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01 May 2021
Says Van about her collection: 'The old hill near where I grew up was outwardly ruined: its pines were dead, its vines gone to seed and its sheds, which once held some purpose, sunk and rusted. With my immature logic I considered this place open and powerful, even though the land was enclosed by a wire fence and fallow from overcultivation and neglect. Like other places in the world, the traces of colonial settlement here held dull, sour feelings. The entire place seemed displaced from itself; maybe nothing could belong there.

Writing these poems has something to do with being in lands like this. As a child that hill gave me my first feeling of personal privacy, even though it was open, even though it was fenced for someone else, and perhaps because the fence was there. The poems here express indignation at the eventual consequences of privacy. Yet, equally, privacy fascinates me. Equally, fences fascinate me - their lines, their tensions, their bending. I am not the first to say that poetry is a form of enclosure, but I want to say it here again, anyway. I love how permeable this form of enclosure can be. In the same way, I loved how the fence around that private hill would bend as I moved through it.' Says Bobis about the book: 'The ocean passes beneath these poems and one inevitably gets wet. It's 'a liquidation of territory', whether in Vietnam or in Australia, or between what's touched and what's yet to be touched. Site of frisson. Contention. Then insight. These prose poems start as a moment flowing in interior monologue into multiple spaces and times. Then sneakily, and bravely too, they open estranging doors, so poetry starts reading like short story becoming extemporaneous discourse, erudite and interrogative, hopscotching from Foucault to Kristeva to Malouf to Plath. Van's quicksilver to-ing and fro-ing creates an insight-coaxing discombobulation.'
Introduction by:  
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 230mm,  Width: 152mm, 
Weight:   141g
ISBN:   9780648917601
ISBN 10:   0648917606
Pages:   82
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Lucy Van writes poetry and criticism. She teaches literary studies at the University of Melbourne, where she has also been a Melbourne Research Fellow. In 2019 and 2020, she was a writer in residence at Overland Literary Journal. Figures, her spoken poetry EP, was produced in collaboration with musician Laila Sakini and released by Purely Physical (UK) in 2017. Her work has appeared in publications including History of Photography, Journal of Australian Studies, Southerly, Axon: Creative Explorations, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, The Suburban Review, Mascara Literary Review, Peril Magazine and Arc Poetry Magazine.

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