''With its beer-drenched Blundstones, cricket balls retrieved from neighbour's backyards, misbehaving pastor's kids and crabs plucked from the Moyne river, O'Reilly's poetry collects and curates a series of vernacular objects and experiences that comprise life in Australia and beyond. From the streets of Ballarat to the dry highways of West Texas, from the floor of a petrol station in rural NSW to the evening sky seen from a Scottish beach, this poetry traverses continents, testing spaces and locations and finding them brimming with their own types of desire. Using a light touch and an elegant voice, Distance traces out nostalgia's peculiar contours and emotional resonances, resulting in remarkable poetic moments that will return and whisper again to a reader even after the book is set down.' - Lachlan Brown, author of Limited Cities 'Joseph Brodsky, the Russian Nobel laureate, once remarked that memory and art have in common the "ability to select, a taste for detail". In the work of Nathanael O'Reilly, memory and art come together to bring us poems that remember what cannot - what must not - be forgotten, in rich and telling detail and with a taste for quiet but incisive irony.' - Paul Kane, author of A Slant of Light, Work Life and Australian Poetry: Romanticism and Negativity 'Nathanael O'Reilly's poems sound the major themes of Australian poetry: landscape, displacement, yearning, and above all a critique of cultural narrowness. O'Reilly's plain-spoken diction is often laced with understated wit, but is given ballast by its principled grounding in lived experience.' - Nicholas Birns, editor of Antipodes' (Publication summary)
Note: Alternate version with parts of the first and second line omitted: also omits and modifies adverbs from later lines (e.g., 'hands crossed modestly in laps' to 'hands crossed in laps').