Throat - Ellen Van Neerven - Book On Wooden Table - Keeping Up With The Penguins

Throat is the sharp and stunning second poetry collection from award-winning Mununjali Yugambeh author Ellen Van Neerven.

It throbs with recollections of country, family, love, and anger. The fine folks at University of Queensland Press published it as part of Van Neerven’s receipt of the 2020 UQP Quentin Bryce Award, and they were kind enough to send me a copy for review.

Van Neerven’s poetry is at times sarcastic and satirical, at others simply searing, but always in the most deeply satisfying way.

They never shy away from the political (“This country is a haunted house, governments still playing cat chasing marsupial mouse”) or the personal (“The Only Blak Queer In The World” is a heart-wrenching insight into the isolation of intersectionality, and the search for community and solace). The cities that ate Australia is particular perfection, as is Politicians having long showers on stolen land.

I devoured Throat in a single sitting, and I’m sure I will savour it again over many more.