30 September 1961 |
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
|Alma mater||Victorian College of the Arts
La Trobe University
Jordie Albiston grew up in Melbourne, one of three or four children. She studied music 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. 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. 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 (many commissioned) written between 2009 and 2013. Jack & Mollie (& Her) is a book-length poem comprising decasyllabic cinquains. Albiston has (or had) dogs with these names so it is likely the narrative is at least partly autobiographical. This title was listed by both Andrea Goldsmith and Geoff Page in Australian Book Review 2016 Books of the Year.
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), Motherlode: Australian Women's Poetry 1986-2008 (2009), Australian Poetry Since 1788 (2011), The turnrow Anthology of Contemporary Australian Poetry (USA: 2014) and Contemporary Australian Poetry (2016). She has an entry in Who's Who in Twentieth-Century World Poetry, and is mentioned in The Cambridge Companion to Australian Literature and The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics (4th ed.). Her work has been translated into Japanese, Mandarin, Macedonian and Polish, and she is referred to as a major Australian poet in Australian Book Review (May 2016).
Other composers having set Albiston's poetry to music include Leonard Lehrman (New York), Barry McKimm (Melbourne), Raffaele Marcellino (Sydney), Rachel Merton (Brisbane) 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".
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Awards and nominations
- 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
- 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) 
- 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'
- 2011 – writer-in-residence, Cornwall, UK (Hypatia Trust)
- 2013 – winner National Fine Music FM Young Composers Award for 'A Brief History of Love'; composer Rachel Merton
- 2016 – recipient WWI Centenary Fellowship (State Library of Victoria)
- 2016 – shortlisted Josephine Ulrick Poetry Prize for "Boy"
- Nervous Arcs (Spinifex, 1995)
- Botany Bay Document : a poetic history of the women of Botany Bay (Black Pepper publishing, 1996; reprinted 2003, 2013) 
- 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)
- Vertigo: a cantata (John Leonard Press, 2007)
- 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)
- Jack & Mollie (& Her) (UQP, 2016)
- Euclid's dog: 100 algorithmic poems (GloriaSMH, forthcoming 2017)
- The Weekly Poem: 52 exercises in closed & open forms (Puncher & Wattmann, 2014)
- Prayers of a Secular World (with Kevin Brophy: Inkerman & Blunt, 2015)
- "Black Pepper Publishing - Dreaming Transportation". 3 July 2007.
- "Media Release: Tim Maddock to direct Sydney Opera House production by DCA candidate Andree Greenwell". 29 June 2006.
- "Mary Gilmore Prize for the best first book of poetry". Association for the Study of Australian Literature. Retrieved 2007-07-13.
- "University of Melbourne: The DJ (Dinny) O'Hearn Memorial Fellowship". 23 April 2007.
- Hewett, D: "A Grim and Rough Story", Australian Book Review, May 1999
- Matt Hetherington reviews Jordie Albiston
- Heather Taylor Johnson reviews Jordie Albiston
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