A Frances Johnson

2020 Peter Porter Poetry Prize winner

Australian Book Review
Tuesday, 19 March 2019

2020 Peter Porter Poetry Prize Shortlist

Australian Book Review
Thursday, 22 February 2018

The shortlist: 'My Father's Thesaurus' by A. Frances Johnson; 'Precision Signs' by Lachlan Brown; 'Constellation of Bees' by Julie Manning; 'That Wadjela Tongue' by Claire G. Coleman; 'South Coast Sonnets' by Ross Gillett.

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In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, A. Frances Johnson reads three poems from 'The Book of Interdictions' which features in the 2016 Victorian anthology.

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for Marcia Langton


The rock-art guide, combusting
in 43 degrees, back to image.
His sloppy dreamtime
a melted ice-cream,
far from refrigerated sublime.

Gwion rock art from the 'Tassel era' is happy art,
though contentiously attributed and dated, he says,
authoritative white sweater in white sweater.

Even poetry dements in the end; fatal attractions to dank earth
and ash albums don't fool or buy time. Poetry cherry-picks
memory for its own ends; yet that's a medicated narcissism for
some. Earnest elegies are often rejected by dogs and children.
Listen to them howl. Voting for life outside of ritual.
I'm on your side; I'm with the hounds and the kids. I won ...

'Shrine' by A. Frances Johnson | States of Poetry Vic - Series One

A. Frances Johnson
Monday, 22 February 2016
Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner were brought to Melbourne in 1839 by the protector of Aborigines, George Robinson, to 'civilise' the Victorian Aborigines. In late 1841, the two men and three women stole two guns and waged a six-week guerilla-style campaign in the Dandenongs and on the Mornington Peninsula, burning stations and killing two sealers. They were charged with murder ...

'Sea Level' by A. Frances Johnson | States of Poetry Vic - Series One

A. Frances Johnson
Monday, 22 February 2016

You can't see water beyond the highway hoardings, but you are told Jesus walked on it. This
is your best clue. Dinner settings, security doors, Viagra and tractor parts flash past like
signed miracles.

But you feel something pull, not daintily at your sleeve, but with tidal will,
a blood rush of stark equations of space and gravity you cannot hope to solve.

When ...

 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come ...
Song of Solomon, Verse 11-12


Lo, the cell phone sleeps in its cell.
The raven deactivates the horizon.
There is water for everyone,
bu ...

States of Poetry 2016 - Victoria | About A. Frances Johnson

Australian Book Review
Monday, 22 February 2016

Head shot 2A. Frances Johnson is a writer and artist, and a lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. Her novel Eugen ...

'Weight' a new poem by A. Frances Johnson

A. Frances Johnson
Thursday, 26 February 2015

It is a kind of sleep we must learn,
seasonal as spiders, our bodies
weights no web can hold.

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