The Ancient Capital of Images

Written by John Mateer


The Ancient Capital of Images traverses three countries – South Africa, Australia and Japan – all places where the poet has lived. In this acclaimed collection Mateer negotiates the space between exile and acclimatisation, belonging and not belonging.

‘Mateer has been recognised by readers of many different temperaments and affiliations as one of the leading Australian poets of his generation.’ Antipodes

‘[An] excellent wide-ranging collection.’ Japan Times

‘No one writes like John Mateer. No one makes such a singular knot of Africa, Asia and Australia, and no one combines observation and metaphysics in quite the way he does.’ Kevin Hart

‘This, his finest book yet, is a book which can be read everywhere English is spoken. Engaged, at times anguished, always finely tuned, these are poems written as much at the frontier of a language as of a psyche.’ Martin Harrison

ISBN 9781920731694 (Paperback)
Formats B Format (198 x 128mm) (Paperback)
Categories Poetry
Pages 64
Publication Year 2005
Edition 1st
Publisher Fremantle Press
  • John mateer

    John Mateer

    John Mateer has published books of poems in Australia, Austria, Portugal and the UK, and smaller collections in South Africa, Indonesia, Japan and Macau. World Literature Today has called him ‘the most recent reincarnation of the international poet’. Mateer has been a guest speaker at writing festivals around the world. Read more