...a warm and wonderful rest along the way to the new secular liturgy.
—Bob Brown, former leader of The Australian Greens
I love living in a secular world, that paradoxical place where now the atheists are the zealots and the religious bullies of the past have had to back off; and where it’s the marketing companies and, increasingly, the state monitoring every purchase and phone call we make and it used to be that old man God doing the surveillance; and where we say we live in a secular and multicultural Australia but the major holidays are still Easter and Christmas.
—from the launch speech by Dee Michell, Feminist Theologian and Senior Lecture in Gender Studies & Social Analysis at the University of Adelaide. Read full speech here.
Just arrived on my Irish desk, a beautiful book in indigo blue and gold foil. I’m thrilled to be included. Prayers for a Secular World contains poems on our search for meaning. Edited by Jordie Albiston and Kevin Brophy, it makes the real world our place of mindful hope. David Tacey’s introduction on the secular sacred sets the context.
—Robyn Rowland, OBE
An inspiring collection. Offers us immediate glimpses of what it is to be one of the creatures in a world that never ceases to surprise us simply by being there, both outside us and within.
—David Malouf, Earth Hour
This is a book for the bedside table, the garden bench, for a train journey overnight. It is a book to savour. Look and you will find the verse that lingers, the line that stops you in your tracks, the poem that will become a friend; and in its pages white as silence, you will find space in which to dream.
—Arnold Zable, Violin Lessons
This reviewer began by irresponsibly turning down the corner of poems from which he might later quote but had to give up when almost every second page was being mistreated.
—Geoff Page, The Australian
I felt as though I was standing before a perfect portrait in a quiet gallery, seeing the sacred mountains. —Karenlee Thompson Book Reviewer
A great sadness descended on the Western spirit when the Church announced that God had been exiled to heaven. But the truth which doctrine denied, poets still proclaimed. This collection represents a wonder full embodiment of poetry’s ancient immersion in earthly grace. Thank God for secular prayers.
—James Boyce, Born Bad: Original Sin and the Making of the Western World
‘The imperfect is our paradise’, wrote Wallace Stevens. This volume, a beautiful series of secular prayers, honours the idea that the only heaven we will know is the one we make ourselves. Our Eden is in these pages, tended by some of our finest gardeners—the kind who dig with words.
—Geordie Williamson, literary critic, The Australian
Prayers of a Secular World is a collection of poems that explores the idea that modern life demands modern forms of worship; that there is something within the human spirit that cannot stand meaninglessness. …This anthology is big, unweildy and ambitious—it demands no religious sensibility of the reader, but delivers an abundance of speculation and wonder.
—Hilary Simmons, former assistant editor at Books+Publishing and a freelance reviewer and journalist.