Fixing the Broken Nightingale contains poems of paradox, cynicism, tenderness, outrage and resignation, fleeting lust and enduring love, observation, invention and glimpses of enlightenment written by this widely published and charismatic author, whose earlier books include the critically lauded The Kamikaze Mind (Brandl &Schlesinger) and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award-nominated Thursday’s Fictions (Five Island Press), and whose previous work also includes multi-award-winning creativity for the screen, the stage and new media platforms.
“The phrases that might describe these poems all have a ring of paradox: stylish frailty, eloquent reticence, dance moves arrested, stasis in flux. The question, says Richard James Allen, is how to link the miracle in each moment to the next. In trying to find an answer, he tiptoes and skips and scampers to the brink, peeping to see what words are coming next. The contingency of his language meets love and sex, desolation and death, and the redemptive power of art, as time marks its passing through these wistful performances.” Michael Hulse
“Allen’s is a peripatetic eye… enthusiastic, despairing, loving, frantic. Here is a poet who dares to be vulnerable and awed.” Les Wicks “The diary of one poet’s search for authenticity—a series of quests—this collection needs to be read as a whole. An exceptionally engaging book.” Vivian Smith “I enjoyed the humour. A very readable collection.” Philip Hammial
“In Fixing the Broken Nightingale Richard Allen treats the reader to a wealth of clear, sparse, beautifully poised lyrics that play off the idea of poetry as a chronicle of life. Yet with his strong instinct for humour, strangeness, frailty, sadness and grit, Allen does much more than this. These poems seem to come straight out of reality and deliver it whole. The refreshing, fully alive poems in this collection show how simplicity and wisdom are still one very powerful combination.” Peter Boyle
“A treasure chest of poetry.” Beatriz Copello