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The Balcony

This collection is by turns erotic, visceral, political, satirical, philosophical and confessional – often all of these at the same time – and is always deeply and unabashedly sensual and lyrical.

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The Balcony is a stunning collection by one of Australia’s quiet masters of poetry. (Robert Adamson said of Brooks’ previous collection, Urban Elegies, that it contained some of ‘the best and most uplifting poetry that I have experienced in years’.) On first impression it is a volume of one hundred love poems in the tradition of Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses or Jacques Prévert’s Paroles, but on closer acquaintance becomes so much more.

From the snowy balconies of Central Europe to the white-hot suburbs of Sydney, these poems surface from the depths of a life learning to live to the fullest. Affirming that erotic love is one of the highest forms of contemplation, Brooks raises all that is beautiful in this world - and much that is not - so that it may be transformed into the body of the sacred.

David Brooks

David Brooks

David Brooks is the author of four previous collections of poetry, three of short fiction, four highly acclaimed novels, and a major work of Australian literary history, The Sons of Clovis (UQP 2011). His The Book of Sei (1985) was heralded as the most impressive debut in Australian short fiction since Peter Carey’s, and his second novel, The Fern Tattoo (UQP 2007), was short-listed for the Miles Franklin award. The Sydney Morning Herald called his previous collection of poetry, The Balcony (UQP 2008), ‘an electric performance’. Until 2013 he taught Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, where he was also the foundation director of the graduate writing program and for many years was co-editor of literary journal Southerly. He lives in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, and spends several months each year in a village on the coast of Slovenia.