'On the outskirts of an Australian country town in the 1950s, a lonely farmer trains his binoculars on a family of kookaburras that roost in a tree near his house. Harry observes the kookaburras through a year of feast, famine, birth, death, war, romance and song. As Harry watches the birds, his next door neighbour has her own set of binoculars trained on him.
'Ardent, hard-working Betty has escaped to the country with her two fatherless children. Betty is pleased that her son, Michael, wants to spend time with the gentle farmer next door. But when Harry decides to teach Michael about the opposite sex, perilous boundaries are crossed.
'Mateship with Birds is a novel about young lust and mature love. It is a hymn to the rhythm of country life - to vicious birds, virginal cows, adored dogs and ill-used sheep. On one small farm in a vast, ancient landscape, a collection of misfits question the nature of what a family can be.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Pi O grew up in ‘the Narrows’ of Fitzroy and, in-and-on that ‘tainted corner’ along that ‘terrible mile’ known thru-out Australia as Gertrude St. and Brunswick St. opposite the Champion and Rob Roy Hotels.
'This is a poetry of place (and of, a place), from the perspective of one who grew up there - not by a tour guide, a oncer, do-gooder, academic, apologist, blow-hard, or for that matter a blow in, but by one whose co-ordinates have always been (0, 0). There are over 400 portraits of some of the most important people in Australia - from prime ministers, saints, poets, priests, gangsters, adventurers, sculptors, murderers, and industrialists, as well as of those who may not otherwise have ever, seen the light of day again. A poetry of people, not property prices!
'With all the biographies merging with that of the poet’s own autobiography or biography and visa versa. This is a new kind of history, in a new & old kind of poetry, in a new era. A mammoth achievement in the annuals of Australian literature.' (Publication summary)
In this subject students study a number of recent Australian literary works selected from a range of genres. The emphasis is on contemporary work. The approach will include discussion of ways of reading, and production of creative responses to the selected texts. Students will read one significant work in preparation for each weekly class.