Winner of the 2023 Stella Prize

The Jaguar – Sarah Holland Batt

Poetry · University of Queensland Press

About the Book



With electrifying boldness, Sarah Holland-Batt confronts what it means to be mortal in an astonishing and deeply humane portrait of a father’s Parkinson’s Disease, and a daughter forged by grief.

Opening and closing with startling elegies set in the charged moments before and after a death, and fearlessly probing the body’s animal endurance, appetites and metamorphoses, The Jaguar is marked by Holland-Batt’s lyric intensity and linguistic mastery, along with a stark new clarity of voice.

Here, Holland-Batt is at her most exacting and uncompromising: these ferociously intelligent, insistent poems refuse to look away, and challenge us to view ruthless witness as a form of love.

“Tender, memorable poems that capture grief and loss and love through unforgettable imagery, often blended with humour.

– 2023 Stella Prize Judges

sarah holland-batt

About the Author


Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt is the author of three books of poetry –The Jaguar (2022), The Hazards (2015) and Aria (2008) – and a book of essays on contemporary poetry, Fishing for Lightning (2021). Her honours include the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry, a Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship, and residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo in the United States. She is presently the Judy Harris Writer in Residence at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, and Professor of Creative Writing and Literary Studies at QUT.

Further Reading



Reviews 

A confronting and heartfelt elegy for her father, bookended by the devastating end of his life but not forgoing the vivid living of the rest of it – capturing his humanity, his illness and her loss with clarity and love.” – Steph Harmon, The Guardian

“Her artistry is exhilarating.” – Amanda Lohrey, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Few poets can achieve this level of transformation, allowing their images to move with argumentative force… The poems about her father are among some of the most powerful written on this subject and many readers will be profoundly affected by them.” – Judith Beveridge, The Australian

Links

Listen to Sarah Holland-Batt on ABC Radio National’s Big Weekend of Books

Read a profile of Sarah Holland-Batt in The Guardian

Hear Sarah discuss her work on the Poetry Says podcast

 

Judges’ Report


Explore the latest from Stella

This month Stella celebrates Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss, longlisted for the 2022 Stella Prize. We asked Anita about her career, the …

Meet the judges

The Stella Interview: Astrid Edwards Astrid Edwards is the 2025 Stella Prize Chair of Judges. She is a literary critic, educator and …

Help change the story

As a not-for-profit organisation with ambitious goals, Stella relies on the generous support of donors to help fund our work.

Every donation is important to us and allows Stella to continue its role as the leading voice for gender equality and cultural change in Australian literature.

Stella is a not-for-profit organisation with DGR status. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.