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John Barnes John Barnes i(A11610 works by) (a.k.a. Richard John Barnes)
Born: Established: 1931 ;
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

John Barnes completed an MA on Joseph Furphy's Such is Life in 1960, publishing, in due course, several important guides for readers of the novel. After working at the University of Melbourne for a short time, he travelled to Cambridge University, where he received an MA. In the late 1960s, he worked at the University of Western Australia, but by 1970, he had returned to Melbourne to teach at La Trobe University, where he introduced the university's first courses in Australian literature.

Barnes has published many articles and several books on Joseph Furphy and was co-editor of Bushman and Bookworm (1995), a collection of Furphy's letters. He has also written articles and books on other authors, such as Charles Dickens, Henry Lawson, and Henry Kingsley. His commentary on the discipline of English studies, Border Crossing, appeared in 1991.

Throughout his career, in addition to his own essays and reviews, Barnes has assisted the production of several literary magazines, including Meanjin, Westerly, and Meridian. In 2004, he continued his association with La Trobe University as an Emeritus Professor.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Westerly 1956 Arts Union, University of Western Australia , 1956-1963 Z872534 1956 periodical (206 issues)

Westerly began as a student-edited magazine of the Arts Union of the University of Western Australia in December 1956. Published three times a year, the magazine had an annual editorial turnover until 1962 when J. M. S. O'Brien began a term which lasted until 1965. From the beginning, Westerly struggled to find a balance between serving the West Australian region and maintaining an intellectual connection with the eastern states and the rest of the world. Attempting to encourage writing in the region, Westerly sought poetry and fiction from emerging writers, but it was not until the early 1960s that contributions of a consistently high quality were received.

When J. M. S. O'Brien finished his term as editor, Westerly was produced by a group of editorial associates, rather than a clearly defined editor, until 1975. Bruce Bennett, Peter Cowan and John Barnes, members of the English Department, acted as primary editors during this time until Bennett and Cowan were appointed joint editors in 1975. Delys Bird and Dennis Haskell, also members of the English Department, began their term as co-editors in 1993. Published by the Centre for Studies in Australian Literature since 1982, Westerly maintains a strong connection with the English Department at the University of Western Australia.

During the 1960s Westerly concentrated on original work, publishing the first works of a number of significant writers, including Frank Moorhouse, Murray Bail and Michael Wilding (qq.v.). The number of poems also increased during this time. Westerly attracted contributions from Bruce Dawe, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Gwen Harwood, Dorothy Hewett, Fay Zwicky, Hal Colebatch and William Grono (qq.v.). Westerly continued to attract quality fiction and poetry in the 1970s, publishing the work of a number of writers, including Vicki Viidikas, T. A. G. Hungerford, James McQueen, Peter Murphy, Peter Goldsworthy, Wendy Jenkins, Jean Kent, Richard Carey and John Bryson (qq.v.).

Reviews and criticism were not plentiful during the 1960s, partly because Perth's The Critic already performed that function for the local community. This changed slowly during the 1970s following the establishment of a BA course in Australian literature at the University of Western Australia in 1973. By the late 1970s, the number of reviews and articles had steadily increased to cater for students of Australian literature, but the editors tried to avoid an overly academic tone to maintain a broad readership.

Westerly occasionally produced special issues during the 1960s and 1970s. This became more regular in the late 1980s and 1990s when the fourth issue of the year concentrated on a particular theme. One of the more significant has been Westerly's special issues on South East Asia. Earlier issues display an interest in countries common to the Indian Ocean, but this gradually expanded to include the wider Asian region. The extent of this concentration is exhibited in the book of extracts Westerly Looks to Asia: A Selection from Westerly 1956-1992 (1993). Other special issues have examined Australian Jewish writing, the relationship between Australia and the Mediterranean, environmental issues and justice.

Like most literary magazines, Westerly has struggled to attract funding. Early volumes included a significant amount of advertising. The financial burden was eased when the first ongoing grant from the Australian government was received in 1963. Westerly has since received assistance from the university and state and national bodies, but this funding steadily decreased during the 1990s. As a result, the magazine changed format in 1996. Four years later, as a result of continuing financial pressure, Westerly affiliated itself with John Kinsella's literary magazine Salt. An editorial note stated that this resulted in 'wider distribution, and a broader and more international profile, putting it in a unique position among Australian literary magazines.' With this affiliation, Westerly has appeared annually since 2000, sharing the year (and subscribers) with Salt, which appears during the first half of each year. Westerly continues to cover West Australian, Australian and Asian literature while Salt offers subscribers an annual of European and American literature.

2020 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Arts Projects for Organisations     $20,510 
Last amended 12 Aug 2011 13:31:10
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