Disarming, warm, and always accessible, Cate Kennedy's poems make ordinary experiences glow. Everything that suffuses her well-loved prose is here: compassion, insight, lyrical precision, and the clear, minimalist eye that reveals how life can turn on a single moment. Musing on the undercurrents and interconnections between legacy, memory, motherhood, and the natural world, the poems in this exhilarating collection begin on the surface and then take us, gracefully and effortlessly, to a far more thought-provoking place. Grounded in lived experience, with all its mysteries and consolations, they resonate with a passionate, sensuous honesty.
Praise for Cate Kennedy's earlier poetry
collections, Joyflight and Signs of Other Fires
'These poems are driven by Kennedy's
instinct for story, character and place, but
there's a moment when the poems suddenly
open up, out of nowhere, and we find we're
standing inside ourselves, in that pure,
torn-open moment.' -- BRONWYN LEA
'Sensory, rich and compelling. Kennedy
gives us a new look at the familiar
strangeness of place in which the sum
of the parts forms a marvellous whole ...
This book is full of seamlessly constructed,
beautiful images that are hard to fault.
These are poems of great hope and
richness of spirit.' -- MARK O'FLYNN
'Pack[s] an emotional punch. Kennedy excels at drawing extraordinary details out of the seemingly mundane minutiae of everyday life, with a sharp, focused eye for the politics of the personal. Her depictions of rural life and the Australian landscape are particularly evocative. It's a welcome addition to the often-underrated canon of Australian poetry.'
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'Cate Kennedy presents a long feast in The Taste of River Water. In describing the act of living — as she does with such potency; mouth-watering — she creates a new life.'
'[Like] stepping into water from air that is almost the same temperature, hardly noticing one is at the will of the sea, suddenly ... [Kennedy] relies on getting the reader comfortable before providing something like this change in the atmosphere by the time the poem is out.'
Luke Beesley, Readings Monthly
'Kennedy writes fine poetry ... marvellous.'
'Kennedy is at her most effective when dropping spartan images into her lines like stones into a lake. Several pages later the ripples are still moving.'
Kate Fagan, The Australian