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Fishing for Lightning:
The spark of poetry


Sarah Holland-Batt’s highly acclaimed and popular poetry columns from The Australian are collected together for the first time in Fishing for Lightning – suitable for the general reader as well as poetry aficionados.

Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

Fishing for Lightning gathers together acclaimed poet and critic Sarah Holland-Batt’s celebrated columns on Australian poetry. In fifty illuminating and lively short essays on fifty poets, Holland-Batt offers a masterclass in how to read and love poetry, opening up the music of language, form, and technique in her casual and conversational yet deeply intelligent style. From the villanelle and the verse novel, to the readymade, the remix and the sonnet, Holland-Batt’s essays delve into the richness of poetic and literary history, connecting the contemporary to the ancient.

Dazzling in its erudition, but always accessible and entertaining, Fishing for Lightning convinces us of the power of poetry to change our lives.

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt is an award-winning poet, editor and critic, and a Professor of Creative Writing at QUT. Her first book, Aria (UQP, 2008), was the recipient of a number of national literary awards, including the Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and the Anne Elder Award, and was shortlisted in both the New South Wales and Queensland Premiers’ Literary Awards for Poetry. Her latest book, The Jaguar, won the 2023 Stella Prize and The Australian Book of the Year 2022, was shortlisted for the 2023 Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry and longlisted for the 2023 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her second book, The Hazards (UQP, 2015), won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature John Bray Memorial Prize, the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards and the Queensland Literary Awards. She is the recipient of a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, the W.G. Walker Memorial Fulbright Scholarship, residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell colonies in the United States, the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, an Asialink Literature residency in Japan, and an Australia Council Literature Residency at the B.R. Whiting Studio in Rome, among other honours.