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In the Photograph

144 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published July 2023
ISBN 9781922725752

In the Photograph

Luke Beesley

A new collection of prose poems by an acclaimed writer, artist and musician – a master of the surreal and the observational.

The poems in In the Photograph unfold in domestic and suburban settings. They capture the exact moment of writing: how, from it, possibilities branch out into observation, memory, word play, analogy, fantasy, other artworks and other art forms. Cinema, photography, theatre, painting and music all move freely in and out of the poem’s frame.

The writing revels in humour and narrative surprise: twists in syntax, jump cuts in time, jump cuts from one category of experience into another. In the Photograph is intimate, familial, often moving; it is also sparklingly clever and alert to the imaginative possibilities that can open out from the minutiae of days.

What makes this poetry so intriguing is its pétillant wit and unwavering attention to the imaginative possibilities that arise from the minutiae of our existence. A keen eye for detail illuminates the significance of these occurrences, transforming them into poignant and thought-provoking reflections on the human condition.
Justin Cantrell, Readings Monthly

The volume’s exploration of a hybrid poetic prose is characterised by sometimes light-hearted surrealistic gestures that disrupt narrative expectations, along with a pursuit of ekphrastic modes. It demonstrates a sophisticated awareness of the absurdity of domestic and quotidian life. And the best works make the familiar truly strange, asking readers to recalibrate their perceptions.
Paul Hetherington, Australian Book Review

Praise for Luke Beesley:

As lush or dreamy as the poems sometimes are, there’s a jittery, jokey, upset the image kitsch-cart motive afoot also…This is a poetry of possibility.
Michael Farrell, The Australian

A master of the cropped prism-like phrase…cinematic, photographic, a divider of scenes into moments that come to life through poetry, they dazzle, vibrate and stay.
Christopher Barnes, Jacket Magazine

Stylish, witty, erudite, contemporary, but also personal and close to what one might call home…a visually rich spread of poetry, comprising a hyperreal blend of ekphrasis, absurdist imagery, anecdote, and autobiography, which somehow manages to be as entertaining as it is challenging and profound.
Nick Xuereb, Cordite

About the Author

Luke Beesley

Luke Beesley is a writer, artist and singer-songwriter. In addition to his highly regarded books, which include Aqua Spinach (2018), Jam Sticky Vision (2015) and New Works on Paper (2013), his poetry has been published widely in Australia and internationally and has been translated into several languages. 

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Each word, line, break unfurls like a gateway to discovery, inviting the reader to explore the interplay between personal experience and artistic inspiration; a set of thresholds to memory, or like a springboard into an imaginary realm to be discovered or to hold onto.


Related News

‘Green mantis’: a poem by Luke Beesley from In the Photograph

‘Oh, look! There’s so and so, said the author (it was the editor of the national literary papers). I could see a review in his eyes. Recognising me, his face frowned thoughtfully in critique. But he passed on. Phew, said the author, and I felt her breath on the hairs of my forearm. My forearm moving across the page!’

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Luke Beesley: a note on In the Photograph

‘Over years of editing, the often-surreal images of these poems have become as strong, if not stronger, than my own memories, particularly given they play out in very specific places – our backyard, on the Mernda Line train, in the medium lane at Northcote Aquatic, walking to my son’s school.’

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