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Harry Cummins

Harry Cummins was born in Townsville in North Queensland in 1961. He attended University College London and now teaches in South-West London. Zora Bernice May Cross, evoked in his poem, was born in Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, in 1890. She went on the stage and then became a journalist. She married David McKee Wright, ‘a curious projection into Australia of the Irish Renaissance’. Wright was the author of An Irish Heart, which contained ‘some of the most whimsical, coy faery poesy in all world literature’. His wife’s poetry, on the other hand, ‘deals with a woman’s love for a man, expressed with ecstatic submission and passionate abandonment’. These descriptions are drawn from stock histories.

A large house across the road was being renovated by a foreign doctor. Aboriginals had lived there. The workmen burned the shabby reminders of their stay on a     great bonfire and replaced them with all kinds of olde worlde     beauty. There were plaster Virgins for the gate posts, two new gates     both faced with lyres. There was...

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