Duncan Richardson, Syd Harrex, Jan Owen, Robyn Cadwallader, Jeff Klooger, Bronwyn Mehan, Mal Robertson, Shane McCauley, Brenda Saunders, Rory Harris, Max Ryan, Jean Talbot, Philip Hammial, Mike Cooper, Rachael Petridis, Marion Steinmetz, Chris Andrews, Marion Tracy, Geoff Page, Graham Nunn, David Kelly, Jennifer Compton, Brendan Ryan, Andrew Plunkett, Sam Byfield, Brett Dionysius, Marianne Wilson, Julie Chevalier, Stuart Cooke, Michael Sharkey, Michael Blake, Anne Kellas, Les Wicks, Kevin Gillam, David Prater, Sarah Clarkson, Louis Armand, Heather Freedman, Lesley Wheeler, Robert James Berry
Jo McInerney, Karen Blaylock, Sue Stanford, Judith E.P. Johnson, Shona Bridge, William Scott Galasso, Max Ryan, Lorraine Haig, Carolyn Cordon, Marina Scott, Nathalie Buckland, John Turner, Ross Bolleter, Bob Jones, Cynthia Rowe, John Bird
AN INTERVIEW WITH CAMERON HINDRUM
How about class sizes? Are they too big for optimum teaching?
“Aaah, the perennial question. I’ll have my Union rep contact you with an answer… This is a complicated issue - what do you mean by optimum teaching, for example? This is why performance pay for teachers would never work - if classes are too big, it becomes that much harder to get positive results across the range of abilities that might exist in the class room. (I’m happy to report that idea seems to have dissolved with the demise of the Howard government).”
One of the timber industry’s arguments is that Australia imports billions of dollars worth of forest products, thus it’s selfish to expect the visual impact of our demand be transferred to countries overseas….
“Aesthetics should be important - people don’t make Tasmania their holiday destination so they can marvel at the endless beauty that only a bluegum plantation can inspire, or gaze with awe across clearfelled coupes. But aesthetics will always lose the fight against economic imperatives, won’t it? Having said that, there will long be this conservation/capitalist dichotomy in Tasmania, and it fascinates me. I said earlier….”
ESSAYS, COMMENT, MISCELLANY
Leanne Wright: ‘Why aren’t our public schools good enough?’
“We must remember that although parents have a choice, children do not and it is our children who are being disadvantaged by this system. It is an obscene irony that only the wealthy can access advantage to the detriment of the poor, and the poor help them do it through the taxes they pay.”
John Kinsella: ‘New Poets 13’
Tim Thorne: Jane Williams’ ‘Begging the Question’
“If I could, without sounding pompous, make a general observation on the state of poetry in Australia today, there are far too many ‘good’ poems. What I mean is that too many poems are written within the acceptable boundaries of what poems are supposed to be like. There is an insidious and politely ignored suffocation implicit in this phenomenon….”
Pam Brown: Alan Wearne’s ‘The Australian Popular Songbook’
“I was going to say that this book is ‘a hoot’. But I’m not sure what a ‘hoot’ is - what’s the etymology of ‘hoot’ - is it an Australian word? But there are also some very poignant moments - family poems, the war effort, a Scottish emigrant unhappily stuck living in Box Hill South and so on. Then I thought maybe I can say that it’s also, at times, a bit ‘camp’ but I think Alan might not agree, so, instead I’ll say that it’s a pleasure to read and that a good proportion of The Australian Popular Songbook is fun and often funny too!”
Mal Robertson: ‘Blue Giraffe 7’
“In this volume, as in previous volumes, ear is everything. Of the twenty-five poets and editor, a fine poet in his own right, there is not a tin ear amongst them. There is no hint of strain in the way the poems are written and organised. The themes don’t attack the reader; they emerge on the page like creatures in woodland.”
Warrick Wynne: Judy Johnson’s ‘Navigation’
Janet Upcher: Mike Ladd’s ‘Transit’
“The pervading feeling is that Ladd is fairly disenchanted with contemporary society, especially bourgeois capitalism; a mordant haiku, ‘Black’, is an especially powerful indictment of man’s abuse of the environment….”
Margaret Bradstock: Gina Mercer’s ‘Handfeeding the Crocodile’
“... many of these poems have the muscular grace and fine-honed perceptions of haiku. The title poem is a case in point, its sense of urgency and danger created by means of short, hard-hitting lines and a central evocative conceit….”
Tim Thorne: A Slice of Cherry Pie, and We Don’t Stop Here [both ed. Ivy Alvarez]
Carole MacRury: ‘Eucalypt, A Tanka Journal - # 4’, 2008
Peter MacFie: Roslynn D. Haynes’ Tasmanian Visions: Landscapes in Writing, Art and Photography; and C.J. Binks’ Hills of the West Wind
“Perhaps the major oversight in Haynes’ book is the utter lack of compassion with the current generation of Tasmanians who in the last 30 years have had to come to terms with their convict ancestry - with all its implications. In addition to dealing with the anger and hurt of their parents and grandparents who were mostly oblivious, the same generation has had to come to face the ill-treatment of Aboriginal Tasmanians. Just when we were adjusting to this, along came a brand of re-inventors of history….”
‘Famous Reporter’ sells for $10 (posted), subscriptions $18. ‘Famous Reporter 38’ is due for publication December, 2008.
‘Famous Reporter 37’ will be launched at Hobart Bookshop tomorrow, Thursday 26th June at 5.30pm, by Cameron Hindrum, Director of the Tasmanian Poetry Festival. All welcome.