Jill Jones reviews 'Interval' by Judith Bishop

Jill Jones reviews 'Interval' by Judith Bishop


by Judith Bishop

University of Queensland Press, $24.95 pb, 86 pp, 9780702260070

Judith Bishop’s Interval appears just over a decade since the publication of her first book, also using a one-word title, Event (Salt, 2007). This gap seems far too long. Certainly, there have been two chapbooks in the intervening years – Alice Missing in Wonderland and Other Poems (2008), in the Wagtail series from Picaro Press, and Aftermarks (2012), in the Vagabond Rare Objects Series, – but no full-length collection. The impression is that Bishop works slowly and meticulously. Both Interval and Event are what some may call ‘slim volumes’, that is, in comparison to many.

It is also worth noting in this context that Bishop is, so far, the only poet to have won Australian Book Review’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize twice, in 2006 with the haunting ‘Still Life with Cockles and Shells’, which was published in Event, and in 2011 with ‘Openings’, a moving poem that now appears, with just one change to a stanza break, in Interval.

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Published in April 2018, no. 400
Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones has published nine full-length books of poetry including Breaking the Days (2015), The Beautiful Anxiety (2014), which won the 2015 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry, and Ash is Here, So are Stars (2012). Her work is represented in major anthologies including the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry. She is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, University of Adelaide. She was poet-in-residence at Stockholm University for five months in 2014-15.