'Why has poetry fallen so sadly by the literary wayside of our hectic digital age? An age, if ever there was one, needing the kind of humanising empathy that readable (and quotable) poetry can provide. One of the central problems facing poetry today is that we seem to have forgotten (in some cases, perhaps deliberately) its link to the emotional cadence of music, and when that link is broken the light fails. These 'shapes of light' seek rediscovery, and their only claim is one of honesty - emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.'
'First Refuge is a collection of poems marking the twentieth birthday of Ginninderra Press as an independent Australian publisher. In 2006, to celebrate Ginninderra Press’s tenth birthday, fifty poems were selected by Michael Byrne and published in the collection entitled On Common Water. As well as more recent voices, many of the poets represented in that book are included here in First Refuge. Although the poems in First Refuge focus on the single theme of social justice, the voices are as diverse as the Ginninderra Press poets themselves. Readers will find keen observation, confronting insights and enduring hope as they engage with these poems, created out of the poets’ own contemplative space, or first refuge in the face of challenge. Beyond a celebration of years, this collection reflects the vision of Stephen Matthews to open up opportunities for Australian poets who so often give their voice to the unheard.' (Publication summary)