Latecomers (2005) | University of Queensland Press
The poems in latecomers go beyond what we take for granted these days in a first collection: refinement of language and cadence, allusiveness, wit. Moving easily through abstract wonders and the streets of the inner city, they return for nourishment to family and “the Island” – Bribie, its fishing-life and beaches – as a test always of what is native and endures.
Jaya Savige is one of the most exciting young poets of the last few years. This first book is a big event, something new in the current climate of self-checked carefulness; as I read these poems I sense change emerging.
Savige’s voice is immediate, his eye, heart and mind are intelligent and sensitive. He reminds us of our lyrical traditions but obliterates their conservative inheritances, making total sense of the now.
SHORTLISTED for The Age Poetry Book of the Year and the West Australian Premier’s Prize
Savige’s stunning second volume braids the intersections of political histories and intimate love. With craft and commitment he animates the objects of this world to skyrocket effect. Surface to Air is a tough and tender book, it’s just what we need.
Here is the poet-as-conjurer – navigating effortlessly between the metaphysical and the sheerly physical, Savige proves how much they are one and the same.
In Savige’s world it is the poet who can be ‘entrusted with a planet’ because only he can guide the word’s wild power of illumination and shape humanity’s tongue when all other language fails. It is a world that has – marvellously – fallen out of the habit of itself.
Maze Bright (2014) | Vagabond Press (Rare Object Series)
(SOLD OUT, DEC 2014)
In the 1940s, behavioural psychologists and developmental biologists working in the nascent field of epigenetics coined the term “maze-bright” to describe laboratory rats displaying a marked proficiency in maze navigation. Since then, the term has been deployed across a range of contexts, most notably in HR parlance to describe ‘attractive hires’.
This suite of poems seizes on the semantic pluripotency of its titular motif, transposing it into the early twenty-first century cultural keys of gaming (“パックマン Étude”), cinema (“Magic Hour, LA”, “Cinemetabolic”), finance and insurance (“To His Coy Investor”, “Act of God”), extreme sports (“Wingsuit Journal”), psychogeography (“Citicity”), post-colonial deracination (“Nick Cave at Buckingham Palace”) and others.