It is a curious thing, and not a little moving, to see writers celebrated for their work in other genres turn in later life with renewed vigour to poetry. David Malouf, like Clive James, has avowed a desire for poetry now, as the main form of writing his expression wants to take. Certainly, its brevity has a part in this, for the best of poems can happen, if fortunate, in minutes, not months, as Malouf himself observes. Yet the cogency of poetry speaks also to an impulse to voice the essential in life and nothing but, and to do it in a way that calls on all the writer’s powers of sound and gesture and concision.
Judith Bishop lives in Melbourne, Australia, and has studied in the United States and Britain. She is Director of Linguistic Services at a multinational language technology company. Her poems have won many awards, including the Peter Porter Poetry Prize (2006, 2011), an American Academy of Poets University prize (2004) and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (2002-2004). Her translations from French poets (Philippe Jaccottet, Gérard Macé) have appeared in Australian and international journals. Her first book, Event (Salt, 2007), won the FAW Anne Elder award and was shortlisted for the CJ Dennis Prize, the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and the ASAL Mary Gilmore Prize. Her most recent collection is Interval (UQP, 2018).
From the New Issue
Lioness: The extraordinary untold story of Sue Brierley, mother of Saroo, the boy known as Lion by Sue BrierleyReviewed by Margaret Robson Kett
The China Journals: Ideology and intrigue in the 1960s by Hugh Trevor-Roper, edited by Richard Davenport-HinesReviewed by Nicholas Jose