In conversation with John Tranter

It’s not mentioned anywhere on the MWF programme so I’ll forgive you for not believing me but I’m excited to say that on Sunday September 2, at 1pm, I’ll have the pleasure of partaking in a conversation with Australian poet John Tranter. Not just over a glass of bubbly (although I suspect red wine or pink gin might be more to JT’s liking), mind you, but a proper (ie public) conversation in front of (hopefully) a roomful of curious festival-goers. Think Parkinson meets Enough Rope meets the 7.30 Report. It’s the first time I’ve ever done a thing like this, and I’m doubly flattered to have been asked in this case, as JT’s poetry has been a big influence upon my own ever since I studied his work as part of my undergraduate degree. For those who don’t know much about John Tranter, he’s the editor of Jacket, the inventor of the tongue-in-cheek term Generation of 68 and, funnily enough, one of its most prominent members. I met him for the first time only last year in Sydney, when we were both reading as part of a Red Room Event. The only thing is, I’m not sure what kind of questions to ask. I can’t very well go with “So, did you get here all right?” or “First time in Melbourne?” as that would be just daft. But what should I ask him? Any thoughts?


  1. i know, ask him something like ‘what do you think about the current state of poetry in australia?’

    you can’t go wrong.

    then ask him if he’s ever slept with anyone famous.

  2. What a brilliant idea! I was also thinking of asking him where he gets his ideas from. Those three questions should get us through the hour.

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