Title: Slow Walk Home
Author: Young Dawkins
Publisher: Red Squirrel Press
‘…we gather to piss on the fallen
because America loves its tough guys’
AMERICAN BOOM by Young Dawkins
Slow Walk Home by Young Dawkins, published by Red Squirrel Press, is a poetry collection full of hearty imagery contrasted with intense emotional themes. The poems range from lamenting about the blues to dissecting a failed marriage. If you are looking for a collection of poetry that is thought-provoking then give Slow Walk Home a try!
Despite his living in Tasmania since 2013, something that stood out to me when reading Dawkins’ poetry was its Americanisms (Dawkins is originally from the U.S.). I usually only read Australian texts and I am very used to reading about Australian life and landscapes – a setting that is second nature to me. When I read Dawkins’ work I felt like I was placed right into the thick of American life. The lyrical and evocative nature of Dawkins’ writing creates a vivid setting that I rarely see outside of ‘great American novels’ and American-produced film and television cinema. That being said – I don’t read many contemporary American poets so this might just be a personal watershed moment. Either way, Slow Walk Home is a snap-shot of ‘old-fashioned’ Americana with references to Beat poets, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.
This may not be the most relatable text for Australian readers because it is very American-focused, as well as having a heavy male-gaze which I found hard to look past. Dawkins’ work reads like its written by a white, American man, but it isn’t stifling – rather it’s a perspective that I don’t actively seek out or read often. Lovers of American poetry, in particular Beat poetry, will enjoy Dawkins’ Slow Walk Home.