Ivor Indyk

Ivor Indyk

is the publisher of the Giramondo book imprint and Whitlam Chair in the Writing & Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

About Ivor Indyk

Ivor Indyk is the publisher of the Giramondo book imprint and Whitlam Chair in the Writing & Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney.

Articles about Ivor Indyk

Articles by Ivor Indyk

The Mastery of π.o.
Fitzroy: The Biography

What is this obsession with facts, so insistent in Fitzroy: The Biography, that their enumeration appears to be fundamental to the composition of the book? One obvious explanation would be that the foregrounding of fact dramatises the encounter with history, which after all presents itself primarily in the form of documents and testimonies. But this can’t be a full answer, first because while the outlines of the featured characters are drawn from historical sources, the facts that embellish them generally are not; and second because Π.O.’s interest in the poetic use of facts and statistics goes back decades, well before the writing of Fitzroy: The Biography.

The Cult of the Middlebrow

‘It’s a truth well understood, though perhaps not much regarded these days, that literary quality stands in an often hostile relation to popular appeal.’ Ivor Indyk on prizes, literary quality, and the marketplace.

26 June 2015 | Wallpaper Ecstasy

It’s always interesting, when you have a big investment in the performance of literary titles in the marketplace, to see how completely, and constantly, the marketplace disappoints your expectations. The current craze for adult colouring books is a good example. Books for adults to colour in! Books without words! What a relief!

Charles Dennington, Untitled, 2015, archival pigment print, 44 x 56 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie pompom, Sydney

i.m. Jann Harry

If one were to make a single claim for Harry’s significance in Australian poetry, I think it should be that she was our first and foremost ecological poet. She wasn’t a ‘nature poet’, in the way that this term is used to describe poets of an earlier generation like David Campbell or Judith Wright. Though she shared the visual acuity of the one, and the passion of the other, her poetic idiom is distinctively contemporary.


Patron Brandis

The Australia Council’s six-year funding program, on which the Sydney Review of Books and other literary journals had been depending, has been suspended. If there is no corresponding program forthcoming from the Ministry for the Arts, our existence will be threatened. The cancellation of the June round of funding will have an immediate effect on the publishers of Australian literary titles, requiring the cancellation or postponement of some of those titles.

Simple Poems

It must be disconcerting for those who find poetry difficult, to discover that the simplest poems are often the most enigmatic. This is because they depend largely on implication. What they don’t say is as important as what they do. If you’re not alert, nothing happens.


Kenneth Slessor and Time

It is interesting, the way some lines of poetry stay with you, because of their rhythm, the images they evoke, something magical about their language, the feelings they play on, or all of these things together. I often recall the following lines from Kenneth Slessor’s poem ‘Out of Time’, though I can never remember them clearly enough to recite or write them down – what stays in my mind are just a few scattered elements, the image of yachts, the phrase ‘foxed with air’, and the compound adjective ‘quince-bright’.

Back window of Evan's 1963 Ford Compact
Experimenta - Speak to Me by Wade Marynowsky

On The Stella Prize

If I were a novelist longlisted, or shortlisted, for the Stella Prize, and I lost out to a historian, I would wonder at the criteria that had been at work in deciding the award. If I were a historian and I lost to a novelist, I think my hackles would be raised at the possible implication that the imaginative penetration of the writer of fiction was once again being placed above the interpretive powers of the historian.

Fiction as Alchemy: An extract from an interview with Gerald Murnane

I understand that there is a time in the history of the visual arts when what we call scholars or critics wrote much about the composition of a painting. Not just the subject matter alone, but the way that the painting, the details or items in the painting, were arranged or composed... what I’ve just been talking about in relation to A Million Windows could be called the composition, and I get tremendous satisfaction from discovering what the composition will be, and then satisfaction afterwards in just standing back and admiring the composition.

The Wimmera region near Goroke Victoria
Earth Hour by David Malouf cover

David Malouf: A Life in Letters

Malouf’s commitment to possibility and multiplicity is well known. It is part of a larger belief in transformation, in metamorphosis, as the founding power of the imagination, its ability to create or divine worlds within or beyond the one we live in, and through language, to populate those worlds and make them familiar. The ability to move between forms of writing is, in a sense, an expression of this commitment to a multiple view of things, though that is not the only explanation.

The Voyage by Murray Bail

The Provincial and the Princess: The Voyage by Murray Bail

Murray Bail’s two most recent novels, The Pages and The Voyage, have a repentant air about them, an acknowledgement of limitation and failure, which is all the more striking when set against the encyclopedic ambition characteristic of his earlier novels.