In the early hours my thoughts fly north to the desert—
to a woman I call mother, who took me to Dinner Camp
told me a story, taught me a song, showed me a dance.
In this debut collection, Judith Wright Poetry Prize winner, K A Nelson surveys a life lived in inland Australia. Inlandia traces the inner self, recording discoveries as she feels the place out and comes to an understanding of what ‘place’ means. Nelson’s direct poetry makes us think again about what keeps us returning, physically and in memory, to the terrains and people who occupy our shared history.
from the Afterword:
Inlandia—named for my inland homes, the people who live there and the rich cultural life that springs from place and character to give me creative juice. For the most part, the poems in this first collection invite you to come with me, not to the vast coastline of Australia or its big cities where most Australians live, but across the Great Divide heading west then north; across time zones—or a life span—with its sharp curves, straight stretches, 360 degree horizons; across cultures. In experiencing other cultures close up, seeing many sides, one might sense or reimagine a different, better whole—self, nation, world.
from the launch speech by Helen Maxwell:
Perhaps the obvious thing to say about Kerrie’s poems is that they are narrative, and memoire. She is not so much interested in writing poems in specific forms, but rather how she can weave the words and lines into the best expression of her ideas. Her poems tell stories – about relationships between family, and with friends, parenting, affairs of the heart, personal and others’ experiences of travel, memories of childhood and growing up in Mudgee. Some ricochet off visual imagery such as those written in response to the paintings of friend and fellow artist Cait Wait. Others address frustrations with bureaucracy and concerns with social and political injustices, particularly affecting Aboriginal people.