These Things Are Real

Giramondo Publishing 2017

Artarmon NSW

ISBN 978-1-925336-32-0 (pbk)

Alan Wearne specialises in monologues and 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 here is ‘The Sarsaparilla Writer’s Centre’, a collection of satires on music, football, religion, politics and poets.


Wearne’s epics and fragments are the traces of a ruined culture, in which everybody got to star in their own domestic drama or screwball romance. Until you realise that it’s happening here and now: you are being waltzed around the living room of middle-class folklore.’
Bonnie Cassidy

Australia’s finest verse satirist.’
Peter Pierce


Alan Wearne’s work over the past thirty years or so – dense, demanding, unique, reqarding – is like the oevre of a cinematic auteur: one that never quite got onto the syllabus, or brought out the crowds at Cinemateque.’ Peter KeneallyThese Things Are Real by Alan Wearne’ Australian Book Review #397 December 2017 (p.59).

[This book] shows Wearne in his most important poetic roles: as maker of the best verse narratives Australia has produced, and as satirist…Five narratives make up the first part of the book which is where Wearne’s genius is to be found. Though they are in no way interlinked, they do have thematic and structural resonances. Two, for example could be said to be about varieties of violence – domestic and drug-culture – while another two explore the way individuals born in one cultural environment are forced, as they age, to accommodate newer times and the judgements those times pass on the culture of the past: a pregnant theme which Wearne deals with brilliantly.’ Martin Duwell ‘Alan Wearne: These Things Are Real and as editor: With the YoungstersAustralian Poetry Review September 2017.


Maxine Beneba Clarke ‘PORTRAIT: These Things Are Real’ The Saturday Paper 3-9 February 2017 (p.30)

Geoff Page ‘Form and Function’ The Weekend Australian 2 December 2017 (p.18)


Giramondo Publishing
ISBN 978-1-925336-32-0 (pbk)