Sanna Peden is a lapsed academic and Perth-based poet. She grew up in Finland and Malaysia and has lived all her adult life in Australia on Wadjuk Noongar land. Sanna has an activist streak, a background in film studies and cultural history and a chronic interest in the odd, weird, sad and speculative. This is her first collection of poetry.
the road marks run, reflected
on my sunglasses
in swooping arches
the freeway ferns in on itself
spits me out
where nothing happens but concrete grows
the trainline doesn’t come this far
not now, not yet, never quite in time
they grow tomatoes now
these friends with not-enough children
and too-much time
the salad is nice, real nice
but it is still just a salad
I didn’t know heirloom basil existed but there you go
they grow their own mangoes as well
– or rather, mangoes happen in their backyard:
“they thrive on neglect”, they say
and I look for a dramatic reveal
in how determined they are
to maintain eye contact
the fruit salad says I’m a bad friend
and I’m inclined to believe it
Sanna Peden’s verses tear down the fourth wall, creating a space where the reader and poet are intimately embraced. Her linguistic littoral is an electric space filled with memory, a sharp ear for word-play and tonnes of modern mysticism. Achingly and eerily authentic.
In straight lines Sanna Peden scribes the space between the close and familiar and the distant and new. Her lines are dense with metaphor, with word-sounds and filmic scenes, from the Fremantle line to a day in Prague. She uses language’s sharpest blade to point at what’s uniquely amiss in Western Australia. Her lover-lines show both passion and compassion for a never-perfect world, and hold hope for humanity.
—Tineke Van der Eecken
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