Lucy Dougan lived in Newcastle, New South Wales for a number of years before returning to Western Australia. Dougan completed a PhD at the University of Western Australia. She has been an Assistant Editor of the literary magazine, Heat and worked for the journals Westerly and Axon, and as a lecturer at Curtin University.
'Many poems in this collection explore the intrusions of 'the wild' into daily life, through memories, in illness, and in places that you've lost or left behind. Dougan is interested in the ways in which the past re-enters the present, particularly through the secrets of family life, in all kinds of atavism, and in pockets of wildness in the suburbs and the city which are a source of liveliness and a dark sort of energy. Her poems feature old houses, ruins, revisited places; they focus on the bonds between the generations, between children and adults, humans and animals, and humans and the physical world. The title of the collection refers broadly to these ties, which impose a sense of guardianship on those who are bound by them. In contrast to the wildness they recognise, the poems themselves seek to tread lightly - they aspire to quietness and reticence, to cumulative rather than immediate effects, and to sustaining a relatively natural and unobtrusive voice.' (Publication summary)
White Clay2006selected work poetry 'A complex awareness of family life is at the heart of Lucy Dougan's new collection. Its narrative interweavings lead us from the world of books and romance into motherhood and its immersion in the world of children, then summon up, in turn, the poet's own childhood, and its barely recognised estrangements, 'the father that I did not know', and later a whole new family, to be reclaimed as her own. Dougan's poems are alive to the intimations which exist at 'the fugitive border of thought', and celebrate the imagination's power to mould, to recover, and to repair.' (Publisher's blurb)