I’m going to own this up front – I am shockingly bad at sending out review copies of my books. It’s strange. Once they are out in the world I’m a little amazed that anyone would want to read them. However, I’m told that an author website needs a review page. Let no-one say I have a half-arsed author website. Well, just don’t say it to my face.
“This is an alive, refreshing and, quite literally, elemental book of water and skin, muscle and fire. Rachael Mead’s poems are immediate and grounded whilst entwined with fragility and struggle. They don’t shy from the difficulties and sadness as well as joy in human kinship. Along the way Mead offers us a clear-eyed self-consciousness of the human within the larger places of the earth, in this case places such as Antarctica, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, Ikara–Flinders Ranges. The book offers us an embodied sense of secular ritual in its attentiveness and its use of form – lists, lyric iterations, admonitions – as the poet both argues and confides with herself and us, about the wild pleasures of earth’s physical and emotional topographies, and of our responsibilities within all this. A powerful and invigorating book of journeys well worth taking.”
“Rachael Mead’s invigorating poems resonate with the clarity of the fatigued and enduring body. The language is unsettled and open, punctuated with surprising forms and flaring lyricism. In fog, a loved one’s shape dissolves and reappears. Leeches cling as black punctuation. A family photograph the colour of ash. Here are poems of both composure and restlessness, alert to how the world – and language – hold out both devastation and ecstasy. “The Flaw in the Pattern” finds a place from which to sing of brokenness.”
“The poems in this book are grand ones of small things, poems that match mood to the untameable sky or stars, or cold, or trees. Rachael Mead successfully balances urgency and quiet in lines like ‘The gum trees raise their lacy fists’ and ‘you must touch with your eyes and let that be enough’. Life can and will be complex, but if we’re aware of our place, if we can understand that ‘Here the leech and the midge are equal to the devil and quoll’, we might be able to simplify things. These poems simplify things. Gentle and visceral, full of wisdom and experience, they capture wildness and echo safety.”
Heather Taylor Johnson
The Quiet Blue World
Pete Hay reviewed The Quiet Blue World for Cordite Poetry Review and you can read his analysis here.
“In our assault upon the very processes of natural renewal, a distinctly non-romantic mode of writing the natural world is called for, and for this Mead can serve as an exemplar.” And later in the same piece, “…at her best Mead is like this; descriptively strong and clear, emotionally and conceptually complex, even enigmatic. It makes for striking poetry.” Pete Hay, poet, academic and activist.
“The Quiet Blue World has established Mead as one of the leading contemporary poets in South Australia.” Mike Ladd, producer of ABC Radio National’s Poetica program
“It’s a gem of a collection, one to treasure.” Mag Merrilees, author of The First Week and Fables Queer and Familiar
“This book of resonant, assured and rewarding poems come from a true connection with a lived place where nature and the human-made habitat intertwine in ways that are not always easy.” Jill Jones, author of The Beautiful Anxiety and Breaking of Days
Alexis Lateef reviewed The Sixth Creek in Cordite Poetry Review
“Every line of these elegant, wise poems remembers the earth as if it were the beloved.” Mark Tredinnick, author of The Bluewren Cantos and Fire Diary
“Rachael Mead plots daily concerns of home and abroad, ranging across the globe in wild imaginative conversations with self and others. In her poems you can bask and be illuminated.” Kate Dellar-Evans, author of Crossed Oars and Coming into the World
“Pissing blood for Lucy Liu” in Breaking Beauty
Cassandra Atherton, in her review of the collection for the Australian Book Review (Jan-Feb 2015 #368) said, “Humorous rather than realist stories are the most memorable: … Rachael Mead’s paramedical ‘Pissing Blood for Lucy Liu’ (one of) the witty high points.”