Jennifer Maiden has won the N.S.W. Premier’s Award for Poetry twice, the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry, the Christopher Brennan Award for a lifetime of achievement in poetry, and many other prizes. Her recent poetry book include Selected Poems (1990), Acoustic Shadow (1993) and Mines (1999).
The centrepiece of Jennifer Maiden’s new poetry collection is the sequence of “George Jeffreys” poems written in response to September 11 and the Iraq war.
But Maiden’s poetry ranges widely, from the international to the national to the local, offering poems which focus with equal intensity on Donald Rumsfeld or Bob Carr, the deserts of Afghanistan or the rockpools at Austinmer beach, the policies of Nato or the exhibits at the local agricultural show.
The collection also includes what Maiden calls “parallel poems”, poems which are personal and intimate, and offer quiet meditations on nature and her closest relationships, particularly with her daughter Katharine. In these, the noise of politics and war is shut out, and the clarity of the landscape or the gestures of recognition that pass easily between mother and daughter, point to another, friendlier kind of understanding.
Friendly Fire is available from Quemar Press.
Print ISBN : 1-920882-12-X
pp : 100pp
Lisa Gorton reviews Friendly Fire as a ‘Poetry Masterpiece’ in the Monthly here
Friendly Fire won The Age Poetry Book of the Year, the overall Age Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Judith Wright Calanthe Award and the Adelaide Festival John Bray Award.