The Puncher and Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry

$39.95 inc GST

Product Description

The rich diversity of Australian poetry stands in no need of makeovers or prescriptions. What will benefit it is attentive and brilliant readers, of whom John Leonard is without doubt one of its finest. — Martin Harrison

Australian poetry from a 21st century perspective, with a selection from a wide range of living poets as well as familiar voices from the past. There is an emphasis on social observation and personal experience of Australia’s changing history that gives new context to poetry by previous generations from Wright and Hope through Lawson and Paterson to Harpur, Kendall and the poets of early settlement. — Susan Lever

Two centuries of poetic achievement demonstrating – no, crying out full-throatedly – that it is our poets who manifest ‘a pungent awareness that language is an inheritance we accept for alteration and renewal.’ This selection is panoramic, but it also has a depth and a thoughtfulness in its clusters of poems by 164 original, funny, perplexing, and gifted poets. If you love poetry, this book will amplify that love; and if you are a teacher or student of poetry, read this anthology over and over. —Lyn McCredden

John Leonard, born in 1940, taught poetry at Monash and James Cook Universities. He is founder of John Leonard Press, and has edited the anthologies Seven Centuries of Poetry in English (5th ed. 2003), New Music (2001), Australian Verse: An Oxford Anthology (1998) and Contemporary Australian Poetry (1990).


“…Leonard’s choices are judicious. He is perhaps at his best in finding the startling poems that others have missed, such as Kevin Brophy’s ‘What I Believe’, one of the anthology’s highlights. There is little to complain about with his selections…” DAVID MCCOOEY, The Sydney Morning Herald

“As with his previous anthologies, he has done a splendid job, with the flair of a real professional. Here is some of what’s worth celebrating. In the first place, the book itself is beautifully produced – no trivial matter with poetry, which exists in the eye as well as the ear…From an historical perspective, most of the writers – and a good many of the poems – one would wish to find in an anthology are present. In that sense, it is a responsible and responsive collection, a testament to Leonard’s ongoing reliability and tact.” PAUL KANE, Australian Book Review (paywalled)