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DAEL ALLISON 'Fairweather's Raft'

DAEL ALLISON 'Fairweather's Raft'

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With Fairweather's Raft, Dael Allison delves into the life of gifted painter Ian Fairweather.


The life of the great wild artist, Ian Fairweather, was beach-blown, dangerous. Dael Allison’s poems writhe alike with tropical life. Her imagery pulls you up; stops your breath. It is dangerous. You read, and you are with the scents and stench of richly rotting fruit, with the slippery heat of beach-blown life, with the hazards of storm and calamitous passion. The great wild artist has found the poet to sing his wild, mad life. What a book of poetry!


These finely crafted poems bring an unclouded illumination to the life and works of one of Australia's finest painters, Ian Fairweather. Dael Allison writes passionately and dramatically about one man's struggle to understand and transform his world. There is a marvellous tension in these poems between transcendence and struggle, and their expansive portrayal of Fairweather and his obsessions, makes for a complex and startling book. Allison's writing is sensitive, piercing and starkly prismatic.


in a house I dream of drowning/in a boat i don’t

An adventurous and playful combination of poetic risk taking and serious research about Fairweather’s voyage.


Dael Allison's collection Fairweather's Raft interprets the life of the fringe-dweller and abstract painter, Ian Fairweather. His famous raft journey from Darwin in 1952 is the subject of poems about isolation, struggles with the elemental, his excursions to China, Indonesia, Japan. Allison applies a layered texture to visual descriptions, which are material and dramatic in their evocations: 'ricepaper wind', 'husk', 'scum'. Figuratively dense poems outweigh more allusive lyrics: 'Night raft', 'Lacuna', and the mesmeric 'Nightburst'.

Michelle Cahill, 'Aspects of Australian Poetry in 2013', Westerly 2013.

To read a selection of Dael Allison's poetry, and launch speeches - by Pete Hay in Launceston, and Cecilia White in Newcastle - of her book 'Fairweather's Raft', please visit here.

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