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The ABR Podcast
19 minutes | 4 days ago
In conversation with Nicole Abadee about Sofie Laguna
In today's episode, Amy Baillieu speaks to Nicole Abadee about Sofie Laguna's latest novel, Infinite Splendours. In her November issue review, Abadee reflects that Laguna 'does not shy away from confronting subject matter' and notes that Infinite Splendours represents 'new territory' for Laguna as it follows protagonist Lawrence from childhood into adulthood. Baillieu and Abadee also discuss Abadee's own podcast Books Books Books.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9 minutes | 11 days ago
Kate Crowcroft on Kylie Maslen's 'Show Me Where It Hurts'
Kylie Maslen's début essay collection, Show Me Where It Hurts, is an intimate exploration of living with chronic illness. Maslen describes her own experiences with the invisible illness she has lived with for the last twenty years, delving into its daily reality while incorporating music, literature, television, film, online culture, and more. Kate Crowcroft, who reviews the book in ABR's November issue, describes it as 'essential reading for those of us with the privilege of having a body that behaves itself'.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12 minutes | 18 days ago
Joshua Black on Susan Ryan, a pioneering politician
In today's episode, Joshua Black reads his tribute to former Labor senator Susan Ryan, featured in our November issue. Ryan was a historic figure in Australian politics: she was the first woman from the ALP to serve in cabinet, and cemented her legacy with the Sex Discrimination Act (1984) – which prohibited sexual discrimination in the workplace. Here, Black recounts his interview with the pioneering politician only weeks before her death on 27 September 2020.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
27 minutes | 25 days ago
Hessom Razavi on statelessness and Australia’s detention centres
In today's episode, Hessom Razavi – the ABR Behrouz Boochani Fellow – speaks to Peter Rose about his essay 'Failures of imagination: From Tehran’s prisons to Australia’s immigration detention centres', which appears in the November issue. Hessom's essay offers a powerful reflection on the experiences that led to his family fleeing Iran to escape political persecution. Navigating the 1979 Islamic Revolution, political rebellion, and tragic family disappearances, Razavi examines the similarities between Australia’s immigration detention centres and the political prison he visited as a boy – and contemplates how easily the detainees’ fate might have been his own.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19 minutes | a month ago
Tony Hughes-d'Aeth on Australia's literary regionalism
Is it possible to parse Australian writers by states and territories? In today's episode, Tony Hughes-d'Aeth – Chair of Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia – speculates about new ways of contemplating Australian writers through the lens of regionality. As he writes in his essay 'Thinking in a regional accent: New ways of contemplating Australian writers': 'Yes, we are divided into states and territories, but are these anything other than lines on a map, drawn with a ruler and a set square, and the occasional river? The contrast between the political map of Australia and the now iconic AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia graphically exposes the poverty of the Australian regional imagination and the essential irreality of our territorial demarcations. More particularly, for someone like me, is it right to conceive of Australia in terms of literary regions?' Tony Hughes-d'Aeth is author of Paper Nation (2001) and Like Nothing on This Earth (2017).See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | a month ago
Timothy J. Lynch on the paradox of Donald Trump
Whatever we might think of him, Donald Trump has proven to be one of the most transformative figures in recent history. In today's episode, Timothy J. Lynch talks to ABR Editor Peter Rose about three new and highly critical books on Trump: Too Much and Never Enough by Mary Trump, A Very Stable Genius by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, and The Room Where It Happened by John Bolton. As Lynch writes in his review, 'There is a paradox that these books illustrate but cannot resolve: why is a man so chaotic, so reviled, so malignant also so transformational?’See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
26 minutes | 2 months ago
Johanna Leggatt on Twitter's threat to writers and journalists
Amid growing disquiet about ‘cancel culture’ and censorious voices on social media, Melbourne journalist Johanna Leggatt explores the threat Twitter poses to the work of writers and journalists. Beginning with the recent case of Rachel Baxendale, a journalist at The Australian, who was subjected to much invective because of her persistent questions about the quarantine fiasco in Victoria, Leggatt laments the ‘routine trashing of reputations on Twitter’ and wonders why Twitter has ‘devolved into a channel for our most juvenile emotions’.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
45 minutes | 2 months ago
Michael L. Ondaatje on black American voters and Donald Trump
In this week’s ABR Podcast, Peter Rose speaks to Michael L. Ondaatje (Professor of History at the Australian Catholic University) about black American voters’ attitudes towards Donald Trump and the Republican Party. They also discuss recent startling developments in an already tumultuous presidential election. Michael L. Ondaatje’s article ‘“What the hell do you have to lose?” Black and Republican in the age of Trump’ is one of a series of commentaries funded by the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. It appears in the October issue.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
'Egg Timer' by C.J. Garrow
This year's ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize was won by Mykaela Saunders for 'River Story', which Mykaela reads for another episode of the ABR Podcast. Placed second in the prize was C.J. Garrow for 'Egg Timer', which explores pandemical times through the eyes of a child. CJ Garrow has been shortlisted for other international prizes, including the Fish Prize in Ireland and the George Garrett Fiction Prize in the United States.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
30 minutes | 2 months ago
In conversation with James Bradley about David Mitchell's 'Utopia Avenue'
In today's episode, author and critic James Bradley speaks to ABR's digital editor Jack Callil about David Mitchell's latest novel, Utopia Avenue. Mitchell is perhaps best known for Cloud Atlas (2004), a work of sprawling interconnected narratives. In a similar vein, Utopia Avenue traces the lives of four band members during their rise to fame during the bustle of the 1960s. Yet as James Bradley details, the book is less concerned with history or music than with its own 'metaphysical game'. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | 3 months ago
