> Wild

Shorlisted for the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards

Named one of the Books of the Year for the Australian Book Review, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

This powerful collection is informed with the wonder and wild energy of a bestiary of familiar creatures made unfamiliar through Hart’s sinuous lyricism; it is a catalogue of the ‘miracles’ of unruly life in its multifarious forms. The poems travel across the globe to invoke and pay homage to the range of knowledges and forms of beauty that elude us in our daily lives. We see the human apprehending and sometimes morphing with bird, fish, beast, insect, plant. The poems show us how animals and other energies of the natural world make their way into our lives, our cities and our sleep. Language in these poems works not simply as representation but as incantation, spell and offering. Language is a process of ‘making and unmaking’, a thread and a map that weaves us into connections with the world and its many non-human actors — wind, bird, stone, whale, moon. The leaping arcs of the poetry grant us momentary access to experiencing the world through the ‘grizzly eyes’ of the bear, the pumping blood of a bird in full flight. This book’s coherence and unity, its imaginative inventiveness, clarity and lightness of touch are a signal achievement.
Judges' Report, New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards
Drawing upon fable, myth and on the mystery and wonder of the natural world, Libby Hart’s poetry takes the reader into astonishing and beguiling territory. She is able to reveal relationships and realities that for most of us are hidden and beyond our ability to describe. Her language is seductive, questing; her vision is daring. She writes with a lyrical fecundity few can match. I love these [Wild] poems for the way in which they embellish each other and keep faith with their convictions. These are poems I will be returning to again and again.
Judith Beveridge
Libby Hart’s language is learned and robust. In her engagement with the natural world, she speaks in a secure idiom, as if the words had endured for generations, almost as long as the landscape itself ... While the language of Wild has the polished quality of an ancestral heirloom, it’s also a delicate instrument and it can record that volatile zone where our meanings coalesce and dissolve ... The wonder that sustains these poems cannot be fabricated; they attest—yet again—to our continuing fascination with the natural world.
Seán Lysaght
There’s a salty, tangible quality to Wild: to read it is to be swept up into a world of sea and wind and air, of birds in flight. But in a language that is both precise and rich, Libby Hart also finds words for intangibles like loss and soul. ‘When tidings fall from his mouth I breathe anew,’ she writes: similarly, reading this collection, you’ll find yourself ‘breathing anew’, immersed in the beautiful and extraordinary landscape of these poems.
Elizabeth Burns
Wild is a bestiary, a book of wonders, and what’s always apparent is the poet’s excitement at life itself. Hart possesses a wonderful lyric sensibility; her writing is as generous about the body as the wider world. What also distinguishes Hart is her gift for phrasemaking: ‘ghostology of bird-smoke’, for example. Crucially, she is attuned to the sonic possibilities of her poems.
Robert Minhinnick

Pitt Street Poetry, Sydney, 2014
ISBN 9781922080387
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.