This Way to the Exit

This Way to the Exit


Janet Kenny sings-nowhere more so than in this new collection, This Way to the Exit. Music is the underlying trope, symbol and technique of Janet Kenny's outstanding poetic oeuvre, whether as the dedication to this volume ('to music'), or as the explicit (or implicit but vital) topic of so many of her individual poems ('To Franz Schubert', 'Celebrity Recital', 'Antal Szalai's Gypsy Band ...', 'Out Loud', ), or as the incidental figures within poems formally focused elsewhere ('Takeoff' or 'Mangoes'), or (to flip the trope) as Muzak, betokening the god-awful object of the poet's satire ('Butterflies'), or, most quintessentially, as the pervasive word-music that is the emblematic quality of this poet's work. Janet Kenny is a musician, and it really shows in this book. While always remaining true to her individual vision, her work should be placed in the Australian poetic pantheon not very far from Judith Wright's, for its richness, its finely nuanced responsiveness to Australia and its natural and human environment, and for its deep humanity. Paul Stevens Editor, The Chimaera, The Flea, SCR There are only sixty-two pages here, not enough, not enough. Read 'Mangoes' and you will have read a perfect poem. Perfect poems are rare, as poets know all too well. By perfect I mean that the poem does not put a foot wrong, that not a word could be changed without altering the perfect balance. Robert Graves reckons have a dozen such justifies a life given over to his White Goddess. And Janet Kenny has one here. No, I lie, she has two. 'Moonlight as a Woodcut' is another. All the poems are worth your time, her time. For she is a poet, a real one. Buy this book. I shall. John Whitworth

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Janet Kenny
Paperback | 64 pages
152 x 229 x 3mm | 100g
Publication date
20 Mar 2012
White Violet Press