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Suzanne Verrall, One Day I Will Go There

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Welcome to the city, like Adelaide but not Adelaide, with its office buildings, restaurants, cinemas. Big enough to boast a park where one may row a boat across a cement-bottomed lake, small enough to feel safe at night. The suburbs are nearby with their backyard gardens – fruit trees and veggie patches, the beach not much further. People go about their daily business: working, playing, having families, visiting the dentist, taking night classes, building boats in their basements. Cats and dogs are favoured pets. The circus comes to town. Equal parts realistic and unconventional, the 77 poems in One Day I Will Go There portray a world within touching distance of our own, where the familiar is made extraordinary and commonplace experiences resonate with metaphysics. A neighbour glimpsed leads to a realisation of loneliness, an unsatisfactory day at work becomes a celebration of parenthood. As these moments build so too does a vision of the modern urban world that is at once comic and heartbreaking, challenging and bittersweet. The collection is in three parts. Part 1 is an examination of childhood and family: joy and discovery, learning and play, ageing parents, familial role reversal, self-doubt and the burden of unrealised potential. In Part 2 the focus shifts to the practical difficulties and emotional hauntings we encounter throughout life: hidden agendas, human error, feelings of inadequacy; but also life’s possibilities and wonders. Part 3 centres around ideas of the sacred and our yearning to move beyond everyday trappings towards a more profound level of understanding and a greater appreciation of beauty. Singly, each poem is an imagistic microcosm, encapsulating in miniature an element of human life. Read together, they create a composite portrait of existential questioning and a playful reflection of the world in which we live.

'Suzanne's work is careful, understated, and insistent. This is a poet who has taken her time to decide what matters in her writing life and what she will resist. Reading this collection, I thought about how few books sound like this at the moment—how it's always the quiet person at the dinner party I most want to talk to.' Alice Allan
Suzanne Verrall works for the Adelaide Plains Council library service. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Adelaide. She specialises in short form writing: poetry, microfiction and essays. Her writing has been published online and in print, nationally and internationally, including in Australian Poetry Journal, foam:e, Bluepepper, Friendly Street Poets, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook, Flash Frontier (NZ), The Interpreter’s House (UK), Atlas and Alice (USA), The Hawai`i Pacific Review (USA) and The Southampton Review (USA). In 2018 she collaborated with audiovisual artist Dani Burbrook to create Heart Pieces, an installation of text, sound and moving image which exhibited at the Prospect Gallery during June and July of that year. In 2017 she was a panellist in the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s and State Library’s Tangent Talks series, speaking about the life and work of author Patricia Highsmith. In 2016 she was a presenter at the Adelaide launch of Archer Magazine, reading her essay 'Over the rainbow: The history of the PRIDE flag'. The audio production, by Dani Burbrook, of her noir flash fiction story 'The Big Sneeze' is a finalist in the Missouri Review’s 2021 Miller Audio Prize (USA), with winners to be announced early 2022. One Day I Will Go There is her first poetry collection.

Suzanne Verrall, One Day I Will Go There
2022. 148mm x 210mm. 96pp.
ISBN 978-1-925735-39-0
Release date: May 2022
Cover image © Daisy Noyes, 2020. Escape.
https://daisynoyes.com
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