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John Mateer

In a sequence of 64 sonnets, John Mateer describes the encounters of an alter-ego, João, as he travels across the globe, attending festivals and readings, meeting with friends, lovers, and often-famous fellow authors. Questioning identity, melancholy in disposition, troubled by dreams and memories, João is also an innocent, and given to moments of illumination and joy.

Mateer is both ironic and affectionate in his treatment of this picaresque figure, creating through his sonnet sequence a narrative which is new in Australian writing, the worldwide adventures of the poet as anti-hero, one who, despite his disappointments, still believes in the power of literature to create a sense of belonging, and to invoke ‘the deep mandala of meeting and friendship'.

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