“The White Room Poems will take your breath and your heart away, and they might not return them. We long for poetry that was never likely to be made, and now miraculously made, we would not want to change a word of it. This poetry is like that. It is a township of birds, an alphabet of clouds, a rain of wondrous phrases that will take you to the unbearable fringes where
Tonight’s train goes by,
sounds like a wounded beast.
In the heart of the night,
everything holds its breath.
The White Room Poems are a mother’s poems to the son she has lost to the softly drug. How is it possible that they can be so beautiful and strong when they are so lost in this young man’s cloud of unbeing? These poems never flinch, but that makes them even more fragile. These poems never stop singing in speech but that does not lift them from their stern night. These poems press on into the reader’s heart, into anyone who has loved, into any parent who recognizes what this kind of loss might, just might, sound like if it was made into poetry.”
– Kevin Brophy
"I love the spare, fearless, tender voice of these poems, its play of intellect and dream, 'with always the music hidden in the order of it'.
I light a candle, trembling when I set it down,
"You feel you would follow this voice anywhere. These poems, won out of grief and daring, wondrously sing and shine."
– Pam Schindler
No-one is a tourist to loss. The White Room Poems will devastate and reawaken you. Anne Kellas shapes barely audible sounds of grief into bell-like clarity. This book would shake a mountain to its core.
– Ivy Alvarez
"I've read a lot of Anne's poetry and have sung some in settings by Australian composers. Hers is a unique voice, and one I love. It's direct, personal and raw. These poems are filled with music, with harmony, through the layering of idea on idea. It's a journey that leaves you thinking about your own path while giving you a very moving insight into her own."
– Michael Lampard, Australian baritone
– Kevin Hart
"The White Room Poems take us down into the valley of the shadow of death, but gently, where grief and love are intertwined, and where all of us, inevitably, must go. Here is a poet who knows that poetry speaks the unspeakable, when no other language will do."
– Lisa Jacobson (author of South in the World)
“Through the use of elliptical lines and concise, often surprising imagery, Kellas has forged a set of poems which interrogate both livelihood and language while remaining true to the lyric groundswell from which they spring. Her unerring focus on place and experience is simultaneously precise and visionary, and makes The White Room Poems a reading experience to savour.”
– Kelwyn Sole