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y separately published work icon Thea Astley : Selected Poems selected work   poetry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Thea Astley : Selected Poems
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The first published collection of poetry by Australian literary legend Thea Astley

'Thea Astley won multiple prizes for her fiction, including four Miles Franklin Awards. However, her earliest ambition was to write poetry. It remained her private passion throughout her student days into adulthood.

'This exciting volume brings together for the first time many poems that have never been seen or published. It traces Astley’s development as a writer as she evokes wartime Brisbane, her fascination with the natural landscape and her encounters with small-town life.

'Thea Astley: Selected Poems provides admirers of Astley’s fiction with unprecedented insight into an Australian literary legend.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Four New Collections and a Question Mark Martin Langford , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 77 no. 1 2018; (p. 194-200)
In the Beginning It Was Verse Ed Wright , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13 January 2018; (p. 15)

— Review of Thea Astley : Selected Poems Thea Astley , 2017 selected work poetry

'Thea Astley was one of Australia’s finest novelists. Her evocation of unusual and eccentric lives in our tropical north was unsurpassed, even if the conspicuous regionalism of her oeuvre may have moderated her posthumous place in the canons of Ozlit.' (Introduction)

To You—The Reader : Thea Astley: Selected Poems Rosie King , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Etropic , vol. 16 no. 2 2017;

'Growing up in an Australian country town, one might think that Australian literature would be a key staple in the school syllabus. Sadly, this was not my experience, and it has been a shortcoming that I have only come to appreciate the extent of while at university. My forays into the tradition of great Australian literature constantly and pleasantly surprise me, and one recent discovery has been the work of Thea Astley. Astley was certainly a prolific novelist—having written fifteen books over the course of her career—but more importantly, she was an accomplished writer; a fact often overlooked despite her impressive collection of literary honours. Although she had been writing from the early 1960s until well into the late 1990s, my education up until now had provided me with scant opportunity to encounter this heavyweight of Australian literature. Before coming across Selected Poems, edited by Cheryl Taylor and introduced by Susan Wyndham, the name Thea Astley had sparked only the vaguest of recollections in my mind.

Unearthed, Precious and Intimate Emma Cooper , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Rochford Street Review , July-September no. 23 2017;

'This collection illustrates Thea Astley’s rarely acknowledged passion for poetry. The way verse contributed to her development as an Australian literary icon is often overlooked, let alone documented so insightfully. Editor, Cheryl Taylor, has compiled Selected Poems in so that Astley’s writing seems unearthed, precious and intimate. The poems are arranged in chronological order, along with careful biographical notes, documenting Astley’s growth from schoolgirl to celebrated and cerebral author. By tracing her making through her poems, the collection shows the formative writing processes that led to her renowned style. The book is an unfurling of Astley’s progress, in both writing and living.' (Introduction)

Verbal Play Susan Sheridan , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 396 2017; (p. 59)

— Review of Thea Astley : Selected Poems Thea Astley , 2017 selected work poetry

'Thea Astley had a way with words. Her novels are studded with arresting metaphors, atrocious puns, hilarious one-liners, arcane words, technical terms from music, geometry and logic, religious and literary allusions. Her verbal pyrotechnics can be dazzling and infuriating, in equal measure: as Helen Garner once wrote, it is a style that can drive you crazy. So it’s no surprise to learn that Astley served her writerly apprenticeship in poetry, in the arts of verbal play and condensation of meaning.' (Introduction)

Verbal Play Susan Sheridan , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 396 2017; (p. 59)

— Review of Thea Astley : Selected Poems Thea Astley , 2017 selected work poetry

'Thea Astley had a way with words. Her novels are studded with arresting metaphors, atrocious puns, hilarious one-liners, arcane words, technical terms from music, geometry and logic, religious and literary allusions. Her verbal pyrotechnics can be dazzling and infuriating, in equal measure: as Helen Garner once wrote, it is a style that can drive you crazy. So it’s no surprise to learn that Astley served her writerly apprenticeship in poetry, in the arts of verbal play and condensation of meaning.' (Introduction)

In the Beginning It Was Verse Ed Wright , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13 January 2018; (p. 15)

— Review of Thea Astley : Selected Poems Thea Astley , 2017 selected work poetry

'Thea Astley was one of Australia’s finest novelists. Her evocation of unusual and eccentric lives in our tropical north was unsurpassed, even if the conspicuous regionalism of her oeuvre may have moderated her posthumous place in the canons of Ozlit.' (Introduction)

Unearthed, Precious and Intimate Emma Cooper , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Rochford Street Review , July-September no. 23 2017;

'This collection illustrates Thea Astley’s rarely acknowledged passion for poetry. The way verse contributed to her development as an Australian literary icon is often overlooked, let alone documented so insightfully. Editor, Cheryl Taylor, has compiled Selected Poems in so that Astley’s writing seems unearthed, precious and intimate. The poems are arranged in chronological order, along with careful biographical notes, documenting Astley’s growth from schoolgirl to celebrated and cerebral author. By tracing her making through her poems, the collection shows the formative writing processes that led to her renowned style. The book is an unfurling of Astley’s progress, in both writing and living.' (Introduction)

To You—The Reader : Thea Astley: Selected Poems Rosie King , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Etropic , vol. 16 no. 2 2017;

'Growing up in an Australian country town, one might think that Australian literature would be a key staple in the school syllabus. Sadly, this was not my experience, and it has been a shortcoming that I have only come to appreciate the extent of while at university. My forays into the tradition of great Australian literature constantly and pleasantly surprise me, and one recent discovery has been the work of Thea Astley. Astley was certainly a prolific novelist—having written fifteen books over the course of her career—but more importantly, she was an accomplished writer; a fact often overlooked despite her impressive collection of literary honours. Although she had been writing from the early 1960s until well into the late 1990s, my education up until now had provided me with scant opportunity to encounter this heavyweight of Australian literature. Before coming across Selected Poems, edited by Cheryl Taylor and introduced by Susan Wyndham, the name Thea Astley had sparked only the vaguest of recollections in my mind.

Four New Collections and a Question Mark Martin Langford , 2018 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 77 no. 1 2018; (p. 194-200)
Last amended 19 Nov 2019 13:48:28
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