to end all wars

I’m proud to have my poem ‘ANZACS’ included in this important new anthology to be launched by Puncher & Wattmann on Oct 27 in Sydney.



‘To End All Wars’ was a phrase applied hopefully during ‘The Great War’. Its various permutations were meant to suggest that this one might be the last war of all. How quickly the phrase became ironic. How many wars have followed! The words ‘to end all wars’ must remind us today that all armed conflict is a vast social catastrophe.


The centenary of the World War I Armistice comes with a barely veiled triumphalism in the countries that were victorious one hundred years ago. It was that triumphalism, and the failed peace that followed it, which led onto new catastrophes in World War II and then the Cold War. Now, well into the 21st century, with ever uglier nationalisms raising their heads everywhere, it is time to critically examine the Armistice of one hundred years ago, and its meaning for Australia and for the world, then and now.

This collection contains work from Australasia’s leading poets, some of whom have made a particular focus on conflict like Jennifer Maiden & Geoff Page. But a clear goal from the beginning was to have a truly diverse collection to fully give the flavour of our society as it is now and the impact conflict has on it. This was in part achieved by an open call for submissions which yielded a number of valuable surprises which would have been otherwise overlooked.


An Earshot programme based on the anthology will air on Radio National, Monday 5th November 11am on Radio National, repeated Sat 10th November 1.30pm.


Thanks to Les Wicks who was the prime mover of this project and selected my poem for inclusion.


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