Reason and Lovelessness
Essays, Reviews, Encounters 1985–2015
By Barry Hill
Barry Hill is a multi-award winning writer of poetry, essays, biography, history, criticism, novels, short stories, libretti and reportage. His major works include Sitting In (1992), a landmark memoir in Labour History; Broken Song: TGH Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession (2002), a literary biography and essay in Aboriginal and frontier poetics; and Peacemongers (2014), a pilgrimage book set in India and Japan, and a meditation on 'peace thinking' by the likes of Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi in the years leading up to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Each book has been groundbreaking in different ways: deeply, originally researched, crossing genres, multi-disciplinary, combining the personal with the generically philosophical.
As a writer Hill’s voice is informed by his Australian working-class and militant union background, which has been distilled by his higher education in history and philosophy at the Universities of Melbourne and London. After a decade working as a teacher, educational psychologist and a journalist in Melbourne and London, he has been writing full-time since 1976—mainly based in Queenscliff, Victoria, but with stints at the Australia Council flat in Rome, where he finished poetic/dramatic works on Lucian Freud and Antonio Gramsci, and returns to Central Australia. In recent decades he has deepened his studies In Chinese and Japanese, which is in keeping with his long-term interest in Buddhism.
Hill’s voice is unique, and his insight both profoundly important and capable of taking the reader to places not glimpsed before or imagined visible.
This collection of essays, reviews and reportage amply demonstrates the quality and enduring importance of Hill’s contribution, in these genres, to Australian literary and intellectual life.
About the author
Barry Hill is a much published historian and poet who was short-listed for the 2009 Melbourne Prize for Literature. Possibly best known for Broken Song, the multi-award-winning biography of TGH Strehlow, the Lutheran linguist from Central Australia. His work in progress is Peacemonger, ‘a travel essay’ about the history of bombing and Rabindranath Tagore’s prophetic travels in Japan. He calls himself a Buddhist.
Hill was born in Australia and educated in Melbourne and London, where he worked as a psychologist and a journalist (The Age and the Times Educational Supplement). He has been writing full-time since 1975 and has won major awards for poetry, history, non-fiction and the essay.
His short fiction has been widely anthologized, some of it translated into Chinese and Japanese. He writes libretti and has done much work for radio. Broken Song: TGH Strehlow and Aboriginal Possession (Knopf 2002) has been described as ‘one of the great Australian books’ (John Mulvaney) and ‘a major event in Australian high culture’ (Robert Manne). Necessity: Poems 1996-2006 won the ACT’s 2008 Judith Wright Prize. Lines for Birds, collaboration with the painter, John Wolseley, was short-listed for the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Award. His latest book is Naked Clay: Drawing from Lucian Freud.
Hill also worked as a radio critic on The Age for fifteen years. Between 1998 and 2008, he was Poetry Editor of The Australian, and between 2005 and 2008 was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne. He’s currently writing Peacemonger, ‘a travel essay’ about the history of bombing and Rabindranath Tagore’s prophetic encounters with Japan. For decades, he has aspired to be a good Buddhist.
For media inquiries, please contact our Marketing Coordinator, Sarah Cannon.
While many of our books are published online for free, this does not mean that the books are in the 'public domain': copyright laws do still apply.
Copyright for all material published on this site is owned or licensed exclusively to Monash University Publishing. All rights reserved. Apart from any uses permitted by Australia's Copyright Act 1968, no part of this book may be reproduced by any process or in any form without prior written permission of the copyright owners. Inquiries should be directed to the publisher, Monash University Publishing.
Readers are free to read, copy, download, print and display a work provided that:
• this is solely for personal use or use within the reader’s organisation;
• full acknowledgement is made of the author/s and the original copyright owner;
• the work is not used for any commercial gain in any form; and
• the reader in no way alters, transforms or builds on the work outside of its use in normal academic scholarship without the express permission of the author and publisher of the publication in question.
In all cases of re-use or distribution, readers or authors must make clear to others the license terms of the work. Enquiries should be directed to Monash University Publishing.
Authors of Monash University Publishing titles are not permitted to publish these works on any website other than their personal sites, without written permission from the publisher. Authors are encouraged to post the title of their book on any website and post links on any site that direct readers to the Monash University Publishing site.
Every effort has been made to obtain copyright permissions for the images reproduced in our publications. If you are a copyright owner of materials reproduced in one of our works and have concerns regarding their use please contact Monash University Publishing.