By David Musgrave
This selection brings together the best of his work from the last three decades and presents the full range of his achievement in a coherent narrative: it shows him to have mastery over many modes and forms and also reflects the wide range of his intellect and interests. Australianness is at the core of his work, yet he is equally at home in the Western tradition and his Irish roots as he is in other poetic traditions. His work has won, or been shortlisted for, many major prizes in Australia, including the Grace Leven, Newcastle, Bruce Dawe and Judith Wright Calanthe Poetry Prizes, and his fiction has been short listed for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award. He is widely recognised as a major talent whose work thinks as much as it feels.
David Musgrave was born in Sydney in 1965. He was awarded a PhD in English Literature from Sydney University and currently lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle. In 2005 he foundedthe independent publishing house Puncher & Wattmann, which hassince become Australia’s leading publisher of poetry. He also publishes novels and criticism and his work can be found at the Poetry Foundation, among many other sites. He lives in Newcastle, NSW, with his family.
"The poems in David Musgrave’s Selected Poems are wrought, as all finepoems should be, from a deeply engaged and responsive imagination,one that’s also awake to language that is vibrant, resourceful and whichis strung with clarity and tension. Musgrave meets his subject matterhead-on, but often in a playful and surprising manner which gives hiswork an astonishing freshness. Varied in subjects and underpinnedby a need to pay homage to our connections with history, culture,landscape, water, and the everyday conundrums we face, the poemswork in unison, providing us with a sustained investigation into theweight and texture of lived experience. This book is a testament topoetry’s spellbinding force."— Judith Beveridge
"Musgrave has the rare ability to take you with him deep into the landscapes of the world, of the past, and of the psyche. You feel your way through the meditations, you sense the temperature, follow thepeculiar eddies of thought and association – it’s a joy to see this develop over decades: a consistent vision augmenting and expanding its poetics. This is matched by an emotional range, whether world-weary, angry or wise: the voice is shot through with a sense of wonder and an intense musicality of phrasing – a contrapuntal flow. The imaginative range is startling and I’ve been re-reading the long poems in this Selected with increasing awe at the combination of confessional rigour with the sheer joy of invention and caustic wit. A major talentyou’ll be grateful you encountered." — Luke Kennard