From colonial origins to vibrant metropolis, Sydney has been portrayed with great liveliness and precision by its poets.
This anthology’s range extends from the foot of the Blue Mountains through the suburban heartlands to the works and days of the harbour and the beach, incorporating numerous – and often conflicting – interpretations and images of the city.
The first collection of Sydney-specific poems for twenty years, this book includes not only such classics as Kenneth Slessor’s “Five Bells” and favourites like “Clancy of the Overflow”, but also generous selections of the surprisingly strong contemporary poetry as well as older verse tracing back to the town’s birth.
Martin Langford has published six books of poetry, the most recent being The Human Project: New and Selected Poems (2009) and Microtexts (2005), a book on poetics. He has directed three Australian Poetry Festivals and in 2004, with John Muk Muk Burke, he co-edited Ngara, a book of essays and poetry concerned with Australian identity. He has actively promoted Australian poetry for many years, through the organisation of readings and workshops, and the initiation of both the Australian Young Poets Fellowships and the Judith Wright Lectures.
“Martin Langford’s anthology of Sydney poetry, Harbour City Poems, is not before time. No city, no matter how humble or wretched its beginnings, could fail to acquire character in the 230-odd years since the first tentative steps onto the shores of Port Jackson— not with the convict era, the poverty-ridden slums, the war, the characters, the political dramas, the crime and the cultural triumphs.”
MALCOLM BROWN, Sydney Morning Herald