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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris
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'Grand Parade Poets are pleased to be publishing The Gang of One, the Selected Poems of Robert Harris, edited by Judith Beveridge with an introduction by Philip Mead. Though well represented in anthologies, Harris (1951-1993) is a major writer who has until now missed out on the Selected Poems milestone. Unaligned with any ‘faction’, though a close friend to many in the poetry/literary community, Harris is a very fine poet with this for an important hallmark: the variety of his subject matter and inspiration. Consider this for starters: you turn the page from a suite of poems fired by the World War 2 sinking of HMAS Sydney and then you are in Tudor England, with all the plots and counter-plots surrounding Lady Jane Grey, the ‘nine day queen’ and martyr. And beyond even the variety there are two things which truly anchor the Harris opus: his commitment to writing of and about Australia (though never to the exclusion of others, nor in any phoney nationalist manner) and his Christian faith, which probably was his poetry’s bedrock. Here is a volume of verse both gritty and humane, by a decided ‘one off’. Both his memory and Australian literature deserve it.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Victoria,: Grand Parade Poets , 2019 .
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      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 1vp.
      Note/s:
      • Published May 2019

Works about this Work

December in Poetry Mitchell Welch , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , November 2019;

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry ; Where Only the Sky Hung Before Toby Fitch , 2019 selected work poetry
Best Bard None Peter Craven , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 10 August 2019; (p. 26)

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry

'Australians are good at poetry, the way that we’re good at comedy. Does this mean that we’re good at the mug’s game of pursuing an art in which there is no money, only the fame that waits on a cultivated obscurity? Does it mean that we’re good at shaping words into more or less memorable patterns of sound in the way we’re good at comically highlighting our own ridiculousness?' (Introduction)

The Sometimes Ironic Perception of 'things' Brian Matthews , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 28 July vol. 29 no. 15 2019;

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry
'As a general rule, poets don't have much time for administration and its discontents and Alan Wearne, the award winning author of among other narrative poems, The Nightmarkets and The Lovemakers, runs pretty much true to poetic form. Referring to the mission statement of his brain child, Grand Parade Poets, he concedes parenthetically that 'mission statement' is a 'dreadful term', but quotes it anyway.' 

 (Introduction)

Phillip Hall Reviews Robert Harris’s The Gang of One : Selected Poems Phillip Hall , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 15 August no. 92 2019;

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry

'In ‘The Day’, Harris writes a stunning eschatology for Gough Whitlam. For Harris the dismissal was ‘the day of deceit’, ‘the day to lose heart’. As I write this review, I too am demoralized and anxious, despite the beta-blockers. In the crisis of another general election, the causes of a progressive and civil society have again been defeated. And in our election wash-up, the ALP seeks a new leader. Tanya Plibersek, our Kiwi-model hope, has already withdrawn her candidacy for the top job, citing family reasons (this does not appear to be an obstacle for her male colleagues). In this society, is any male (really) a ‘gang of one’? And while I hear the self-referential humor implied in the title, I also find myself butting up against its hyperbole: the allusion to romantic nonsense of one-off, singular (almost always male) creative genius. Will Connie Barber, Barbara Fisher and Grace Perry (amongst so many others) also be recognized/celebrated with the Selected/Collected milestone?' (Introduction)

Robert Harris : The Gang of One: Selected Poems Martin Duwell , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Review , no. 14 2019;

'The Gang of One is one of those literary rescue efforts that need to be both encouraged and supported. Robert Harris, who died at the young age of forty-two, was never a dominant figure in Australian poetry, a fact demonstrated by his spotty inclusions in the various anthologies of the time. Had it not been for this book, a selection from his five books, together with some journal-published poems and some unpublished ones, selected by Judith Beveridge and with a good introduction by Philip Mead, he might have disappeared forever, like so many others. Instead readers can now get a far better perspective on a decidedly odd, and in many ways impressive, career.' (Publication summary)

Robert Harris Redux Toby Davidson , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , April 2019;

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry

'It was a pleasant surprise to hear of the publication of Robert Harris’ The Gang of One: Selected Poems, edited by Judith Beveridge. Harris (1951-93) is an Australian poet of the highest order. He is also a curmudgeon, a contrarian, a nature lover, a working-class Romantic, a navy recruit who detested nationalism, a lyrical memoirist, a historical dramatist and one of Australia’s finest religious poets.'  (Introduction)

'His Civil Heart' : A Showcase of Robert Harris's Many Voices Judith Bishop , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 413 2019; (p. 46-47)

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry
'In a letter to a friend, American poet James Wright reflected on the meaning of a Selected Poems for a peer he considered undervalued: ‘It shows that defeat, though imminent for all of us, is not inevitable.’ He quoted Stanley Kunitz, whose Selected was belatedly in press: ‘it would be sweet, I’ll grant, after all these years to pop up from underground … The only ones who survive … are those whose ultimate discontent is with themselves. The fiercest hearts are in love with a wild perfection.’' (Introduction)
Phillip Hall Reviews Robert Harris’s The Gang of One : Selected Poems Phillip Hall , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 15 August no. 92 2019;

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry

'In ‘The Day’, Harris writes a stunning eschatology for Gough Whitlam. For Harris the dismissal was ‘the day of deceit’, ‘the day to lose heart’. As I write this review, I too am demoralized and anxious, despite the beta-blockers. In the crisis of another general election, the causes of a progressive and civil society have again been defeated. And in our election wash-up, the ALP seeks a new leader. Tanya Plibersek, our Kiwi-model hope, has already withdrawn her candidacy for the top job, citing family reasons (this does not appear to be an obstacle for her male colleagues). In this society, is any male (really) a ‘gang of one’? And while I hear the self-referential humor implied in the title, I also find myself butting up against its hyperbole: the allusion to romantic nonsense of one-off, singular (almost always male) creative genius. Will Connie Barber, Barbara Fisher and Grace Perry (amongst so many others) also be recognized/celebrated with the Selected/Collected milestone?' (Introduction)

The Sometimes Ironic Perception of 'things' Brian Matthews , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 28 July vol. 29 no. 15 2019;

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry
'As a general rule, poets don't have much time for administration and its discontents and Alan Wearne, the award winning author of among other narrative poems, The Nightmarkets and The Lovemakers, runs pretty much true to poetic form. Referring to the mission statement of his brain child, Grand Parade Poets, he concedes parenthetically that 'mission statement' is a 'dreadful term', but quotes it anyway.' 

 (Introduction)

Best Bard None Peter Craven , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 10 August 2019; (p. 26)

— Review of The Gang of One : Selected Poems of Robert Harris Robert Harris , 2019 selected work poetry

'Australians are good at poetry, the way that we’re good at comedy. Does this mean that we’re good at the mug’s game of pursuing an art in which there is no money, only the fame that waits on a cultivated obscurity? Does it mean that we’re good at shaping words into more or less memorable patterns of sound in the way we’re good at comically highlighting our own ridiculousness?' (Introduction)

Robert Harris : The Gang of One: Selected Poems Martin Duwell , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Poetry Review , no. 14 2019;

'The Gang of One is one of those literary rescue efforts that need to be both encouraged and supported. Robert Harris, who died at the young age of forty-two, was never a dominant figure in Australian poetry, a fact demonstrated by his spotty inclusions in the various anthologies of the time. Had it not been for this book, a selection from his five books, together with some journal-published poems and some unpublished ones, selected by Judith Beveridge and with a good introduction by Philip Mead, he might have disappeared forever, like so many others. Instead readers can now get a far better perspective on a decidedly odd, and in many ways impressive, career.' (Publication summary)

Last amended 21 Oct 2019 13:21:55
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