COMFORT FOOD by Ellen van Neerven

I also saw those spirit dogs
and poetry travelled with me
like rivers
I didn’t ever eat alone

‘Goan Fish Curry’

Following on from the success of her award-winning fiction debut, Heat and Light, Ellen van Neerven announced herself as a talented poet with this assured collection. 

Moving between places and cultures, Comfort Food explores identity, sovereignty and the restless quest for love. Using food as her inspiration, van Neerven offers a cross-cultural vision of the exotic and the familiar. This sensuous volume sets a new benchmark in contemporary Australian poetry. 


It was Ellen van Neerven's poem about mangoes that prompted extraordinarily nasty responses from a few students sitting the final year secondary school exam last year. The ensuing discussion - among other things - put the poet's interest in food, place and memory into focus. Let's share the comfort of poems with Ellen van Neerven at Festival 2018.