'Heart Starter is John Tranter’s twenty-fourth book of poems. It is made up of three parts: some poems related to The Best of the Best American Poetry 2013, some poems related to The Open Door: One Hundred Poems, One Hundred Years of ‘Poetry’ Magazine, and thirty or so poems, mainly rhymed sonnets, written by Tranter in recent years. In the case of the first two parts, the author started with loose drafts which borrowed the end-words of each line of some poems in each of the two books concerned. The poems engage in a typically oblique way with North American poetic culture, and with the world of poetry in general, and sometimes speak harshly about the nature of ‘poetic insight’. The formal poems towards the end of the book take a bleak and sometimes humorous look at the contemporary world.' (Publication summary)
'The seeking of asylum in Australia has been politicised in recent decades. Our national conversation has vilified people fleeing persecution and desensitised the Australian polity to human suffering. We are further marginalising the most vulnerable groups in the world and at greater expense than accommodating refugees in the community. What impact does this have upon our collective ethics and national identity? And if our public conversation is steering us into murky moral territory, where may a dissenting voice be heard?
'Writing to the Wire is a collection of poems by Australians and people who would like to be Australians. It is a book about the idea of being Australian. It is about who we are and who we would rather be. Writing to the Wire offers new ways to understand injustice, to speak out and tell stories. Poetry can show us what we’re thinking and feeling in a way our politics has failed to do.' (Publication summary)