Everyday Epic

$25.00 inc GST

Product Description

In this new book by Anna Kerdijk Nicholson, her celebrated skill with form—so apparent in her first book, The Bundanon Cantos, and utilised to great effect with the modern sonnets in Possession—is also present, but in a playful way. Here Kerdijk Nicholson continues to explore the train wreck of language, digging into nuance and coinage, but never losing sight of meaning. The poems are arranged to allow thematic refractions to develop organically, so the poems in Everyday Epic acquire a subtle political suggestion because of their clusterings. Never one to shy from a challenge, she has taken on Burke & Wills’ monumental expedition in the vein of a mock epic and sites it, tongue-in-cheek, as though it were a finale. Everyday Epic honours the courage of our small twenty first century selves who battle on—in the face of prejudice, racism, the Intervention, Australia’s Immigration policy—despite our ‘pathetic human-ness’.


Everyday Epic is a collection that often appears contrary in its aims: it is as political and nostalgic, for example, as it is playful and serious. Yet in its collision of forms and content, there is an abiding sense of cohesion, a quality that reminds readers of the shocking qualities of the ordinary, and the ordinariness of the shocking. This is most often explored in relation to tragedy, and the histories that shape discourses around the politics of national identity…In its balancing of contradictions, in its doublings, detail, playfulness, and violence, Everyday Epic is as enormous as a crisis, and as familiar as ‘that which can be found in the sun’.” ALYSON MILLER, Cordite Poetry Review

“This book values and celebrates both the large and the ordinary, travelling outwards into politics, history and culture, yet coming back to the everyday personal worlds of love, suffering, injustice. Though the book is wide in scope, it is not a baggy book. The poems feel necessary and are beautifully honed, they have a sharpness of mind, a penetrating focus of image and diction, a resonance that lingers… [Anna’s poems] have an astringency that hangs around, an allure that stays with you, and this is an effect of the craft: the way Anna has been able to weigh her words with intense thought and chose them with subtle and powerful discrimination.” JUDITH BEVERIGE, Rochford Street Review

“Anna Kerdijk Nicholson’s poetry is careful, almost sparse at times and laser sharp in its precision, as the work condenses into the denouement of each poem. The tighter the language gets, the more the poems demonstrate what language is capable of… The eight sections cover a lot of ground, moving through time and space, from the domestic to the political, ekphrasis, self-reflection, and meta-poetry, modern travels to historical expeditions. The work blurs the distinctions between these things, so that the epic becomes small and private, while a domestic and private scene, say, of grief, becomes epic and universal.” MAGDALENA BALL, Compulsive Reader

“In Everyday Epic, Kerdijk-Nicholson continues her important engagement with history, politics and the continuing legacy of colonial violence and ignorance. She has, in addition, contributed several beautiful sentences to the never-ending conversation about art and life, and has also arrived, in her lyric poems, at a new clarity and tenderness.  This is a hard-won, meaty collection, and a worthy addition to a significant body of work.” MELINDA SMITH, Mascara Literary Review