Dr Peter Minter is a leading Australian poet, editor and scholar, and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, School of Letters, Arts and Media at the University of Sydney. He shares English, Scottish and Aboriginal heritage, and has taught Aboriginal studies at the University of Newcastle, the University of Western Sydney and the University of Sydney.
His books include blue grass and Empty Texas, which won the Age Poetry Book of the Year Award, and his poetry is widely published and regularly anthologised in Australia and internationally. Currently (2013) Poetry Editor of Overland, his editorial projects have included titles such as Cordite, Calyx: 30 Contemporary Australian Poets, Meanjin, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, The Literature of Australia (Norton) and the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Aboriginal Literature, for which he shared the 2008 Deadly Award for Aboriginal literature with his co-editor Dr Anita Heiss. He directs the University of Sydney BlackWords project, focusing on Aboriginal poetry and poetics and the BlackWords Ecopoetics data-subset.
'Some of the best, most significant writing produced in Australia over more than two centuries is gathered in this landmark anthology. Covering all genres - from fiction, poetry and drama to diaries, letters, essays and speeches - the anthology maps the development of one of the great literatures in English in all its energy and variety.
'The writing reflects the diverse experiences of Australians in their encounter with their extraordinary environment and with themselves. This is literature of struggle, conflict and creative survival. It is literature of lives lived at the extremes, of frontiers between cultures, of new dimensions of experience, where imagination expands.
'This rich, informative and entertaining collection charts the formation of an Australian voice that draws inventively on Indigenous words, migrant speech and slang, with a cheeky, subversive humour always to the fore. For the first time, Aboriginal writings are interleaved with other English-language writings throughout - from Bennelong's 1796 letter to the contemporary flowering of Indigenous fiction and poetry - setting up an exchange that reveals Australian history in stark new ways.
'From vivid settler accounts to haunting gothic tales, from raw protest to feisty urban satire and playful literary experiment, from passionate love poetry to moving memoir, the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature reflects the creative eloquence of a society.
'Chosen by a team of expert editors, who have provided illuminating essays about their selections, and with more than 500 works from over 300 authors, it is an authoritative survey and a rich world of reading to be enjoyed.' (Publisher's blurb)
Allen and Unwin have a YouTube channel with a number of useful videos on the Anthology.
'An authoritative survey of Australian Aboriginal writing over two centuries, across a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. Including some of the most distinctive writing produced in Australia, it offers rich insights into Aboriginal culture and experience...
'The anthology includes journalism, petitions and political letters from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as major works that reflect the blossoming of Aboriginal poetry, prose and drama from the mid-twentieth century onwards. Literature has been used as a powerful political tool by Aboriginal people in a political system which renders them largely voiceless. These works chronicle the ongoing suffering of dispossession, but also the resilience of Aboriginal people across the country, and the hope and joy in their lives.' (Publisher's blurb)