Libby Hart’s new collection is ornate and knotty in a way that the reader would never divine from its cover, which is clear and white, with ‘wild’ in plain green typescript. It is essentially a bestiary, with birds of all kinds, as well as other creatures, including humans, in wild places, blown by winds and salt spray, or bringing wildness to ‘settled’ human habitations. There is a kind of emulsion of the direct and the opaque in her style that makes the mythic, fabulous elements appear to flow out of nature, directly, but in fact it is more as if we were in a wunderkammer of natural history, where the labels on the exhibits go beyond the call of duty and try to tell us everything about everything.
Libby Hart's collection: Wild
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Peter Kenneally is a freelance editor, writer and reviewer, and poet. In 2005 his suite of poems Memento Mori was selected for the anthology of the Newcastle Poetry Prize, and in 2007 his piece ‘a streetlamp goes out when I walk under it’ was commended in the New Media section of the same prize. He has appeared in The Australian, Southerly, and Island, among other publications.
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