Fair’s Fair, Susan Utting’s third full poetry collection has been described as “joyous, heartbreaking, ramm’d with life”. In these poems dead creatures (a stuffed bird, a taxidermist’s zebra) and people (a lovable, garrulous old man, a strange, moon-faced woman) come back to life. The graveyard dead join in the partying and after-hours drinking in the village pub; a lament becomes a celebration of life.
Full of desires and ambitions – some fulfilled, some thwarted, from learning to read to reaching the moon, from shape-shifting to living without mirrors – poems are paired to speak to, or reflect each other.
Themes and stories chain-react and echo throughout the book in Utting’s trademark rich vocabulary, strong rhythms and distinctive patterns of sound. Fair’s Fair continues to fulfil Adrian Mitchell’s description of Susan Utting’s work: “Her poems are musical, magical and have a clarity which goes straight to the heart”.
Susan Utting. Paperback, 210 x 135 mm, 56 pages, March 2012.