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Vale John Clarke, 1948-2017

My friend John Clarke was a brilliant satirist, but many forget what a deeply analytical mind he had for one of his great loves – poetry. He published collections of parodies and in the following interview from 2008, he had just been appointed Patron of the Australian Poetry Centre. From parody to patronage: John Clarke […]

Vale American writer Paula Fox

The New York Times has just announced the death of American writer Paula Fox. “Paula Fox, a distinguished writer for children and adults whose work illuminated lives filled with loss, dislocation and abandonment, conditions she knew firsthand from a very early age, died on Wednesday in Brooklyn. She was 93 Ms. Fox wrote a half-dozen […]

Vale Professor Jill Roe, writer and historian

Emeritus Professor Jill Roe died recently (12/01.2017). One of the highlights of her work was to produce a substantial biography of Stella Miles Franklin, the author of My Brilliant Career, who herself  left a legacy that’s remembered every year in the Miles Franklin Award for Australian Writing and the more recently established Stella Prize for Women’s […]

Vale John Berger: here’s our conversation on home, looking for refuge and the art of living.

John Berger who died on Monday January 2nd was a novelist, storyteller, poet, screenwriter, and art critic. His 1972 BBC series and book Ways of Seeing made an enormous impact as a reaction to Kenneth Clark’s series on art Civilisation. Ten years ago when he was 80, the book which was the subject of our conversation was Hold […]

Panel on writing creative non-fiction

I haven’t posted much lately as I am researching and writing my new book. However, sometimes I do emerge from my study to take part in events such as this one. It’s fun to talk with other writers about what we do and how and why. This panel was convened at Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre, and […]

Interview: French Writer Marie Darrieussecq

Today I was reminded of this interview with Marie Darrieussecq about her novel Tom is Dead. She is a guest at the forthcoming Sydney Writers  Festival. So following the previous blog post on writing in dark territory, here is another in a similar vein – writing about the death of a child. Here’s a link […]

Writing in Dark Territory: a conversation with Helen Garner and Anne Manne

Here is a video recording of the excellent conversation I moderated with writers Helen Garner and Anne Manne. They  have written on some of the darkest aspects of the human experience: murder, violence against children, and the contemporary culture of narcissism. In conversation with me for La Trobe University’s Ideas and Society program, they discuss why […]