Wildlife of Berlin
Praise for Wildlife of Berlin
Neilsen’s intelligent, searching, and relentlessly contemporary poems in Wildlife of Berlin reveal a poet whose chief interest is transforming and challenging the way we see our human position in a world under ecological and ideological threat. At once philosophical and conversational, deadly serious and unerringly wry, these poems offer us forensically clear-eyed perspectives on subjects ranging from environmental degradation and the impending collapse of fragile ecosystems in the anthropocene, to unconventional and irreverent portraits of figures drawn from literature and politics and beyond. Neilsen’s poems are miraculously both deeply ethical and deeply comic; they surprise and delight with the irreverence of their critiques, while always keeping an eye on the tragic consequences of human folly. Above all, they ask us to sit still, to pay attention, to re-examine our basic precepts with equal measures of reason, wit, imagination and empathy. Wildlife of Berlin is a superbly crafted, incisive and urgent collection of new work from one of Australia’s most original poets, and deserving of the wide audience I am sure it will find. These are necessary poems for incendiary times.SARAH HOLLAND-BATT
This is a book full of loss and hopes for redemption, of elegy synched with epiphany and possibility – for loved ones and for the planet. Neilsen is a senior poet who has complete control over his material but the material surprises him as well. A brilliant book. A standout.