Jordie Albiston

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Jordie Albiston
Jordie Albiston c.2010
Born (1961-09-30) 30 September 1961 (age 54)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Alma mater Victorian College of the Arts
La Trobe University

Jordie Albiston (born 30 September 1961) is a contemporary Australian poet and academic.

Jordie Albiston c.1970

Jordie Albiston grew up in Melbourne, one of three or four children. She studied flute at the Victorian College of the Arts before completing a PhD in Literature. Her first collection of poems, Nervous Arcs, won the Mary Gilmore Award, received runner-up in the Anne Elder Award, and was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Prize. Her next two books were documentary collections, respectively concerning the first European women in the Port Jackson and Botany Bay settlements, and Jean Lee, the last woman hanged in Australia (1951).

Botany Bay Document was later transformed into a performance work entitled Dreaming Transportation by Andrée Greenwell.[1] In 2003, the performance premiered at the Sydney Festival, and in 2004 was staged again at the Sydney Opera House featuring Deborah Conway. The CD of this work won the Grand Prix Marulic (Croatia).

In 2006, Jordie Albiston's biographical verse The Hanging of Jean Lee was used as the text for an opera created by Andrée Greenwell. Featuring Max Sharam, it was first staged at the Sydney Opera House, The Studio.[2] The libretto of this work was subsequently shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Prize for Best Music-Theatre Script, and the opera was remounted in Melbourne in 2013. It is available on CD.

Albiston's fourth book, The Fall, a collection of chained verse, was shortlisted for Premier's Prizes in Victoria, NSW, and Queensland. This was followed by Vertigo: a cantata, which utilises musical structures and devices in place of traditional organisational techniques and punctuation. Albiston's sixth collection, the sonnet according to 'm', won the 2010 NSW Premier's Prize, and received runner-up in the Chief Minister's Award (ACT). kindness is a hand-bound limited edition artist's book, with etchings by Sheree Kinlyside in response to one poem. the Book of Ethel consists of 'perfect square' syllabic rhymed stanzas, charting the life of Albiston's Cornish great grandmother, and XIII Poems brings together uncollected poems written between 2009 and 2013.

Jordie Albiston's work has been well represented in anthologies, including the Oxford Anthology of Australian Verse (1998), the Indigo Book of Modern Australian Sonnets (2003), the PEN Macquarie Anthology of Australian Literature (2009), the Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009), the Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009), Motherlode: Australian Women's Poetry 1986-2008 (2009), Australian Poetry Since 1788 (2011), and The turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry (USA: 2014). She is mentioned in The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature and The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics (4th ed.).

Other composers having set Albiston's poetry to music include Leonard Lehrman (New York), Barry McKimm (Melbourne), Raffaele Marcellino (Sydney) and Peter Skoggard (Canada). Albiston was selected by The Age (Melbourne Magazine) for its annual Top 100 in 2010, and is currently featured on the ABC Radio National podcast "A Pod of Poets". In 2014, she addressed the prestigious Sydney Institute.

Jordie Albiston cannot be found on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1991 – winner Convocation Prize (La Trobe University, Melbourne)
  • 1991 – joint winner Wesley Michel Wright Award
  • 1992 – winner David Myers University Medal (La Trobe University, Melbourne)
  • 1994 – commended Queensland Premier's Poetry Award
  • 1996 – winner Mary Gilmore Award for Nervous Arcs[3]
  • 1996 – runner-up FAW Anne Elder Award for Nervous Arcs
  • 1996 – shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for Nervous Arcs
  • 1997 – recipient D.J. (Dinny) O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship (University of Melbourne) [4]
  • 1999 – runner-up Gwen Harwood Memorial Prize for 'The Fall'
  • 2003 – winner MusicOz Best Classical Composition for 'Dreaming Transportation'; composer Andrée Greenwell
  • 2003 – shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Award, C.J. Dennis Prize for Poetry for The Fall
  • 2003 – shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Award, Judith Wright Calanthe Prize for Poetry for The Fall
  • 2004 – winner Poem of the Millennium (Melbourne Poets Union) for 'Numbers of Reasons to be Grateful'
  • 2004 – shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for The Fall
  • 2004 – winner Grand Prix Marulic, Croatia, for CD Dreaming Transportation; composer Andrée Greenwell
  • 2008 – shortlisted Victorian Premier's Best Music-Theatre Script Award for The Hanging of Jean Lee; composer Andrée Greenwell
  • 2010 – winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry for the sonnet according to 'm'
  • 2010 – runner-up Chief Minister's Award (ACT) for the sonnet according to 'm'



  • Nervous Arcs (Spinifex, 1995)
  • Botany Bay Document : a poetic history of the women of Botany Bay (Black Pepper publishing, 1996; reprinted 2003, 2013) [5]
  • The Hanging of Jean Lee (Black Pepper publishing, 1998; reprinted 2004, 2013)
  • My Secret Life (Wagtail #15: Picaro Press, 2002)
  • The Fall (White Crane Press, 2003)[6]
  • Vertigo: a cantata (John Leonard Press, 2007)[7]
  • the sonnet according to 'm' (John Leonard Press, 2009)
  • kindness (Red Rag Press, 2013)
  • the Book of Ethel (Puncher & Wattmann, 2013)
  • XIII Poems (Rabbit Poets Series #1: Rabbit Poetry Press, 2013)


  • The Weekly Poem: 52 exercises in closed & open forms (Puncher & Wattmann, 2014)
  • Prayers of a Secular World (with Kevin Brophy: Inkerman & Blunt, 2015)



External links[edit]