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Peter Boyle, Companions, Ancestors, Inscriptions

Luminous and profound, Companions, Ancestors, Inscriptions is the eleventh collection of poetry from one of Australia’s most respected and celebrated contemporary poets and translators. Over five sections, Boyle offers a wide-ranging exploration of what it means to be human, moving from the personal to the social and political, from the immediacy of the writer’s home to a traveller on a train to Shanghai or a French pianist performing Ravel, as seen on YouTube. This mingling of inner and outer realms continues in dream narratives that sit alongside political poems, such as ‘Our World’, and final haiku-like poems that return us to the vision of our small place in a world filled with other-than-human presences. This is a work of deep imagination and subtle humour, a generous sharing in the sometimes magical, sometimes uncertain and unsettling experience of being human.

'Companions, Ancestors, Inscriptions, a new and substantial manuscript from celebrated poet Peter Boyle, shows once again his remarkable facility with language and imagery. This collection in five parts entrances the reader through a poetics of imagination expressed in stories and images that speak wisely. Steeped in a quality of openness to the numinous, not only does the collection as a whole generate its own mythic, symbolic world, but it also builds on Boyle’s vast knowledge of poetic and sacred texts. Through dreamscapes and attention to the corporeal, the poems engage deftly and hauntingly with eros and thanatos. A deepening wisdom and engagement with the world as more than human characterize this collection. No one writes quite like Peter Boyle.'  Anne Elvey


Peter Boyle is a poet and translator of poetry living and working on Dharug land. He has ten books of poetry published and eight books as a translator of poetry from Spanish and French. His most recent collections are Ideas of Travel and Notes Towards the Dreambook of Endings (2022 and 2021). In 2020 his book Enfolded in the Wings of a Great Darkness won the New South Wales Premier's Award for Poetry. His book Ghostspeaking also received the New South Wales Premier's Award in 2017. Other prize-winning books include Apocrypha (2009), The Blue Cloud of Crying (1997) and Coming Home from the World (1993). He has performed his poetry at International Poetry Festivals in Colombia, France, Venezuela, Macedonia, Canada, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Spain. His poems have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Macedonian, Vietnamese, Korean and Russian. As a translator his books include Anima by Cuban poet José Kozer, The Trees: Selected Poems of Eugenio Montejo and Three Poets: Olga Orozco, Marosa Di Giorgio and Jorge Palma. In 2013 he was awarded the New South Wales Premier's Award for Literary Translation. He holds a Doctorate in Creative Arts from the University of Western Sydney.

Peter Boyle, Companions, Ancestors, Inscriptions
2024. 148mm x 210mm. 128pp.
ISBN 978-1-925735-64-2

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body.

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