Poetry, Paperback, 120pp
Publication October 2012
Wearne is Australia’s poet-moralist, a master of its idioms, the recorder of its pretensions, and the scourge of its big-noters, con-artists and crooks. In ‘The Vanity of Australian Wishes’ he pays tribute to Samuel Johnson and Juvenal, ‘who knew that combination of bemusement, annoyance, anger and despair to which your country can drive you, though always aware of its entertainment value and dramatic potential’. The collection includes an affectionate portrait of three Melbourne high school teachers in the early 1960s, and a saga which records the destinies of their pupils, satires on the world of finance and drug-dealing, literary academics and the libertinism of baby-boomers, and seven new poems based on Australian pop songs.
Alan Wearne’s verse novels The Nightmarkets and The Lovemakers received major literary awards; his recent collection, The Australian Popular Songbook, won the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry. He is the publisher of Grand Parade Poets, and teaches poetry at the University of Wollongong.
To listen to Alan Wearne reading some of his poems click here.
To read Martin Duwell’s review click here