On The Cave After Saltwater Tide:

‘a poet of energy, a tremendous energy which spills over into some marvellous monologues, as though the single speaking voice of other parts of the book were not enough to contain it.’ — Martin Duwell

‘a substantial poet for whom more taxonomical reviews will have difficulty in finding a category.’ — Geoff Page

‘these poems...sing and hum and thrill and trill. This collection is a must for every Australian to read.’ — Peter Mitchell, Australian Book Review

On Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems:

‘Articulate and endlessly curious, David Reiter sets no bounds to his taste for the world’s many places, people and happenings. He creates a colourful simulacrum of Spain’s invincible, fecund life and history.’ — Judith Rodriguez

Reiter's book bring[s] a panorama of lost worlds to the reader — from the Kremlin, to Flinder's Breaksea Island, from Norfolk Island markets... to Idaho. They stitch you into a tapestry blending a rather fine weave, with loose threads left hanging just to trip you up if you become complacent. 'Art does not insist. You must let the fragments/find voice and not worry so much about the gaps.' — Bev Braune, Australian Book Review

What Reiter has done is more imaginative and more genuinely creative and ground-breaking because he has turned Spain not into a land of monuments that the poet reacts to and makes poems from but into a land of voices. Hemingway acts as a kind of guide but the voice is as likely to be that of a character from one of his novels as it is to be that of the writer. And Columbus, Charles the Fifth, Clint Eastwood, Miro, Picasso and a host of others get to speak as well. All of the themes of this 'voco-drama' interrelate because, as one poem says: 'the centuries / act in circles more often than straight lines'. — Martin Duwell

Hemingway in Spain is a substantial and accomplished piece of writing which, often in the persona of Hemingway, retraces poetically amny of that man's preoccupations, as part of David Reiter's aesthetic response to his experience of Spain (photography is also included). History and its lessons, the blood shed in its making, suffering and stoicism, religion and belief, the mystery of beauty and sex, the nature of modern life and the primal 'truth' (as Hemingway might put it) of ancient cultures and rituals. Pithy observations which in the confidence of their assertion carry a ring of truth evoke the big American style: Infidelity / was a squall for some, an anchor for others / candles against the uncertainties of night...Some believe it's science / others just good luck / that we fall in love / is a superstition; that we stay together is default... ("Contrast at Cuenca"). — Nathan Hollier, Overland.152

Australia does have...a few who are masters of the poetic art... they include the great Les Murray, the splendid Phillip Salom and the challenging David P Reiter. Hemingway in Spain is the best example yet of Reiter's experiment with what he calls fusion poetry and the story he tells in the many parts that comprise the whole offers as intriguing and insightful a perspective as any on the great, but flawed American novelist...[he] brings us that man in various forms, whether as the writer, as his greatest character from his greatest novel — Robert Jordan from For Whom The Bell Tolls — or as an observer looking back. And while taking on Hemingway is a formidable challenge, remember that in the end even Hemingway couldn't live up to being Hemingway. Reiter is more than equal to the task. — Michael Jacobson, Gold Coast Weekend Review

David Reiter's most recent book is a fascinating expression of the problem of history and the emptiness of the social sphere...[the] photos exemplify what I read as the central thesis...the frustrating presence of a past that cannot be pinned down, and that offers no secure place for human subjects...this is a book which disturbs, rather than confirms, a narrative stability. Its uncertain politics, its promiscuous juxtaposing of images, times and places, and its collapsing of the fictional into the historical (and vice versa), leaves something unsettled and unexpected, but something which deserves further attention. — Jen Webb, Idiom 2

On Letters We Never Sent:

This is a book of quotes and epigrams, speculation and anecdote, yearnings and palimpsests, and voices in profusion as David Reiter puts his head down into historical but also fictive intertexts of Tahiti. “I am tired of old planets” one of these voices says, and we too travel through his richly interwoven monologues to search out the nature of art, of civilisation.... These poems even name the siren call of the Internet as the new exotic, the medium of desire. But I was especially struck by the central idea of letters ‘never sent’ as poetic speculation, at its most pointed in the wit and banter between Gauguin and Van Gogh, climaxing in the wonderful Van Gogh commentaries on the famous paintings. — Philip Salom

Gauguin in the South Seas, Van Gogh in Arles, surfing the Internet, stumbling into chat rooms or a fish and chip shop in the Cook Islands, explorations of past travellers and the random confused explorations of the Information Highway… Such is the exciting collage of images Reiter places skillfully before us. Phrases, lines, stories that reflect back and forth touching always on the dream of happiness, the longing to make sense of ourselves. — Peter Boyle


When a title sells out, authors and publishers have mixed feelings. The author is gratified to have a substantial readership and the publisher has room for new books. David Reiter’s first four poetry titles have sold out, so he must have a dedicated following indeed!

To reprint or not to reprint? IP was David’s publisher only for the most recent of the four, Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems. We could have easily reprinted it, but then what about his award winning Penguin title, The Cave After Saltwater Tide, and the very popular Changing House and The Snow in Us?

The best solution seemed to be a Selected and New; hence our offering of Kiss and Tell, which includes a generous sample of work from David’s five books of poetry to date, including Letters We Never Sent, plus 22 new poems drawn from his recent experiments with “literary multimedia”.

Most of these new poems are so new that they haven’t been published individually as yet. And because they are part of his multimedia projects, this may be your only chance to see them in print form!

So what are you waiting for?

David Reiter

The challenge for readers of David P Reiter’s work over the past 15 years has been trying to pin down his art and influences. Not an easy task. His imagination resists cultural razor wire by composing without a passport, accepting no subject as off-limits. And this multi-award winning author more often sets the trends these days rather than following them.

This is his sixth collection of poetry. His first, The Snow in Us, is set in the Canadian Arctic, where David lived for a short time among the Inuit. It was published in 1989 by Five Islands Press, as a part of its first cooperative cycle. Changing House (1991) was published by Jacaranda Press. It focuses on Mexico and North America, arriving in Australia rather late in the piece. The Cave After Saltwater Tide (Penguin, 1994) won the Queensland Premier’s Award, while Hemingway in Spain and Selected Poems (IP, 1997) was short-listed for the Adelaide Festival’s John Bray Award. His most recent poetry book is Letters We Never Sent (IP, 2000)

He stubbornly clings to the view that poetry does have a future, and a bright one. Some of the new work here has been drawn from his forays into artforms such as “literary multimedia” where poetry – the most adaptable of literary forms – finds a new home. Whether in print, on CD, or the Internet, David P Reiter will continue to demand our close attention.



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