Jordie Albiston

(30 September 1961 - / Melbourne / Australia)

Biography of Jordie Albiston

Jordie Albiston poet

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


Jordie Albiston grew up in Melbourne, and 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: Voice Portraits of the First Women of White Settlement at Port Jackson by Andrée Greenwell. In 2003, the performance premiered at the Sydney Festival, and in 2004 was staged again at the Sydney Opera House.

In 2006, Jordie Albiston's biographical verse The Hanging of Jean Lee was used as the text for an opera created by Andrée Greenwell and Melbourne playwright Abe Pogos, and 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.

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).

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), and Australian Poetry Since 1788 (2011).

Other composers having set Albiston's poetry to music include Leonard Lehrman (New York), Raffaele Marcellino (Sydney), Peter Skoggard (Canada), and Barry McKimm (Melbourne). 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".

Jordie Albiston cannot be found on facebook, twitter, or other social networking sites.

Jordie Albiston's Works:

Nervous Arcs (Spinifex, 1995)
Botany Bay Document : a poetic history of the women of Botany Bay (North Fitzroy: Black Pepper publishing, 1996)
The Hanging of Jean Lee (North Fitzroy: Black Pepper publishing, 1998)
My Secret Life, (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)

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