Star Reverse by Linda Ann Strang
Verbal precision is the best way to describe this compelling and daunting collection, where poetry and all the known demands of writing poetry are constantly deconstructed. In a no-nonsense approach devoid of self-pity, Strang utilises wry acerbic humour coupled with a fine technical skill to debunk commonly held perceptions on an array of topics including femicide and gender-based violence, physical and mental illness/death, childhood and aging, sex and sexuality, and armed conflict and political violence. It is a complex, brilliant volume of poetry blending the intellectual with the intuitive, utilising an array of inter-texts including fairy tales, the tarot, the Bible, and art in various forms, interwoven with primordial wisdoms and mythology.
“A stellar constellation of poems that invites us in, yet challenges us with Escheresque views and inventive avatars. The writing delights in the unexpected, evident in unusual adjacencies of word, sound and idea, and in an imaginative intellection that slides between acerbic humour and depth. Strang brings us the strange in poems that venture across mythic, mysterious and material repertoires, leaving a bold juxtaposition of the (meta)realities of mental and physical illness, and of political and gender-based violence.”
– Sally Ann Murray, Professor of English, Stellenbosch University
Linda Ann Strang has a Master’s degree in English Literature and a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from Nelson Mandela University where she works in the field of Learning and Teaching Development. She is also the editor-in-chief of Hotazel Review. Her poetry and short stories have been published in over 50 journals and anthologies worldwide, including some in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Africa, and most recently in [PANK], Poetry Kanto, Orbis, Hollins Critic, Gone Lawn, The Malahat Review, Hunger Mountain and New Contrast. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize (2007), longlisted for the Bridport Prize (2012), and longlisted for the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize (2018). Linda’s first collection, Wedding Underwear for Mermaids, was published in 2011 in the United Kingdom. Star Reverse is her second collection.