Longlisted for the 2023 Stella Prize

Decadence – Thuy On

Poetry · UWA Publishing


About the Book

“Funny, clever and keenly observed, Decadence is a profound musing on literature and language, that deftly skewers the would-be gatekeepers of verse. With this second collection, Thuy On has cemented herself as a vibrant, unique and captivating new voice in Australian poetry.” – Maxine Beneba Clarke

“In Decadence, Thuy On indulges in her love of language, assembling a unique erotics of word and punctuation, showcasing a poetry that is pure – in being about itself – but also powerfully seductive. As the poet herself puts it, this is ‘art laid bare’, performing how language works as language but also as a window onto those dark, human mysteries of being and feeling. Indeed, if On builds such a brilliantly decadent mansion out of poetry, exploiting striking imagery and playful wit, it is ultimately to provide a kind of refuge, ‘lest the cave of night swallows you.’” – Maria Takolander

“Thuy On’s poems are always wry, epicurean and defiant, and this book underlines her unique place in Australian poetry. Literate yet disarmingly unpretentious, wildly playful yet leavened with complex feeling, Decadence is a surreptitious delight.” – Andy Jackson.


“Thuy On’s Decadence is a thrilling and wry evisceration of poetry gatekeeping on this continent.”

– 2023 Stella Prize Judges

About the Author

Thuy On

Thuy On is an arts journalist, editor, critic, and poet. She’s currently Reviews Editor and writer for online publication ArtsHubTurbulence (UWAP 2020) was her debut collection of poetry. Decadence, her second collection, was also released by UWAP, in July 2022.

Further Reading


Read an interview with Thuy On in The Westsider

Hear Thuy discuss her poetry on 3CR’s Published or Not

Red an interview with Thuy on in the Australian Arts Review


Judges’ Report

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