Giramondo, $24 pb, 92 pp
Knuckled, poet and editor Fiona Wright’s highly anticipated first collection, arrives with an assuredness of style and voice that augurs well for Australian poetry. The overarching idea of ‘knuckles’ – of being knuckled, of beating knuckles, of the working joints of bare hands, even the throwing of knuckles in a game of chance – gives us a strong clue to the collection’s main themes. These fluent and highly evocative poems bring a sharply observed, sometimes bruised, sometimes raw and violent sense of the worlds they document. The poet as watcher and as reflector of such images is a robust filter through which to moderate the world of perception, and yet is inevitably precarious in the face of the onslaught from outside; of the intrusion of otherness into the vulnerable sanctuary of the self.