A vibrant, thought-provoking collection from the ABIA and Indie award-winning author of The Hate Race and Carrying the World.
we are all just one small disaster
away from sinking,
and sometimes you only realise
when you're gasping for air
On a daylight street in Minneapolis Minnesota, a Black man is asphyxiated - by callous knee of an officer, by cruel might of state, and under crushing weight of colony. In Melbourne the body of another woman has been found - this time, after catching a late tram home.
The Atlantic has run out of the English alphabet, when christening hurricanes this season. The earth is on fire - from the redwoods of California, to Australia's east coast. The sea draws back, and tsunamis lash out in Samoa and Sumatra. Water rises in Sulawesi and Nagasaki. Bloated cod are surfacing, all along the Murray Darling.
The virus arrives, and the virus thrives. Authorities seal the public housing towers up, and truck in one cop to every five residents. Notre Dame is ablaze - the cathedral spire blackened, and teetering.
Out in Biloela, the deportation vans have arrived. Every Friday, in cities all across the world, children are walking out of school. The wolves are circling. The wolves are circling.
These poems speak of the world that is, and sing for a world that may one day be.
'One of the most compelling voices in Australian poetry this decade' Overland Literary Journal
'a powerful and fearless storyteller' Dave Eggers
Clarke is a confident and highly skilled writer - Hannah Kent
Maxine Beneba Clarke is on fire. These poems sizzle and flare with radiant heat, with pride, anger, power. - Booktopia on CARRYING THE WORLD
Carrying the World is impressive in its passion and vigour. Clarke's writing, in this collection and in The Hate Race alike, is fresh, and her voice is confident, and unlike anything else in our literary landscape. - Fiona Wright, Sydney Morning Herald on CARRYING THE WORLD
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, The Age, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and The Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015. Maxine has published three poetry collections including Carrying the World, which won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry 2017 and was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award. The Hate Race, a memoir about growing up black in Australia won the NSW Premier's Literary Award Multicultural NSW Award 2017 and was shortlisted for an ABIA, an Indie Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and Stella Prize. The Patchwork Bike, Maxine's first picture book with Van T. Rudd was a CBCA Honour Book for 2017. Her children's books include Wide, Big World, Fashionista and When We Say Black Lives Matter.