“Like the small, spiky flower that grows on granite outcrops, these poems are “nitty gritty down to earth”. Maree Dawes writes sharply, graphically of the natural world and the often-disturbing contradictions of our human presence in it.”
“Living on Granite is a beautiful collection. Reading Maree Dawes’ poetry is like taking a long, rewarding walk with a knowledgeable, honest translator of experience, environments and people.”
In some ways, this is like a poet’s first collection; poems ranging over years, themes and subject matter. My previous collections have had a narrative, tight focus; one covering the women in Picasso’s life and the other exploring the online life of the 1990s.The opportunity to put together a collection encompassing themes and subject matter that have had continued importance to me through my poetic journey reminded me of these areas that catch my curiosity, and the enduring place of writing in my life. How regular journaling and a writing life somehow place a prism over the rest of my days, highlighting some aspects and shifting others.
One of the first writing workshops I went to pinpointed the importance of reading the contemporary poetry of my community. I enjoy reading poetry from those who have lived in spaces I have also inhabited, both in terms of relationships, emotions and landscape, and the window into other worlds that poetry from a completely different perspective provides.
I am proud to be part of the WA Poets Inc. series. I love the way that a poem can take me from a few words and images to universes, philosophies, perspectives and emotions, and that is what I hope for readers of Living on Granite.
My parents are in their nineties, and both have an interest in words. My dad, Buster Dawes, telling captivating, round-the-fireplace stories and my mum, Olivia Dawes, a teacher, as well as a writer of stories and poems. It started there, in pajamas by the fire, caught by words and stories and knowing I would tell my own. Mum has been waiting for me to publish something she could really warm to. “Something nice,” she said. I think this is it.
Living on Granite (includes postage within Australia)
Living on Granite (includes international postage)