‘We like Phillip very much. We like his poetry. We like him teaching our kids. They love him like big brother so he’s ours – Jabala – family.’ – Aidie Miller, Gudanji Elder
This is poetry that dances like the brolga: in praise of wading waist deep in the mountain river’s ‘nourishing brown flow’; of parcelling freshly caught barra in paperbark before ‘sweetening in coals’; of a campfire crackling in ‘plumes of rising heat’. Hall raises the flag to Indigenous survival, listening to Country in a way that esteems the traditional owners and interrogates colonialism’s crooked paths. This is poetry that keeps us sensitively engaged and committed from beginning to end.
‘Every day twenty-first century Australia needs urgent corrections to that ongoing virus of phoney patriotism continuing to infect it. The plain-speaking, closely observed poems of Phillip Hall go a mighty long way in tending to that need.’ – Alan Wearne
‘Hall is a striking imagist, moving us toward a Thoreauean poetic of sauntering and ambient perspective. Sweetened in Coals is a stunning achievement.’ – Bonny Cassidy