Sunday, July 01, 2007

on jennifer rankin

One of the few places you get some in depth discussion of Australian literature, including, from time-to-time poetry, is the Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (phew - just call it JASAL).

In the latest issue there's a fascinating article by Bonny Cassidy on the poetry of Jennifer Rankin. Bonny did a terrific paper at an ASAL mini-conference in February of this year, looking at Rankin's work through an eco-poetic lens.

This article takes a different tack. To quote the abstract: "Attention to Jennifer Rankin's poetry was spare within her lifetime. Twenty-eight years after her death, the time has come to challenge her critical reception and to recognise the importance of her poetics on its own terms. Her work has an antithetical relationship to the generation of '68, and the shadowy place that it takes among the poetry of her peers can be defined by its struggle against subjectivity; a poetics at odds with John Tranter's descriptions of a new Australian poetry. This article reads several of Rankin's poems closely, and in comparison with a poem by Robert Adamson, to demonstrate Rankin's approach to subjectivity and the influence of painting on her poetry."

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