Modewarre is the indigenous Wathaurong word for musk duck. Through this icon of land and water, Patricia Sykes explores various histories -- her own, her forbears, the wider histories of identity and place -- in poems that are as concentrated as pearls. three roads meeting in the one bird: modewarre (the indigenous); biziura lobata (the colonial); musk duck (the common). What is home? What is identity? These poems set out on the winding paths of memory and aspiration in search of how these questions might be answered. Their context is local and universal, their voices restless and insistent, their themes as broad or as narrowly defined as the journey demands. The only certainty is that nothing is certain: because the syllables/on the page are not/the land beneath the name. Whether inquiring into the futuristic interventions of intra-uterine surgery, all the soft and hard arguments/living outside the placenta, or into the dispossessions of terrorism, who will provide/the next welcome planet? these poems seek to confront and understand the complex meanings of belonging.
Buy Modewarre book by Patricia Sykes from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(128mm x 198mm x 7mm)
Publisher: Spinifex Press
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Author Biography - Patricia Sykes
Patricia Sykes is a prize-winning poet and the author of the acclaimed collection, Wire Dancing (1999). In 1996 "river salvages" won the John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award and "death, passion-fruit and roses" was a finalist in the 1995 AUNTECH Poetry Prize. Two of the poems in Modewarre have been awarded prizes. "Modewarre -- ways you might approach it" was Highly Commended in the Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize and "Sanctuary: Swan lake, Phillip Island" won the Tom Collins Poetry Prize. Wire Dancing was shortlisted for the Anne Elder and Mary Gilmore Awards. In addition to her poetry, Patricia Sykes is also a professional storyteller and performer.