central Station along Broadway to Glebe Point Road did not have a lilting, iambic rhythm. It was a prog rock experience, a march through a tunnel, a stroll along the footpath, a scurry across a road that inexplicably lacked a pedestrian crossing, more footpath, more scrambling with or against the lights until the corner is turned, and Glebe Point Road achieved. Here, the traffic ambled, no-one was trying to make time. Here, there were cafes and restaurants, the famous Gleebooks, site of many deeply pleasurable browsing hours, and Sappho Books, a secondhand…

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Reading Secondhand: Donald Horne in the post and Frank Moorhouse from The Record King

Ali Jane Smith On the Monday morning after the election, with no party yet able to form a government, I turned on the radio. While I put the kettle on to make a cup of tea, ABC RN’s Fran Kelly was interviewing one of the winners, losers, or too-close-to-callers. I heard the candidate, whoever he was, say “I think Australia is a lucky country.” The water came to a boil, I changed the station. The Lucky Country: Australia in the Sixties, was a book Donald Horne wrote while he was working for the Packers, editing magazines. The title came from…

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Reading Secondhand: Graham Greene in The Foundery

by Ali Jane Smith The orange spine of a Penguin showed through a grotty plastic cover. The title, partly obscured by a piece of masking tape with the call number ‘824.91 G83’ written in biro, turned out to be The Lost Childhood and Other Essays by Graham Greene. The book is well on the way to falling apart, its pages as brown and crisp as scorched toast. I buy it anyway – none of the books here are more than two dollars – and settle down to read just as my pot of tea and sausage roll arrive. The Foundery…

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New Monthly Blogger – Ali Jane Smith!

A enormous thanks to Eileen Chong for her excellent posts. Our blogger this month is Ali Jane Smith. Her bio is below. Ali Jane Smith is a poet and critic. Her poetry has appeared in Southerly, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, and Mascara Literary Review. Reviews and essays have appeared in The Australian, Southerly, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite and Mascara Literary Review. She is the author of a chapbook, Gala, published by the Five Islands Press New Poets Program in 2006. She lives in Wollongong.