#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Devil in the Wind by Frank Prem

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.


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

63 thoughts on “#ShareAReviewDay Tuesday – Devil in the Wind by Frank Prem

    • I think you are probably right on the highly emotional aspect. I can’t wait to get my copy and see how Frank has handled it all. Pre-ordered it the day I scheduled the post. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Mae! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Mae. Thank you.

      The poems are of amazing, once in a lifetime (I hope) situations that folk had to live through and many have never gotten over. I’m finding that being able to read someone else’s situation enables folk to talk of their own experience more easily.

      Cathartic in the end, I think.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. This hits too close to home for me after the Paradise fire here in CA. I live in the exact same type of area and I’m fully aware we could be next. Escape would be almost impossible for many of us., but cities aren’t safe either. We live in a time of extremes and its hard to process it all. Poetry can guide us through that. It sounds like a collection that can show us the outcome full of the emotion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t read it yet, since it won’t be out until the 31st, but perhaps in addition to the terrible drama, at least some of the poetry offers a sense of hope in the face of disaster. Then it would be cathartic and healing, too. But either way, I’m ready for the impact, I think. If need be, I’ll read it one poem at a time, with breathing space in between them. Thanks for taking the time to comment! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting.

      I was aware at the time I was preparing this as a book that the whole world seems to be burning now, and my fear is that we are seeing a new normal that is so terribly out of order.

      Folk that have read or listened to poems from the book seem to have found it easier to tell their own stories, so I have a little hope that there might be a place for these in other situations than our own over here.

      I hope we get to string a few better years together to allow us all to recover a little.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Fingers crossed Jacqui, but doubts persist.

          I read and spoke to 50 members of a Book Club. They loved what I had to say, enjoyed participating in the presentation, became involved in active discussion and bought 2 books.

          I enjoyed it a lot, but not much butter on the bread from that effort.

          Liked by 2 people

          • It can be disappointing, I know. They say a person has to see your cover and read your description 8-10 times before they will consider buying the book. That’s a LOT of promoting!
            Just keep doing what you’re doing, it’ll happen for you 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s the future book sales you are building when you work on local readerships, Frank. I’ve found that the more I do, the more they support me and my work. That local readership, the folks who get to “know” you, become the cornerstone that keeps you going between books and when online sales flag for one reason or another. They’re your “groupies.” 😀 Sometimes I sell a lot, sometimes not, but I always think it’s worth the time. (Just my thoughts/experience for what it’s worth.)

            Liked by 1 person

              • That’s the way life is, though, right? Up, down, up again. You’re right not to build expectations, but at the same time, you can go to the opposite extreme, I think. It ain’t easy bein’ human. 😀 When I do events, I try to make it fun for everyone who comes. (After all, it’s not like they HAVE to be there.) When it’s fun for them, it’s fun for me, and then any sales that result are just a bonus. And I find I come home from a good event SO inspired! I love doing them, and hope you’ll enjoy future ones just as much. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good point, Robbie. Hadn’t thought of that, but I know those pre-orders can be so helpful to get a book off to a good, solid start. (And I’m determined to start setting my own up that way, too). Still a verified purchase review is always a good thing. I’ll have to ponder this some more. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 ❤


  2. Hi Frank, you’re right that it seems like the world is on fire. I live in California where fire is the constant struggle to us every year. Witnessing the fire scene, the burning, the lost of lives, and the community helping each other is an emotional experienced.
    Good to see an excellent review here. Congratulations.
    Thank you, Marcia for hosing Frank’s book and review.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Peregrine Arc and commented:
    Check it out, Arcians and consider supporting a fellow author. I realized after reading this book’s blurb that 1.) It sounds very interesting and 2.) I know next to nothing about Australia. Thus I need to read and learn about these bush fires of 2009.

    I pre-ordered my copy. Check out the links for more information. I’m adding this eagerly to my summer reading stack. ☺️📚📚📚

    Liked by 2 people

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