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Issue Details: First known date: 2021... 2021 Steps to Parnassus : Martin Johnston’s The Sea-Cucumber
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Martin Johnston (1947-1990) left behind a slim oeuvre of remarkable poems, lauded for their wit and erudition. The son of  the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, he spent most of his childhood in Europe, living for almost a decade on the island  the of Hydra as part of an expatriate community of artists, which included the then little-heralded Leonard Cohen. He worked mainly as a critic through the 1970s, and in the '80s wrote subtitles for SBS Television. Johnston's life was also marked by tragedy. His mother's suicide in 1969 was followed by his father's death from tuberculosis the following year, and then his sister Shane's suicide four years later. These events haunt his writing. Johnston, who was an alcoholic for much of his adult life, died at the age of forty-two. During this time, he published an acclaimed experimental novel, Cicada Gambit (1984). He also published a book of modern Greek poetry in translation Ithaka (1973), and three books of poetry: Shadowmass (1971), The Sea-Cucumber (1978) and The Typewriter Considered as a Bee-Trap (1984). An elegant volume of Johnston's selected poems, Beautiful Objects (Ligature), edited and introduced by Nadia Wheatley, marked the thirtieth anniversary of his death in 2020, along with the launch of a memorial website. ' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Westerly vol. 66 no. 1 2021 22283329 2021 periodical issue

    'With writing and ideas from Josephine Wilson, Mykaela Saunders, Aidan Coleman, Maddie Godfrey, and Stephen Orr, Westerly 66.1 stretches the scales of time and space, beginnings and endings. Westerly 66.1 includes poetry from our Mid-Career Fellow Maddie Godfrey, and a special ekphrastic feature after Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s Everything Is True exhibition.' (Publication summary)

    pg. 60-76
Last amended 13 Jul 2021 07:14:49
60-76 Steps to Parnassus : Martin Johnston’s The Sea-Cucumbersmall AustLit logo Westerly
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