Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt is the author of two award-winning books of poetry, Aria and The Hazards (UQP), and a forthcoming volume of essays on contemporary poetry, Fishing for Lightning: The Spark of Poetry (UQP, 2021). She is the recipient of a number of honours, including the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and a Sydney Myer Creative Fellowship. As of 2021, she is the Judy Harris Writer in Residence at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney, and works as a Professor at QUT.

'Treecreeper' by Sarah Holland-Batt | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

States of Poetry Queensland - Series One 22 February 2016
Bebop sparkplug spurred in withershins,loop-de-loop interloper, he hop-stepsravines of bark, shirking faultlines,going solo, headstrong, scion of impatience,juddering like the stalled engineof prop-plane on tundra runway, skirtingand skimming up, peeling out,reeling in spiral, spy, scout, prematurelythrusting into the unknown, Magellanrunning aground on an idea of home,small caravel listing on lat ... (read more)

'Quetzalcoatl' by Sarah Holland-Batt | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

States of Poetry Queensland - Series One 22 February 2016
—for Vera Pavlova, in Mexico City On the bus to Teotihuacan, we turna new god's name on our tongues like a charm, jagging pastcinderblocked hills chocked over the motorway,grey pixels stacked so high they merge with the smoked white Mexican sky—then a guitar player in the aisle begins a song whose only familiarword is corazon, we move on, billboards graffitied Narco Estado scream by,and ... (read more)

'Mackerel' by Sarah Holland-Batt | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

States of Poetry Queensland - Series One 22 February 2016
How fine it is to mutinyagainst my tired mind— say self, you are through,to smash into a mirrorball of echoes all scaledin dizzying Nordic blue feel the universe tiltand infinitely rebuild to flickerlike a skerrick of spindle silver needle-quick,and never be held— this is the freedomof the unilluminated world where corals pulsein the dark like deathstars, unmoved, and leaflets of seagr ... (read more)

'February Snow' by Sarah Holland-Batt | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

States of Poetry Queensland - Series One 22 February 2016
Unexpected on a day like this—sun shuttling through the 125th Street bridge,plastic strung in Harlem's elms like tattered wreaths:unseasonable, unreasonable spring.Under the red shadow of the Grant tenementslunchtime noshers clatter china at Bettolona,dogwalkers spread out on the grass in Sakura Park,men from the halfway homedrag their deckchairs into the street.Someone has left a string of Chri ... (read more)

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'The High Places' by Fiona McFarlane

January-February 2016, no. 378 18 December 2015
Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'The High Places' by Fiona McFarlane
Towards the end of Fiona McFarlane's enigmatic collection of short stories, The High Places, we meet the odd, enchanting story 'Good News for Modern Man', which functions as a key to many of the book's concerns. The story centres around Dr Bill Birch, a malacologist undertaking an obsessive study of a colossal female squid, Mabel, which he has trapped in New Zealand. Overseeing Birch's quirky unde ... (read more)

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'South in the World' by Lisa Jacobson

November 2014, no. 366 01 November 2014
Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'South in the World' by Lisa Jacobson
Lisa Jacobson’s third book, South in the World, opens with ‘Several Ways to Fall Out of The Sky’, a poem composed of imperatives instructing the reader in the strange art of descent. Jacobson’s poem deliberately invokes Auden’s famous piece of ekphrasis about Brueghel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, ‘Musée des Beaux Arts’, which concerns itself with the relativity of sufferin ... (read more)

Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'When the Night Comes' by Favel Parrett

September 2014, no. 364 01 September 2014
Sarah Holland-Batt reviews 'When the Night Comes' by Favel Parrett
Favel Parrett’s second novel, When the Night Comes, opens with its teenage protagonist Isla lying awake in her bunk on a night ferry to Tasmania in the mid-1980s, ‘waiting for the rough seas’. Her younger brother sleeps beside her, and her distracted, emotionally distant mother – the kind of woman who is ‘always sitting places by herself in the night’ – is smoking on deck. Together, ... (read more)
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