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Rainforest by Eileen Chong


Judges' Comments 

Divided into four parts — East, South, West and North — Eileen Chong’s Rainforest traverses a territory rich and varied. Covering themes from food and family to love, loss and landscape, these poems draw on Chong’s Singaporean Chinese heritage and her Australian life to create an anthology that weaves together the past and the present, nature and humanity, the world around the poet and the one within.

In this collection, Chong writes with a perfectly weighted sensuality, deftly avoiding the cloying or heavy-handed. Whether describing the taste of a fresh durian, the smell of fire-baked kumara, the sound of an internal symphony, the feel of the word ‘didgeridoo’ or the sense of belonging, Chong’s style manages to be clean and clear while remaining deeply evocative. Rainforest is a poetry anthology that is accomplished and rewarding ... although be warned — it may make you hungry.