by the beguiling Emily Humphries
The Divining Tower is a selection of 25 poems from an epic body of 85 inspired works written between 2010 and 2013 by well known artist, writer and painter Emily Humphries.
Raw, visceral and honest, Humphries’ autobiographical tapestry of word, thought and feeling almost defies gravity as she explores, laments and celebrates the many facets of human love, lust, sexuality and romance in all their glorious imperfection.
Born in England in the mid 60’s amidst a dizzying maelstrom of theatre royalty, Emily is the second child of comedian Barry Humphries and New Zealand Ballet’s original member and principal dancer, Roslalind Hollinrake. Her fertile childhood influences included Blackman and Boyd, Greer and Percival at regular dinners in their Little Venice home, as well as comedic greats Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Dudley Moore.
Humphries’ accomplishments in the visual arts have earned her a devoted international following. Writing, her earliest love, had her winning prizes at school, and resurfaced irrepressibly in 2010 when Emily was living in the heart of her beloved Paris.
The Divining Tower took shape during that time in Paris, so it is perhaps fitting that the poetry evokes vivid 18th century imagery sliced with a wry 21st century tongue, achieving operatic impact.
The book opens with a Haiku before the contents page. It floats freely, playfully evoking the shape of a moth, a figure of transformation and the subtle subtext of the work overall. Melbourne, sitting midway in the text marks both a geographical transition and a shift in the tone of the work. It’s first reading earned Emily an encouragement award at the 2012 Doris Leadbetter Cup.
Greatly anticipated by her followers Humphries will be launching The Divining Tower, her first book of poems, on Tuesday the 15th July 2014 at Cam’s, on the ground level of the old Abbotsford Convent. There will be readings by actors Don Bridges and Janet Watson-Kruse IMDb, as well as a few surprise guests.
Exploring Emily’s multifaceted work is a deeply engaging experience. Her poetry cycle, The Divining Tower, is available for purchase at www.emilyhumphries.com, along with a selection of her most collectable paintings and drawings.
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