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I Con: New and Selected Poems represents the best examples of poetry from the career of Tim Thorne, a career spanning over forty years and a dozen collections. It contains something for every area of interest, from delicate love lyrics to witty and sardonic comments on political matters. Arranged in roughly chronological order, the book traces the development of this remarkable poet from the early pieces such as “Star” and “Launceston” with their often raw and violent imagery through to his recent A Letter to Egon Kisch, a major contribution to the epistolary poetic canon in the tradition of Byron and Auden. It also contains a selection of the dramatic monologues from his highly acclaimed The Streets Aren’t For Dreamers and a number of the pieces based on Australian history and on Australian paintings written in the 1990s. Among the previously unpublished works included here is his series “Trainstations from European Poets”, deliberate mistranslations of well-known anthology pieces, which are not just fun, but contain new insights into old favourites. Deeply personal poems about the death of his mother, about the father he never knew, about his baby daughter and about a friend dying of a heroin overdose avoid sentimentality and forge tough art out of delicate subjects. They sit at perfect ease alongside meditations on Antarctic exploration, on the meeting of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie or on the Iraq War. I Con does what its title suggests, but you’ll be glad it does.
‘Tim Thorne has a rare gift.His poems are always unpredictable. They continually spike the reader with wit and surprise. Tim Thorne has been around for a long time, but, thankfully, never writes like it.’ —Dorothy Porter
‘More musical than Mallarmé with a twelve-string blues guitar, as far out as the Tasmanian wilderness, closer than country music, Tim Thorne rides the line of poetry from the page through the eye to the brain and the heart.’ —John tranter
‘A searing portrayal that fuses the rules of grammar with the language of war.’ —Anthony Lynch, Australian Book Review, February 2009