Cordite Books


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Read Ann Vickery's introduction to Lake.

ISBN: 9780994259653

Dear reader,

The poems that follow are a few stories. At their most straightforward, they are the stories of a day in the life of my family – when we buried someone we love. Trying to tell these stories meaningfully in a book has been hard. It has seemed important and respectful to undo them into others, bigger and deeper than ours. The lake that delimits the site of this book, Tuggerah Lake, is located on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Long before us and long after us the area is home to the Darkinjung, Awabakal and Kuringgai peoples. Because of its interest in the dead things of Tuggerah Lake, I initially called this collection a ‘necro-geography.’ I have since read Joyelle McSweeney’s ‘What is the Necropastoral?’, which says:

The Necropastoral is a strange meetingplace for the poet and death, or for the dead to meet the dead, or for the seemingly singular-bodied human to be revealed as part of an inhuman multiple body.


Necropastoral is a political-aesthetic zone in which the fact of mankind’s depredations cannot be separated from an experience of “nature” which is poisoned, mutated, aberrant, spectacular, full of ill effects and affects.

The poems in this book do not always start and end on discrete pages, and none have titles, although sometimes the index points a way. Muddle-headed pronouns, tenses and other grammatical disagreements reflect the porousness of subjecthood, action and time. Such disagree-ments are always fluoresced by subjects like love, death and life. Where there is blank space in these poems, as with most blank things, it is not empty.

–Claire Nashar