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Gig Ryan: Selected Poems

by Gig Ryan

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Gig Ryan’s edgy, excoriating poetry takes the pulse of urban Australia, but her territory is as much the human rat-race as the particular lives she seizes upon with icy, ironic precision.

Her range of reference brings together heroes, heroines and put-upon mortals of both ancient and modern times: slaves and moneygrabbers, pretenders and worshippers of ephemera and effluvia, for whom ‘I continue my existence as a negative role-model / bathing in the blood of others / sitting in a cone of noise.’

“Her monologues have a fragmentary quality, as if spoken in a post-Poundian landscape littered with broken statues.”
Michael Hulse, Poetry Review

“More the demotic of a dystopia than the vernacular of a republic, Ryan’s use of language – its truncation, tautness and drama – cuts equally across the body politic and the scene of poetry.”
Michael Brennan, Poetry International Web

Gig Ryan was born in 1956 and grew up in Melbourne. She has published six collections of poetry in Australia: The Division of Anger (1981); Manners of an Astronaut (1984); The Last Interior (1986); Excavation (1990); Pure and Applied (1998), which won the C.J. Dennis Prize for Poetry and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry; and Heroic Money (2001). Ryan is also a freelance reviewer and a songwriter. She lives in Melbourne, and has been poetry editor of the Melbourne Age since 1998.

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Gig Ryan: Selected Poems