Hailed as a ‘queer triumph’, Mark A. Peart’s The Great Eastern attempts to capture aspects of the true story of John Wilson, who was known to perambulate the streets of Melbourne in women’s dress, soliciting men for sex. Known as the ‘Great Eastern,’ Wilson was arrested on charges of prostitution in 1863. The prosecution case was based primarily on witness statements from lovers and patrons. Peart’s sparse but layered poetry brings the infamous Great Eastern trial to life with grit, biff, drip and smack.
Mark A. Peart’s work has been featured in Southerly Long Paddock, Cordite Poetry Review and FourW.