Monthly Archives: February 2015

Still Life With Grandmother by Christopher Race

A review by Myron Lysenko

The poems in this book are accessible yet deep, serious yet subtly funny. They contain fearful and lonely thoughts in juxtaposition with domestic imagery. Music and the garden are recurring motifs. There are windows through which the poet looks both outwards at scenes going past his life and within as he recollects dead relatives and loved ones who have enriched his life or bullied him into a man who has difficulty in expressing his love.

It’s always a struggle to see out;
To turn oneself into a window;
To become an empty room, a glass wall
Facing out into the foreign flowers

There is wisdom and craft in these brave, isolated meditations full of pain and regret as the poet searches for his identity and wonders where to find his place in a world where everything is strange and foreign. Christopher Race is not afraid to make himself vulnerable as he documents his feelings, fears and insecurities within family and social situations.

The main highlight amongst many highlights is the title poem, a long narrative which captures the personality of a grandmother who was forced to leave England and come to a strange and hot country full of people who she couldn’t feel comfortable with; a woman who spoke her mind and spoke it harshly, a woman who made life hard for her family except the grandchildren who were able to see a softer, more compassionate side. A person who expressed her love for things rather than people; somebody who painted still lives because her own life had stilled when she was still young and free and full of promise.

This is a sophisticated and assured debut. Christopher Race’s distinctive and calm voice is a welcome harmony to the chorus of Australian poets.

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A Book Launch

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by | February 28, 2015 · 4:08 pm

Emerging Australian Poet

Our forthcoming publication, the second in our poetry series, ‘Still Life With Grand-mother’ by Christopher Race,  is  an  event  of  some  significance  for   Pomonal Publishing: it will be the first time we have held a public launch for one of our books, complete with posters, press releases, invited guests, drinks and nibbles.

I have known Race since we were both in our late teens, poised without dignity on the cusp of our adulthood and holding that spurious conviction (you may well recall it)  that one actually sees the world clearly.  We have watched each other grow up, both as writers and as a members of our species; arriving at the tail end of the booming-babies with our own particular tales to tell.  Christopher has worked with books and writing for all these years – both on personal projects and professional jobs (including in-house and freelance editing). He is now a qualified librarian.

It was with considerable elation that I discovered, just a few years ago, that my literary friend had  also found his voice as a poet. Now it is with pride and great pleasure – and the help of a mutual friend, Michael Foster, who has selected and edited this collection – that Pomonal Publishing announces the forthcoming release of this book: STILL LIFE WITH GRANDMOTHER.  It will be launched on Saturday 14th March at the (locally legendary) monthly Chamber Poets reading, at The Chamber Art & Coffee House in Woodend, Central Victoria.  Race will be the featured poet reading poems from this collection.

 

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