The Vigilant Heart
At the heart of this collection is the powerful sequence “Notes from Ward Seven West”. It opens with the haunting meditation “This Is the Poem”, winner of the prestigious John Shaw Neilson Award. In poems about women and their lives as daughters, lovers, wives and mothers, Bateson plays with different voices adeptly and compassionately. Longer poems feature such intriguing characters as a rebellious schoolgirl and her tattooist lover and, in the final section, the legendary white woman found shipwrecked among the Kuarareg islanders of Torres Strait. Shortlisted in the 2000 Adelaide Festival Awards and her young adult verse novel A Dangerous Girl released this July.
Univ. of Queensland Press, 1998