* Winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2021: Prize for Poetry*
The highly anticipated follow up to the award-winning collection The Special, this electric new body of work by poet David Stavanger is a mix tape of free verse, lyric poetry, found text and flash fiction documenting lived mental health experience.
Utilising his renowned observational humour and playing with the absurdist nature of institutional language, Stavanger interrogates the unreliable narration of diagnosis: in private, in public and in surrealist spaces where it becomes increasingly unclear who is under the microscope. In short character studies, informal experiments and longer sequenced poems this collection unpacks toxic masculinity and fatherhood, online and domestic tensions, the truth of confessional poetry, myths of 'madness' inherited by blood, and the canine as both avatar and familiar of the black dog. This is a poetic memoir for those who don't believe the hype.