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The Jaguar: Selected Poems by Sarah Holland-Batt PRE-ORDER

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Published 19th September 2024. Available for pre-order.

With its rich selection from each of Sarah Holland-Batt’s books of poetry up to her Stella prize-winning collection The Jaguar (2022), this volume will introduce one of Australia’s best-known and widely read poets to many readers for the first time.

Marked by her distinctive lyric intensity, metaphorical dexterity and linguistic mastery, Holland-Batt’s cosmopolitan poems engage with questions of loss and extinction, violence and erasure. From haunted post-colonial landscapes in Australia to brutal animal hierarchies in the cloud forests of Nicaragua to the devastations and transfigurations of her father’s long illness, Holland-Batt fearlessly probes the body’s animal endurance, appetites and metamorphoses, and our human place within the natural order of things. Her portrayal of a much loved father trying to cope with Parkinson’s Disease touched the hearts of many in Australia who would never usually read a book of poetry.

Her poetry is charged with a fierce intelligence, and an insistence on seeing the world with exacting clarity—as well as a startling capacity to transform our understandings of the familiar through the imaginative act. The poet’s piercing gaze is also frequently turned inward, offering a dissection of the self that is by turns playful and sharply ironic.

The Jaguar: Selected Poems brings together the finest work from her debut volume Aria (2008), with its minimalistic interrogations of the tyrannies of memory; the searching external and internal landscapes of The Hazards (2015); and the fierce, unflinching elegies of The Jaguar (2022), which challenge us to view ruthless witness as a form of love. As John Kinsella has said, 'Holland-Batt is one of the best poets writing not only in Australia but anywhere in the world in English. This is an art of necessity, of belief, and of artisan-like commitment.'

 

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