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I'm Deadly Serious

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

I'm Deadly Serious
Categories: Australian
Imprint: OxfordPoets
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Description
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  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • This is Chris Wallace-Crabbe's second book of poems to be published internationally, and follows The Amorous Cannibal (1985), which widened a reputation already established in Australia. As the title suggests, irony for the poet is not merely a source of equivocation, but of passion, and in these poems, Chris Wallace-Crabbe employs the formality and playfulness of wit to make serious stabs at the unknowable. The collection is disconcertingly various, and ranges from wry ballads to streetwise mysticism. Wallace-Crabbe is remarkable in combining European, American, and Australian influences in a wholly distinctive voice.
    Chris Wallace-Crabbe is a leading Australian poet and essayist, with a special interest in the visual arts. He has published more than twenty collections of poetry, including Telling a Hawk from a Handsaw (Carcanet) and Afternoon in the Central Nervous System (Braziller, NY). His New and Selected Poems was published by ... read more
    Awards won by Chris Wallace-Crabbe Short-listed, 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry in the NSW Premier's Literature Awards (Rondo)
    'Wallace-Crabbe engages the most serious subjects in a frame of mind at once vulnerable and humorous. His personae may be shackled to the mast of slang, conceit, and bathos, but the song of the Siren is nevertheless nobly clear in these poems.'
    Mary Kinzie, Poetry (Chicago)
    Praise for Chris Wallace-Crabbe 'One constant of Chris Wallace-Crabbe's poetry has been his lexical range, his zest for injecting the demotic into his work. Wallace-Crabbe's poetry gambols about in the whole gamut of language's expressive possibilities'

    Mark Prendergast, Tears in the Fence, no.70, 2019. pp. 132-137

    'Wallace-Crabbe may be in love with language, especially the colloquial, the quirky and the idiosyncratic, but he also has "something to say". Rondo is rich in elegy and acknowledgement.'
    Geoff Page, Sydney Morning Herald
     'Prefacing one of his new poems, Wallace-Crabbe quotes D. H. Lawrence: "You just walk out of the world and into Australia." Here it is the other way round. You walk out of a Wallace-Crabbe poem and into the world.'
    Alastair Niven
    'A witty, endearingly slangy, yet unostentatiously philosophical Australian poet'.
    Times Literary Supplement
    'His allies are words and he uses them with the care of a surgeon and the flair of a conjuror.'
    Peter Porter
    'There is certainly an immense and joyous energy in the book and it mixes intellectual experience of excitement and doubt with personal experience of exaltation tinged by reminders.. of mortalily.'
    Martin Duwell, The Australian
    '...in his valuing of both the aesthetic and the ordinary as the realms of humanity, he always reminds us - despite what the end has to offer us all - of a different kind of weather, one where, even as darkness is falling, ''the lit clouds yet / sail sweetly over us / inhabiting a daylight of their own''.'
    David McCooey, Sydney Morning Herald
    '...in his valuing of both the aesthetic and the ordinary as the realms of humanity, he always reminds us - despite what the end has to offer us all - of a different kind of weather, one where, even as darkness is falling, ''the lit clouds yet / sail sweetly over us / inhabiting a daylight of their own''.'
    David McCooey, Sydney Morning Herald
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