Dianne Cikusa’s Hope and Substance is a collection of schizo-tonic psalms delivered from the brink of an abyss. Her writing maps the territories at the outer limits of consciousness – the dimensions just this side of the world of words. The collection opens with an epigraph from Plath, ‘Dead Egg, I lie/Whole/On a whole world I cannot touch’, and takes us into this wild, wide, and untouchable unconscious in a whorl of surreal metaphysics; a ‘wretched odyssey’ into the ‘endless caverns of desire’ where paradox is the law, and everything is at stake, where morality, mortality, good and evil are naked to the root: ‘And didn’t you know – /by avoiding death,/ you were killing people.’

Above comments and review provided by LUKE CARMAN, Australian fiction writer and academic