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This book includes selection from Ouyang Yu’s poetic work, published or unpublished, for more than a decade straddling the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century, in work such as Songs of the Last Chinese Poet (1997), Two Hearts, Two Tongues and Rain-coloured Eyes (2002) and Foreign Matter (2003), a selection which provides the best introduction to his work.
‘Ouyang Yu’s poetic voice is strident, passionate, tough minded and intimate. It pulsates with anger. Here verse is used as a weapon. The poetry in this New and Selected is strongly political, resonant and dynamic. It invites you ‘in’ and demands to be read.’ —Anne Pender
‘Ouyang Yu is one of the most powerful voices to emerge in Australian poetry during the 1990s. New and Selected Poems shows the full range of his work – comic, demotic, lyrical, angry, but always engaged and engaging.’ —Elizabeth Webby
‘There is an idealism, passion and vitality in Yu’s work that has not often been seen in Australian poetry since the 1970s. It presents itself as the anger and disappointment of a Chinese immigrant in a land which has failed to honour its promises, but the issues are broader. He is a kind of early-twenty-first-century everyman, a subject in crisis and transition, working just a little way ahead of most of us: someone we should watch, and think about carefully.’ —David Brooks
‘Ouyang Yu’s New and Selected Poems is marked by an acrid wit, a strenuous intelligence, the fearlessness of its pessimism. ‘Floating … between China and Australia’, he is one of the most remarkable poets – and translators – working in this country.’ —Peter Pierce