The Deep North is a sensuous, richly imagined and luminously lyrical celebration of the intricate depths at the heart of life.
The Braziller Series of Australia Poets continues with the acclaimed poet, Bronwyn Lea, deemed “the brightest light to emerge in Australian poetry” in many years (Geoffrey Lehmann, Weekend Australian) Lea’s work is a brilliant mapping of the overlapping regions of our sensual, psychic and emotional worlds, presented with a linguistic and intellectual bravura that makes this a captivating collection.
- Winner: South Australian Premier’s Literary Awards: John Bray Poetry Prize, 2010
Judges’ comment: Bronwyn Lea’s new collection of poetry is quirky, observational and has great charm – but it is much more than that. She displays a breadth of poetic skills: as well as traditional lyric forms, there are ‘found poems’ from sources as disparate as ancient graffiti and Bette Davis, as well as dextrous experiments in wordplay and anagrams. Lea also warmly engages the reader, creating, as many other poets do not, an effective balance between acknowledging and scrutinising her poetic self, and providing insights from the perspective of an astute external observer. Her fresh, at times witty, tone offers a deceptive lightness: one judge suggested that a reader should “sit down with this collection over a glass of red wine.” The poems are not afraid to speak about love, relationships and the erotic, but also effectively balance philosophical argument with things of the world. This is an astute and original collection.
- Winner: Western Australia Premier’s Book Award for Poetry, 2008
Judges’ comment: In this collection of finely crafted and translucent poetry, Lea brings us poems of great sensitivity and attention to detail, as well as technical mastery and grace, with a voice that can be alternately tender, insightful and sharp. Lea clearly is an emerging major talent whose dextrous talent for rendering intensity and immediacy produces highly readable and accomplished poems.
- Shortlist: Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards: CJ Dennis Award for Poetry, 2009
Judges’ comment: Lea works and reworks traditional forms, bringing individuality and edginess, wit and longing to her verse. The poems are lucid yet surprising, consistent and seductive. The directness of Lea’s voice balances intimacy with restrained technical experimentation. Wide-ranging in her allusions, Lea writes as well about love as about art, setting up dialogues between other writers, thinkers and her own life.
- Shortlist: Qld Premier’s Literary Awards: Judith Wright Poetry Prize, 2009
- Winner: Anne Elder Award, 2002
- Winner: Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry, 2001
- Shortlist: NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, 2002
- Shortlist: Qld Premier’s Literary Awards: Judith Wright Poetry Prize, 2002
- Shortlist: SA Premier’s Literary Awards: John Bray Poetry Prize, 2002
- Shortlist: Foundation for Australian Literary Studies Colin Roderick Award, 2002
- Special Mention: Australian Cultural Studies National Cultural Awards, 2001
Reviews of Bronwyn Lea’s books.
- Thirty Australian Poets. Ed. Felicity Plunkett. St Lucia: UQP, 2011.
- Australian Poetry Since 1788. Ed. Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray. Sydney: U of New South Wales P, 2011.
- Sixty Classic Australian Poems. Ed. Geoff Page. Sydney: U of New South Wales P, 2009: 291–94.
- Motherlode: Australian Women’s Poetry 1986 – 2008. Ed. Jennifer and Kate Waterhouse. Glebe, NSW: Puncher and Wattmann, 2009: 34, 46–47, 143, and 276.
- The Puncher and Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry. Ed. John Leonard. Sydney: 2009: 18–19.
- The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. Ed. John Kinsella. Penguin, 2008: 383.
- The Best Australian Poems 2007. Ed. Peter Rose. Black Inc, 2007: 47.
- Contemporary Australian Poetry in Chinese Translation. Ed. John Kinsella. Trans. Ouyang Yu. Shanghai: Shanghai Arts and Literature P, 2007: 52.
- The Singapore–Australia Anthology. Singapore: Ethos Books, 2007: 104–05.
- Windchimes: Asia in Australian Poetry. Ed. Noel Rowe. Canberra: Pandanus 2006: 78.
- The Best Australian Poems 2005. Ed. Les Murray. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2005: 97–98.
- The Best Australian Poems 2004. Ed. Les Murray. Melbourne: Black Inc., 2004: 112.
- The Best Australian Poetry 2003. Ed. Martin Duwell. St Lucia: UQP, 2003.
- The Indigo Book of Modern Australian Sonnets. Ed. Geoff Page. Canberra: Indigo P, 2003: 105, 49, 35.