Puncher & Wattmann
by Bonny Cassidy
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Bonny Cassidy's first book, Certain Fathoms, glimmers with precisely observed moments that make a strange place of the familiar. These poems speak not only to each other but to and of other writers: Eve Langley, John Berryman, JS Harry. Cassidy knits seemingly small phrases and events into glimpses of a vast, interconnected whole. There is a mapping-out here that is organic, not programmatic, preoccupied "with more-than-human subjects", "the trains of phrase and acquaintance,/ unstopped chains of heat, return, death". Cool, yet engaged, Cassidy's poems swell with the movements people and things make, making them brightly and newly visible.
"Bonny Cassidy's ambitious, fine-crafted, better than merely 'well observed', poetry deserves to become acclaimed. With the power of her very evident economy it seems that every word has been carefully considered and placed in position, for these are pieces to be read distinctly and deliberately. And if the language is clear (though it certainly isn't bland) nevertheless readers aren't taken for lowest-common-denominator mugs, and are thus invited to use their imagination. Meanwhile the poet continues working behind the poems, setting up her tasks, solving her problems, producing a verse that is the antithesis of self-absorbed."
— Alan Wearne
Bonny Cassidy grew up in southern Sydney and studied creative writing at the University of Wollongong. Her poetry has been published widely (including translation into Serbian) and is featured in Young Poets: An Australian Anthology (John Leonard Press, 2011). In 2008 she was granted an Asialink/Malcolm Robertson Literature Residency in Japan and in 2010 the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship for Poetry. Cassidy was awarded a PhD from The University of Sydney on Australian poetry (which won the Dame Leonie Kramer Prize). She is currently writing her second libretto, an adaptation of Eve Langley's The Pea-Pickers. She lives in Melbourne.