Paperback | Feb 2024 | Giramondo Publishing | 9781922725790 | 112pp | 210x148mm | GEN | AUD$27.00, NZD$32.99
A poetry collection which is part criticism, part autobiography, and always acute in its recollection of the emotions inspired by television drama
In her new collection Television, award-winning poet Kate Middleton considers the emotional impact that television programs had on her formative years — from childhood cartoons Astro Boy and Roadrunner to series like Pretty Little Liars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills 90210. These were ‘the shows I watched to cry, to feel/ the hot gash angst of teenaged-ness’. In poems that expand like mini-essays, the poet explores the feelings evoked by these shows, the shame and longing, the regret and desire, and the different kinds of identification they encouraged, especially in a teenage girl. But the focus is also on the poet as an adult, thinking back over her adolescent responses, about the ways in which television plays with time and reality, and the extent to which its jumble of images reflects her own multi-faceted consciousness, if it hasn’t in fact formed it — ‘the one whose interests are too voluminous, the one who tries/ to write deeply into one idea and is instead immediately/ tugged sideways…I try to do too much and/ my attention shatters, ricochets among ruins’.