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Categories: 21st Century, Australian
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (96 pages)
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Shortlisted for the 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry in the NSW Premier's Literature Awards
Chris Wallace-Crabbe’s Rondo harvests a decade’s worth of new writing by one of Australia’s foremost poets. It paints a vivid portrait of eucalypt Australia’s current position in an rapidly changing world. The poet asks for fresh meanings from Gallipoli and Scotland, from physics and from ‘Art’s porous auditorium’, where poetry can still be heard. ‘The words are only the words,’ he writes, ‘which is more or less everything.’
Critic Eric Ormsby dubbed Wallace-Crabbe a ‘genial smuggler of surprises’: ‘his uncommon affability, even when treating the gravest subjects, leaves the reader unprepared for his sudden luxuriance of phrase.’ (TLS)
Awards won by Chris Wallace-Crabbe Short-listed, 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry in the NSW Premier's Literature Awards (Rondo)
'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 Praise for Chris Wallace-Crabbe '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 '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) '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
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