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A fresh collection of energetic and engaging writing. These poems focus sharply on the contemporary world, from the political to the religious, from the public arena to the deeply personal, from “The aggression of foreign companies … the survival of the most / bastardly is built into the system” to “Parents were templates, / but I could not plot the father … The tractor did its work like any rusty mechanism / and his office was the open air, a church of absence.” As well as twenty-five new poems, Heart Print also brings into print over fifty pages of strong, early writing not previously published outside Australia.
From the US Publishers Weekly, March 18, 2002: “Tranter may now be Australia’s most important poet. Since the late ’60s, Tranter’s cosmopolitan, oddball verse, inspired by John Ashbery and others, has offered a post-modern, hip, slippery challenge to the better-known rural poetics of Les Murray. During the 1990s, Tranter emerged as an international figure, first by editing well-received anthologies, then with the Internet journal Jacket. […] The untitled set of 28 sonnets and delightful prose poem that conclude [Heart Print] present light-fingered commentary on subjects from “Starlight” to absinthe and middle age: “I re-live youth asleep,“ one affecting line admits, “and leave it behind at dawn.” Readers […] will see why Tranter has mattered to Australians for so long.”
John Tranter is an important writer in mid-career. He has published twenty books, including Gasoline Kisses (Equipage, Cambridge, 1997) Late Night Radio (Polygon, Edinburgh 1998), Different Hands, a collection of seven computer-assisted prose pieces (Folio/Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 1998), The Floor of Heaven, a sequence of four interlinked narrative poems (Arc, 2001), and four anthologies of other writers’ work including (with Philip Mead) the 474-page Bloodaxe Book of Modern Australian Poetry.
He is the publisher and editor of the widely-read Internet literary magazine Jacket, at http://jacketmagazine.com/
‘Tranter may now be Australia’s most important poet. Since the late ’60s, Tranter's cosmopolitan, oddball verse, inspired by John Ashbery and others, has offered a postmodern, hip, slippery challenge to the better-known rural poetics of Les Murray.’ —Publishers Weekly
‘‘Laugh at death’: throughout Heart Print, the poet tries to remind himself that ‘it’s time for fun,’ time to ‘get a drink,’ and enjoy the summer day in Sydney or elsewhere. But death looms large in this, Tranter’s fourteenth collection of poems, in which camped-up verse forms like the sestina, sonnet, and ballad, or generative devices like the subsequent letters of the alphabet that control the poems in ‘The Alphabet Murders,’ cannot quite contain the disorder of living.’ —Marjorie Perloff