Like to the Lark

Stuart’s second book, Like to the Lark, will be out February 28, 2023 with Upswell Publishing.

Like to the Lark is now available for pre-order at Upswell, as well as at Amazon, Angus & Robertson, Avenue Bookstore, Booktopia, Dymocks, Fullers Bookshop, Hares & Hyenas, The Nile and QBD.


Like To The Lark is Stuart Barnes’ poetic Back to Mine, an accumulation of lifetime fascinations with music and sound, form and transformation. Beginning with an apparition of a doomed world brooding over itself and ending with a kvelling globe, this long-awaited second collection from the winner of the 2015 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize plunges—‘What a plunge!’ (‘What a lark!’)—into seas, scoots across countries and hurtles towards space. Ghazal shapeshifts into pantoum, duplex, sonnet, sestina, terminal and more plus two new forms invented by Barnes—terse-set and flashbang. As influenced by popular culture as they are by classical mythology, these poems—by turns playful, serious, tender, bold, surprising and witty—are fearless in their explorations of rape, illness, death, remembrance, ecology, love and joy. While ‘Fog / and Grief preen’ over a serodiscordant gay couple, a phoenix-like Royal Poinciana declares ‘My breath is rooted in kindness’. Forged from and framed by conversations with Nick Drake, Gwen Harwood, Sylvia Plath, Shakespeare, Robert Smith and others, Barnes’ poems sparkle with vivid lyricism and wild inventiveness, and summon great care for the way they tend and transmute trauma and illuminate the resilience of human and non-human beings.’