Thursday, June 2, 2011


Unrelated picture

I am looking for the first mention of the "new poets" as "the generation of 68". Apparently the term was first used by Thomas Shapcott in the Australian Book Review. Shapcott mentions that he used it first in an interview that I read*, and John Kinsella writes about it in the intro to The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009), and Livio Dobrez mentions it in Paranassus Mad Ward: Michael Dransfield and the New Australian Poetry (1990) (though he just refers to said interview with Shapcott). But I can't find it in any Australian Book Review journal! 

I emailed both Kinsella and Shapcott. The email from Kinsella just said that he was "permanently off email". The reply from Shapcott said that he thinks the first time he used the term in ABR was as early as 1968 or 69. I have been through every issue that I can get hold of at the University of Queensland and I cannot find mention of the generation of 68 by Shapcott in the late 60s or early 70s. I have found and photocopied every article written by Shapcott around these times that are listed on the "Aust. Lit" database to no avail. The earliest mention I can find is from John Tranter in the special issue of Australian Literary Studies in 1977. It is a bit of a mystery. Any ideas? Can anyone help?

* McCooey, David. "An Interview with Thomas Shapcott." Australian Literary Studies 18.1(1997): 79-84. 

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