Lisa Gorton has a PhD on the poetry of John Donne from the University of Oxford. She is a poet and novelist, essayist and reviewer. Her first poetry collection Press Release won the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry; her second, Hotel Hyperion was awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal; and her third, Empirical, was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for Poetry. Her novel The Life of Houses was the co-winner of the 2016 Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction. She is the author of Cloudland, a novel for children.
98 pages Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm Published July 2019 ISBN 9781925818116
Lisa Gorton began writing Empirical in 2014, when the Victorian government of the time signed a contract to cut an eight-lane motorway through the heart of Royal Park in Melbourne. Her walks in the park, brightly rendered in the book’s hallucinatory first sequence, seek to understand how the feeling for place originates, and how memory and landscape fold in and out of each other. This section concludes with ‘Royal Park’, a long poem that recreates the colonial history of the place through the gathering of fragments from newspapers, maps and pictures. Then, in its second part, the collection makes a surprising pivot, tracking, through chains of influence and a phantasmagoric procession of images, the trade between empire, commodities and dreams of other places.Through this method, landscapes are mirrored and refracted in the contemporary baroque style for which Gorton is celebrated.
216 pages Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm Published April 2015 ISBN 9781922146809
The Life of Houses explores, with a poet’s eye for detail, the hidden tensions in one of Australia’s establishment families. The Life of Houses is a novel about mothers and daughters, and coming of age. It is also about property, and how people’s feelings for the places that they inhabit can shape their lives.
64 pages Paperback, 21 x 15 cm Published March 2012 ISBN 9781922146274
By turns intimate and grand in scale, Gorton’s new collection of poems features snow domes, storm glasses, museum display cases, an ancestral home and the air-locked rooms of a mythical space hotel: all images which contains worlds within worlds, rooms which open onto other rooms. It is a baroque collection, playing with notions of inward and outward space, constructing its intricate perspectives with a restrained delicacy. The title sequence, ‘Hotel Hyperion’, is set in the future, in a space hotel where a collector gathers artefacts for a museum recording the history of space settlement. It also recalls Keats’ great poem, ‘The Fall of Hyperion’.
72 pages Paperback, 21 x 15 cm Published November 2007 ISBN 9781920882341
At the heart of Lisa Gorton’s first collection of poems is a sequence set in the Mallee district of Victoria in the last years of World War II.
A meditation on ambition, patience and waste, it explores the experience of first settlement through elegy, dramatic monologue, the portrait poem and the short lyric. Other poems are set in cities and in the future.
Written in a contemporary baroque style, combining farfetched imagery with intense emotion, this is poetry that leaps out of elaboration into clear air and light.