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- DescriptionJennifer Maiden's Intimate Geography charts territory both personal and political, private and global. Just as 'One needs the private voice / to balance a public terror,' so the public focus sharpens the private perspective. Responding to international conflicts and crises, many of her poems probe moral dilemmas, confronting the existential, ethical problem of evil: why people commit inhuman acts. Watching the progress of a war, day by day, hour by hour, via satellite television, she experiences 'that singular oddness of feeling' of being always 'at a tangent to it somehow albeit / with despair's edgy wit' and there is 'too much passion in the evil'. Two characters keep appearing in her books, George Jeffreys and his companion, Clare Collins. In her vel Play With Knives George was a probation officer and Clare a young girl released from prison after murdering her three younger siblings as a nine-year-old. When they reappear in her poems - w working as observers for human rights organisations - they are deeply involved in an ethical analysis which extends to 9/11, the Iraq War, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Hurricane Katrina and the World Financial Crisis. Always pointedly serious, her poems can also be flamboyant or risque, outrageously witty or daringly provocative. They blur, challenge and cross the boundaries between real and imagined, fact and fiction, inner lives and the world outside us. Politicians and world leaders appear as themselves, including Hillary Clinton (talking to Elear Roosevelt), George W. Bush and Madeleine Albright. But at the centre of all these satellite lives, mapping their intimate geography, is Jennifer Maiden herself: questioning, engaging, pouncing and processing to create defiantly humane poetry of impassioned moral witness. Jennifer Maiden is one of Australia's leading poets. Intimate Geography is a selection from her four most recent collections, Acoustic Shadow (1993), Mines (1999), Friendly Fire (2005) and Pirate Rain (2010).
- Author BiographyJennifer Maiden was born in 1949 in Penrith, New South Wales, where she still lives. After starting to publish in the late 1960s, she took a BA at Macquarie University, and has been an active presence in the Sydney literary scene for the past four decades. Her first UK publication, Intimate Geography: Selected Poems 1991-2010 (Bloodaxe Books, 2012) draws on her four most recent collections: Acoustic Shadow (Penguin Australia, 1993), Mines (Paper Bark, 1999), Friendly Fire (Giramondo, 2005) and Pirate Rain (Giramondo, 2010). She has published ten other books of poetry in Australia along with two novels, the second of which, Play With Knives , was translated into German as Ein Messer im Haus (dtv, 1994). Among her many accolades are the NSW Premier's Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry (she is the only writer to have won this three times, most recently for Pirate Rain ), the C.J. Dennis Prize for Poetry, the Harri Jones Memorial Prize, the H.M. Butterly-F.Earle Hooper Award (University of Sydney), the Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival Prize, the FAW Christopher Brennan Award for lifetime achievement in poetry, Melbourne Age Poetry Book of the Year (twice), and Melbourne Age Book of the Year. As well as writing and running writers' workshops with a variety of literary, community and educational organisations, she has co-written (with Margaret Cunningham) a manual of questions to facilitate writing by torture and trauma victims. She has had residencies at the Australian National University, the University of Western Sydney, Springwood High School and the New South Wales Torture and Trauma Rehabilitation Service, and has been awarded several Fellowships by the Australia Council.
- Author(s)Jennifer Maiden
- PublisherBloodaxe Books Ltd
- Date of Publication01/03/2012
- SubjectPoetry Texts & Poetry Anthologies
- Place of PublicationTyne and Wear
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintBloodaxe Books Ltd
- Weight386 g
- Width138 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine17 mm
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