Emily Ballou’s sensitive and beautifully imagined verse-portrait of Charles Darwin’s life, The Darwin Poems, separates the man from the legend, bringing to light the textures of his work and dreams, the noise and touch of his family and his inner doubts and questions.
In 1836 Darwin spent two months in Australia. He visited Sydney, travelled on horseback across the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, visited Hobart, and stopped in King George Sound in Western Australia.
Darwin also had a dramatic personal life. He lost his mother at the age of eight. He watched his favourite daughter die and almost never spoke her name again. He survived years of illness and crippling stomach pains.
Darwin also lived with the fear that his work on the origin of the species could wreck his marriage and destroy all that society held dear. He closed the door on God and had to cope with twenty years of work nearly being eclipsed by a younger man.
Highly Commended – 2010 Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Awards (Anne Elder Award)
Shortlisted – 2010 Australian Literary Studies Gold Medal
Shortlisted – 2010 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards (Kenneth Slessor Prize)
Won – 2009 Wesley Michael Wright Prize for Poetry
Praise for The Darwin Poems:
Vivid, musical, sensuous and strong.ADAM THORPE
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