ISBN: 9780980526974 • 50 pp. pbk • RRP: 24.95
All but four of these poems by LK Holt are fourteen-liners: free-verse sonnets if you like—certainly lyrics, but somehow massive. They have elegance, terror, surprising imaginations, humour and extraordinarily disciplined thought. The darting variety that marked her prize-winning first collection has come to a steadier gaze in her second.
A nut-shell account of the book’s four parts might describe a movement from familial well-being—happy-being—to a concluding psalmic sufferance, through reflections on the survival-feats of boys and men, on the self-presence of young women, and on love.
That description catches her intimate touch but not her outreach. Holt’s writing shows how the present doesn’t escape the weight, or the light, of ancient narratives. History stands inside poems of contemporary dailiness, turning them to half-epic.
Patience, Mutiny was awarded the 2010 Grace Leven Prize, along with Petra White’s The Simplified World and David Musgrave’s Phantom Limb. It was also shortlisted for the 2011 Judith Wright Poetry Prize in the A.C.T Awards.
Here is a selection of poems from Patience, Mutiny.
Reviews: Patience, Mutiny