News, review(s) and booze

Tasmanian indie lit journal Famous Reporter has received a nice write-up/review in the pages of Wet Ink. Editor Ralph Wessman, who has been running the mag forever, has now certainly received at least one minute of his allotted 15 in fame terms—let’s see what we can do about the other 14.

For those who don’t know what Famous Reporter is all about, think a chunky journal packed with the usual array of poetry (but especially haiku, which seems to be undergoing a Tasmanian renaissance), as well as a range of fascinating ephemera, including launch speeches, rants and other topical broadsides you’re not likely to read in Meanjin or Overland (well, you are actually likely to read rants in Overland but that’s another blog entry—in fact, it’s the second part of this entry).

Reviewer Cameron Fuller puts his finger on the pulse of this emphasis on hybrid genres in the pages of Famous Reporter:

Through its eclectic mix of genres, Famous Reporter goes beyond the scope of most Australian literary journals. Interestingly, the publication succeeds in translating weblogs to the printed page. Despite the loss of immediacy involved in their removal from the net, the blogs work well in the context of surrounding literary texts. Some, such as David Prater’s thought-provoking ‘in defence of poetry [and poets] blur the line (if there is one) between blog and essay.

Well, I’m flattered! Astute readers will recall that the piece referred to above was published in Famous Reporter early last year (see blog post). You have three choices: subscribe to the magazine; read it online at Famous Reporter; or remain within the protective aura of [d/dn] by reading the original rant in all its ragged glory.

Please consider. I’ve also got a poem, ‘Kerry’, coming up in the next issue of the magazine, if you can wait that long!

In other reviewing news, my review of five Australian poetry titles appears in the latest issue of Overland, demonstrating that this magazine also is a home for rants. The review—of books by David Malouf, David Brooks, Angela Gardner, Paul Mitchell and Anita Heiss—is peripherally concerned with books and covers, and about the presentation of poetry titles. It does, also, refer to the poetry contained within these books. It’s my first serious review of poetry in a major magazine, so I’m slightly nervous about how it will be received (particularly as I slag off the presentation of Malouf’s Typewriter Music) but you’ve got to be in it to win it:

Typewriter Music has clearly been designed for the boutique bookstore and the bourgeois literary festival; its intended audience is arguably one less interested in poetry than in being in possession of a fine poetry book; and as a performance, it literally screams the word ‘distinction’ from its ivory tower.

The print version of the issue is out now but I suspect its contents will soon also be available via the Overland website (props to the editors again for making this content more freely accessible). Comments, critiques and croissants (chocolate, please) always welcome.

Now, what was that about booze? Hic.


  1. FR was the very first Oz journal to publish any blog posts at all – back in 2003-ish, I think. Clever. Martin Edmond, Sheila O’Malley – they were on message there.

    I do like that notion of screaming distinction from you- know-where. Hilarious, David. I bought a bigger collection of Malouf’s recently – in for a penny and all that. I have the Overland too, must read your article prop’ly.

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