Geoff Page is an Australian poet who has published eighteen collections of poetry as well as two novels, four verse novels and several other works including anthologies, translations and a biography of the jazz musician, Bernie McGann. He retired at the end of 2001 from being in charge of the English Department at Narrabundah College in the ACT, a position he had held since 1974. He has won several awards, including the ACT Poetry Award, the Grace Leven Prize, the Christopher Brennan Award, the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Poetry and the 2001 Patrick White Literary Award. Selections from his work have been translated into Chinese, German, Serbian, Slovenian and Greek. He has also read his work and talked on Australian poetry in throughout Europe as well as in India, Singapore, China, Korea, the United States and New Zealand.
After forty years of fiction, he dreams he’s in a class again, back at the beginning. The tutor doesn‘t show herself, as is the way with dreams. All of them must read a story, a classic that they’ve loved for years: Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant, Frank O’Connor, Alice Munro. They read them carefully and well, one by one, and then as if at her instruction, and almost ceremonially, strip the words away like washing and throw them in a corner. The idea hangs there, newly naked, a yard or so above the desk they find they have in common. The dream goes on. He does not wake. It’s not quite his turn yet.