Ian McBryde is an Australian poet. He was born in 1953 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada but has been a long time Australian resident.
He has published ten books of poems and three audio CDs of spoken word poetry and original music. A widely admired poet in Australia his most recent, and tenth book, a new and selected publication, was highly anticipated by his contemporaries.
We the Mapless: new and selected poems was launched in Melbourne, Australia, at Collected Works Bookshop in February 2017 and at The Queensland Poetry Festival at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts in August, 2017
Making my way through these poems – and I say “making my way” because there is never a feeling, at any point, of having to work the poems out. It is much like walking through a gallery of striking paintings – each beautiful, savage, tender and stark. These word paintings and snapshots resonate long after you have put the book down.
We are eased into the collection softly with selections from Ian’s 1994 collection The Familiar, with the very slight and quiet ‘Cat to Antelope’. The poems from The Familiar imprint some unforgettable lines upon us. The moon as “a venomous shrunken nun”, for instance. One can faintly hear “the music from the south tower” in ‘Reports from the Palace’, and the faint music still plays in each of Ian’s Reports from the Palace poems thereafter.
McBryde captures, in his characteristically minimalist way, crimes and disasters of history – many clear, detailed and razor-sharp reportings, dense with atmosphere. Dallas’ 63 documents the JFK assassination, Melbourne Bitter the Julian Knight shootings. And of course, there are the poems from Domain, the 2004 collection based on the events of the Holocaust. – Rochford Street Review