Cath Drake wants to grasp the world whole. When she looks at the past, it’s with a big rambunctious energy that has implications for the present. These are restless and generous poems, full of the vivid reality of people’s lives. Read them as a guide to staying clear-eyed, combative and caring in unsettled times. (Philip Gross)
Amid all the chaos in the world, my new book is available to order. I’m planning an online book launch in April. Order it from Seren Books.
Amy Wack, poetry editor, Seren Books: Cath Drake’s native Australia features large in her debut collection of poems, The Shaking City. Author of a Mslexia magazine prize-winning pamphlet, Drake fashions adroit narratives, lush landscapes and keenly observed character portraits. The Shaking City itself stands for both the unease of the narrator and the swiftly changing times we live in.
Helen Mort: Cath Drake’s poems deftly explore conflict and the future of our changing, imperilled planet – in a poem about climate emergency, the narrator muses wryly ‘sometimes I hold world in one hand, my life / in the other’. This is a collection alive to dilemmas. Her writing is searching, witty and full of compassion, helping us navigate a shifting world.
Karen McCarthy Woolf: Cath Drake’s lush, lyric poems are full of inquisitive movement that traverses a network of meridians between her native Australia and the UK. Like midday sun in a desert, their narrative strikes hard in its passionate counterpoint between the absurdities of the human condition and our most urgent environmental concerns.
Kate Potts: In Cath Drake’s The Shaking City, inhabitants and buildings wobble, crack, shudder, unpeel and regrow their own skin. They seek out ways to endure: sturdy-framed lives, bricks strong enough to withstand hurricanes, wolves, and the weight of unspoken trauma. In this world, close and passionate attention is paid to the beauty and strangeness of nature, and of everyday life. The Shaking City’s tall tales explore existence across boundaries, and in between places: the folkloric bunyip appearing in the kitchen, the would-be lovers stuck (perhaps forever) on the circle line, the speaker who catches the hide of the world and fashions it into a handbag. This joyful, exuberant, wildly imaginative collection exhorts us all to unmoor our minds, to ‘live among the strange and shining.