Your basket is empty.


Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published February 2022
ISBN 9781925818932


Adam Aitken

The title of this collection, Revenants, suggests spirits and ghosts who return to the human world through dream and art, not to haunt it, but to remind the living that the present and the past are intertwined. At the heart of the collection is a series of poems about the poet’s father, a Melbournian who travelled and worked in Asia as a young man, who married the poet’s mother in Bangkok, and whose life and death are commemorated here. The poems have settings in Asia, Australia, Hawai’i, and France, which has become the author’s second home. They reflect on the legacy of colonialism, not as theory, but as inherited experience. In them the poet himself may be thought of as a revenant, sharing his awareness of secret histories and local knowledge, stories of migration, the vestiges of forgotten people and places.

The reader is drawn into inimitable palimpsests of hybrid lives and texts by Aitken’s weaving of droll sentiment, unsentimental political eye, and tender observations of passing humanity and nature.Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Commonwealth Poetry Prize winner

About the Author

Adam Aitken

Adam Aitken was born in London and lives in Sydney. He spent his early childhood in Thailand and Malaysia. He has been a recipient of the Australia Council Paris Studio Residency, and was Visiting Distinguished Professor at the University of Hawai’i Manoa. He co-edited the Contemporary Asian Australian Poets anthology. His memoir One Hundred Letters Home was published in 2016 and was listed for the ASAL gold medal. Archipelago, his latest collection of poetry, was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Award and the Prime Minister’s Literature Prize in 2018.

Read more

Related News

Our new-look poetry series

“Whilst designing, I seek to decipher meanings in abstract visual configurations in response to the literary work, as well as to determine how abstract an image can be and retain meaning for others.”

— Jenny Grigg describes the process for designing Giramondo’s new-look poetry series.

Read more