Peter Kenneally reviews 'Suite for Percy Grainger' by Jessica L. Wilkinson

Peter Kenneally reviews 'Suite for Percy Grainger' by Jessica L. Wilkinson

Suite for Percy Grainger

by Jessica L. Wilkinson

Vagabond Press, $25 pb, 136 pp, 9781922181206

Jessica L. Wilkinson won the 2014 Peter Porter Poetry Prize with ‘Arrival Platform Humlet', a phantasmagoria of typographical and lexical invention whirling around a tune of the same name by Percy Grainger. This book performs the same service for his whole life and oeuvre, to stunning effect.

Grainger (1882–1961) is generally known as an interesting character first and a composer second. Wilkinson helpfully lists for us the various Percys on offer, among them the Folk-Song Collector, the Nordic, the Flagellant. This was a man who founded a museum in his own memory and who preserved a large part of the English folk tradition while also advocating ‘free’ machine-generated music.

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Peter Kenneally

Peter Kenneally

Peter Kenneally is a freelance editor, writer and reviewer, and poet. In 2005 his suite of poems Memento Mori was selected for the anthology of the Newcastle Poetry Prize, and in 2007 his piece ‘a streetlamp goes out when I walk under it’ was commended in the New Media section of the same prize. He has appeared in The Australian, Southerly, and Island, among other publications.


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