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Unanimous Night is the second full-length collection from Tokyo-based poet Michael Brennan. Unanimous Night is an elegy affirming experience, the depth and interconnectedness of each singular moment. Moving from the displacement and dislocation of his first award-winning collection The Imageless World, Brennan builds new paths into a dream-like and quietly hallucinatory experience of that world, wherein the experience of language is inseparable from the experience of being, where dream and daylight reality interweave, arriving through the erasure of the self. Meditative and celebratory, these poems come to praise this world without obscuring its violence, seeking out timelessness and stillness in the constant evolution of light and sensual experience, in the permanence of loss, the vastness of the elemental, the proximity of friendship, family and lovers, and the transitory beauty of each moment given in the senses. In these poems, love and experience reveal themselves not in the will to grasp and hold, to know and understand, to stabilize and secure, but as an opening of the self to the world that rushes through the brief eclipse of time in the sensual, the momentary and fragmentary, and the sometimes brutal, grip of memory. Recalling the work of Popa and Rilke, Unanimous Night is a love song, the recognition of an elsewhere that constantly evolves within and beyond the contemporary – its horrors and hatreds, its fragility, uncertain truths and knowing – a world of moments and presence, of love and communion, where language and being, the living and the dead, the natural and the technological, the instant and endless converge, where longing turns through healing to the intimacy of experience, of the ever-arriving and wholly present. Unanimous Night is an approach to the space where language and experience coalesce, where subjectivity gives way to the shared experiences of love, mourning and desire, where being offers itself to the violence and grace of another, to an intimacy where being is being shared.
‘One of those rare books that is at the same time both dazzlingly taut and searingly tender. It is structurally watertight in the most admirable way, every screw in place, and yet infused with a deep grace and fluidity: nothing brittle or thin in this fine and unusual book. Brennan explores loss and memory, mourning and Time, with an unflinching eye for the emotionally open moment. A heart-wrenching work that genuinely engages the reader at one's core. A book that can, and will, be read many times over.’ —Luke Davies
‘Like any poet, Brennan is most at home with absence, loss, and separation. And like good poets, he knows how to discover in them, for us, vivid glints of momentary presence – so that we feel healed by that from which we are most estranged.’ —Charlotte Mandell
‘Michael Brennan is one of the most original voices in Australian poetry today.’ —Vivian Smith
‘You feel a pulse underneath Brennan’s poetry, a profound but philosophically clear-eyed belief in relationships.’ —Martin Duwell, Australian Book Review, February 2009