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Poet of the Month

An interview with Judith Bishop
November 2020, no. 426

Poet of the Month

An interview with Judith Bishop
November 2020, no. 426

Judith Bishop’s second collection, Interval (UQP, 2018), won the 2019 Kenneth Slessor Prize and was shortlisted for the 2018 Melbourne Prize for Literature’s Best Writing Award. Her poems have inspired many artworks, including music. Most recently, she has contributed a lyric to Andrew Ford’s Red Dirt Hymns project. She has a new poem, 'Portraits of the Future'.


Judith Bishop


Which poets have most influenced you?

My teachers, direct and indirect: Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Yves Bonnefoy, Robert Frost, D.H. Lawrence, Edwin Muir, Carl Phillips, Rainer Maria Rilke. Quite a number are men; but attunement isn’t a conscious choice.


Are poems chiefly inspired or crafted?

All the craft I know won’t bring a poem to life if inspiration is lacking. There has to be a moment of perception buried in it like a seed. Growing that seed, and discovering what kind of organism it will be, requires all the skill (craft, in both senses) I can muster.

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