About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Monday, June 04, 2012

"Snapshot" of Jenny Blackford

Jason Nahrung and others are conducting a series of short interviews with people associated with the Australian science fiction/fantasy community.

Here is the interview with Jenny, posted today.

You’ve had some poetry published recently, after a long hiatus, and one ventures the new stuff is quite different to your first piece in Dolly all those years ago: what do you think has inspired you to not only return to poetry, but poetry of a decidedly darker (?) nature?

As to what has inspired me to return to poetry -– the real question is why I ever stopped writing it. Apparently, I just gave up quietly in my final dispiriting years of high school. The poetry writing asserted itself naturally a few years ago and took a while to nose its way out into the world.

And as to the alleged new darkness: not all my recent poems are dark. My poem forthcoming from The School Magazine is a fairly sweet little thing about a cat (though some might think ‘soft silk sack of bones’ has a slightly sinister edge). And my most recent poetry publication (in Star*Line 35.1 is another sweetish cat poem (though it does start with the potentially sinister ‘Gravity is stern as death’, and does ascribe uncanny powers to cats.) Hmmm…

I wish I could find my copy of ‘Ti-trees Rising’, the poem that was printed in Dolly back in the ’70s, but it seems to have disappeared from my filing system. It’s about ti-tree scrub, but I do distinctly remember the words ‘reptilian silver’ and ‘the cold moon in the dark’, so there’s at least a smidge of a sinister edge there as well.

Getting deeper: it’s true that the definitely dark ‘Mirror’ was my first poem for decades, but it’s based on memories from my teens. I was totally convinced that I saw someone else’s eyes looking back at me in the mirror, and I was terrified. Back then, I’m sure family and friends would have been horrified if I’d put all that fear and darkness into a poem. Now that I’m grown up, I’m allowed to.

That poem about ti-trees that they're discussing was Jenny's first professional sale, made when she was still a teenager in high school - and it also won a regional poetry prize. I hope she does manage to find the damn thing.

I want to read it!


GTChristie said...

>> different to

sorry. stopped reading right there.

proper form is "different from" ... spread the word.

Russell Blackford said...

You can hardly refuse to read an interview with someone because the interviewer asks her a question using "different to"; I agree that it should be "different from" ... but really! You don't have to read the interview if you're not interested, but your comment is hardly fair to the interviewee.

Anonymous said...

Will there be any posts on abortion soon?

GTChristie said...

For the record, I agree it isn't fair to Jenny.