25 September 2023

The Alarming Conservatory

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Corey Wakeling, Giramondo Publishing, $24.00.

The second collection from praised poet Corey Wakeling’s resumes his review into language and the spatial architectures of history and culture.

The poet has lived in Melbourne and Western Australia where the poems range. It also goes further afield.

Regarded as one of Australia’s daring and baroque writers. Strong in its deployment of baroque imagery and modernist citation, The Alarming Conservatory uniquely captures the fear and pace of our contemporary condition.

Set among 20th century ruins, the poems are cast as if hallucinations: colonial-style houses are ‘guarded by palm trees’, Royal Park ‘detains two immoveable statues’ while the ‘Wheel of Fortune dizzies’.

From the first poem, Wakeling’s work “interpolates the way we live and how we dwell in the everyday”.

Attribution has also been given in whereby it’s said: “…Wakeling revels in the high gruesome of syntax – the Edward Gorey sheen of camp creepiness. I applaud his book’s energy, social satire, its forays into kitsch and pop.”

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.