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Ali Whitelock

A Brief Letter to the Sea About a Couple of Things

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In a collection where things start innocently enough with an ovarian cyst, and where the poet wakes from dreams of sex in Bunnings (in the light bulb aisle if you're wondering), these poems crash land into your soup bowl leaving your fresh white dress drenched in Campbell's cream of tomato.

Ali Whitelock's poems, bold and loud and heartbreaking, run bare arsed through the shit storm of this world while playing Rachmaninoff's fifth on a piano left out in the rain. They howl and they ache, they hoot and they pine, they curl up with the sea urchins, sing to the starfish, waltz with the seahorses - they sleep with the moon.

It's shite being Scottish, so the Trainspotting line goes. And for a long time Ali Whitelock thought that too. Originally from Glasgow, she now lives an hour south of Sydney. Sure, she lives a fortunate life. Sure, the sun shines just about every day. Sure, the beach is only a ten-minute stroll away. So why then is this not enough for her? What is it that makes her heart ache for the Scottish wilds, the icy north wind, the horizontal rain, the Cairngorms, the Old Man of Storr, the best Indian food you will ever taste in your life, and supermarkets that reduce packs of twelve croissants to 5p at the end of the day? Sadly, she has yet to come up with a definitive answer. Ali spends her days writing, mentoring, applying SPF 50+, looking for her sun hat, fantasising about living in a windswept cottage in winter on the Isle of Skye, and shouting at the telly when the Liberals come on. A brief letter to the sea about a couple of things is her fourth book.