An evocative and thought-provoking collection of poetry that reveals more to the reader with each reread. Clara Joseph covers a wide range of themes and ideas whilst tying them all together under the repeating image of the face, seen from many different angles and in different guises. The author seamlessly transitions between personal poems of change, transition, or personal philosophizing, to more public issues of justice and injustice, violation and destruction, all the while returning – unblinking – to the perception of the other within the world. Ultimately, this book is about what it means to meet the other person.
Stunning Debut Focuses on the Perception of Faces
It is impossible to read Clara Joseph’s The Face of the Other without being touched profoundly by its beauty and pain, love and hurt, by the awful predicament of a sensitive vulnerability at once broken and yet still hopeful. What comes through these enchanting words is a deep compassion, eyes open, bloodied, yet reaching out.
– Richard A. Cohen, Professor of Philosophy, author of Out of Control: Confrontations between Spinoza and Levinas (2016).
Clara Joseph has written a tough, emotive book in which the self’s “brokenness/ dances to the edge” of another consciousness. Fittingly, these linked poetic meditations about facing the other do not flinch in the face of hard subjects, but instead look them long in the eye. The poems meditate upon darkness—racism, sexual violence, abject poverty. Yet the book calls us not only to ethical action, but also to a celebration of everyday life in all its lyricism and connection. “Feel my cheek for the alphabet,” the speaker beckons. Reader, these pages hold intense beauty and solace. Accept their invitation.
– David Goldstein, York University
Intelligent, thoughtful, and provocative, this sensual work ranges from the sacred to the profane in language that mixes the philosophical and the vernacular. With The Face of the Other, the well published Clara Joseph makes a stunning debut as a poet.
– Ken McGoogan, author of Lady Franklin’s Revenge
For further information, or to order review copies, please contact:
Promotions Manager, IP
Treetop Studio, 9 Kuhler Ct
Carindale, QLD 4152