It was near enough to a decade ago that one Susan Fealy materialized on the Melbourne literary scene as if out of nowhere – or so it seems in retrospect, and so it appeared to me at the time. She had written a searching response to my then recently published novella, The Poet, and this led to an exchange of emails and our first meeting. We began to cross paths at poetry readings, and I soon discovered that Susan loved to write long but interesting emails packed with her musings and reflections on matters literary, artistic, or otherwise noteworthy. As time went on, these emails, and our conversations whenever we met up, gradually revealed to me a person who thought hard about language, art, ideas, the natural world; a serious, passionate reader who probed deeply into whatever text was before her or whatever notion was exercising her mind.

More from Alex Skovron, at Rochford Street Review, 21st March, 2017.



The launch of Peter Boyle’s fabulous new book Ghostspeaking takes place this afternoon, Friday 23 September at Gleebooks, Sydney, launched by Luke Fischer who’ll also chair a discussion with Peter, Michelle Cahill, Judith Beveridge, and David Brooks (tbc) on themes connected to the book. The event is free, RSVP (02) 9660 2333.



… almost all of us here already know what an extra-ordinary fellow Pete Hay is. If you don’t know Pete yet, chat to your neighbour later, for they are likely to have a story as good as any I can tell. Suffice for me to say that Pete is our most important public intellectual not because he has a comment to make on every development in the news cycle but because he doesn’t.

Pete asks his own questions and rejects the chaining of knowledge to the small-minded and specialised expert. No other scholar has had such an influence in changing ideas about Tasmania. For four decades he has been resourcing, coaxing into being, an intelligent, compassionate, imaginative reflection of what it means to make home on this island, AND what it has meant in the past and what it might mean in the future.

(James Boyce, launching Pete Hay’s new poetry collection ‘Physick’, at Hobart Bookshop, 18th August 2016)

– Read James’ full speech here


Book Launch and In-Conversation with Tim Cox at Hobart Town Hall
6pm Tuesday September 6

Robert Forster met Grant McLennan at the University of Queensland in the mid-1970s; two
undergrads with a shared passion for music, film, poetry and pop-culture. Soon they formed The
Go-Betweens whose bohemian pop music full of literary allusions and local references stood out
amidst the exploding local punk rock scene.

‘The truest and strangest poet of our generation’ Nick Cave

Over the next decade, and with the addition of other members, they recorded nine studio albums
and toured the world, playing alongside bands such as The Birthday Party, Orange Juice, The
Triffids, The Smiths and REM. By the time these two ambitious but rock-star-wrecked handsome
men sacked their own band in 1989, their unique contribution to the Australian music scene had
sparked comparisons with Lennon/McCartney and delivered songs that have gone on to become
part of our cultural musical lexicon: ‘Cattle and Cane’, ‘Spring Rain’, and ‘Streets of Your Town’.
Thirty years after they first met, and ten years after Grant’s tragic passing, Robert Forster has
written a deeply personal reflection on his life-long friendship and collaboration with Grant
McLennan; covering the background stories to some of their most well-known songs; adventures in
London, Glasgow, Europe, the US – and Brisbane; and dealing for the first time with the
devastating personal consequences of their band’s break-up.

Tickets on sale at Fullers Bookshop:
1 x ticket: $20
1 x ticket + 1 x book: $49.95
(Grant & I RRP: $35)

Robert will be in conversation with Tim Cox and playing songs at Hobart Town Hall, Tuesday
September 6, 6pm. Tickets from Fullers Bookshop


Wed 17th August, 2016 – 6:30-8:30 pm

Hares & Hyenas
63 Johnson Street

Sperm is the word. Anton Mischewski’s words ‘hunt without restraint’, coming again and again in different ways, rhythms and temperatures.
-Michael Farrell

In Pre-Tumourescent Anton Mischewski applies intellectual vigour and a passionate engagement with cultural history, literature and the arts to these poems about love and life. The results are poems of emotional force and lasting resonance. Mischewski’s ‘13 Ways of Looking at Sperm’, is one of the best parodies of Wallace Steven’s ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’ you will read. Mischewski’s parody is made all the more ironic by being only twelve ways. In a poetry that references Emily Dickinson’s ‘Slant of Light’ in its heightened intensities Mischewski uses dashes to interesting effect in the manner of Dickinson. These are poems that are ‘tigered bright’ in their expressiveness and philosophical undercurrents.

[Also see vale-dr-anton-mischewski]


Dr James Boyce — multi-award-winning author whose books include Born Bad (2014), 1835 (2011) and Van Diemen’s Land (2008) — will launch Physick: Catharsis and ‘The Natural Things’, the latest work by Pete Hay.

Pete Hay is a poet, essayist, environmentalist, and academic, having taught geography, politics and philosophy at the University of Tasmania. His previous publications include Main Currents in Western Environmental Thought (social theory), Vandiemonian Essays (personal essays), and Silently On The Tide (poems), along with innumerable essays, book chapters, articles and reviews.

Physick is a poetry collection representing ’10 years of thought and scribble’ and will be available for signing at the launch.

Where: The Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square
When: Thursday August 18, from 5.30pm

Free event, all welcome.


Nick Mooney, launching Don Knowler’s ‘Riding the Devil’s Highway’

Hobart Bookshop, Thursday 26th February 2015.

Donald Knowler first heard of the Glass Bottom Bus tour when he came to Tasmania more than a decade ago. The idea of tourists viewing vast numbers of animals squashed on the bitumen – an ironic in-joke among the wildlife and tourism fraternity – inspired him to compile his own checklist of what lay flattened on the island’s highways and byways. The journey led him to dead Tasmania devils and quolls…but also to the work of scientists researching the scale of the toll and looking at measures to reduce the carnage which results in an animal dying every two minutes on Tasmania’s roads. Riding the Devil’s Highway presents an itinerary for such a tour and a field guide to the flattened fauna of Tasmania – the roadkill capital of the world.

(Apologies … video quality’s not as high as I’d have hoped.    Ralph)