How I Teach

I get asked this a lot, and a few stray responses gathered in my head yesterday, in a big enough murmuration of starlings that I tried to collect them on paper.  Here’s a PDF of the result.


Jim Carey making his exit as Truman Burbank in the finale of one of my all-time favourite films, The Truman Show. A very lecturely pose!

How I Teach

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Arena Magazine Reviews

Ishiguro The Buried Giant Review

the-buried-giantI was recently asked to review Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel for Arena Magazine.  Here is the result.


A few issues previously I reviewed Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake, a far less happy affair.  So you can read me urbane, or you can read me bitchy.  Or both.  Your call.


91_%20Paul%20Kingsnorth%20-%20The%20WakeKingsnorth The Wake Review

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Yeats’ A Vision

Yeats-The-Great-Wheel-81I gave a brief (for me!) talk on A Vision, the occult classic by W.B. Yeats, as part of the celebrations commemorating his 150th birthday.  I dressed for the occasion in a peackock-blue silk waistcoat (couldn’t find a pince-nez, so my ordinary readers had to do).  Audience and speakers alike contributed to an extraordinary day.  Here’s a link to a recording of the talk I’ve put up on soundcloud:




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A Small Complication

Health issues have arisen for me (not too serious, but not negligible) that have unsettled the scheduling of the remaining courses for this year.  Until I know more, I would ask that no one transfer any fees to my account for courses that haven’t yet begun.  Dates will most likely have to be revised.  I will post more as the picture comes clearer for me.

Thanks for your understanding.

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Linguistics Lecture at Monash

I’ve uploaded the two parts of a lecture I delivered 28 May, the last in Kate Burridge’s History and Sociology of English unit at Monash University.  Kate had to attend an overseas conference in the final week, so she asked me to deputize.  ‘Go play’, she said, and I did!  Ropey but good lateral fun.  Below are links to the lecture on the Sound Cloud page and to the PowerPoint I accompanied my talk with, which contains all the texts I read out.

Final Lecture


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Three Poems in Arena Magazine

The current issue for April, 2015 (no. 135) has published three recent poems of mine.  Since I first began writing bad knock-offs of T.S. Eliot and W.B. Yeats in my late teens, it’s been a very long road indeed.  But worth the wait to see something out there in the public domain.  Many thanks to Arena  and its editors!  The PDF below has scans of all three.

Arena poems April 2015

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New Courses for 2015 Finalised!

Here is a PDF containing the details of all the remaining courses to run for 2015 in The Melbourne Literature Seminars.

Final Timetable for Further 2015 Courses

Recommended Texts

All courses to take place in Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane.  Details of times, room bookings and fees can be found in the PDF.

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Four Confirmations

I have confirmed bookings for four courses upcoming from April, on The Canterbury Tales, W.B. Yeats, Icelandic Sagas, and late Shakespeare.  Details of the courses and the texts you’ll want to acquire if you’re planning on attending can be found on the ‘Courses & Seminars’ link.

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A New Article

Arena Magazine has just published another essay of mine, titled ‘Humility’.  Apart from my scribbles, there’s a lot of excellent writing in this issue (no. 134), so it’s well worth a look.


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Introduction to Old English II

We’ll be picking up where we left off before Christmas, with a bit more of Ælfric’s Colloquy to get us into the grammatical mood, then on to other prose texts, ending (I hope) with Bede’s famous account of the poet Cædmon.  Your Mitchell & Robinson will be all you’ll need.  Anyone interested who did not attend part I will be welcome, but you’ll need to have some prior acquaintance with the basics of Old English grammar to get much out of the experience.

12 two-hour sessions starting Monday, 2 February, 12-2pm in Ross House, second floor room 2.1 (slightly cozier, but quieter, and I trust we’ll fit comfortably)

Fee $250 (please note new account details on homepage)


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