By Maxine Beneba ClarkePoetryHachette Australia

Carrying the World

A haunting visit to the International Museum of Slavery, in Liverpool England. A feisty young black girl pushing back against authority. The joy and despair of single parenthood. A love-hate relationship with words.

This collection brings the best of a decade-long international poetry career to the page.

Portrait of Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent and the author of the poetry collections Gil Scott Heron Is on Parole and Nothing Here Needs Fixing. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, the AgeMeanjin, the Saturday Paper and the Big Issue.

Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil (2014) won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015, the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction. Maxine was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015, as well as being shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. A collection of Maxine's poetry Carrying The World, her memoir The Hate Race and her first children's picture book The Patchwork Bike were all published in 2016.

Judges’ report

Maxine Beneba Clarke’s Carrying the World is electric. Clarke is a master storyteller and lyricist allowing us to observe humanity through the immense telescope of culture, emotion and power. Poems swing and hit hard. This collection is a decade in the making and it was wonderful to read poems in here that featured in the dynamic Gil Scott Heron is on Parole (Picaro Press, 2009) and Nothing Here Needs Fixing (Picaro Press, 2013). Her compelling poems sing off the page and will be heard by many. ‘she told me/ quite unequivocally/ that i would rise’.


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The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards shortlist