Writing & News

Reviews of Clean by Scott-Patrick Mitchell

“The sublime nature of Mitchell’s work is evident throughout, for the poet constantly juggles elements of both the picturesque and the sinister.” Holden Walker. Full review in Mascara here:

“The inimitable SPM’s first full-length collection is a fear-and-loathing-journey-book through addiction and back again. These are beautifully written, harrowing, wise, tightly-wound poems of witness, survival and hard-won insight. There is a wry playfulness and joy here too, and sex, and a deep engagement with cultural touchstones (including the Rocky Horror Picture Show). Above all, there is an understanding of the true cost of everything: remember,/ getting clean is a form of grief / so let go / of your own ghost: / a wake, every day.” MELINDA SMITH

“Scott Patrick-Mitchell’s poems will mark you,  the way desire lines wear their maps into the soft places of a city. He makes you look, intimately and generously at spaces it would be far easier to turn away from, by meticulously crafting hard subject matter into exquisitely musical language.” AMANDA JOY

“This work will change readers — it will reach deep into their psyches and have them checking their interior lives, as well as how they live their lives in the shared world. Scott-Patrick Mitchell is a remarkable poet who shifts and realigns language, because it must be placed under pressure, given the pressures we live under. Confronting the trauma of addiction, we move with the poet through to being ‘clean’, and all the complexities around that new clarity. A poet of intense empathy with others and who has a unique way of processing ideas that arise from experience, they travel the streets of Perth, and the contradictions of private grief and communal presence, with phenomenal linguistic skill. This is the book that comes after and beyond Michael Dransfield’s Drug Poems. It is a lodestar book — a book you will never forget.” JOHN KINSELLA

“After years of watching SPM perform across stages, their poems achieve new volume on the page. Split into the three sections of an elegy, this debut collection performs an act of resurrection; the dead do not stay dead in these poems of addiction and obsession. Even within a landscape of hurt, these stories form a forest of love so wisely woven that the reader can take shelter in its shade.

Despite what the title may suggest, this collection is still on its knees scrubbing at memories. In Scott-Patrick Mitchell’s poetry ‘Clean’ is not a destination; it is a grief still wailing, a queer body undergoing renovation, it is the whispered promise of daydream” MADDIE GODFREY