Shortlist year: 2019
Shortlist category: Poetry
Published by: Vagabond Press
Click Here for What We Do is a cluster of four loosely connected poems that are not only sceptical of the status quo's serial mendacities and hype but, in a way, they also attempt a coming to terms with the erosion of the idealistic conditions that once made non-mainstream culture, including poetry, so viable and, even, necessary.
About the author
Pam Brown's many books of poetry include Text Thing, Authentic Local, Home by Dark and Missing Up. She has been writing, collaborating, editing and publishing in diverse modes both locally and internationally for over four decades. Pam Brown's collection Dear Deliria (Salt, 2003) received the annual New South Wales Premier's Award for poetry. She has earned a living in a range of occupations.
The four long poems in Click Here for What We Do are constructed from scraps of language, ranging from commonplace phrases to literary allusions, which have been broken down, twisted and rearranged into surprising new shapes. In their wry, accretive fashion, they seem to mimic the disjointed juxtapositions of our technologically mediated relationship to information, like random clicks between websites or the steady drip of a social-media feed. Though the poems appear to unfold casually, almost accidentally, they are artfully patterned and scrupulous in their awareness of the essential strangeness of language itself, allowing the reader to appreciate both the elusiveness and the palpability of the medium. The collection bursts with jokes, wordplay, curious facts, and striking thoughts expressed with the evident delight of an unexpected discovery. Its vibrant and brilliantly angular poems are full of surprising rhythmic effects, their tone by turns playful, arch, knowing and amused.