Michael Sharkey’s Readings from The Sweeping Plain

Sleeve Notes: Readings from The Sweeping Plain

In this recording Michael Sharkey reads nine poems from The Sweeping Plain, his first collection of poems since 2002. Recorded in March 2007, Sharkey is in fine form – his reading gives the listener a pocket compass to navigate his imagined geographies, a taste of his wry and compassionate humour, and perhaps best of all, his impeccable timing. Here is a persuasive argument that these poems are meant to be read out loud, to give their measure of musicality, tragedy and comedy a chance to play.

The poems in this selection from The Sweeping Plain explore popular cultural phenomena – soap opera, advertisements, travel guides, news reports, folk tales, family history, classical and other myths – by way of illustrating the porous boundary between reality and illusion, truth and falsity.

The Sweeping Plain is published by Five Island Press Pty Ltd.

© Michael Sharkey 2007.

This CD was recorded and produced by Carol Jenkins for River Road Press.

The cover illustration: is Eliel Saarinen’s 1912 design for Australian Federal Capital. 54X 94cm, NAA:A710.33 used with permission of the National Library of Australia.


  1. The Advantages of Daughters 5:12
  2. The Paradise Flick 1:08
  3. Silence 10:48
  4. Eating Sin 0:48
  5. Getting a Lover 1:40
  6. The Strong, The Silent Type 0:42
  7. The Smells of Other Peoples’ Houses 3:47
  8. Imaginary Countries: The Real World 1:49
  9. Imaginary Countries: The Necessary Fairyland 2:32

Running Time: 28 minutes