Barnacle Rock is a collection of poems about battling against the odds. From the earliest explorers attempting to fill in the map of 'The Great South Land,' to our current failure to preserve our inherited environment, the protagonists find themselves, as the book's title might suggest, 'between a rock and a hard place.' Following on from Coast, this collection deepens our understanding of Australia's fraught history and poses important questions about the future.
“To read Margaret Bradstock’s poems in Barnacle Rock is to be given the gift of place richly layered by its past. The past is opened up for us, slivers and snapshots, voices and visions of early explorers and settlers facing the vast continent and its coastline and their encounters with Australia’s first inhabitants, whose presence is a persistent echo ghosting the entire collection. To live in the twenty-first century is to face the devastations of peoples, land and oceans by settlement, mining and industry. How uncomfortable is our brief stay on this earth when viewed from the deeper perspectives presented here – and yet, with their acute observations and vivid detail these beautifully crafted and researched poems are a real celebration of being alive in the world.”
What the critics said about Coast:
“Judiciously interpolating primary-sourced materials, Bradstock's poems do well by this maritime history, lending intimacy to distant voices…”
—Kerry Leves, Overland.
Margaret Bradstock is a Sydney poet, critic and editor. She lectured at the UNSW and has been Asialink writer-in-residence at Peking University, co-editor of Five Bells, and on the Board of Directors for Australian Poetry. Her poetry is widely published and has won awards, including the Wesley Michel Wright Prize for The Pomelo Tree. Barnacle Rock is her sixth collection.