Plagiarism: It’s all the fault of the incompetent middle-brow judges of prize-giving competitions, as if we didn’t know: From a series of comments in Overland magazine (Melbourne, Australia) by Justin Clemens (see below):

“Indeed, the fact that Slattery got away with it for so long and so successfully implies that he knew his readership only-too-well, knew that the prize committees are so often composed of personages with a mediocre or restricted palate of tastes (and possibly of a restricted knowledge about poetry). The prize-giving panels are therefore partially responsible for this unfortunate sequence of unpleasant events, not so much because they didn’t know or didn’t check the details of the submissions, but because their tastes in poetry are essentially for middling, middle-brow palliatives. In other words, Slattery is an excellent confectioner of prize-winning poems…. Yet isn’t it the case that all this says something that nobody wants to admit? These current scandals in poetry confirm that people worldwide still desperately care about poetry despite its absolutely essential irrelevance to any economic indicator you might mention, and that – despite the crazy uproar surrounding the instances of plagiarism – this shows that poetry will continue to enjoy a glorious future yet.” [From:]


JUSTIN CLEMENS gained his PhD from the University of Melbourne. He publishes primarily on psychoanalysis, European philosophy, and contemporary Australian art and literature. Recent books include Minimal Domination (Surpllus 2011), Villain (Hunter Publishing 2009) and Black River ( 2007), illustrated by Helen Johnson. With Christopher Dodds and Adam Nash, he is the creator of several online art-works, notably Babelswarm (2008) and Autoscopia (2009). He is former Secretary of the Lacan Circle of Melbourne.