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Eureka Street farewells Philip Harvey



Philip Harvey has been poetry editor of Eureka Street since its early days. Now he has decided that it is time for him to step down from his position in favour of a younger editor. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and generosity of his decision though I feel deeply his loss to us. And I am grateful to him all that he has given to Eureka Street of his skills and of himself, all on an almost honorary basis.

Above all Philip has kept poetry alive in the magazine. In all the crises and changes in a publishing business where metrics are so important — income, expenditure, number of readers and so on — our commitment to publishing poetry has reminded us of the importance of careful words that take our readers beyond profitability, immediate interest and argument to a reality in and beyond words. He has been a keeper of our mission.

We owe so much to Philip, too, in the wide reading and judgment that has made Eureka Street a magazine in which established poets are happy to be published, and to which new poets feel confident to submit their work. Though well-versed in theory and ready to argue the merits of different poems, Philip asks a simple and broad question about any poem: whether it works on its own terms. He trusts us as readers to allow poems to take us beyond our own prejudices about what poetry may be and to open ourselves to a world at whose depth we wonder.

I shall miss Philip as poetry editor but treasure him as friend, and hope that you may now be able to read more of his prose in Eureka Street. 


Andrew HamiltonAndrew Hamilton is consulting editor of Eureka Street, and writer at Jesuit Social Services.

Main image: Les Murray with Philip Harvey at the Carmelite Library in Middle Park, Vic in 2013. (Photo by Peter Thomas)

Topic tags: Andrew Hamilton, Philip Harvey, poetry



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Existing comments

You are fortunate in having such friends, Andy. I notice the photograph accompanying this article featured Les Murray. That says something of the circles Philip moved in.

Edward Fido | 15 February 2022  

When Philip wrote about his encounter with Les Murray I remember how much I enjoyed reading about that meeting of poetic minds. My day today started off in a very ordinary fashion; then I read a review of a book of poetry and my smile returned. I look forward to reading your prose at Eureka Street, too, Philip.

Pam | 15 February 2022  

Thank you Philip for the variety and breadth of the poetry you have chosen for Eureka Street over your years as Poetry Editor. May this change give you time and space for your own writing. Blessings for the future.

Rod Horsfield | 15 February 2022  

I'd like to express my heartfelt personal thanks to Philip for publishing my poetry on Eureka Street, and also to Eureka Street for reserving a corner for what often feels like an embattled art (not that the other arts are not embattled, but I speak here as a poet). Philip has indeed been "catholic" in his inclusiveness, and, although we are not personally acquainted, his presence on Eureka Street has always been a kindly one. Eureka Street and poetry and poets have all benefited from this. I have no doubt that he'll be missed, and wish him well in his own life and writing, after having given so much time, energy and care to the writings of others, helping all of us beneficiaries in our desire to "keep the faith". My warmest wishes for Philip to receive as he has given. We have been blessed by his presence.

Jena Woodhouse | 18 February 2022  

My sincerest thanks to Philip for his efforts over the years to keep alive the ancient art of poetry and my best wishes for his future endeavours.

Earl Livings | 18 February 2022  

Philip Harvey is a kind, talented man who showed patience, understanding and sensitivity to his fellow poets. I wish him well and pay credit to where it is clearly and amply due; thanks Philip.

Barry Gittins | 21 February 2022  

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