The Flaw in the Pattern

The Flaw in the Pattern

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Rachael Mead



Shortlisted - 2016 Dorothy Hewett Award for an Unpublished Manuscript


Praise for The Flaw in the Pattern

This is an alive, refreshing and, quite literally, elemental book of water and skin, muscle and fire. Rachael Mead’s poems are immediate and grounded whilst entwined with fragility and struggle. They don’t shy from the difficulties and sadness as well as joy in human kinship. Along the way Mead offers us a clear-eyed self-consciousness of the human within the larger places of the earth, in this case places such as Antarctica, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, Ikara–Flinders Ranges. The book offers us an embodied sense of secular ritual in its attentiveness and its use of form – lists, lyric iterations, admonitions - as the poet both argues and confides with herself and us, about the wild pleasures of earth’s physical and emotional topographies, and of our responsibilities within all this. A powerful and invigorating book of journeys well worth taking.



Rachael Mead’s invigorating poems resonate with the clarity of the fatigued and enduring body. The language is unsettled and open, punctuated with surprising forms and flaring lyricism. In fog, a loved one’s shape dissolves and reappears. Leeches cling as black punctuation. A family photograph the colour of ash. Here are poems of both composure and restlessness, alert to how the world – and language – hold out both devastation and ecstasy. The Flaw in the Pattern finds a place from which to sing of brokenness.



The poems in this book are grand ones of small things, poems that match mood to the untameable sky or stars, or cold, or trees. Rachael Mead successfully balances urgency and quiet in lines like ‘The gum trees raise their lacy fists’ and ‘you must touch with your eyes and let that be enough’. Life can and will be complex, but if we’re aware of our place, if we can understand that ‘Here the leech and the midge are equal to the devil and quoll’, we might be able to simplify things. These poems simplify things. Gentle and visceral, full of wisdom and experience, they capture wildness and echo safety.




Book details

FORMAT: Paperback
EXTENT: 96 pages
SIZE: 210 (h) x 140 (w) mm
ISBN: 9781742589602
RIGHTS: World rights
CATEGORY: PoetryRachael MeadUWAP Poetry,