The Verso Lectures

The Verso Lectures:
The Verso Lectures is a series of public lectures given by leading figures in the field of the Book as a Work of Art. The Lectures are commissioned by Verso Magazine, and are designed to enrich the cultural and intellectual reputation of the Book as a viable part of the history of our cultural life in Australia and New Zealand. The Lectures are intended to give voice to the unfolding growth of the Book as a special and dynamic movement in this part of the world, and in the current vibrant international context. The Lectures will be published in book form soon after they have been given.

The Inaugural Verso Lectures, on the theme of The Book as a Work of Art in our Time
were given by –

vl1a-loneyAlan Loney of Electio Editions:
The Book: Material Instrument
Tuesday June 7 2016

“In the late nineteenth century W W Skeat. . . defined the word ‘book’ as: “a volume; a written composition”. In recent years I have become increasingly aware that many people, talking/writing about ‘the book’, slide back and forth between these apparitional binaries without being aware of what they’ve done. It’s a habit. It seems natural somehow that we can use the term ‘book’ promiscuously for both codex and text, a volume and a composition, as if everything we could say about one we could also say about the other.”


VL2-kinlysideSheree Kinlyside of Red Rag Press:
The Book as Treasure
Wednesday June 8 2016

“I have now resolved that the kind of order necessitated by a framed etching for example and that imposed by a book are very different in their nature. The sequential quality in books permits the reader a different kind of time based interactive relationship with the artwork that no wall work could ever offer. A painting is capable of showing us a way of seeing but a book can give us insight into an experience and the complexities involved in the recording of memory.”


VL3-CrawfordMarian Crawford of Monash University:
Channelling the Departed: the Book and Time
Thursday June 9 2016

“I once heard the phrase ‘bibliographical studies’ and wondered what on earth this meant. Now however, I’ve discovered that I was actually a fully signed-up member of that club, and it is clear to me that a fascination with the book and the printed page are at the heart of my engagement and understanding of the world and, I would like to argue, to an appreciation of knowledge, and of what knowledge, and perhaps also desire, might be.”



The Athenaeum Library
Level 1, 188 Collins St,
Melbourne 3000