It’s easy enough to grow out of touch with a local scene when you’ve lived elsewhere for a few years. It’s also easy for an older poet to lose track of what’s going on. I hadn’t felt excited by much new Australian writing for a while. But poetry, in Melbourne at least, is alive and well. And possibly elsewhere too. My old friend John Scott, nominally a fiction writer these days, was delighted that a recent crop of poets coming out of the University of Wollongong’s writing program regarded the novel as a hopelessly passé literary form. At last here were some poets who weren’t just closet novelists; who regarded writing poems a better bet than angling for fame and fortune in a grossly overcrowded fiction market. More importantly here were people who didn’t regard the poem as some kind of transparent autobiographical medium. I came across some wonderful work while guest editing an issue of foam:e journal due to appear in a couple of months. And while in Melbourne I met some of the poets. Seen above with Gig Ryan (second left) at Brunettis in Carlton are Sam Langer, Corey Wakeling and Tim Wright. Below are a couple of terrific small press productions emanating from these guys and many others.