Catching the lyric of the country

Published : Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Label: Nature  

A taxonomy of Australian nature writing
It was an evening in September 2002, and I stood at the counter of the bookshop in Glebe. It was the night of the launch of Gum, Ashley Hay’s eucalypt memoir; and I was at the counter to buy myself a copy.

Right behind me in the queue, a woman asked her friend, ‘So, is this nature writing?’ This is not a question one expects anyone to ask in Australia, even in a bookshop, even at the launch of a book that almost fits the description.
When I…

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What’s Writing For

What makes writing worth writing—and reading—is what the story or the poem achieves beyond the tale it tells: its music, its wisdom, its form, the way it makes the ordinary world beautifully strange. A good tale is only good, in other words, if the telling is sound and memorable. It’s the voice and mood, the arc and flow, the poetry of the writing that endure when the storyline fades.

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