Australian Poetry at The Loft
NSW Institute of Technology
1982 to 1984 inclusive
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— Provenance: Original data provided by the main organiser of the Loft readings, Lyn Tranter. Edited by John Tranter, 2014.
This page presents the dates, personnel and some photos relating to twelve poetry readings from late 1982 until early 1984, organised by Lyn Tranter in collaboration with Arnie Goldman, then teaching at NSWIT; about thirty hours of readings by 76 Australian poets in all held on Friday nights at The Loft reading space, NSW Institute of Technology, now the University of Technology, Sydney.
In a letter from Lyn Tranter (then of Lyn Tranter Promotions at Broadway in Sydney) to Paul Brunton of the State Library of NSW (on 17 October, 1991) offering to deposit at the Library a set of flyers and brochures for poetry readings at The Loft at the NSW Institute of Technology (now UTS), Lyn outlined the reading series thus:
‘The Loft’ readings I organised in conjunction with Arnie Goldman in 1982-1984. First I’ll place ‘The Loft’ readings in an historical perspective. I organised the first reading on 29th October 1982. They were held monthly and readers were paid by splitting the door take. In May of 1983 I received a grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council which enabled me to pay the writers a fee of $25 plus any travel expenses. The last reading was held on the 24th February 1984.
Photo, left: Lyn Tranter, 17 December 1983, at the launch at the Courthouse Hotel, Newtown, Sydney, for Martin Johnston’s book of poetry The Typewriter Considered as a Bee-Trap, photo by Trish Davies.
Photo: Toni Hope-Caten, Annandale, July 1984, photo by John Tranter.
At the time of organising these readings I was in partnership with Toni Hope-Caten and Jenny Doyle in a graphic business called Rat Graffix [in Glebe Point Road, in Glebe, Sydney]. All the art work for the flyers was done at the premises of that business, until I started up a new business on my own – Pavilion Press Set [in Parramatta Road, Broadway, Sydney] – in early 1983.
Please find attached [a summary of] what ‘The Loft’ files consist of. There is a complete set of flyers that were either mailed to people or placed on bulletin boards, in foyers etc. One of the flyers is not an original but a photocopy – [the last reading, on] 24th February 1984.
Thinking of the photos on this page, from the early 1980s, I’m reminded of Proust: ‘A photograph acquires something of the dignity which it ordinarily lacks when it ceases to be a reproduction of reality and shews us things that no longer exist.’ From the mouth of Baron Charlus, from Proust’s great novel. Proust is always much smarter than you think. JT.
Photo left, joanne burns
Friday 26th November 1982: 5 Readers:
Mark Young, Gig Ryan, Les Murray, Martin Johnston, Barbara Brooks
John Tranter published Gig Ryan’s first book, The Division of Anger, in 1980. He took the cover photo and designed and typeset the text of the book.
Friday 18th March 1983: 6 Readers:
John Tranter, Joanne Burns, Susan Hampton, Martin Johnston, Meredith Quinn, Derek Strahan
Friday 15th April 1983: 4 Readers:
Robert Adamson, Kate Llewellyn, Tim Thorne, Billy Marshall-Stoneking
Friday 29th April 1983: 6 Readers:
Cliff Smythe, Lyndon Walker, Jenny Boult, Lee Stokes, Dorothy Swoope, Geoff Shera
Friday 27th May 1983: 4 Readers:
John Scott, Laurie Duggan, Chris Mansell, Anna Couani
Friday 24th June 1983: 4 Readers:
Andrew McDonald, Dorothy Porter, Adam Aitken, Neil Murray
Note on audio cassette: Edited by Bill Turner for Inprint mag.
Friday 29th July 1983: 4 Readers:
Terry Gillmore, Dîpti Sara (Saravanamuttu), Martin Harrison, Geoff Page
Friday 26th August 1983: 4 Readers:
Vicki Viidikas, Grant Caldwell, Luke Davies, Danny Gardner
Friday 28th October 1983: 4 Readers:
Nicholas Pounder, Donna Maegraith, Mary Fallon, Jeremy Nelson
Friday 25th November 1983: 26 Readers:
Open Reading, 26 people read.
Friday 24th Feb. 1984: 4 Readers:
Nigel Roberts, Jill Farrar, Rudi Krausmann, Gary Dunne
(Photocopy of flyer supplied by Gary Dunne)
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