PHILOMENA VAN RIJSWIJK'S POETRY COLLECTION 'BREAD OF THE LOST'
Bread of the Lost is Philomena van Rijswijk's most recent poetry collection (November 2012).
Prepare to be shocked. Shocked into life.
This book is a banquet of such richness - of words, of passion, of imagery, of honesty - that it may come as a shock to digestive systems accustomed to the literary equivalent of dry rusks and mineral water. Perhaps the book should have a warning sticker: high salt, high cholesterol, high calorie, double-proof spirit, hot spices, may contain nuts.
These poems could kick-start a corpse, put heart and soul back into a zombie, and terrify those who did not even know they were already members of the undead.
This is a poetry of desire that shocks but leads to a personal freedom, from the innocence of childhood to the pluralism of womanhood. Van Rijswijk does not flinch from loss and pain in her poems, a kind of contemporary Adam and Eve. Rather, the erotic in her distinctive voice is intermingled with the bread of communion, bread of love, bread of life. Her poems are distinctly Australian with potent Asian touches, in which she also draws skilfully upon the classics and popular culture of the English-language world.