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Alan Wearne
(Australia, 1948)   
 
 
 
Alan Wearne

Alan Wearne has been part of the Australian poetry scene since the late sixties and is the author of the early verse collections Public Relations and New Devil, New Parish; Out Here (a verse novella); the award-winning verse novel The Nightmarkets (which has also been adapted for the stage); and Kicking in Danger (a prose fantasy satire on Melbourne’s football). In 1999 he hosted Conversations With A Dead Poet, a documentary film about his friend the late poet John Forbes.

Of his poetry, Wearne notes in an interview with Bonnie Cassidy, “I like raiding this country for its potential to write about. I do like the idea of being moderately uncompromising, if such a thing exists, in the Australian potential of my poetry. Not dogmatically so, but if someone requires footnotes to understand my piece, because they’re not from this country, well, tough. It’s got to stand on its own feet.”

The first volume of another verse novel, The Lovemakers, was published by Penguin Australia in March 2001 and won the NSW Premier’s Prize for Poetry (Kenneth Slessor Award), the NSW Premier’s Prize Book of the Year and the Arts Queensland Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Australian Poetry. In February 2004, The Lovemakers Book Two was published by ABC Books and co-won The Foundation for Australian Literary Studies’ Colin Roderick Award and H. T. Priestly Medal. In early 2008 The Australian Popular Songbook was published by Giramondo Publishing and later that year Shearsman Books of Exeter, England, published The Lovemakers in a 686-page single volume.

Alan Wearne teaches poetry at the University of Wollongong, lives part of the year in Fremantle, and considers himself a Melbourne poet living in exile.

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Bibliography

Public Relations,
St Lucia, Makar, 1972
New Devil, New Parish, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1976
The Nightmarkets, Penguin, Sydney, 1986
Out Here, Bloodaxe Books, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1987
Kicking In Danger, Black Pepper, Melbourne, 1997
The Lovemakers: Book One, Saying All The Great Sexy Things, Penguin, Sydney, 2001
The Lovemakers: Book Two, Money and Nothing, ABC, Sydney, 2004
The Australian Popular Songbook, Giramondo Poets,  Sydney, 2008
The Lovemakers, Shearsman Books, Exeter, 2009

Links
Alan Wearne’s homepage

Alan Wearne, “I go to Rio” (video) produced by The Redroom Company

Alan Wearne,  ‘Girls on the avenue’ in Cordite

Interview with Alan Wearne (audio/transcript) on The Music Show

Geoff Page reviews The Australian Popular Songbook on ABC Radio National (audio)

Caroline Baum’s article on Wearne in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Carmen Leigh Keates reviews The Lovemakers on dotlit

Tim Thorne reviews Kicking in Danger in Famous Reporter #16

John Tranter reviews New Devil, New Parish first published in The Australian (1977), published here in Jacket

 



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