'The White Room Poems' is Anne Kellas' new collection of poems, first published and launched in Hobart, Tasmania in December 2015.
'It is difficult for a poet to learn from Paul Celan and remain a poet. Andre du Bouchet is one, and Anne Kellas is another. It is perhaps even more difficult for a poet to learn, as poet, from intense grief: The White Room Poems is a sanctuary where such grief is realized while also continuing to ache.'
The White Room Poems will take your breath and your heart away, and they might not return them ... We long for poetry that was never likely to be made, and now miraculously made, we would not want to change a word of it. This poetry is like that. It is a township of birds, an alphabet of clouds, a rain of wondrous phrases that will take you to the unbearable fringes where
'Tonight's train goes by,
sounds like a wounded beast.
In the heat of the night,
everything holds its breath.
"The White Room Poems are a mother's poems to the son she has lost to the softly drug. How is it possible that they can be so beautiful and strong when they are so lost in this young man's cloud of unbeing? These poems never flinch, but that makes them even more fragile. These poems never stop singing in speech but that does not lift them from their stern night. These poems press on into the reader's heart, into anyone who has loved, into any parent who recognises what this kind of loss might, just might, sound like if it was made into poetry.'
Robert Cox's launch speech, 'The White Room Poems'. Hobart, Tasmania - 16th December, 2015.
Tim Thorne's launch speech, 'The White Room Poems'. Launceston, Tasmania - 12th February, 2016.