Landmark poetry anthology nears publication
Several UON poets, including Dr David Musgrave, feature in an upcoming anthology, Contemporary Australian Poetry, to be published by Puncher & Wattmann late this month.
The quality of Australian poetry has never been higher, nor the number of distinctive voices greater.
A landmark publication, this collection presents the astonishing achievements of Australian poetry during the last quarter of a century. Comprehensively researched, gathering over 200 poets and 500 poems, it makes the case for this country’s poetry as a broadening of the universal set for all English-speakers.
“Somewhat astonishingly,” the introduction notes, “and while no-one was looking, Australian poetry has developed a momentum and a critical mass such that it has become one more luminous field in the English-speaking imagination. Increasingly, anyone who seeks to explore the perspectives or music available in English will also have to consider the perspectives and music which have originated here — Australia having turned itself, too, into a place in the mind.”
Both survey and critical review, this anthology offers a rare opportunity to explore the unprecedented richness of an art form that collectively represents a major national achievement.
Over ten years in preparation, the anthology has been edited by four poets with an unrivalled exposure to the depth and variety of Australian poetry:
- Martin Langford: editor of Harbour City Poems: Sydney in Verse 1788-2088, Deputy Chair of Australian Poetry Ltd, and poetry reviewer for Meanjin;
- Judith Beveridge: lecturer in post-graduate poetry at Sydney University, and poetry editor of Meanjin from 2005-2015;
- Judy Johnson: former lecturer in Creative Writing at UON and for ten years, Managing Editor of the Wagtail series for Picaro Press;
- David Musgrave: publisher at Puncher and Wattmann, lecturer in Creative Writing UON and Board Member of Australian Poetry Ltd.
"It's a landmark publication," Musgrave asserts. "We're hoping to make a mark in the general cultural consciousness of the country, as we are claiming that this anthology makes it clear that Australian Poetry is a field worth taking as seriously as any other English language poetry."