Open House reveals David Brooks’ award-winning talent as a writer and imaginative scholar. A poem is a place where you can bring things together, you don’t have to know why. The mad and the bad, the gentle and the dead, tooth-ache and heart-ache and the ache and quandary of history.
We are all creatures trembling under the sun of witness (or is it rain?); some of us, for reasons it would be hard to explain, trying to catch the strange, sad music of it, on the days we can hear it, before it disappears again.
Opening the house of his life and extending naturally the striking love poetry of his last volume, The Balcony, Brooks’ arrestingly confessional poems range in scale from observations of the smallest creatures underfoot – stepped over, left in peace – to acknowledgments both of the smallness of human endeavour and the catastrophic effects of our custodianship. Vital in all senses, these are poems through which to view the world afresh. This much anticipated new volume is at once powerful, resonant and unreserved.
David Brooks was born in Canberra but spent his earliest years in Greece and Yugoslavia, where his father was an Australian immigration attaché, before returning to Australia for schooling. He is the author of three novels, with the The Umbrella Club being the most recent (UQP, 2009).
David has also published collections of poetry, short fiction, and essays. His second novel, The Fern Tattoo, was shortlisted for the 2008 Miles Franklin Award, and The Balcony, his latest collection of poetry, for the 2009 NSW Premier’s Kenneth Slessor Award. He teaches Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, lives in the Blue Mountains, and spends a portion of each year in a village in Istria, Slovenia. David is co-editor of the journal Southerly, and his work has been widely anthologised, and translated into several languages.
Image: Open House by David Brooks