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Eureka Street farewells Philip Harvey

  • 14 February 2022
  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 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)