What are the connections between poetry and reason, imagination and truth? Can poetry offer insights into the nature of reality? Plato spoke of the ‘ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy’. These pursuits have a complex and contentious relationship. Three prize-winning poets - Berndt Sellheim, Jakob Ziguras and Luke Fischer - discuss the philosophical significance of poetry in relation to their own work with Joe Gelonesi, presenter of The Philosopher’s Zone on ABC RN.
Supported by UNSW Arts & Social Sciences.
Joe Gelonesi (Australian)
Joe Gelonesi has been a key member of ABC Radio National’s executive editorial team for the past decade. This year he returned to the radio as presenter of The Philosopher’s Zone. The popular program is back on the airwaves after the sudden death last year of its much-loved presenter Alan Saunders. As Alan’s editor and long-time friend Joe is pursuing Alan’s vision of bringing the joy of philosophy to a wide audience.
Luke Fischer is a Sydney-based poet and scholar. In 2008 he was awarded a PhD in philosophy from the University of Sydney for his thesis on the phenomenological significance of the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. He won the most prestigious poetry prize in Australia for emerging poets, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize and has been shortlisted for other prizes, including the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His debut poetry collection Paths of Flight was recently published by Black Pepper Publishing. The eminent American poet Pattiann Rogers has praised the collection in the following words: ‘Luke Fischer’s poems startle me to wake again, to wake not only to the thriving details of the worlds surrounding us but to the power of language to reveal the music simmering and alive in every moment…’ . He is the author and co-editor of scholarly texts on poetic and philosophical themes—including a monograph on Rilke and phenomenology (forthcoming 2015)—and a forthcoming book of bedtime stories called The Blue Forest. blackpepperpublishing.com
Jakob Ziguras' poetry has appeared in leading Australian literary journals. He was shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2011 and 2012, and won the 2011 Harri Jones Memorial Prize and the 2013 David Harold Tribe Poetry Award. His first collection, Chains of Snow is published by Pitt Street Poetry. The acclaimed Polish poet Adam Zagajewski has written: 'Jakob Ziguras is a poet who is drawn to classical forms and eternal questions. However, in his poems there is no lack of dynamism of imagination and thought, or of contact with what is modern and contemporary. This is a very promising debut.' Jakob holds a PhD in philosophy from the University of Sydney, and currently teaches at the University of Notre Dame. pittstreetpoetry.com
Berndt Sellheim (Australian)
Berndt Sellheim was born in Western Australia and is a poet, philosopher, occasional academic and martini drinker. He lives in the Blue Mountains with his wife, Tara Moss and their daughter. Beyond the Frame's Edge is his first novel. berndtsellheim.com