Gayelene Carbis documents family obsessions, the enduring wounds of childhood, the familial shadows that pursue and possess us, and the subtle twists and shifts in human interaction that bedevil and fracture relationships. The result is an extended meditation upon loss and longing, and human fragility, tempered by moments of humour and beauty, and lines which leap out with radiant imagery and insight.
Nietzsche asserted that it is much easier to write nobly than it is to write lightly and Gayelene Carbis deploys this gift of quicksilver lightness like no other I can think of in contemporary Australian theatre or poetry.
Marion May Campbell
What I admire especially about these poems is their emotional honesty, their clear-headedness, their vulnerability and their range: how they marry the murderous and the marvelous, to use Seamus Heaney’s words. These poems understand that each of us is flawed, and they forgive us. They have that courage, and they induce it.
Publication date: June 2017
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