The poems of Anna Ryan-Punch’s Night Fishing tell stories of love and motherhood, of lost faith and suburban rental houses. Wry in humour and precise in her ear for colloquial language, Ryan-Punch recounts the frequently improvisatory nature of finding oneself in adulthood. These poems invite us into a world in which, ‘The third level of the car park is the only/ completely silent place I have found’, and onto the couch where ‘we had our/children, lollies, lager and chips./ Watched The Simpsons, tucked up our feet’. A long-awaited debut, Night Fishing reveals the shifting textures of contemporary life.
Spare but full, these poems turn on the axis of parenting and being parented, loving and being loved, of being in and resisting the world, with a rare combination of rigour and feeling. Hard-won, unflinching and tender, they are close enough to our worlds to draw blood, and strange enough to still the breath.
A tender, brave and beautiful work. Ryan-Punch inspires you to examine life with similar unflinching attentiveness.
Geoff Page in The Australian
Publication date: October 2018