Tag: Judith Beveridge

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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Fireworks Below the River

by Anthony Lawrence Swamp Riddles: Robert Adamson In 1978, my mother met me at the door and handed me a note, saying “This is what you have to do if you’re serious and want to be a real poet.” She had written a list that included: – read everything you can get your hands on – go to second hand bookshops and start a poetry collection – write every day – say no to your friends more often I assumed that while I’d been at work, she’d had a major epiphany about poetry, and was now passing on this crucial…

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The Power and the Passion

Judith Beveridge I’ve always been drawn to this statement by the Irish poet Michael Longley: “The poet makes the most complex and concentrated response that can be made with words to the total experience of living. For these reasons I would go on trying to write poems even if no one wanted to read them.” I find this a very enabling comment and one that cuts through the frustrations that beset any poet who begins to dwell on the vast absence of poetry readers. It also harks back to the statement Keats made about poetry, that it is essentially about…

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“Poetry, I too dislike it”

Judith Beveridge While I have been convalescing from a flu virus, I’ve spent the last week reading. I finished Louise Glűck’s “Poems 1962-2012” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2012) – a most rewarding and deeply moving book. I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her spare, honed style, her precision with language, the ever-present, needling emotional trouble with which she imbues her poems have always won me over. Her poems are clean and swift, except for the longer form she uses in her 2006 volume, Averno, which is my least favourite of her books because it seems…

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Maximum Heat

Judith Beveridge I’m writing this on the day when catastrophic fire conditions are expected and a maximum of 43 degrees in Sydney. I also have a fever, so it seems heat is absolutely inescapable today as it ravages over the landscape and pushes well above the normal level on my oral thermometer. The fires in Tasmania and Victoria are still burning as well. I feel a strong sense of nervousness about the day. At the moment there’s a small amount of cloud cover and the wind is just starting up. I can hear some insects outside doing their high-pitched, electronic…

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Beginnings and endings

Judith Beveridge As it’s the beginning of the new year and the ending of the old year, I have been prompted to think about the beginnings and endings of poems. I always find beginning and ending a poem the hardest aspect of writing. I very rarely have quick flashes of thought and feeling that lead me into a poem, it’s more a matter of trying various lines and phrases until something starts to sound promising. But even more difficult for me is ending a poem, so I recently purchased Barbara Herrnstein Smith’s highly regarded book Poetic Closure: A Study of…

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Our first guest for 2013 – Judith Beveridge.

Thanks to Lisa Gorton for your wonderful posts to round out 2012. Next, and our first for 2013 is Judith Beveridge. Judith Beveridge is the author of The Domesticity of Giraffes, Accidental Grace, Wolf Notes and Storm and Honey. Her prizes include the NSW, Victorian and Queensland Prizes for Poetry, the Grace Levin Prize, the Wesley Michel Wright Award and the Josephine Ulrick Prize. She is the poetry editor for Meanjin and teaches poetry writing at post graduate level at the University of Sydney. Her new volume of poems will be published in 2013.

Poetry Prize – Helen Bell Poetry Bequest Award 2013

The Department of English at the University of Sydney is pleased to announce that the first biennial award under the Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest  will be made in 2013.  Under the terms of Helen Anne Bell’s will, a cash prize of $5,000 will be offered for the best collection of 30 poems by a female poet over the age of 18.  Applicants must be Australian, and the poems submitted must be “about Australian culture,” broadly defined. The submitted poems should not previously have been published in collected book form, whether in print or on the virtual domain.  The successful…

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