Megan Hall’s first collection of poems, Fourth Child, has the texture of a carefully wrought, hand-stitched garment. It is something you want to bury your face in, like the familiar scented fabric of an item of clothing that belonged to a beloved who is gone.
The poems combine a dark humour and terrible grief with a lightness and restrained sensuality. Her language has the qualities of dance: uninhibited and polished, accomplished and vivid.
Fourth Child shows a poet courageously facing deep feelings while being committed to accurate writing, making beautiful and living things out of the fabric of loss, grief, and emptiness.
“The poems in Fourth Child steal upon the reader like a leopard. The tone of the volume is unassuming, at times matter-of-fact; it both shields and deepens, and works to control what could easily be runaway emotions. Poems like ‘Dancing on Robben Island’ and ‘Cesaria live’ allow entry into the psychology of icons where they would normally be accompanied by fanfare. It is an intriguing volume, which ensures it will be read again and again.”
Rustum Kozain, This Carting Life, winner of 2006 Ingrid Jonker prize
“Her poems – of love and loss – are at once delicate and powerful. They keep their poise, close to the bone.”
Robin Malan, writer, editor