Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Meg McKinlay on the poetry of Jordie Albiston

Meg McKinlay is a children’s writer and poet. Meg’s talents are far reaching and she writes everything from picture books to novels for young adults. Her latest book is Surface Tension, a compelling mystery that is receiving rave reviews. She now resides in Fremantle and says she is inspired by her childhood memories and her children.

Here’s what Meg had to say about her (current) favourite poet Jordie Albiston: ‘It’s always an impossible task, the choosing of favourites, but I'm going to go with the poem that has moved me the most in recent times – Melbourne poet Jordie Albiston's ‘The Fall’, from the collection of the same name. The poem is a response to an image of Evelyn McHale, who jumped to her death from the Empire State Building in 1947 and was photographed in arresting serenity on a crumpled car roof. Structurally, the poem is an extended linked pantoum and the repetitive elements of that form are used to stunning effect. I heard Jordie read it at the Sprung Writers Festival in Albany last year and found myself sitting perfectly still, weeping. It's an incredible piece of work.’

Here is a link to the photo that inspired the poem (for copyright reasons we can't post it but it is an amazing image):

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