Martin Harrison (1949-2014) prepared and delivered this final manuscript at the end of a prolific creative life. With the vulnerability of a lover, the poet peels back one cover of truth after another; reckless for the evidence of the senses, he sifts light, sound and smell. Poems like the skin of a world: breathing, walking, touching. Martin Harrison’s culminating poetic achievement is a crossing over, stylistically, thematically, emotionally. Mapping the tragic chiasmus of love and death, it finally asserts the transcendent power of poetry to bear witness, to join us in a greater communion. Cosmopolitan and local, these triumphs of a ‘late style’ remind us what poetry is when its mastery allows the irony of existence to walk naked and to exult.
Highly Commended - 2016 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (Poetry)
Praise for Happiness:
Harrison should be read as substantial Australian poet. His poetry is something new, something that opens up what poetry can be. PETRA WHITE, CORDITE POETRY REVIEW
The poems in this posthumous volume are rich, bountiful, full of the same ''worshipful attention'' ... that characterised his previous volumes. JUDITH BEVERIDGE, AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
The Anglo-Australian poet Martin Harrison died in 2014 at the age of 65. He left us many compasses with which to navigate this dark world.WILLIAM YEOMAN, THE WEST AUSTRALIAN