This collection of poems appears in tandem with an e-book version of the same lyrics and verses. The e-book is available on Smashwords and can be found at: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144367.
I freely concede that it might seem like a rather somber piece of work: a focus on that inevitable moment when Australia became no more. It is hard for Australians to imagine that inevitability, let alone accept it. But rather than wallow in the desolation of Girtie, ’Straya, a sunburned country, this collection explores the memories of an Australia once ours, of the lives we led, and of that Australianness we carry with us, even when we can no longer live in an Australia.
The cover image draws from a photograph that Sara Holquist took. It is also the subject of one of the poems.
Some of the poems in this collection have previously been published through: Cordite, Eureka Street, Honi Soit, the Melbourne 2020 program published by Ash Keating, Overland, and Platform. In republishing them here, I want to acknowledge the support of each of these publications.
I also want to acknowledge the support of my employer, Victoria University (Melbourne). VU treats creative work by its staff as of a piece with our research output, making it an extremely conducive environment in which to write and publish. Colleagues in the School of Communication and the Arts have been unfailingly supportive and encouraging.
This collection is specifically indebted to the creative input of friends Ben Cornford and Vanessa Kirkpatrick, who kindly reviewed it for me before publishing, as well as my mother Alison Clark, who has read and responded to the poems as they developed over fifteen years. I owe a particular debt to my VU colleague Sasha Henriss-Anderssen, who has helped me arrange the manuscript for publication.
The drama in these poems interpolates between a public domain, which I am honoured and happy to share with everyone who cares and has cared about Australia, and a personal life in that country and the world around it, which I am honoured and happy to share with those who know me well.
Chief among the latter group is my wife (not alleging anything proprietary by that pronoun). I dedicate this collection to Becky Batagol — with all my love and hopes for our future!