'The Dolorimeter' by Kate Middleton
The Calibre Essay Prize, now in its fourteenth year, goes on producing some of the finest longform essays from around the world. This year we received about 600 entries from 29 different countries. The overall prize went to Yves Rees for their essay 'Reading the Mess Backwards', which Yves reads in a recent podcast episode. Placed second was 'The Dolorimeter' by Sydney-based poet and academic Kate Middleton. Kate's essay, which appears in the September issue of ABR, is a personal meditation on her experience with illness and dealing with the medical profession over many years. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | 3 months ago
Poets Abroad – Victoria
We continue our poetry podcasts with the first in a series of readings by poets living in a particular state. It complements in a way ABR’s old States of Poetry anthologies (all still available online). This time we’re inviting a number of poets to record a poem of theirs that is set outside their home state (whether interstate or overseas – or indeed in space, as you will hear). The poems can be published or unpublished ones. We list all the readers and poems on our website. Given the present lockdown in that state, we’re starting in Victoria. After all, if we can't leave home, we might as well do so imaginatively.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
9 minutes | 3 months ago
Recession speak: Amanda Laugesen on the language of financial crises
Language has always been shaped by the times. In today's episode, Amanda Laugesen, Director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, reveals how the national vocabulary has been transformed by recession, depression, financial crises, and periods of high unemployment. A list to which we somberly might add the current pandemic. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
35 minutes | 3 months ago
'River Story' by Mykaela Saunders, winner of the 2020 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
In today's episode, listen to Mykaela Saunders read the entirety of her remarkable 'River Story', which won this year's ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. Mykaela is a Koori writer, teacher, and community researcher. Of Dharug and Lebanese ancestry, she’s working-class and queer, and belongs to the Tweed Aboriginal community. Mykaela has worked in Aboriginal education since 2003, and her research explores trans-generational trauma and healing in her community. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12 minutes | 4 months ago
Declan Fry on 'Fire Front: First Nations poetry and power today', edited by Alison Whittaker
Fire Front, edited by Gomeroi author and scholar Alison Whittaker, is an anthology of contemporary First Nations poetry. Featuring several eminent Australian writers – including Ellen van Neerven, Tony Birch, Alexis Wright, and many more – this collection serves as a testament to the contemporary renaissance of First Nations poetry. It is divided into five thematic sections, each introduced by an essay written by a prominent Aboriginal writer and thinker, such as Bruce Pascoe, Ali Cobby Eckermann, and Evelyn Araluen. In this episode, listen to Declan Fry discuss Fire Front before reading his review of the book. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 minutes | 4 months ago
Paul McDermott reviews 'Warhol' by Blake Gopnik
Andy Warhol, who died in 1987, remains one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His works command stratospheric prices, yet many regard him as a huckster, vacuous and inflated. He perfected a kind of celebrity: the denizen of Studio 54, the consort of Lee Radziwill and all, and fame became for Warhol a kind of obsession. In today's episode, Paul McDermott – comedian, writer, and occasional painter – examines this contradictory artist in a new biography by Blake Gopnik.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
69 minutes | 4 months ago
The Porter Prize: Listen to all the past winners
The Peter Porter Poetry Prize is one of the world's leading prizes for an unpublished poem. It's named after one of Australia's finest poets, and a regular contributor to ABR. Now in its seventeenth year, the Porter Prize is worth a total of $10,000. Entries are open now, with a closing date of October 1. For more information, visit our website. As poets polish their poems both here and overseas, here's an opportunity to listen to all winning poems, going right back to 2005. There's nothing like hearing an author read their own work, and each poem in this episode is read by the poets themselves.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
41 minutes | 4 months ago
‘The Forest at the Edge of Time’ by Ashley Hay
ABR has published an environment issue every year since 2014, with our next one appearing in October. This themed issue has transformed our coverage of sustainability, climate change and the environment – right throughout the year. During this ever-worsening climate crisis, it’s good to look back at the ABR Fellowship essay that appeared in our 2015 environment issue – Ashley Hay’s ‘The Forest at the Edge of Time’. Ashley has published novels and multiple works of non-fiction. In 2002, Ashley published Gum, a book that explores the eucalypt. Here she revisits the ‘majestic or scrawny’ gum. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
7 minutes | 5 months ago
Unsolicited smut: James Ley on 'The Trials of Portnoy' by Patrick Mullins
In today's episode, we present James Ley’s hilarious and deeply serious review of The Trials of Portnoy by Patrick Mullins. James channels the memorable prose of Philip Roth himself. Mullins’s book chronicles the legal spat that surrounded Penguin's attempt to publish Portnoy's Complaint, Roth's controversial novel that was considered lewd and offensive by Australia's censuring authorities.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | 5 months ago
'The Point-Blank Murder' by Sonja Dechian – Winner of the 2019 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize
It’s Jolley time again! In August we’ll name the winner of the 2020 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. It’s timely then to revisit last year’s winner: Sonja Dechian's poignant story 'The Point-Blank Murder', which was selected by judges Maxine Beneba Clarke, John Kinsella, and Beejay Silcox from a field of thirteen hundred and fifty entries. In today's episode, Sonja Dechian reads 'The Point-Blank Murder' in full.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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