Jennifer Harrison

'The world closed in, but it was fortunate / there was her own interior to explore: / the prayer books a captain might have read / on long voyages, now small with gossamer pages ...'

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After a ten-year gestation, actor Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda [2004], Crash [2004]) has realised his dream to produce a film on the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis. Cheadle who directs, co-writes, and plays the central role eschews the usual linear narrative in Miles Ahead and takes as his ...

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It may seem strange to begin a review of Paul Carter’s extraordinary poetry collection by quoting the words of another writer, but these lines of Boris Pasternak’s – taken from his essay in The Poet’s Work (1989), a collection of writings by twentieth-century poets on their art – seem particularly pertinent:

By its inborn faculty of ...

Colombine selects from Jennifer Harrison’s four previous collections and adds a book-length group of new poems. In keeping with current practice, the new poems precede the selections, so that anyone wanting to consider Harrison’s twenty-year poetic career in terms of development has to begin ...

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Folly & Grief by Jennifer Harrison

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October 2006, no. 285

Folly & Grief, Melbourne poet Jennifer Harrison’s third collection, reads on one level as a playful enquiry into the centuries-long association of folly with innovative live performance. Lizard men abseil down gallery walls; an extreme body artist creates a living sculpture of bees; a ventriloquist’s dummy stirs to life; New Age travellers toss firesticks, knives and chainsaws high into the sky. While the danger lurking in such displays is often what retains our interest (‘He juggles a chainsaw … even the fine patinating rain / feels like sprayed blood on my face and lips’), Harrison is equally concerned with the challenging apprenticeships these unusual skills demand. The road to becoming a master entertainer is explicitly connected to the craft of writing: ‘a juggler first conquers clumsiness / then writes the same poem, over and over.’

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I’ve been trying to place love
in the exhibit for inspection
but there are fees to be perfected.

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Dear B by Jennifer Harrison

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July 1999, no. 212

Since the publication in 1995 of her first collection, Michelangelo’s Prisoners, Jennifer Harrison has continued to impress readers and to broaden her repertoire. Her fourth collection in as many years, the intimately entitled Dear B, consolidates her reputation and demonstrates sufficient difference and intensity to satisfy admirers of this sensitive, likeable poet.

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