Hi, Folks! It’s #ShareAReviewDay Tuesday again, and our guest this morning is Frank Prem. Frank is sharing a review from his poetic anthology, Devil in the Wind. After reading this, I’m sold. I’ve pre-ordered this one to add to my collection of poetry anthologies, and I suspect many of you will as well. Thanks for checking it out today, and for sharing far and wide, as well.
Mick rated Devil In The Wind 5.0 out of 5 stars on Goodreads
Like Frank’s previous book, Small Town Kid, this collection of poems tells a story of rural and small town Australia. But the similarities between the two books end there.
Whereas the previous collection was a celebration of boyhood in Frank’s hometown, this is an account of the dreadful bushfires of February 2009 that swept through parts of Southern Australia, the area that is home to the author, killing 173 people and leaving a huge area a fire-blackened moonscape.
The poems are a mixture of first-hand accounts, from those who ran desperately from the flames, saving what they could and suddenly terrified at the unbelievable size of the fire and the terrible speed the flames moved at, from firefighters who fought the flames like small companies of soldiers attempting to halt the progress of an overwhelmingly large army, until they literally dropped from exhaustion, from the fire-spotters, and from the frightened friends and relatives trying to raise loved ones down unresponsive phone lines.
In many ways, this is a very difficult book to read, although it is important to do so, especially for those of us fortunate enough to have never had to live through events as terrifying as those described in its poems. It is full of raw emotion and naked detail, traumatised victims and quiet heroes.
At times, I found it essential to look away and take a breather, much as the firefighters had to do, as the emotion became just too much for me.
Poetry is an immensely personal art form. Even when the subject is neither the poet nor the reader, intense emotions come through. Presented in this form, these accounts are shocking. I cannot tell whether they would have felt as shocking had they been prose, but the sparse brevity of the language confronts you almost aggressively, defying you to ignore what they say. Each one seems to scream ‘Listen to me! Don’t you dare turn away until I have finished!’
It is extremely rarely that I would suggest a book should be required reading, but I genuinely think Devil in the Wind should be and is unquestionably a five star read.
I received this book as an ARC with no obligation to leave a review.
Devil In The Wind is an account of catastrophic fire and its immediate aftermath.
In this 21st century, the whole world seems to be on fire. America burns. Europe burns. Greece is reeling after its own tragedy of fire.
And Australia burns, as it has always done, but now so much more fiercely.
In February 2009, wildfires burnt through entire communities, taking 173 lives and injuring hundreds, while destroying thousands of houses and other buildings. Up to 400 fires destroyed 450,000 hectares of forest, native fauna and habitat, livestock and farmland.
In the aftermath of the fires, the voices of people who had lived through the experience — victims, rescuers, and observers — were spoken and were heard.
Devil In The Wind is Frank Prem’s poetic anthology of the personal, and very human, accounts of those who themselves experienced and survived Black Saturday. Poetry writing that interacts directly with readers emotions.
PRE-ORDER DEVIL IN THE WIND HERE
Author and Poet Frank Prem
Frank Prem has been a storytelling poet for forty years. When not writing or reading his poetry to an audience, he fills his time by working as a psychiatric nurse.
He has been published in magazines, online zines and anthologies, in Australia and in a number of other countries, and has both performed and recorded his work as ‘spoken word’.
He and his wife live in the beautiful township of Beechworth in northeast Victoria (Australia).
Visit Frank at his Website HERE