If poetry can change a life, it can change a world. What influences converge in the composition of a poem? Wallace Stevens suggested ‘The imagination (was) the one reality in this imagined world’. When Robert Lowell wanted to create ‘something imagined, not recalled’ he discovered ‘Those blessèd structures, plot and rhyme’ were of no help to him. In this lecture I will outline my development as a poet, how I came to write my first poem, and the first book that led to another twenty volumes. The inspiration came from many people, places books and works of art, not least the pain and joy contained in these lines from Hart Crane’s The Broken Tower: ‘And so it was I entered the broken world/ To trace the visionary company of love, its voice an instant in the wind’.
Robert Adamson lives with his partner, photographer Juno Gemes, on the Hawkesbury River to the north of Sydney in Australia. Born in 1943, he grew up in Neutral Bay, a harbourside suburb of Sydney. During a tumultuous youth, he found his way to poetry, and over the past five decades he has produced twenty books of poetry and three books of prose. From 1970 to 1985 he was the driving force behind New Poetry, Australia’s cutting-edge poetry magazine, and in 1987, with Gemes, he established Paper Bark Press. He has won the major Australian poetry awards, including the Christopher Brennan Prize for lifetime achievement, the Patrick White Award, and The Age Book of the Year Award for The Goldfinches of Baghdad (Flood Editions, 2006). The Victorian Premeir’s Poetry Award for The Golden Bird ( Black Inc 2009) He currently holds the Chair in Poetry at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Monday 17 August 2015, 6:00pm at National Library of Australia.
Entry $15/$10 (concession), MCH members free. All payments at the door.
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