Author(s): Jaya Savige
Surface to Air, evolving over a period of five years from 2006-2011, is an impressive follow-up to Savige's extremely successful debut, latecomers. It charts Jaya's various poetic influences during this period, which have included David Malouf, Peter Porter, Les Murray and Giuseppe Ungaretti. While many of the poems in latecomers concerned the history and landscape of Bribie Island, where Savige grew up, this collection is about leaving the island and as such, it signals a departure from latecomers. The title, Surface to Air, conveys the central themes of the collection, which include: the archaeological exposure of history, both personal and cultural, to the present; the struggle for literal inspiration, (a title of one of the poems) in contemporary life, with issues ranging from consumerism to personal grievance and loss; the ubiquity of violence, and the relationship between actual violence and the simulacrum of violence and war (connoted by the phrase 'surface-to-air missile'); among others. It is also an invitation to be mindful of the surface effects of language.