Philip Mead, Zanzibar Light
‘This is a book of cross-talking voices coming from the same source. Meditative poems about landscape necessarily collide and upend the tangents of modernity, the ironies of the “civilized.” The sonnets in the book work individually and collectively, and there's an underlying journey through this book in search of equanimity and knowledge but constantly being confronted and re-routed by the insensitivities, opportunisms and commercial brutalities of a corporate and controlling world.' – John Kinsella
Philip Mead was born in Brisbane in 1953. He was educated in Queensland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and began writing and publishing poetry in the early 1970s. Mead graduated from the Australian National University in 1975, and subsequently completed an MA at La Trobe (1981), and a PhD at the University of Melbourne (1990). At the University of Melbourne, he was Lockie Fellow in Creative Writing and Australian Literature from 1987to 1995. He has also taught at University of Tasmania and in 2009, he was appointed as the inaugural chair in Australian Literature at the University of Western Australia.
Mead published three collections in the early 1980s: Be Faithful Go (1980), The Spring-Mire (1982), and The River Is In The South (1984). Since the 1980s he has occasionally published his poems in literary journals and newspapers, but has also made a particularly distinguished contribution to Australian poetry as an editor and scholar. From 1987-1994 he was poetry editor for Meanjin, and in 1991, he co-edited (with John Tranter) the influential anthology The Penguin Book of Modern Australian Poetry. His other editorial work includes a book of critical essays on Kenneth Slessor (1997), and Hardening of the Light, a selected volume of David Campbell's poetry (2006). He has published many critical essays and articles on Australian poetry, and a book-length study, Networked Language: Culture and History in Australian Poetry (2009), which won the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Literary Scholarship. (Source: Australian Poetry Library)