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The third poetry collection by Lisa
Gorton, one of a small number of Australian writers who have won major literary
awards for both poetry and fiction.

Lisa Gorton began writing Empirical when the Victorian Government
of the time threatened to cut an eight-lane motorway through the heart of Royal
Park in Melbourne. She walked repeatedly in the park, seeking to understand how
the feeling for place originates, and how memory and landscape fold in and out
of each other. The poems exploring this feeling for place are followed by a
sequence which recreates the colonial history of Royal Park through the
gathering of fragments from newspapers, maps and pictures, a different way of
asserting its value, by demonstrating how a landscape can conceal the history
of country beneath its layers of time. From this close-up study, in its second
part the collection opens out into poems which meditate on ancient
statues, Rimbaud's imperial panoramas, the making of Coleridge's poem `Kubla
Khan', the exhibition galleries of Crystal Palace - tracking, through chains of
influence, and a phantasmagoric procession of images, the trade between empire,
commodities and dreams of elsewhere. Empirical
a deluxe promenade of thought, in which landscapes are mirrored and refracted in
the contemporary Baroque style for which Gorton is renowned.

Praise for Gorton's second poetry collection Hotel

'A sustained and complex exploration of how outer and
inner worlds connect, of how to approach and address what we see, of the shapes
and disfigurements of memory, of the links between dream, hallucination,
reality and being. [It is] replete with persistent, transformative
crystallisations.' - Sydney Review of Books

'In her poems, we see -- briefly, behind
us - cities; but her focus is on the human sphere; and, within its circle, the
mind; and within that, art.' - Mascara Literary
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 148 x 210mm | 150g
  • Artarmon, Australia
  • 192581811X
  • 9781925818116