WINNER of the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Poetry and the Thomas Shapcott Prize; Highly Commended for the Dame Mary Gilmore Award; Shortlisted for the Judith Wright Calanthe Priz

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.

DAVID MALOUF, author of Typewriter Music and Ransom

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.

ROBERT ADAMSON, author of The Goldfinches of Baghdad and Inside Out

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.

PETER MINTER, author of Blue Grass and Empty Texas


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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.

PETER GIZZI, author of Threshold Songs and The Outernationale

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.

LUKE DAVIES, author of Interferon Psalms and Candy

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.

MTC CRONIN, author of The World Last Night and Talking to Neruda’s Questions






(Sold Out, December 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.













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