Author(s): David Musgrave
David Musgrave's seventh collection of poems is a kind of clearing: poems which open up, sometimes painfully, sometimes joyfully, what it is to be in the world. From obliquely confessional poems concerned with the death of his mother and the unexpected endings of significant relationships, to celebrations of new lives, this collection encompasses a wide range of emotions, attitudes, forms and styles. The poems show a significant sharpening from earlier work and increasingly move in the direction of uncompromising honesty. Numb and Number is an elegantly powerful collection by a significant poet who is entering a new and interesting phase of his career.
I'm clearing a space in Waratah.
Here, in Waratah, I'm making a clearing,
marking out space among bluetongues, grevilleas,
a conurbation of ants' nests. I'm making a space
the size of a mid-range imagination,
a modest keep, a distillation of hope.
I'm chucking out, I'm ringing in, and I'm wiping clean.
David Musgrave's most recent collection, Anatomy of Voice, was awarded the Arts Queensland Judith Wright Calanthe Award for Poetry. He is also the recipient of the Grace Leven Prize for Poetry for his collection Phantom Limb, and individual poems have been awarded many prizes. His novel Glissando was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Award for Fiction in 2011. In 2005 he founded the publishing house Puncher & Wattmann. He lives in Newcastle with his family.