Kris's speech is, as usual, bristling with critical ideas an insights about the world of poetry:
"Joel writes, 'There is no country. Only family.' This epigram informs the major structure of Subterranean Radio Songs: the family, history, Australian place of the 1st half, South; and North, in which the poet-narrator is travelling abroad in the USA & Latin America, in Britain --an acutely felt & observed travel-diary but one constantly interjected by the concerns, the Angels & Demons of Family.
"In a way it's all there in the first poem of the book, "The Bridge at Avenel." The crossing of water, the grave that water can be, the lure of crossing, the necessity (and I'm thinking now of the poetic rather than the economic or political necessity) --the necessity of crossing. In this poem Joel Deane states, "I cannot find a way across" because of the particular reasons for that poem. But the poet will --and certainly will attempt that crossing again & again in his career --a career begun tonight with this collection." - Kris Hemensley
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