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.