Author(s): Kerri Shying
Kerri Shying's compact opus Know Your Country hides a question in the title -- who's the you? Whose country is it anyway? Who needs to know? Who's asking? Who gets to ask what? Coming through these pages, every reader will find different answers and fresh questions needing to be asked. And what about when the questions are accusations? This is a book wise to little tricks for painting people into corners.
'With language that often reads like stream-of-consciousness but is meticulously wrought, these poems are the work of a restless and intelligent imagination. All of the big themes: belonging and exclusion, self realisation, racial politics and love in all its forms are grounded authentically in the particulars of detail.' -- Judy Johnson
'Know Your Country is a Newcastle noir, a series of insurgent riffs set to disabuse. Shying's discerning phrasing embodies a 'go on your nerve' poetics, where the local, present moment imbued with its past 'knowing' is offered as ballast against bogus ideas of progress, like the rubble of Haight-Ashbury dumped in Newcastle Harbour. There's 'a male Jessica rabbit', PTSD, drug dealing, knives, but also sashiko stitch, caramel coffee and the anti-fame of snails.' -- Keri Glastonbury