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2018 - Shortlisted
This brave and passionate book brings to public attention a startling new voice in Australian poetry, marked with energy, affect and vivid images. Organised into five sections (or rather, five rooms), the poems move through reflections on poetry (‘Here is the poem you demand’), personal and family experiences (‘My grandparents flew here homes ago’), and what it is to be a migrant — particularly, a migrant who does not possess the privileges of the Anglo-American European.
These Wild Houses tests out the poetics of demotic language, combining thoughtful commentary with moments of sentiment and moments of rage. Both incisive and decisive, it offers a forensic examination of Arab Australian masculinities, and the effect of place and politics and desire. At times skilfully restrained, at others powerfully unbound, passion often salted with little flares of mirth, this intelligent and exciting collection speaks out, and powerfully articulates, twenty-first century urban identities.