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John Tranter: Documents by Others

The American philosopher George Santayana once wrote ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ These ancient documents from the Labyrinth, bearing faded inscriptions and the faint whisper of urgent voices from another time, are presented in the hope that they may help to explain how we arrived here, and whence, and to provide enlightenment and inspiration for others. J.T.

The history of Australian poetry from 1965–85 can be told through the anthologies published in that time. Rodney Hall and Thomas Shapcott’s «New Impulses in Australian Poetry» (1968) signalled a change but was overtaken by events to such effect that Shapcott’s «Australian Poetry Now» (1970) included sixty or more poets, most of whom had not been heard of before by the reading public. Shapcott’s later anthology «Contemporary American and Australian Poetry» (1976) found itself flanked on either side by «Applestealers» (1974), the Melbourne salute to ‘the generation of ‘68’, and later by John Tranter’s «The New Australian Poetry» (1979).
           — James Tulip, in «The Penguin New Literary History of Australia»,
              October 1988, pp.491–2

1966 — Antediluvian Antecedents: [»»] Vivian Smith: “Australian Poetry in the ’60s: Some Mid-Century Notes” First published in «Balcony / The Sydney Review» number 4, (Southern) Autumn 1966. A wide-ranging and perceptive review of McAuley, Hope, Webb, Dobson and many others.

1974 «Applestealers — is a collection of the New Poetry in Australia» including notes, statements, histories on La Mama, selected and introduced by Robert Kenny with Colin Talbot, Outback Press, North Fitzroy (Melbourne), 1974.

1974 [»»] Robert Kenny: “Welcome Stranger: Introduction to «Applestealers», 1974”.

1974 [»»] Kris Hemensley: The Beginnings — a note on La Mama (1974).

1973: Kris Hemensley: Note and Comments: From New Poetry magazine, 1973 and 1974. In 1973, under the editorship of Robert Adamson and Terry Sturm, New Poetry magazine continued its practice of publishing a list of succinct and internationally wide-ranging Notes and Comments at the back. These had been compiled by Carl Harrison-Ford under various pseudonyms. Authorship now passed to Kris Hemensley from Melbourne. For individual pieces, see below.

1973 [»»] Kris Hemensley: Note and Comments: From New Poetry magazine, Vol 21 Nº 4, 1973, pp. 59-63.

1974 [»»] Kris Hemensley: Note and Comments from New Poetry magazine, Vol 21 Nº 5+6, 1974.

1974 [»»] Kris Hemensley: Note and Comments from New Poetry magazine, Vol 22 Nº 4, 1974.

1977 [»»] Robert Drewe: “Fangs bared”: account of a poetry reading at the Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, May 1977.

1979 [»»] They Dared to Live! This illustrated flyer advertising the publication of «The New Australian Poetry» (Makar Press, 1979), and on the verso «Surfers Paradise» magazine number two, was distributed with an issue of «New Poetry» probably in late 1979. Written, designed and typeset by John Tranter, it echoed the sense of playfulness that was an important part of the poetry (and of the general approach to life) of that generation of writers.

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