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2015 - Shortlisted
This spare poetry investigates the body as a sensorium in its careful observations of the various ways of being in the world. The poetry’s sensual lyricism demonstrates how, through the body, we experience gravity, weather, light and sound. Skin is one interface between us and other humans and between us and the natural and urban world. The language of the poetry is itself a kind of skin that registers the bodily experience of kinship with trees, birds, sand and rain but also with the urban environment of steel, bitumen and glass.
These relationships are fragile; the poems remind us of human mortality. Ecological damage and death also impact upon the non-human world and much of the poetry has an elegiac tone. The possibility of forgiveness and grace flutter at the edges of these poems like the many birds they figure. The poems also investigate other forms of kinship such as ethical non-Indigenous approaches to Aboriginal country and the memorialisation of loss and destruction. Kin is a meditative and thoughtful collection. It is marked with an unobtrusive erudition and intertextual references to a number of other poets ranging from Wilfred Owen to Judith Wright.