Martin Duwell on Gig Ryan’s «New and Selected Poems»

Martin Duwell’s regular poetry book review journal is well worth reading: http://www.australianpoetryreview.com.au/. He reviews a book a month, every month. Here he meditates on Gig Ryan’s new book:

Gig Ryan, Melbourne 2011. Photo John Tranter.
Gig Ryan, Melbourne 2011. Photo John Tranter.

Gig Ryan is not an easy task for a reader and an especially difficult task for a critic. But it is a task that must be undertaken because her body of work (nicely introduced by this two-hundred page Selected Poems) grows progressively more impressive. It has a consistency and intensity that simply forces itself on readers. It isn’t going to go away and we need to come to grips with it better than we probably have. One’s first response, as critic, is to be tempted to resort to the most basic level of description of difficult poetry which is to describe one’s own difficulties in the face of it.

(For more, see his journal at http://www.australianpoetryreview.com.au/)