Victorian poets are my favourite ones. Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Tennyson, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti all set my imagination on fire. In fact, I spent most of my teenage years pretending I was the Lady of Shallot, so much so that “Willows whiten, aspens quiver, Little breezes dusk and shiver” was quoted in my twenty-first birthday announcement in the newspaper. And so when I was asked to edit an edition of Ekleksographia, my mind turned again to the Victorians. But a very different breed. This time, I wanted to highlight the incredibly talented poets in my state of Victoria, Australia.
I was keen to showcase Victorian poets at very different points in their careers and so this edition embraces not only the developing and established poets who have already made incredible names for themselves throughout Australia and internationally, but also a series of emerging Victorian poets, who are the poets of tomorrow.
In 2008, Melbourne joined Edinburgh as the second UNESCO City of Literature. This honour was bestowed on the city for some of the following reasons: There are more bookshops in Melbourne than in any other Australian city, and there are more books, magazines and newspapers sold in Victoria than in any other state or territory. This city has a proud and honourable tradition of fostering fine publishing, including smaller, independent concerns that might not always aim for the top of the best- seller lists but nevertheless have quality as their byword. (The Age, 1/7/08).
The poets in this edition all live in Victoria and contribute to this profile. So there is not so much a theme to this edition as a celebration of Victorian poets.
Introduction by Cassandra Atherton
This issue was curated by Cassandra Atherton.
Cassandra Atherton is a writer, academic and balletomane. She teaches Romanticism, Modernism and Creative Writing and at The Universities of Melbourne and Deakin. She has written a book on Australian poet, Gwen Harwood’s poetry entitled, Flashing Eyes and Floating Hair (Australian Scholarly Press, 2007) and her book of poetry, After Lolita (Ahadada Press) and novel The Man Jar (Printed Matter Press) were both published this year.