Nathanael O’Reilly was born in Warrnambool in 1973 and grew up in Ballarat, Brisbane and Shepparton. He attended university at Monash and Ballarat before moving overseas. He has travelled on five continents and spent extended periods in England, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine and the United States. He is the author of Preparations for Departure (UWAP Poetry, 2017), named one of the ‘2017 Books of the Year’ in Australian Book Review; Distance (Picaro Press, 2014; Ginninderra Press, 2015); and the chapbooks Cult (Ginninderra Press, 2016), Suburban Exile (Picaro Press, 2011) and Symptoms of Homesickness (Picaro Press, 2010). O’Reilly received an Emerging Writers Grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the Arts in 2010 and was writer-in-residence at Booranga Writers’ Centre in May 2017. His poems have appeared in journals and anthologies in twelve countries, including Adelaide Literary Magazine, Antipodes, Australian Love Poems, Backstory, Cordite Poetry Review, FourW, FourXFour, Glasgow Review of Books, Headstuff, Mascara Literary Review, Other Terrain, Postcolonial Text, Skylight 47, Snorkel, Tincture, Transnational Literature, Verity La and The Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2017. He has given readings in Australia, Canada, England, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and the United States.
The poems in (Un)belonging explore physical and psychological spaces, examining the consequences of a life lived on three continents, defined by separation from homelands and loved ones, shaped by departure and return, and the evolution and multiplication of identity. Throughout the collection, the setting continually moves from Australia to Ireland to the United States, making stops in England, Iceland, Greece, Italy, New Zealand and Slovakia. O’Reilly’s poetry engages with a range of concerns and obsessions, including identity, belonging, expatriation, immigration, exile, ancestry, landscape, alienation, homesickness, suburbia, fatherhood, nostalgia, death and grief … finding beauty, contentment and joy amidst an elusive quest for home.