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DE­SPITE John Tran­ter’s views (‘‘Po­ems from the heart of the favoured few’’, Oc­to­ber 13-14), I am pretty happy to have a cou­ple of lit­tle po­ems in­cluded in The Quad­rant Book of Po­etry 2001-2010, edited by Les Mur­ray. I re­gard it as a mea­sur­able achieve­ment to get some­thing ap­proved by the mighty Les. It is one bench­mark. It is not the only bench­mark but it is one of the gold stan­dards in po­etry. Ivan Head Cam­per­down, NSW TONY Ab­bott, Mal­colm Turn­bull and Joe Hockey: and the win­ner may be . . . Hockey. He emerged as the Lib­eral Party’s shrewd and ami­able third man in his ap­pear­ance with Annabel Crabb on ABC TV’s Kitchen Cab­i­net (Sec­ond Look, Oc­to­ber 6-7), pos­si­bly prompt­ing view­ers to en­vis­age a sce­nario in which a nar­row La­bor vic­tory in 2013 presages a sub­se­quent lead­er­ship coup by Hockey. His ma­jor ad­van­tage over Ab­bott is his ca­pac­ity for ef­fec­tive com­pro­mise, while Turn­bull, charis­matic and clever, is per­ceived, per­haps un­fairly, to be im­bued with a pa­tri­cian aloof­ness. Even the bum­bling bar­be­cue ef­forts made by Hockey with great good hu­mour would seem to be vote win­ners. Pamela Chip­pin­dall Wool­lahra, NSW THE 2001 tele­vi­sion se­ries Band of

Broth­ers may have made Damian Lewis’s name in the US (‘‘Role play’’, Oc­to­ber 6-7), but at about the same time he was also re­ceiv­ing good re­views for his por­trayal of Soames in the British ITV re­make se­ries of The Forsyte Saga in 2002. This was quite a dif­fer­ent por­trayal from that by Eric Porter in the orig­i­nal 1967 BBC TV pro­duc­tion and al­most made the cold-blooded Soames a sym­pa­thetic char­ac­ter, more baf­fled by events than Porter’s vin­dic­tive and prop­erty-con­scious Soames. Brian Macdon­ald Wat­so­nia, Vic­to­ria LUKE Slat­tery (The Forum, Septem­ber 29-30) writes in praise of the brief novel, where ‘‘things are left un­said, or just left out’’. A writer wor­thy of men­tion in this re­gard is Gra­ham Greene. Get­ting to the heart of the mat­ter was one of his trade­marks; his poignant prose con­veyed ef­fort­lessly the deeper mean­ing of the sub­ject mat­ter with which he was deal­ing, whether it be novel or non­fic­tion. His econ­omy with words added to the in­ten­sity of the feel­ing that was of­ten wo­ven into his prose, and con­se­quently the re­sult was as pierc­ing as po­etry. It is re­mark­able what wealth those slim Pen­guin pub­li­ca­tions con­tained. Mar­garet Ti­ainen Hol­land Park West, Queens­land IN her pro­file of Brett Sheehy (‘‘The high­way man’’, Septem­ber 22-23), Rose­mary Neill de­scribes the Mel­bourne Fes­ti­val and Mel­bourne The­atre Com­pany artis­tic di­rec­tor as ‘‘the only per­son to have run three of the coun­try’s big­gest in­ter­na­tional arts fes­ti­vals’’. This may just be fac­tu­ally cor­rect — but ig­nores the com­pa­ra­ble claims of An­thony Steel and Robyn Archer, who have run four or five in­ter­na­tional arts fes­ti­vals each, and founded sig­nif­i­cant Aus­tralian fes­ti­vals as well. Jeremy Ec­cles Clifton Gar­dens, NSW To be con­sid­ered for pub­li­ca­tion, let­ters must con­tain an ad­dress and tele­phone num­ber for ver­i­fi­ca­tion. Let­ters may be edited for length and clar­ity.

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