Got a Gig of Sorts

Big thanks to Felix Nobis and Marieke Hardy for inviting me to take part in a discussion of the forthcoming novel, The Mere Wife, by Maria Dahvana Headley at the Melbourne Writers Festival in August.

The story re-imagines  Beowulf in the setting of a modern gated suburb.  This could be fun . . .

The event is scheduled for a mid-morning session on Sunday, 26 August.

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Better Late Than Never

Here’s a PDF of my write-up of my keynote address for the conference of the Australian Early Medieval Association last year, which just got published in the Association’s annual journal.  I tried to have some fun . . .

Patchy Reception- The Riddle of Beowulf

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Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Ovid played naughty kid brother to his contemporary, Virgil, whose Aeneid  became the normative (and soberly revered) foundational text for imperial Rome. Ovid’s Metamorphoses plays a much different game, resisting the unified effect of the Homeric model to produce a patchwork of short stories in verse, no less ambitious in scope, but shot through with comedy and parody, as well as profound observation of the human (and surperhuman) world.

Ovid’s work provided a rich vein of narrative for Renaissance verse and drama,  many of whose stories you’ll know even if you’ve never read the originals. His takes on classical myth are part parody, part canny psychologising. Find out where Chaucer learned a great deal of both his wisdom and his cheeky audacity. David Raeburn’s translation for Penguin Classics is both a good read and well annotated.

Penguin ISBN 13: 9780140447897 12 weekly 2-hour sessions, beginning Friday, 2 February, 1-3pm in Ross House second floor room 2.1

fee: $240.00 (or $20.00 per session)

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One of My 2018 Projects

As I’ve previously posted, I’m curtailing my teaching commitments in 2018 to take a writing sabbatical.  One of the big projects is a novel I’ve been trying to write for decades, that’s begun happening again with a curious twist of authorship.  Long way to go, but worth posting a teaser cover mock-up.

And here’s the PDF of a scrappy verse prelude that (sort of) explains the basic frame.  I’m hoping putting this stuff up will force my hand and keep me writing.  We shall see . . .


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A Recent Piece

A poem I’ve recently written that alludes to an iconic suspension bridge between Brooklyn and Staten Island in New York City, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, a major fixture of my early life and travels.  Fyi, the town on Long Island where I was born is called Babylon, which accounts for the title.  Partly.

The Babylonian Exile

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The MLS Refectory: The Poems of Richard Wrigley

Those of you who’ve been regular attenders of our Refectory sessions will know Richard Wrigley, a Melbourne poet who’s himself been a regular contributor to our conversations. After the publication of his recent book of poems, Honeycomb and Diamonds, I included Richard in our roster of poets to be discussed, and he has graciously offered me a selection of more recent pieces for us to consider in that session.

Richard will be there too, so, for the first time, we’ll have a live poet in the house! It promises to be a special occasion, to which I’m very much looking forward, so if the idea appeals and you’ve not been to a Refectory session recently (or ever), you might consider putting this one into your calendar:

The MLS Refectory: Poems by Richard Wrigley

Wednesday 20 September

First Floor Meeting Room 1
Ross House
247 Flinders Lane

Hope to see you there!

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Too Good to Pass By

Best cartoon I’ve come across in ages.  For all the Dickinson fans out there . . .

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A Couple of Poems

Dunno why I keep chipping away at this particular seam, but they keep coming.  Make of ’em what you will.


Duck Season in Babylon


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A Few More Tunes

Robert Lloyd and I performing a few more of his songs . . .


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Robert Lloyd and I recording his ‘The White Giant’, a song about the Cerne Abbas Giant carved in white chalk into a hillside in Dorset many, many moons ago.  Erm, yeah.  You get the picture.  Rough mix, but enough to give you a sense of where we’re heading.

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