- Reviews for Paul Harrison's book meet me at gethsemane:
"The world is awash with writers trying to outbuk Bukowski. Who deliberately engage in suffering for the sake of art. Harrison writes simply because he is compelled to. Without pretension. Without embellishing or fabricating experience. He writes from the heart. And if you take the time and the care you begin to realise Harrison is a new and original talent and one of the best emerging new voices from the Australian underground."
- George Anderson, Australian underground poetry critic. Read the full review here...
"Simple language, natural as speech serves as a vehicle for a psychologically dynamic exploration of absurd social rituals and sensation... The givens of life are what they are, often enough our lives are a dark and obscure mission. These poems, with their blunt, claustrophobic lines and lack of artifice, stark paralysis pressed against the stasis of the page are life affirming, they bring us into a direct encounter with lacerating relationships which layer rather than expose. They invite us to celebrate and grieve our shared isolation and the failure of responsibility"
- Amanda Joy, artist and poet, Read the full review here...
"If you’re looking for solutions in life don’t expect Paul Harrison to enlighten you. In his chapbook meet me at gethsemane Paul isn’t looking to provide answers. The brutal and uncompromising poems in this collection are tinged with moments of surprising tenderness, though the unyielding message seems clear: life beats us all down in the end."
"paul harrison's, meet me at gethsemane, is an emotional ride from start to finish and like all good works i lost myself within its pages. it has what i call the ecstasy of sorrow. it contains all the elements of a great blues song. loss, hope and redemption. it is an honest, raw piece full of all those moments of life that make us human before the all conquering worm prevails. "
- James Mellon, photographer
"Its difficult at times to remember that this is Harrison's first book. The poems spill down the page with inherent readability. His economical, reflective phrasing, the deliberate poetic intention, the bold lack of pretension is honest. Brutal. Powerful.... Each poem stands alone, in solid skeletal punch, yet somehow marries the next, and the next and the next one - perhaps conjoined in the bitter taste that permeates the book's 68 pages... Short sharp bony bursts of well-crafted punch. ..."
- Allan Boyd (the antipoet) - Read the full review here...
"Poets are not mundane people. And nor should they be. After all, it is their task to report the peripheries of the world, the dark edges, the boundaries at which we balk and turn back from. Paul Harrison achieves such a poetic fearlessness with aplomb. His work is gritty. It is human. At times, horrifically and disturbingly so. His poems, like no laughing matter, recount the trajectories of lost souls with unabashed tenacity. Sex and religion collide with verocity... Harrison’s debut collection is fearless, reckless yet uncertain, making for a brave stance on being human."
- Scott-Patrick Mitchell - Editor, Out In Perth - Read the Full Review here...
INTERVIEW: "One-Night Stands, Three-Day Benders, and the Occasional Violent Assault: The paul harrison Interview"
- Interview by Mike Daily - read the interview here...
Review for David Barnes's book Prayers waiting for God
| The blurb on the back says it all: “This is David Barnes’ first and last book.” That David ever came to be a poet is a kind of miracle in itself. He’s an unlikely candidate. A ward of the state, placed in institutions and physically and sexually abused - there was little likelihood that he would become a functioning adult, let alone a loving one who could have a happy relationship, a much-loved son a self-deprecating sense of humour – or a writing career.
Reviewed by Rob Walker
We are neat rows
Outside the thick bluestone,
corners curled, brown with age.
Hand tools worn smooth
your white split-mesh
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