Monster Field
Lucy Dougan


Paperback | Nov 2022 | Giramondo Publishing | 9781922725370 | 96pp | 210x148mm | GEN | AUD$25.00, NZD$29.99

'Dougan’s elliptical work hints at a life that hovers just beyond our comprehension; in dreams, tales, the past, in the imagination of the poet. This other world surrounds even the most domestic of the poems.' — Winner’s citation, West Australian Premiers Poetry Award

Lucy Dougan’s new collection draws on and is alive to the mysterious zone that Surrealist artist Paul Nash called the ‘Monster Field’: the place glimpsed from a car at speed which cannot be found again easily, and which opens up a space between the everyday and the occult as it ‘almost slides past your eyes’. Like a monster, ‘elusive and ubiquitous’ a poem is a ‘showing’ of what is both unsettling and familiar. In the world of everyday perception, mundane or discarded objects, fleeting scenes and inconsequential places can become unexpectedly charged with momentary significance and rise up as weird extremities in the field of the ordinary. Dougan’s ongoing concerns — the hidden or unperceived, things out of place, the intrusion of wildness into ordered spaces, in art and film, the shifting relationship between past and present — are deepened in this new collection by the disorientations of middle age: in experiences of survival, difficulty, and failure; in the presence and pressure of mystery; and in her conviction of what is sustainable in the making of things and in living.