Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mags Webster's new collection: The Weather of Tongues

by Mags Webster

‘… you’ve scoped me like landscape and I await/ the brushstrokes of your breath, the weather of tongues …’
‘Strange Vernacular’, The Weather of Tongues

Land, language, distance, the music of love, its darkness and its mystery – all these themes are woven into a new poetry collection called The Weather of Tongues, by Perth-based writer and OOTA member, Mags Webster.

The Weather of Tongues is published by Sunline Press, and will be launched by poet Kevin Gillam at the Gallows Gallery, 53 Glyde Street, Mosman Park on Saturday 6 August at 2.30pm. Thereafter it will be available at Planet Books and other independent bookstores in the metropolitan area.

As its title suggests, The Weather of Tongues invokes the metaphorical realm of words and language, and investigates the power of poetry to create mood and feeling, its own kind of 'weather system'. Some of these poems might make you feel the warmth of sunlight, or the humid breath of a tropical storm; others may leave you feeling a bit windswept, or chilled. We think we cannot touch the weather, but weather, like words, has a way of touching us.

Mags was born and raised in England, moving to Western Australia in 2003, where she worked in the performing arts industry and the not-for-profit sector before moving into freelance work and returning to university. Her poems and short stories have won prizes in competitions in Australia and the UK, and her poems have been published in a range of anthologies and journals including The Weighing of the Heart (Sunline Press), indigo, dotdotdash and Kurungabaa. She lives in the Perth Hills, and has been a member of OOTA since 2003.

About The Weather of Tongues:

‘Webster writes in an elegant and seamless voice, sewing wish to wonder, here to hope. Her poems work the parameters of the universal - "the stars have given up their game", nature - "I understand the magpie's enquiring eye", and deep thought - "armfuls of her absence". This is a beautifully crafted volume of work.’ Kevin Gillam

‘The Weather of Tongues is mature and brilliant, a languid and dangerous collection of poems. It’s a book marked by a deep intelligence, a stirring sensuality and a deftness of poetic touch across a wide array of forms…These poems traffic a rich vernacular contraband of heart and place: longing, exile, love, sex, shorelines, grief, fear, hope and the medicine of the enormous present moment … [This] is a book of linguistic fire.’ Mark Tredinnick

For more information, contact Mags on


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