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John Tranter: Prose

NEW: [»»] Ten Million Readers: The «Streetfare Journal» Story: Australian Art and Poetry on US buses, 1995. A brief report on the «Streetfare Journal» project 1993–1995, by John Tranter. This piece is 1,800 words or about 5 printed pages long.

Frank O'Hara

NEW: [»»] Frank O’Hara, 1926–1966 This long page presents some useful information about the life and death of the US poet Frank O’Hara. A mistaken account of his death by Australian poet Bruce Beaver in a 1969 poem has spread misunderstanding. Also, the piece links to the many features and poems in «Jacket» magazine that deal with the legacy of O’Hara’s life and work. [Noted in my Journal in January, 2013]

NEW: [»»] The Best Australian Poetry 2011 In 2011 I was asked to guest-edit this volume, which turned out to be very popular. Here is my Introduction, and an Interview conducted by the publishers, Black Inc, in Melbourne. [Noted in my Journal in September, 2012]

[»»] Over 800 book reviews in Jacket magazine up to and including Jacket 40 (late 2010), sorted by the reviewee’s last name. [Noted in my Journal in July 2012.]

[»»] 120 Jacket Interviews: This list provides quick links to one hundred and twenty interviews in Jacket magazine up to and including Jacket 40 (late 2010), sorted by the interviewee’s last name.
[Noted in my Journal in July 2012]

Basil Bunting, Cumbria, 1980. Photograph copyright Jonathan Williams, 1994, 1998

Basil Bunting, Cumbria, 1980. Photograph copyright Jonathan Williams, 1994, 1998

[»»] Basil Bunting and the CIA: …Bunting was part of the plot engineered by the CIA, MI6 and Anglo Oil to depose Mossadeq, whose administration, as Wikipedia says, “introduced a wide range of social reforms but is most notable for its nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which had been under British control since 1913 through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC/AIOC) (later British Petroleum or BP).” They go on to say that Mossadeq “was removed from power in a coup on 19 August 1953, organised and carried out by the United States CIA at the request of the British MI6.” Soon Shah Pahlevi and the CIA-trained SAVAK, his repressive secret police force, took power. [More…]
[Noted in my Journal on 2012/07/10.]

[»»] The Literary Thoroughfares of Lynbrook, Victoria: In the fairly new suburb of Lynbrook, in the South-eastern Melbourne City of Casey, over fifty streets and parks are named after Australian writers. They appear between the South Gippsland Highway and the Westernport Highway. The following are most of the “literary streets” in Lynbrook, with brief notes about the writers who are likely to have inspired the names of the eponymous thoroughfares. Naturally I am pleased to find my own name among them, though I am troubled by a nagging thought that as most of the other writers are deceased and in many cases thoroughly historical, perhaps the local council thought I was too. Oh well. [More…]
[Noted in my Journal on 2012/07/02.]

[»»] Three Australian Poets: Christopher Brennan, Lesbia Harford, Kenneth Slessor:
I know what the tyranny of distance is all about. I grew up on an isolated farm five miles from the nearest country town, which was itself two hundred miles from the nearest city. Few if any of my school friends went on to university, and most became farmers. But I was lucky in my choice of parents: my father was a teacher, and my mother taught me to read before I went to school. [More on this site]

Nash car

1952 Nash Rambler ranch wagon: notice the “wood” panels?

[»»] Skeuomorphism: The immensely useful and free encyclopaedia Wikipedia provides a clear definition of “skeuomorphism” (skeuos vessel or tool, morphe shape). A skeuomorph is a derivative object that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to make the new item appear to be comfortably old and familiar, such as copper cladding on zinc coins, to make them look like old pennies, or computer printed postage with a circular town name and cancellation lines, meant to resemble the original circular stamps used by humans in post offices…

The word is recently popular in English in 2012, I suspect because of the furore over Apple’s skeuomorphic designs for its ubiquitous computer software… But relax! The practice goes back to the birth of civilisation. Ancient Greek architecture abounds in skeuomorphism…    [more here]
[Noted in my Journal on 2012-06-14.]

Forlorn Poet

Advice: [»»] Advice to a New Writer
I’ve been writing and publishing poetry for half a century. Now and then I receive enquiries from people starting out to be a writers, asking me to read their manuscripts (for nothing) and tell them what they should do to become a famous published poet, or at least a published poet. I don’t have the time or the inclination to read poetry manuscripts or to write lots of personal letters, and since what I say is always the same, here it is. [Noted in my Journal.]

Story: [»»] Roth

Experimental fiction:
[»»] ‘Mr Rubenking's Breakdown’ — an essay about computer-assisted writing
Examples:     [»»] Carousel     [»»] Valéry’s Room     [»»] Sample pages from Different Hands

[»»] The United States Poet Laureate — some background (1991)
People often misunderstand two things about the position of US Poet Laureate. First, the position is not that of the Librarian of Congress; it is officially titled ‘consultant in poetry’, and is a separate post. And it is funded by public donation, not by US government funds. This article was commissioned by the National Library of Australia in 1991.
[»»] John Tranter: A Week in New York, October-November 2003
[»»] Why is modern poetry so difficult?
[»»] Bruce Beaver, 1928–2004, an obituary
[»»] Martin Johnston — originally published as the Introduction to Martin Johnston — Selected Poems and Prose, edited by John Tranter, University of Queensland Press. This piece is about twenty printed pages long.
[»»] The Illusion of Authenticity: on frauds, literary prizes and Janet Frame
[»»] Four Diversions and a Prose-poem on the Road to a Poetics
[»»] Three John Ashberys — an Introduction
[»»] ‘The Left Hand of Capitalism’, about Jacket magazine and the Internet
[»»] Lost Things in the Garden of Type — on the history of type
[»»] Fonts: the problem with Fournier: how this typeface has fared in the 20th century.

Light prose:
[»»] Thank God for the Bourgeoisie: Postmodernism and the teen daiquiri
[»»] Question and Answer, Sydney Sun-Herald, June 1998

The Internet address of this page is

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