Tigers on the Silk Road
Tigers on the Silk Road  

Divided into five sections, each contributing to a collage which explores the themes of identity and belonging, this collection is a powerful, personal journey through the contrasting landscapes of the physical and inner worlds.

"This book is a beautifully polished brown seed, and there's a strong big tree inside it."
Les Murray

"In Tigers on the Silk Road, Katherine Gallagher is writing at top flight. The poems are by turns tender, then bleak, always open to the many emotional and geographical landscapes they cover. Many countries are visited in these poems, and many sensibilities. Love lost, love gained, growth and motherhood, the fragmented identity. It's a very modern book, the writings of a traveller who investigates geographical, political and moral dislocations of the self and the heart."
Jo Shapcott

Tigers on the Silk Road can be ordered from Arc Publications


Quotes and Reviews

On Tigers on the Silk Road (Arc Publications, 2000:

“In this collection we recognise the Silk Road, even if we have not travelled its particular terrain. What are the tigers the reader can expect to meet along the way? Geographical dislocation, the slippage of relationships, political and moral dilemmas, the milestones of life itself. The poet deals with these encounters with assurance, and a lightness of touch that reveals the underlying paradox of her subject matter.”
(Margaret Bradstock, Five Bells, Autumn, 2002)

“Katherine Gallagher . . has an impressive clarity and freshness of voice. Her poems in this collection are well-honed, musical, and the light touch in her lines betrays multi-layered depths. She writes assuredly of travel, of exile, of return, nature, of war, of family, of illness, of childhood experiences and of love and of death with a measured passion . . Like Seamus Heaney, she continues to be a proud exponent of the lyric ‘I’, even when, as in Heaney’s Seeing Things, her poetry flies off into a bigger, more philosophical dimension . . .
In fact, the collection as a whole could be seen as an odyssey through time, continents, memory; although specific to her, anyone’s. The poet expresses this odyssey with surreal originality:’I didn’t go round the world. It went around me.’”
(Patricia McCarthy, Agenda, Australian Issue, Vol. 41, Nos. 1 – 2, 2005)

“Tigers on the Silk Road is a generous and accomplished collection with a wide range of sympathies and concerns. It spans the curve of Katherine Gallagher’s life in two countries and of her thirty-year journey as a poet. It also makes a specific contribution to Australian poetry in a number of areas; an Irish-Australian country childhood remembered, war poetry; nature poetry; the Australian-European theme.
There is an understated quality to Gallagher’s tone that I think of as characteristically Australian, though life and circumstance have put her in the position of claiming her ground with care, and she does so with assurance . . .Above all, this is a volume of poetry informed by courage and grace.”
(Diane Fahey, The Australian Book Review, October, 2001)