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Song in the Grass

96 pages
Paperback, 21 x 15 cm
Published June 2024
ISBN 9781923106048

Song in the Grass

Kate Fagan

The latest collection from the prize-winning singer, songwriter and poet.

Song in the Grass is Kate Fagan’s most personal collection to date. Each of its five sequences moves out in a widening circle from where the poet is standing in life. The collection is an almanac of significant changes; in particular, new lives begun in the Blue Mountains during a transfiguring time of parenthood, against a backdrop of climate uncertainty.

A precise language of environmental observation is braided into stories of family and kin networks. Careful descriptions of place anchor this collection in ecological watchfulness. Birds are sentinel to environmental change, and symbols of spiritual transformation. Song in the Grass includes over sixty different species of endemic or migratory Australian birds.

Archival practices of all kinds – what one poem describes as ‘a lyrical index’ – offer touchstones for this sonically rich collection, in which poetry becomes a way of sustaining love over distance, a collective music, and a compass for navigating in-common emergencies.

Praise for Kate Fagan:

[Fagan] offers a world in which everything is on the verge of transfiguration – hyper-animate, meta-poetical, full of ineluctable energies. There’s an intelligence here that is brilliantly compelling, and a lovely tenderness and wisdom to its utterly original vision.
Gail Jones

Finely worked, highly conscious, attentive to complexity, and utterly unafraid of the rawness of feeling… As is the case with all significant work, this is a book that teaches you how to read it… [Fagan is] a poet of superb lyric sensitivity and experimental curiosity… It’s a poetry that celebrates possibility, in the face of everything that seeks to deny that it exists.
Alison Croggon, Meanjin

Full of intimate, wry song and a highly mobile use of language. Worlds and words dance together with mutually seductive, transformative results.
Judges’ comments, Age Book of the Year Awards 2012

About the Author

Kate Fagan

Kate Fagan is a writer, musician and scholar whose third volume, First Light, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the Age Book of the Year Award. She directs The Writing Zone, a mentoring program for emerging writers and arts workers from Western Sydney. She is currently Director of the WSU Writing and Society Research Centre and Chair of the Sydney Review of Books Advisory Board. Her new book, Song in the Grass, is out with Giramondo in 2024.

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Related News

Author note: Kate Fagan on Song in the Grass

Song in the Grass feels to me like a record collection. It’s a handful of favourite albums, a box of lyrics, a soundtrack to living in the Blue Mountains while walking over ‘the long bridge of motherhood’, as the book might say. But it’s also an almanac of environmental care, and a love letter to poetry as an art that is most alive when shared in communities. With other players and listeners – just like music.’

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