Kate Middleton

The Calibre Essay Prize, now in its fourteenth year, goes on producing some of the finest longform essays from around the world. This year we received about 600 entries from 29 different countries. The overall prize went to Yves Rees for their essay 'Reading the Mess Backwards', which Yves reads in a recent podcast episode.

Placed second was 'The Dolorimeter' by Sydney-based poet and academic Kate Middleton. Kate's essay, which appears in the September issue of ABR, is a personal meditation on her experience with illness and dealing with the medical profession over many years.

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Sometime late morning it begins, a root of something that only as it grows do you recognise as pain. You have had coffee, as you do every morning, and now you feel the kind of heaviness that sends you to lie down. At home, the friend who is staying with you, whom you half invited and who may have misinterpreted your keenness for company, notes your early return and approves of your plan to retreat. For both of you it has been a year frantic with change and learning and emotion, and even if it is likely indulgent – so what, you’ve earned the right to call a morning off the books and instead take a heat pack and wish it were night all over again. She even microwaves the heat pack for you. You take it to bed where you think you will read or watch television or luxuriate in some way.

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Brink by Jill Jones & Passage by Kate Middleton

by
January–February 2018, no. 398

The poetic epigraphs that introduce all three sections in Brink, Jill Jones’s tenth full-length poetry collection, are collaged fragments from the poems proper. Moodily, they skirt the edges of what’s to come: ‘I am to proliferate.’ The poems then, in all their multiplicity, evoke and explore being on the brink – of knowing, feeling ...

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TROVE CURTAILED

Dear Editor,

As President of the Australian Historical Association, on 2 March I sent the following letter to the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia, (and copied it to the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition; Senator the Hon. Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts; and the Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC, MP, Shadow Minister for ...

More than 700 poets entered this year's Peter Porter Poetry Prize; just over 200 of these entries came from overseas. The judges were Luke Davies, Lisa Gorton and Kate Middleton. They completed their judgement without knowing the name, gender, background or nationality of any entrant.

This prize honours Peter Porter and its judges seek to honour him not only in name but in principle: by ...

The storm blows you back
              its funnel ardent
              its wide hungry eye
Its tongue croons you
onto flatline of prairie

When poppies drowsed you
red breath drew
gravity into your limbs:
you yearned for tall ...

The dawn is only a thought.

The fulcrum on which we rest our newsprint, our toothless fingerprints, our balmy Paxil days.

Only a thought of the windy, dwindling kind.

Wake to urgent messages, to the waltz of hours crisp and fragile as thin pastry. To roulette of lightning yes. Of arid no.

&nb ...

            The ‘greate fyshe’, terrible
colossus, dark cathedral of days
            and nights, arrests
lost Jonah in his flight. Three

            days and nights spent
in wet earnest pray ...

Cut out a sixth of the heart.
At a day old—furless,
close-eyed, resembling nothing
so much as an infant's thumb—
he can survive it.
The mouse can regrow that missing part
in three short weeks.

Aesop knew it:
to be mouse-hearted
is as good as wearing
the swagger of lion.

His heart
perhaps the size of ...

In black chalk the beast
brusques forward   Silence   Rubens
has stopped his mouth
with a single line     He is already
awed by the den
he will find himself in even now
as his mane curls into wisp
of emptiness     A study on paper

But there in white chalk the grim
pose brightens
into ...

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