The Other Side of Things - New Audio CD release by River Road Press

The first poem I recorded of V S was the Scissors. On paper this is a poem of considerable charm. In real life VS is a match for his scissors.

Smith's poems are quiet colonisers; they work like his brown coastal ants in the poem Night Life, conveying things from one place to another. If you're lucky the other place will be you. These poems have an adroit resonance, their words and ideas come back, like phrases of music, when you stop to hear yourself think. Smith is often characterised as a lyricist, but this undersells his humour, his satirical eye and vivid imagination. For him an acute observation is very often a point of departure for the real business of the poem. We see this in The Man Fern Near the Bus Stop, where like a fanciful botanical fabulist, Smith conjures a dozen intriguing and accurate puzzles from the fern: a pineapple, an embryonic mouse and a seahorse emerge while an enigmatic slippered man waits near us for the bus that never arrives. (The Tasmanian man fern is known as a tree fern in Sydney) These poems, to paraphrase Smith, are freighted with surprisingly robust fragilities. In the odd way of poetic things, we find these perceptions are sharpened by slight contradictions that bring the whole into finer focus.

But why a CD? Simply to hear a national treasure, a voice that is entirely individual.
The Other Side of Things is Number 9 in the River Road Poetry Series from River Road Press.
Cover photograph on The Other Side of Things by Gabrielle Smith
Cover design by Birdcreative.

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