Alan Wearne’s verse novels The Nightmarkets and The Lovemakers and his collections The Australian Popular Songbook and Prepare the Cabin for Landing won the National Book Council Banjo Award, the NSW Premier’s Poetry Prize and Book of the Year Award, the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, the Grace Levin Prize and the Colin Roderick Award. He is the publisher of Grand Parade Poets.
96 pages Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm Published July 2017 ISBN 9781925336320
Alan Wearne specialises in monologues and verse narratives. A young widow in post-war Melbourne fends off the approaches of her best friend’s husband; a retired femocrat recalls her lovelorn Maoist youth; a single mother falls into an abusive relationship with a drifting musician; a heroin addict is haunted by his dealer’s murder of a youth. Also included is ‘The Sarsaparilla Writer’s Centre’, a collection of satires on music, football, religion, politics, and poets.
120 pages Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm Published October 2012 ISBN 9781920882945
Wearne is Australia’s poet-moralist, a master of its idioms, the recorder of its pretensions, and the scourge of its big-noters, con-artists and crooks. In ‘The Vanity of Australian Wishes’ he pays tribute to Samuel Johnson and Juvenal, ‘who knew that combination of bemusement, annoyance, anger and despair to which your country can drive you, though always aware of its entertainment value and dramatic potential’. The collection includes an affectionate portrait of three Melbourne high school teachers in the early 1960s, and a saga which records the destinies of their pupils, satires on the world of finance and drug-dealing, literary academics and the libertinism of baby-boomers, and seven new poems based on Australian pop songs.
96 pages Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm Published April 2008 ISBN 9781920882419
Alan Wearne’s new collection is made up of three parts, ‘The Australian Popular Songbook’, a suite of poems inspired by popular songs from the 1880s through to the 1980s; ‘The Metropolitan Poems’, a group of stories in verse inspired by suburbs of great moment, like Hurstville, Ascot Vale and Chatswood; and the poetic monologue ‘Breakfast with Darky’, in which a Melbourne high-school teacher looks back twenty years to a time when he was both an up-and-coming Social Realist writer and a Communist Party activist. Ever the master of the Australian vernacular, Wearne proves himself here in the shorter forms of song and story.