Although we think of the world as spherical, our main directions within it remain ‘Down’, Across’ and ‘Up’. These primary directions mark the divisions of this restless book of poems, Recurrence, by Graeme Miles. ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ in their different ways move outside the human game, but ‘Across’ travels - Australia, India and Europe – moving around poles of orientation and disorientation, sleep and waking.

Miles’ poetry often turns to myth and ritual, but is not absorbed in the past. As the title implies, it is concerned with the resurgence of the apparently past in the present. It is a book of metamorphoses and returns.

Central to the collection are some longer poems and sequences. ‘Photis’ is an oblique short fiction, moving somewhere alongside Apuleius’ Golden Ass. ‘Verandah’ and ‘Causes’ explore the traces of personal and collective histories, and the subterranean roots of the domestic and familial. Recurrence is an enticing collection that rewards a leisurely reading.


book reviews

This book gives us an opportunity for a second look at the challenging and sophisticated work of Graeme Miles, his first book, Phosphorescence....

From Martin Duwell, Australian Poetry Review , February 1, 2013

...A dictionary of mythology (or a search engine) may be handy when reading Graeme Miles's Recurrence, though there are notes to some of the poems at the end of the book.....

From Ali Jane Smith, The Australian , March 16, 2013

Graeme Miles

Graeme Miles was born in Perth in 1976. His first collection of poems, Phosphorescence (Fremantle Press, 2006), was shortlisted for the WA Premier’s Prize. After a Ph.D. in Classics at the University of WA, he was an Asialink writer in residence at the University of Madras, then a research fellow at the University of Ghent, Belgium. He now lives in Hobart and lectures in Classics at the University of Tasmania.

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