‘City of divine delirium, the dogs are chained’. A vital and decolonising work, Vishvarupa follows flows of classical myth and personal memory, cultivating diverse energies into a wild florescence unlike anything else in Australian literature. Michelle Cahill is a poet of exceptional skill and courage—she traces a picture magic around that which cannot or refuses to be imported across cultures. Vivid, provocative, Vishvarupa sparks discursive tensions and crises to ‘rise from the poem on a burning ladder of language’.

Lucy Van

UWA Publishing are reissuing a second edition of my collection of poems themed on Hindu gods. I’m feeling blessed as the book was out of print.
I’ll be reading from the poems at La Mama Poetica on 4 June and at the Greek Writer’s Festival 1-2 June, in Melbourne


From the exploration of love myths to the celebration of Mumbai, from an extraordinary portrait poem like ‘Sita’ to the humorous eroticism of ‘Parvati in Darlinghurst’, the poems in Vishvarupa show a breadth of human understanding and unassuming wisdom that matches their extraordinary verbal flair. With rich intoxications and buried longings, Cahill, in the best tradition of poetry, expands our sense of who we are.

Peter Boyle

Michelle Cahill spans the distance between myth and reality, Australia and India with an ardent intelligence. In beautifully polished, elegant language these poems romp and sing, and they also surprise with moments of subtle tenderness. This is a strong, disciplined, uncompromising poet who delivers probing and deeply engaging work.

Judith Beveridge

Transporting the reader from Darlinghurst to Mumbai, from garden to temple, these poems resonate with the author’s clear-eyed wonder, quiet, precise powers of observation and gleaming turn of phrase. In a long list full of technically brilliant poets working at full stretch, Michelle Cahill’s Vishvarupa was a quiet, poised delight.

Judges Report, 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards

a copy !


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