Cheryl Taylor I first met Frank in 1968, when he attended a conference on Australian literature at the University College of Townsville, now James Cook University. That conference became a legend afterwards for its military-meticulous organisation; Frank came to the dinner in a blue velvet jacket that went well with his red hair, but contrasted with all the penguin outfits. He wasn’t putting on a show—he was just being himself. Over the next forty years Frank would sometimes drop into Townsville to see his friends, especially fellow poet Fiona Perry. He always had writing and painting on the go, and […]
Archives for November 2012
for Noah Goh The morning you are born, I am in the future and spy a flower among the glossy leaves of the magnolia. It is creamy, perfect, not yet unfurled but poised to break and blossom with the turning of the hours. In the past your mother lies, strapped in a blue gown, waiting. We all hold our breath, connected by pixels and satellites—poor substitutes for flesh, scent and human presence. Rain here in Sydney veils the city. A caul of wet drapes the buildings that fist at and puncture the sky. To my right […]
The Australian writer Gillian Mears’ award-winning Foal’s Bread is one of the most absorbing novels I’ve read in years. It returned me to some of the pleasures of the old-fashioned realist novel: an engrossing plot that kept me reading late into the night; complex characters in a densely realised social and historical setting; an expansive, compassionate vision of life. It’s about the glory days and the decline of show jumping competitions in rural New South Wales, from the 1920s through to the present day; and not being a horsey kind of woman, I wasn’t convinced I would enjoy it. But […]
Aside from the growing stack of New Yorker magazines that I can never quite seem to whittle down, I have spent the last couple of weeks reading Sewer, Gas, Electric: the public works trilogy, by Matt Ruff. Ruff is kind of a cult writer in the U.S., crossing the boundaries between literary and genre fiction. Sewer, Gas, Electric is firmly in the science fiction epic mode, offering a gleefully mad vision of a futuristic New York, where beleaguered public servants hunt mutant sharks in the sewers while vast conspiracies are hatched in the gleaming skyscrapers above them. The nominal plot […]
The following speech was made by Australian Test cricketer Ed Cowan at the launch of Gideon Haigh’s new book, On Warne. Can I just say what a treat it is to finally be welcomed to Como Park? This is actually the second book launch with which I have been associated here but as many of you know, the first one I have actually attended. Somewhat embarrassingly, I had to sadly send three proxies last year to help launch my own book In The Firing Line, as I was whisked off at the last minute to play a tour game […]
I have never really been a fan of comics. Despite a period of my life when I played Dungeons and Dragons and read fantasy novels, I was never one of those gamer geeks who frequented the comic shops ordering pristine editions of DC comics and leaving them in their plastic sleeves to keep them collectible and safe. I came to the graphic novel form quite late. I enjoyed the movie Ghost World and was surprised to enjoy the Harvey Pekar graphic novel that the film was based on. I found Adrian Tomine soon after and was drawn more to Tomine’s […]
First Dog on the Moon is a Walkley nominated cartoonist and national treasure. Comments by paddy 05 Nov 12 at 13:27 Thank goodness for the trusty Irish beach house authors. It was all getting terribly serious there for a moment. … by Drag0nista 05 Nov 12 at 13:35 I heartily endorse the bit about dragons. … by Joyce 29 Nov 12 at 13:37 ‘First dog on the moon’is a star.