The Guardians

Lucy Dougan



Many poems in this book explore the consolations that ‘the wild’ offers to the subjects of late modernism. The work is interested in the ways in which the past continually intrudes on the present, in all kinds of atavism, and in the ways in which pockets of wildness in built environments are a source of liveliness and a dark sort of energy. Historical sites recur, as do poems about bonds between children and adults, humans and animals, and humans and the physical world. The title refers broadly to these bonds. Ideas about salvaging, foraging and making do have also been touchstones and Dougan has been influenced by the work of artists as different as Elizabeth Bishop, Iain Sinclair, Richard Long and Andrea Arnold. As a contrast to the wildness the poems themselves aspire to quietness, to cumulative rather than immediate effects, and to sustaining a relatively natural and unobtrusive voice.


Print ISBN : 978-1-922146-75-5
pp : 96
Published : March 2015


About the Author

Lucy Dougan’s first poetry book, Memory Shell won the Mary Gilmore Award. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies. Her second collection, White Clay, was published by Giramondo in 2008. In 2006 the manuscript of White Clay won the Arts ACT Alec Bolton Award. She currently works in an administration and research position at the University of Western Australia’s Westerly Centre and is poetry editor of the University of Canberra’s new online journal Axon: Creative Explorations. Her chapbooks Meanderthals (Web Del Sol) and Against Lawns (Picaro) were both published in 2011.