Dr Amy Brown is a New Zealand poet and novelist, who teaches Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne, where she completed her PhD in 2012. The creative component of her thesis, a contemporary epic poem titled, The Odour of Sanctity was published in 2013. She is currently finishing a long sequence of poems about home, titled Our Effects.

Assembling the Australian Epic

A conversation with Π.O. by Amy Brown

This paper is an assemblage of excerpts from a three-hour interview I conducted with Melbourne poet Π.O. in February 2013 at his home in Preston. Having recently completed a PhD dissertation examining Π.O.’s 1996 epic poem, 24 Hours, I had a number of questions about the 740-page, phonetic meditation on the suburb of Fitzroy. From the original 13,000-word interview transcript, I have chosen to focus on discussions of Π.O.’s methods in writing 24 Hours, his epic-in-progress The Everything Poem, and his sense of identity as an Australian epic poet.