Sleeping with Rivers
The manuscript that kept sifting to the top, Sleeping with Rivers by Cath Drake, is simply full of gorgeous poems. Drake has a tendency to a longer line, a discursive manner, a narrative depth.I started to love these poems from the very first line of the first poem, ‘Every morning she wakes up with rivers…’ Drake’s tone is beautifully sensitive to the rhythms of language: knows when to pull back, when to unfurl startling imagery. There are artful poems about a childhood in Australia and poems involving the education of the female protagonist/poet. In one poem, a teacher, a ‘spineless’ Mr Jacob, suffers a fitting destiny and in another long, strange and hilarious poem, a duck haunts the protagonist like a persistent nightmare. There is a quietly devastating wit at work.
– Amy Wack, Poetry Editor of Seren books and judge of the Mslexia pamphlet prize.