Towns in the Great Desert is a significant addition to the corpus of a major Australian poet. These poems make a significant claim for Boyle’s standing as one of Australia’s most important contemporary poets.
“Towns in the Great Desert contains a new book of poems together with selections from Boyle’s six previous books. The title sequence is a fabulist’s journey through imaginary cities possessing suspiciously modern features, but the new work also comprises a collection of miscellaneous lyrics, a very late-night set of Nightpoems and an extended meditation on Lorca. Unusually in Australia, Boyle inhabits the alternative poetic universe of the French and Spanish traditions: within it, he has framed such powerful early poems as ‘Kinderszernen’, and disturbing recent work such as ‘To a day in October’. Restlessly and inventively, his high styles stalk through a beautiful but difficult world, never too far away from the guardian angel of catastrophe.”