These new poems from Simon West centre, for the most part, on landscape: the actual, the figurative, the local, the European. With a sure feeling for place (especially forest), The Yellow Gum's Conversion brings together observation and emotional weather, using language that is direct but also characterized by knowing omissions and, in the words of one poem, “trails built in the mind”. Simon West is a poet with a rare symbolic imagination and a sense of phrasing all of his own.
Simon West was born in Melbourne in 1974. He is the author of one previous volume of poetry, First Names, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2007 and won the William Baylebridge Memorial Prize. He has also published The Selected Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti (Troubador Publishing, 2009) and most recently The Yellow Gum’s Conversion, which was shortlisted for the Queensland Literary Awards. Other awards include the The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship and the BR Whiting Residency, and he is represented in anthologies including Thirty Australian Poets (UQP) and Young Poets: An Australian Anthology (John Leonard Press)..