Puncher & Wattmann
Walking on Ashes
by Winifred Weir
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These poems explore the horrors and effects of war with fierce, unrelenting attention. The poetry is precise in its details and has a dignity and clarity that is hard-won. Winifred Weir can delineate feelings and perceptions with a subtle hand. Each tightly drawn line carries us into elegy, tragedy and loss with a brave, surefooted intensity. These poems are as genuine and moving as anything in contemporary poetry. — Judith Beveridge
Win Weir’s Walking on Ashes creates the story of an Australian family affected by two world wars. Weir’s father, as a single young man with a promising athletic career, enlisted to fight in the First World War and lived through the horrors of the Gallipoli landing and the trench warfare in Flanders. Alcoholic, his future athletic plans ruined, hostile to his daughter and at times to his wife; difficult, angry and haunted by what he has seen, the father of Walking on Ashes is the focal point around whom the voices and lives of wife, son and daughter evolve and devolve, attempting to understand their estrangement from a war-survivor dad. It is a poetry that sues for understanding of what has happened to those who have fought in war; how men are changed by war; and how their traumas and sufferings affect the lives of daughters, sons, mothers and brothers, and the children of generations to come. — J S Harry
These lucid, poignant re-creations, of war and unpeaceful peace, testify that, for some survivors, the worst battleground is the mind. — Kerry Leves
Winifred Weir has been published in a collection of four poets, Contours, and her poetic narrative, or verse novella, Isabella, was awarded the Women Writers’ Poetry Book Award in 2003. In 1996 she won the Women Writers’ Poetry Prize. Walking on Ashes was awarded the Women Writers’ Poetry Book Award in 2011.