Bonfire of the vanity presses: self-publishing in the field of Australian poetry (2010)
PhD thesis (exegesis and artefact)
Institute for Social Research
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
This thesis explores the practice of self-publishing in the field of Australian poetry. Self-publishing today can be seen as part of a long tradition of alternative publishing. Despite changes in the technologies of self-publishing, including the continuing reinvention of non-book publishing activities, poetry remains an area of the arts where the self-published book contains both symbolic and social capital. Rather than offering a basic defence of self-publishing or a textual analysis of self-published works, the Exegesis ‘reimagines’ self-publishing within what Bourdieu might term the ‘field’ of Australian poetry. The thesis also incorporates an Artefact composed of published, self-published and privately-published books. Despite technological changes in the way books are published, it argues that non-mainstream print publishing forms such as the chapbook still play a significant role in fostering innovation in poetic forms. In doing so it seeks a more sophisticated understanding of the literary field, and the role of books as signifiers of prestige within that field.
Marzipan: a Confection (2004)
Department of English with Cultural Studies
University of Melbourne
This thesis is an historical Confection. It describes the invention of Marzipan in a small German town during a Famine in the 1400s. The central narrative is preceded by a section entitled Method, which documents the history of Marzipan and my own creative involvement with this peculiar subject matter over the past ten years. The narrative itself is broken into four Parts, corresponding to three relatively undisputed ingredients of Marzipan (namely Eggs, Almonds and Sugar) and a Secret ingredient. Each Part is composed of one or more Chapters. The narrative is followed by a short Notes section detailing the original models for each of the Characters and a list of Sources.
Bruce Beaver and Rainer Maria Rilke (1993)
Department of Australian Literature
University of Sydney
Australian poet Bruce Beaver (1928–2004) conveniently signposted his fascination with the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) in his published poetic output, with individual poems across several collections addressing elements of Rilke’s art. This thesis examines the nature of the Rilkean strain in Beaver’s work by means of analysis of both poets’ work. Specifically, it proposes a link between Beaver’s Rilkean spirit and the use of oceanic imagery in his poetry. Part I analyses Rilke’s New Poems (1907) and The Duino Elegies (1922), together with Beaver’s Letters to Live Poets (1969). Part II expands on Beaver’s use of the ocean, particularly in the context of the void, or gaps, in his poetry, with an emphasis on the poems in Lauds and Plaints (1974). Beaver’s and Rilke’s concepts of the artist are also explored in order to gauge the extent and significance of Beaver’s ocean of poetry.