AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 Undulating Separate : Locality and Nation in the Poetries of John Anderson and Lisa Bellear
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'As Troy Bramston writes, ‘By the end of 1992, [Paul] Keating had asked Australians to think about their history and their long-term future more than any other prime minister had. He was giving voice to a new nationalism for Australia at home and abroad.’ Politically speaking, this national ‘reorientation’ away from supposed cultural ties to Europe was partly reliant upon a strengthened relationship with North America as well as Asia (437); but a ‘new nationalism’ was being activated in the culture: what Anne Brewster terms a ‘new political imaginary’ that, ‘positions indigenous and non-indigenous people in a space of co-existence and co-habitation, where hierarchy is replaced with a sense of the coevalness of contemporary indigenous and non-indigenous modernisms’ (‘Brokering Cross-racial Feminism’ 218). A significant example of this is John Anderson’s long poem, the forest set out like the night. It was published in 1995, the year before Keating’s defeat as Prime Minister. Between the terms of Keating and Howard there emerged a constant public discourse about cultural identity. Lisa Bellear’s collection of poems, Dreaming in Urban Areas was published the year of Howard’s 1996 election win, and stands out as a voice of its moment. This essay considers these books together, against the background of their political era: not as historical artefacts, but rather, as works that try to act upon local and national culture through language. In light of growing commentary on, and contribution to decolonised poetics, this discussion suggests how that tension between the two books takes on a new, timely significance. ' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon JASAL Late Night Nerves : Poets of the 1980s and 90s vol. 2 no. 18 Michael Farrell (editor), 2018 15402884 2018 periodical issue

    'The title allusion is to ‘Death, an Ode,’ by John Forbes, who died in 1998. The ‘nerves’ referred to in the poem are directed towards the advent of ‘our beautiful century,’ meaning the twentieth. Most of the poet subjects in this feature did not get to see how beautiful the twentyfirst is. The articles that follow are responses to a request for essays on the poets and poetry of the 1980s and 90s: there was no suggestion they all be about the dead. But that is what happened.' (Michael Farrell : Introduction)

Last amended 11 Jan 2019 11:53:21 Undulating Separate : Locality and Nation in the Poetries of John Anderson and Lisa Bellearsmall AustLit logo JASAL