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Gig Ryan: New and Selected Poems

244 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published August 2011
ISBN 9781920882662

Gig Ryan: New and Selected Poems

Gig Ryan

Gig Ryan’s poems have exerted an influence over two generations of writers and readers since the publication of her award-winning collection Division of Anger in 1981. An important figure in Australian poetry, her work is studied in high schools and universities, and represented in anthologies, but has not been available as a whole until now. New and Selected Poems is Ryan’s choice of her poems from the last thirty years, and includes new poems written since the publication of her previous collection.

Ryan’s poetry is remarkable for its dramatic qualities, which break through the conventions of language, charging word and image with expressive power. Her scenes open large perspectives, directed by irony, humour, compassion, or satiric intent. Her use of the vernacular captures the pretensions and vulnerabilities within everyday relationships. She employs traditional literary forms, one of the few contemporary poets to combine a hard-edged, disjunctive modern style with classical antecedents.

Along the razor of its depiction of inner-city life, there is a mournfulness, both bleak and filled with honest emotion, in much of Ryan’s work. More the demotic of a dystopia than the vernacular of a republic, Ryan’s use of language – its truncation, tautness and drama – cuts equally across the body politic and the scene of poetry. Throughout all of this, her humour, insight and tight music both test and engage the reader…Michael Brennan, Poetry International

About the Author

Gig Ryan

Gig Ryan has published six collections of poetry, including Pure and Applied, which won the 1999 Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry, and Heroic Money, which was shortlisted for the 2002 NSW Premier’s Prize for Poetry. The recipient of writers’ fellowships and residencies from the Australia Council, she is a distinguished poetry critic, and poetry editor […]

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