‘Raw, frank, yet exquisitely crafted’, By the Lapels is Wes Lee’s second full-length collection of poetry. An oblique narrative told in fragments, scenes half-glimpsed. The poems unfold, adopting a variety of poetic personas, interrogating the body, interrogating memory, highlighting a tenuous sense of existence, a constant negotiation with being in the world.
I was delighted by her ability to explore form and deploy a lucid, image-laden, evocative sense in her writing … I kept thinking as I read these poems what they constantly achieve is aligned with the logic of écriture féminine, and of what Irigaray promised us women writers would eventually achieve: ‘Don’t weep. One day we will learn to say ourselves.’ — Jen Webb, University of Canberra
‘The work is full of dark intimations and melancholy … One is pummelled by life and weirdly joyous at the incredibly frank state of arrival of their own being in writing.’ — Eileen Myles, the Sarah Broom Poetry Prize 2018