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Letters of a Poet in Exile single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Letters of a Poet in Exile
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'In 1961 a woman who would soon be described condescendingly as a Hobart housewife and mother of four punctured one of Australia's most monstrous egos. Her two acrostic sonnets, written under one of the male pseudonyms that she used because of her sense of how poetry by women was undervalued in Australia, was published in the 'Bulletin'. To the petulant rage of its editor, Donald Horne, the pair of poems by 'Walter Lehmann', 'Abelard to Eloise' and 'Eloise to Abelard', had a contemporary satirical point for which the doomed medieval lovers had been enlisted. Read vertically, the initial letters of each line spelled out 'so long Bulletin' 'fuck all editors'. Harwood's first book of poetry, published by Angus and Robertson after unconscionable delays, did not appear until 1964. The Bulletin scandal is what she is perhaps still best remembered for, but her later achievements would lead Clive James at least, and gallantly, to proclaim Harwood as Australia's finest twentieth-century poet.' (Publication abstact)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Meanjin Telling Someone Else's Story vol. 75 no. 4 Summer 2016 10855789 2016 periodical issue

    'Stories can have a determining power, the authority of the assumed and accepted narrative.

    'We all have our own of course, and perhaps the capacity to imagine the stories of hypothetical others. In everyday life that might pass for empathy; in literature it can carry an edge of privilege and controversy. And in fact? In non-fiction?

    'In this edition, a timely exploration framed by that great Australian woman of letters Alexis Wright, a long musing on the often vexed intersections between our first peoples and the narrative that explains and explores the Indigenous position in modern Australia. Whose stories are these to tell? Who owns this continuing tale?' (Editorial introduction)

    pg. 16-18
Last amended 25 Feb 2021 06:59:17
16-18 Letters of a Poet in Exilesmall AustLit logo Meanjin
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