The Kurri Kurri Book of the Dead

$19.95 inc GST

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“If the purpose of poetry is to make strange what is familiar, then McLaren does this with aplomb. I find myself marvelling at what I have ‘never seen’ though I recognise it as home. He can make beauty out of empty coke bottles and dust-filled landscapes, yet there is an unutterable sadness — a longing that can only be felt but hardly spoken of. McLaren in this collection has come into his own, with poems about the places of his past — a skilful mix of the urban, and images of a desperate, dying countryside.” — Nicolette Stasko

“I’m most impressed — a superbly measured sequence, i.e. each poem/part opens out to the next, and the ingenious exploration or, better, realisation of ‘black’ is altogether within the expiative or redemptive purpose of the poems. It’s the best thing — in toto — I’ve read recently.” — Kris Hemensley on Darkness Disguised

Greg McLaren grew up in the Hunter Valley coalfields and lives in Sydney. His previous collections are Everything Falls In (Vagabond, 2000) and Darkness Disguised (Sidewalk, 2002). A poet, critic and editor, his work has been widely published.


“McLaren’s poems are loaded with the past and animated by the attempt to understand and recover it. Not simply a past characterized by loss, though that is the predominant tone: among the many other details of an earlier life that McLaren relates, he excels at capturing the iconic moments of childhood in a small town — birthdays, afternoons spent playing after school or helping in the garden, the boredom of stifling summer car trips to visit grandparents, aimless wandering beside train-tracks.” NICK RIEMER, Jacket Magazine