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Blister Pack,

David McCooey

Blister Pack, David McCooey


Publication Date: 01-Mar-05 | ISBN: 1844710521 | Trim Size: 216 x 140 mm | Extent: 112pp | Format: Paperback

UK & International Distribution: Macmillan Distribution | Publishing Status: Active Shop online at HiveFind your local bookshop




Winner: Mary Gilmore Award for a first book of poems (2006), Short-listed: The Age Book of the Year Award (2005), Short-listed: New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards (2005), Short-listed: Western Australian Premier's Literary Awards (2005), Short-listed: The Melbourne Prize for Literature (New Writing Award) (2006).

The calendar discreetly
     points out that our
     days are numbered.

David McCooey is an elegist of the everyday. His poems combine minimalism and intensity, elegance and emotion. Finely crafted and edged with wit, they offer a kind of unsentimental nostalgia, a passionate irony. Blister Pack is a first collection of immense control and variety which has the haunting resonance of music.


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Part I; Occupations; Questions in Philosophy; French with Tears; [1] Raison d’être; [2] Je-ne-sais-quoi; [3] Noblesse oblige; [4] Une blessure; [5] Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose; [6] À propos de rien; [7] Déjà vu; [7] Déjà vu; Signal-to-Noise Ratio; Evening; On Something; Circus Oz; The Developed World; Seen from a Train; Distance; Melbourne Cup Day; Late Summer : Sydney; Home Beautiful; Sunday Night; Grief; Garlands; What Light Is; Autobiographical; Metaphor; The Same River; The Story’s End; His Hands; Left Hand; Right Hand; After a Line Abandoned by Chris Wallace-Crabbe; Boarding School; Part II; Domestic Elegies; What to do with the Evenings (i); God; What to do with the Evenings (ii); ‘We are dark water’; ‘Thinned out by age’; ‘You decided that’; ‘Their green desires’; Succedaneum; (i) ‘If the message on the piece of paper’; (ii) Delight; (iii) Argument; (iv) Our Arguments; (v) ‘You were always’; (vi) Bitch; (vii) ‘Once I came home’; (viii) Love & Anger; Last Chances; (i) ‘She scans her torch’; (ii) Love Poem; (iii) Diurnal; (iv) ‘We catch our flights’; Part III; A Few Questions; Hours; A Perfect Heart; The Art of Happiness; 1. Pointillism; 2. Abstract Expressionism; 3. Late Minimalism; Brief Lives; Singles; Covers; Manifest; Mid Life; Autobiology; Rubber Bullets; Ghostly; One moment please; Distance; The Last Summer; Facts of Life; The Field; Bird and Fox; Morning; Days; Hours; Night Fragments; Part IV; For Maria; For Maria; ‘It has no edges’


“David McCooey’s Blister Pack is poetry of a beguiling lyrical clarity. It is immensely pleasurable to read. But underneath its silky rhythms there is a disconcerting and compelling unease. ” —Dorothy Porter


“How many kinds of weather play over the soul? This is the question David McCooey’s poems ask, steadied by an elegant equanimity. Coping with yet another diurnal tremor, he can wryly reflect that “This is what the suburbs/ Were created for.” These poems acknowledge how everyday experience has discernible limits and, at the same time, that something dark lurks beyond those limits. Civilization is like that.” —Chris Wallace-Crabbe


“On of the most immediate pleasures of McCooey’s poetry is its formal elegance, its air of composed sensuousness. ‘Beguiling’ is how Dorothy Porter describes its ‘silky rythms’.” —Jennifer Strauss Australian Book Review


“Throughout this collection, there is pleasure in seeing a lucidly articulate intelligence at work. It is a readerly pleasure compounded, not negated, by the poet’s recognition of the limits of experience.” —Jennifer Strauss Australian Book Review



David McCooeyDavid McCooey is an award-winning, and widely published, poet and critic. His first collection of poetry, Blister Pack, won the Mary Gilmore Award and was short-listed for four other major Australian literary awards. He is the Deputy General Editor of the award-winning Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (published internationally as The Literature of Australia). He is associate professor at Deakin University in Victoria.

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