Jennifer Maiden has for a long time been one of Australia’s most politically engaged poets, a commentator on the local scene and the international set alike. With her new volume, Liquid Nitrogen, Maiden continues on from her previous books Friendly Fire (2005) and Pirate Rain (2010), with more poems centred on the journalist George Jeffreys, and further poetic conversations between Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as new partnerships between Kevin Rudd and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Julia Gillard and Aneurin Bevan. These poems fold into a volume that also includes more of Maiden’s ‘diary poems’ and a number of smaller, non-sequential poems that nonetheless match the volume’s tone and may well contain the seeds of Maiden’s next book. The liquid nitrogen of the title appears first in George Jeffreys’s waking, and later in the poem ‘Diary Poem: Uses of Liquid Nitrogen’. Such echoes recur as Liquid Nitrogen conducts conversations not just within its probing poems, but also across the collection as a whole. The book is at once political and intimate, full of the real world and marked by the oneiric tone of conversations that cross the threshold of death.
Kate Middleton reviews 'Liquid Nitrogen' by Jennifer Maiden
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Kate Middleton is an Australian writer. She is the author of the poetry collections Fire Season (Giramondo, 2009), awarded the Western Australian Premier’s Award for Poetry in 2009 and Ephemeral Waters (Giramondo, 2013), shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s award in 2014. From September 2011-September 2012 she was the inaugural Sydney City Poet.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.
May 2019, no. 410
• Johanna Leggatt on City of Trees by Sophie Cunningham
• Peter Rose reviews On David Malouf by Nam Le
• Beejay Silcox on the lure of dystopian fiction in the age of Trump
• Daniel Halliday on why politicians find tax justice so hard
• Paul Giles on Ian McEwan's latest sci-fi-inspired Machines Like Me
April 2019, no. 410
• Hypocrisy in the Vatican in Frédéric Martel's new book
• Alecia Simmonds on misogyny and malice in Married at First Sight
• Paul Giles on Gerald Murnane's revised novel A Season on Earth
• Andrea Goldsmith's new book Invented Lives
• Sheila Fitzpatrick on Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill in The Kremlin Letters