Judith Bishop

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).

Judith Bishop reviews 'Zanzibar Light' by Philip Mead

June-July 2018, no. 402 25 May 2018
Judith Bishop reviews 'Zanzibar Light' by Philip Mead
There is a shimmering, ludic intelligence to this collection of poems, Philip Mead’s first since 1984. The word ‘comeback’ is apt, with its grace note of gladness for renewed possibilities. Opening any new work, the anticipation is acute: will I be changed by reading this, and if so, how? What might I think, feel, or recognise that I have not before? The title and opening poem, as in many c ... (read more)

'Home' by Judith Bishop

November 2016, no. 386 24 October 2016
Be our heart’s north,daybreak in our daughters’breath, be the radiancethat listensas we gather for the singingof the wood. Here is night. Somewhere,to someone, fear is coming:dark calls out the humananimal. Somewhere,in someone, the animalruns forth. By night the wood sings.In its radiance we findourselves altered.Somewhere in the nightour hearts settleand the breath alone keeps watch. Judi ... (read more)

'The Grey Parrot' by Judith Bishop

November 2016, no. 386 24 October 2016
after the painting The grey parrot by Walter Deverell, National Gallery of Victoria The far city must make itself knowneven here in the sitting room andbarred by winter branches. The skyline with its towers square as pillarsbuilt of blocks could be hereas much as then and there and is in any case beyond hearing.Long withdrawn from the citythat oversees life to a home where rapt stillness is a ... (read more)

2006 Porter Prize winner: 'Still Life with Cockles and Shells' by Judith Bishop

March 2006, no. 279 01 March 2006
(Italian, c.17th; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) Life breathes in this painting like a child pretending not to be awake, or a skink metamorphosed to a stone but for the flutter in its flank. You have to lean and listen for the heart behind the shining paint, the lips half-open, and the glittering eye. Velvet of the night. A bald parrot on a parapet watches to the east. Ships listing on ... (read more)

'The Blind Minotaur', a new poem by Judith Bishop

November 2010, no. 326 15 November 2011
Pablo Picasso, Vollard Suite, plate 97 Night’s the ground beneath my feet since I learned to walk with you. Scented guide with birds and flowers on your breath, it’s no earth, but a sea we walk across. These sailors, pulling out from shore, delivered our desertion. In this new life of mine, my heart keeps coming on its every old error, grassed over as if natural convexities, the qui ... (read more)

'Openings', a new poem by Judith Bishop

March 2011, no. 329 12 April 2011
I could say hello to things.Theodore Roethke i. The hand’s wave, when it comes – formal, yet never once the same, awkward sometimes, sometimes half- withheld – from the sunlight of the brain makes a shadow of intent. Something alights in the meadow of vision. Shimmering, electric, each datum’s serene in its dance of arrival from the world – each met by the sprightlypas de deux of t ... (read more)
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