No of Pages: 170
RRP: 24.95
ISBN Print: 1 876040 70 X


A compressed epic of conflict, identity, love and loss. Whitby Downs, a famous cattle station on the Clarence River, has been in Whitby hands since the 1840s but now they are selling up. Or are they? Family conflicts, generational splits, commercial opportunism – nothing is black and white in the fight over Whitby Downs. Freehold, Geoff Page’s third verse novel, from its opening section, a parallel exchange of nineteenth century letters, takes a profound look at what land can come to mean to its owners across a hundred and fifty years. Or several thousand…

“With Freehold, Geoff Page continues his use of the verse novel, a form which he made utterly his own. His great technical skill carries the saga with wonderful dexterity. Portraits of people, their talk and their behaviour are wonderfully drawn. The poet’s obsession with the challenge of reconciliation carries the story in a riveting way, while descriptions of the Clarence River and its landscape show Geoff Page at his lyrical height.” – Kate Llewellyn


About the Author

Geoff Page

Geoff Page is a Canberra poet who has published fifteen books of poetry, two novels, a biography, a book of short stories and poems and edited two anthologies. Among his more recent poetry collections are Collateral Damage and Darker and Lighter which won the Grace Leven Prize for 2001. His long poem, The Scarring, was published in 1999 and broadcast on ABC Radio in 2001 and 2001. He also published A Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Australian Poetry in 1995.

With time off for several grants from the Literature Fund, Geoff Page ran the English Department at Narrabundah College, ACT, from 1974 to 2001. Geoff has read his work and talked about Australian poetry at conferences in Britain, Italy, Switzerland, China, Singapore and New Zealand. He has also been writer in residence at the University of Wollongong, the Australian Defence Force Academy, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. In 1990 Page won the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Poetry and in 2001 he won the Patrick White Literary Award.

Read More