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The Last Show on Earth

Poems from the Anthropocene

Yvonne Blomer

In this unflinching and whimsical collection, Victoria’s former poet laureate Yvonne Blomer explores death, disability and the fate of our imperilled world.

In The Last Show on Earth, Yvonne Blomer gathers the diverse characters and distinct moments from everyday life, its tragedies, and triumphs, and begins to imagine them in a circus as side shows and exhibitions of the unusual. In her latest collection, Blomer borrows from museum dioramas, the paintings of Robert Bateman, and the animal portraits in National Geographic to question and explore the human element in the lives and survival of other species. In poems that are at times unflinchingly dark yet playful, Blomer balances on a tightrope of grief and hope as she traces the lines from motherhood and caring for aging parents to caring for our planet and its endangered creatures—the whale, the elephant, the wolf, the polar bear—as they face ongoing environmental destruction. The Last Show on Earth imagines us all as performers under the bright striped tent or packed on the circus train heading toward an unknown destination.