Poetry

September 2018

A Book Is A Good Place To Think

It has at times been distressing to witness the media coverage of Kate and Rozanna Lilley’s story, as the intelligence, courage and nuance of their own accounts are temporarily obscured by blunt angles and agendas, by media interest driven in part by celebrity and the tropes of news, in part by various investments held in culture wars positions. But Kate Lilley writes poetry, and poetry offers a space for subjectivity that is not bound to the implied causality of narrative. Poetry can disrupt, evade, and effloresce.

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The SRB is an initiative of The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University

August 2018

Wedged Between the Old and the New

In the career of a poet, the third and fourth books are usually where a certain maturity of voice and style is reached, and a staking out of key thematic ground is achieved. Chong’s formal mastery, her stanzaic control, the deft handling of lyric form, and the use of understated narrative, qualities evolved from the first two collections, are more fully honed in Painting Red Orchids and Rainforest. In a time when younger poets favour ellipsis and discontinuity, when there prevails a distrust of autobiography and narrative in poetry, Chong has, over a quartet of books, crafted a fragmented narrative of migration and settlement, and made of the lyric form a vehicle for the quest for home and belonging.