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towards a grammar of being

Julie Waugh

With heartbreaking clarity, and using grammar as her springboard, Waugh leaps between/into buildings, stops for the death of a bee then soars over a fence and off the page before returning to a Lithgow childhood. Amidst the destruction,dignity and despair of our culpable world this book is a bell.
– Les Wicks

In the tradition of Dickinson’s letter to the world, Julie Waugh has dedicated herself to the poet’s scrupulous custom of reflection and self-examination. The result is this poetic self-portrait. What towards a grammar of being delivers, in its high intelligence and tender sensuality,
and in its inventive stream-of-verse episodes, is, quite simply, psychology, or what we used to call intuition. This is poetry for poetry lovers who remember when poetry had something to tell us about ourselves and about living the good life, and when reading poetry meant enjoying a
poetic experience.

– Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, editor, eratio





Gloria Burley

Julie Waugh was born in the small coal mining town of Lithgow situated on the edge of the Blue Mountains in NSW. After training to be a registered nurse at the local hospital, she moved to Sydney and combined motherhood with studying for a BA at UNSW, majoring in psychology.

In Sydney she worked as a courier, secretary, venepuncturist, copywriter, nurse, freelance editor and spent five years as a medical writer for a publishing company.

Although she began to write poetry in her early twenties it wasn’t until later in life that she started writing again and at that stage completed a Master of Arts degree in creative writing at UNSW. Since then her poems have been published widely in Australia and overseas.

At present she lives and works in Belfast, Northern Ireland where she relocated in 2008 to be closer to her son and grandsons.

BuyIP Kindle

ISBN 9781921479243
222mm x 222mm
Poetry, PB, 64pp


This collection of poems ordered under grammatical categories such as "future tense," "bare infinitives," "possessive phrases" and "simple past," offers poems that use grammar in the old way, the right way, a way that provides words and sounds as spring boards to ideas. Waugh's courageous poems are social, personal, philosophical, and chock full of splendid metaphors. Her aesthetically pleasing juxtapositions of images, sounds and ideas satisfy the human soul.

The Tower Journal (USA)





future tense

go west
this prism, this cul-de-sac of dreams,
turns inside-out the cries of children
weary and satiated for now, while horizons
the colour of watermelon, melt
like a frozen treat thrown in the gutter

in such a world
where the undelivered jostle
for the crumbs of corruption
where imagination is transformed
into dreams of an ultimate sacrifice

I hope the angels remember how to weep
as we, unsatisfied with our little lives,
distanced by digital virtualities,
polarised by fears of a third invasion,
have forgotten


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