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OTHER LIVES - Kristin Hannaford and Dael Allison (Special Offer)

OTHER LIVES - Kristin Hannaford and Dael Allison (Special Offer)

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Dael Allison, ‘Fairweather’s Raft’ (2012)

Kristin Hannaford, ‘Curio’ (2014)

Two collections putting poetry to the task of exploring other lives, other events. With ‘Fairweather’s Raft’, Allison looks at the life of iconic Australian artist Ian Fairweather (29 September 1891 – 20 May 1974); while with ‘Curio’, Kristin Hannaford pays homage to the history of women working as taxidermists, naturalists and exhibitors in 19th Century Australia – in particular, to Jane Catharine Tost and her daughter Ada Jane Rohu who established and ran ‘Tost and Rohu’, a taxidermy and curio shop known affectionately at the time as ‘The Queerest Shop in Sydney’.


‘On the cover of Fairweather’s Raft a toy-like sail­ing ves­sel is adrift on a glassy ocean, its sail reflected as a shadow beneath the sur­face – and beneath the sur­face is where the reader is led by Dael Alli­son in this fine col­lec­tion. Based on exten­sive research and a strongly empathic response to her sub­ject Alli­son guides with skil­ful pas­sion through a key period in the obses­sive, tur­bu­lent and estranged life of Ian Fair­weather (1891-1974) ‘one of Australia’s most iconic and enig­matic artists.’ 

Gillian Telford, ‘Mascara Literary Review’, June 2013

'Taxidermy isn't such a daft subject-matter for poetry after all, when you're reminded what metaphor lets us do. But to what degree do we want to compare our poems to museum specimens? At the time, the strange creatures that Jane Tost and Ada Rohu assembled were more than loot: they were intended to encourage a sense of awe and wonder in people far away from the Antipodes, and doubtless they did just that. Now many of them are only a reminder of our own flaws. Are the awe and wonder gone forever, or can we go somewhere else to find them?'

Mary Cresswell, 'Plumwood Mountain', Volume 2 No 1, 2015.

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